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Category Archives: XXXX Films

TRAILER – COUNTERFEIT CONSPIRACY – XXXX MAGAZINE

“COUNTERFEIT CONSPIRACY” is a 15 minute documentary exposé focusing on the controversy surrounding the sale of counterfeit luxury goods and the “links” to funding terrorism and other underground criminal activities. Directed by Indira Cesarine, edited by Randy Wells. Premiering on the XXXX MAGAZINE site.

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NEW YORK JUNE 2009

Just sitting on the plane on my way back to London… I just spend a couple of days in New York to have this amazing shoot with Indira Cesarine. I brought all my favorite big diamond pieces over to show her and making this conceptual media clip – something that you have never seen before with jewels + fish and flowers…
One morning we met at Union Square and we headed to the pet store to get some beautiful fish to take part in the shoot. It was very different to cast these models as most of the fighter fish we wanted to film couldn’t go together, but in the end we had a great selection and Indira’s assistants were happy to look after them when the shoot was over instead of being fish food for Hudson River sharks.
We were shooting all weekend and it was quiet tricky to get these little colorful fish in position as sometimes you felt like a animal tamer, but in the end the blue one even jumped through the tanzanite ring! I was amazed by the skillful technique and color range and fusion of water, fish and the precious metal,……. it looked like 3000 A.D. as I guess that is the only thing that will be left one day…. water covering the earth and remnants of civilization like precious diamond jewels left for the fish to play with.   The beauty survives…. thank you INDIRA for this outstanding result and memory in pictures and movement!!!!
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All of the jewels we photographed and filmed have a special significance… I only make One of a kind pieces, and each one has elements that represent different ideas….While shooting 3000 A.D., we shot the fish in an aquarium, glass bowl, vase and even a martini glass! The amazing color-range of the fish and the changing colors of the light made fantastic images and effects…

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BORN TO BE TANZANITE > PURPLE WREATH
This ring was inspired by the vivid blooms of a blue-violet wreath flower which, like tanzanite is unique to the country of Tanzania. I wanted to combine these two gifts of nature into a piece that is both organic and refined….. this ring won the TANZANITE CELEBRATION OF LIFE DESIGN AWARD 2006 which was held at the NYC public library.
FEUILLAGE>LEAF EARRINGS
These Earrings and Necklace were inspired by the colors of the two 6ct cognac colored diamonds, which have the unique colors of autumn and therefore I wanted to freeze these stunning leaves and set them with diamonds, carve them dimensional to give them a moving feel as if there were just about to fall from the branches.
THE LOVED RING > SWAN RING
I was running through Hyde Park in London one morning when I saw to my amazement rare black swans.  Black Swans are uniquely monogamous and stay their whole lives together. The idea of a LOVE ring came to me. I carved  two swans in blackened gold (to give a vintage feel) on either side holding the LOVE stone Rose quartz, set in black diamonds and surrounded by rubies.
LUCKY CHARM > GECKO RING
This little creature was living with me, when I was based in Greece. Not only do geckos bring luck to you they also eat all the mosquitos and save you from itchy bites. I was spending a lot of time drawing him and by the time I left he was double the size and I carved him in a wax model and casted him in white gold, since then I wear him every day and it is my personal lucky charm,….  and the best thing is, it works.
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Sabine Romer  2009

MICHAEL DAKS TALKS ABOUT HIS CREATIVE INSPIRATION FOR HIS TARA DANCING SERIES PREMIERING IN MULTIMEDIA FORMAT IN XXXX MAGAZINE’S LAUNCH ISSUE …. WITH MUSIC BY THE DOKTEURS

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I was in NYC on 9/11, going to Coloredge to drop some film that morning.
I came out of the subway on 21st street just after the first plane had hit.
Everyone was staring up at the Tower, but no-one knew what was going on.
A few minutes later I saw the plane hit the second Tower.

It was a pretty surreal experience, and really frightening. A bit like
being an extra on War of the Worlds, but nobody's bothered giving you the script so
you don't know if you are going to live or die. A short time later I was walking down
5th Avenue to Washington Square Park when the first of the Towers crumbled to
nothing. Eventually, I made it back to Brooklyn, across the Williamsburg Bridge, which was
awash in lost and abandoned shoes, like an extreme Guy Bourdin shoot. The second Tower
had collapsed by then and most people were covered in a layer of Ash,
and some with blood. I spent the rest of the week sitting on my roof
in Greenpoint watching the smoldering embers. The photographs of Brooklyn
were taken around that time. I went down to New Mexico in the Summer of 2003 to look for a house
with some land for a retreat from New York. America had just invaded
Iraq. I had heard about the White Sands Missile Museum, and the images
of Missiles facing out over the desert sands was a pretty apt reflection of my thoughts on American Imperialism at that time.


The music for the multi-media series is called 'REQUIEM and was written by my
friend Brett Hammond while with his band THE DOKTEURS. I had collaborated with Brett on the photography and design for MARY LEE,
the debut album of his previous band 'Sunshine Club' - a great bluesy
Rock album which is still high on my playlist. Requiem is such a
haunting song, especially with the vocals, although we have used the
instrumental version here. It seemed like a natural fit for the imagery as Brett had just
emailed the song to me and I was playing it continuously while
retouching the photographs. He is currently gigging around NYC with his new band TOO MANY ZEBRAS,
and I am sure, working on a lot of other 'side' projects. Checkout his
music on the film KNIFEPOINT now showing at the Woodstock film festival.

I met TARA STILES, my muse in the series, in New York about 10 years ago when she was still a
teenager - A ballet dancer from Chicago looking to break intomodelling. Since shooting the original
series Tara Stiles career has taken off ...She is now an international Yoga star through her YOUTUBE
videos, and has just appeared in the latest American Apparel campaign for their Yoga Line. 
She also has made appearances on 'Saturday Night live'and MTV's FEAR,
She was the original muse for my book of nudes JUST GOOD FRIENDS
(photographs of my friend's naked). Lights, camera, TARA, bottle of
scotch = Perfect day!

Michael Daks 2009

Video sticker for XXXX Magazine launch issue – the Kaleidoscopic issue… 20 second mini promo… share it with your friends!

KALEIDOSCOPIC

Fashion photographer & director Indira Cesarine launches an online multimedia publication showcasing conceptual film, contemporary art and fashion as well as addresses controversial topics in the media via documentary shorts.

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