ABOVE: GEORGINA CHAPMAN (RIGHT) WITH FELLOW PROJECT IMAGINAT10N PARTICIPANT EVA LONGORIA AND MENTOR RON HOWARD, COURTESY OF GETTY IMAGES
Georgina Chapman has been in show business for a while, sort of—her ready-to-wear label, Marchesa, is one of the red carpet's go-to clothiers for women in need of big, dramatic, ultra-feminine dresses (not to mention Blake Lively's bridesmaids). And we're willing to bet she's gleaned a thing or two about the business from husband Harvey Weinstein. Soon, though, Chapman is set to try out a different role in the film industry: directing. As one of five creatives invited to take part in Canon's Project Imaginat10n (the other four are Eva Longoria, Jamie Foxx, Biz Stone, and James Murphy), Chapman will direct a short film inspired by user-submitted photographs, to be presented at the company's film festival in 2013.
"It was never something I actually dreamed it would be possible for me to do," Chapman divulged. "So when Canon reached out for the project, I was just absolutely over the moon." Understandable: last's year's Project Imagin8on, which saw Bryce Dallas Howard direct the award-winning short film when you find me, got a lot of attention. From 100,000 submitted photographs, Howard took eight as the inspiration for her story, and, with the help of officially-appointed mentor Ron Howard, directed the short that would go on to win big for directing, editing, and screenwriting at the California International Shorts Festival, the Burbank International Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Reel Festival, among others.
Howard is back to advise this year's group of first-time directors. Chapman is grateful—"We got to sit down one-on-one with Ron," she recalled of their first training day. "It was very interesting, really finding out how to approach this, because I'd never done it before." Luckily, her background in design should serve her well. "That's how my brain is trained," she said, "to focus on creative challenges."
With some clarity on how she'll go about filmmaking, Chapman is still totally unsure of what sort of film she'll make. "Something good," she laughed. "I'm gonna try to keep an open mind to it and I'm really gonna look for something that evokes an emotion in me." It's safe to say that no matter the storyline, the characters in Chapman's film will be fashionable. "I did train as a costume designer," she hinted. "It would be nice to get back to my roots."
PHOTOGRAPHS TO INSPIRE THE PROJECT IMAGAT10N FILMS CAN BE SUBMITTED AT IMAGINATION.USA.CANON.COM UNTIL SEPTEMBER 24.