Short Film: Big Love From Jean Paul

with Jean Paul Gaultier, 2012

Big Love From Jean Paul

In 2012, I was working at the Dallas Museum of Art on an exhibition called From The Sidewalk to the Catwalk that was a career retrospective on the famous French haute couture and prêt-à-porter fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier. Gaultier is also known as one of the crass and entertaining co-hosts of the Channel 4 television show Eurotrash.

Jean Paul arrived several days before the opening of the exhibition and his travel schedule actually had him leaving before the opening event that was to be attended by donors and trustees. I was tasked with filming a short video to be shown at the dinner reception.

We timed this to be filmed at the press-preview of the show. As was typical at the museum, I had a day to produce the final product including editing, approvals and release. Jean Paul arrived at the museum with an entire entourage turning the Museum into a fashion culture for the day. There were big crowds of media jammed into the atrium area for his talk and presentation.

I talked to the marketing department and was able to schedule a time at the press preview inside the exhibition to do an interview for the video. I was pretty nervous - I knew Jean Paul's personality through Eurotrash and was not sure what I was going to be in for. To make matters worse there were a LOT of press reporters all lined up from various television news outlets all getting turns with Gaultier - I was scheduled dead last. After 2 hours I was sure he'd be worn out and he was. He was extremely nice to me as I explained what we were doing the video for. He asked if we could step out into the lobby where his Texas tribute to haute couture was placed. This was a display made especially for the exhibition. We went out front and Jean Paul asked if I was ready. I started filming and he whipped into character without any hesitation. A crowd of about 50 people gathered behind me and we filmed him in one take. As soon as I turned off the camera he got a standing ovation of applause and proceeded to sign the podium as you can see in the video. A magic moment and a true professional indeed.

Artists are rarely this easy to work with.