- LOS ANGELES
First-time filmmaker and noted illustrator Cuba Tornado Scott is joining RSA Films for special projects. She made her directorial debut with 9 ½, a cinematic branded short film which launched online earlier this month on Nowness. 9 ½ premiered at TIFF 2018 as the centerpiece film for AccorHotels’ “Fairmont Loves Film” event series curated by Accor’s film ambassador Gia Coppola, and it also played the series’ London run at The Savoy in January.
David Mitchell, managing director, RSA Films, said of the director, “She’s a natural storyteller with an amazing eye, assets that bring her first film for Fairmont to life in such an entertaining way. We’re excited for what’s on the horizon, partnering with clients to introduce Cuba’s distinctive creative voice and topical cultural insights to their brands.”
9 ½ introduces audiences to the “Fairmont Loves Film” series through the perspective of a woman whose vivid memories revive the spirit of cinema within Fairmont. Filmed at the Fairmont San Francisco--a hotel famously featured in films such as Vertigo--9 ½ is a rich, visually driven narrative that seems a natural extension of Scott’s own aesthetic. She’s drawn storyboards for her father, Jake Scott, and done a photographic study on artist Francis Bacon using makeup, light and set design to blend the boundaries between subject and painting. And she possesses her own inimitable style, having graced the covers of international Vogue and Garage magazine.
That experience served Scott well creating the whimsical world of 9 ½, a cinematic experience which reflects careful attention to details; notably among them, production design. “The location of the Fairmont San Francisco is a miracle, the whole place is stunning,” Scott explained. “Places like that render visible values and ideas that we can take home with us, so my job was not to disturb that. I drew very detailed storyboards prior to shooting, so when I walked on set I knew exactly what I wanted. The plans I made with a clear state of mind had to be met with the time constraints of being on set. I am very visually driven, but the images have to be justified and earned.”
Part of cinematic history, Fairmont hotels have been featured in many films throughout the years--Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, American Hustle and Spotlight. Scott’s own family has a role in cinematic history, but when asked about going in to the family business at RSA Films, she replied, “Up until the point of Fairmont, I had never wanted to direct or be involved in film. But the opportunity revealed a big part of myself I suppose I had always been in denial of. By way of that, it only makes sense to merge with RSA now. I can find inspiration in anything if I am asked to.”
What influence will her family of famed directors and producers have on her as a director?
“Only time will tell!” she said.