Fashion designer and actress Georgina Chapman has chosen an Oklahoma photographer's whimsical image to inspire her short film in Ron Howard's “Project Imaginat10n.”
Edmond resident Brittany Johnson's “Her Throne Was Magic,” which depicts a little girl bathed in silvery light holding court with a pack of stuffed animals underneath a stately tree, will influence the character of Chapman's mini-movie.
“I am so incredibly happy and honored to be a part of something so amazing,” Johnson said in an email last month after she was announced as a “Project Imaginat10n” winner. “The goal for my photography has always been to tell a story, to make you feel an emotion and to inspire you.”
The nationwide “Project Imaginat10n” photo contest is part of the ongoing “Long Live Imagination” partnership between Canon U.S.A. and Howard, the Oscar-winning director who was born in Duncan.
Canon representatives, Howard and a public vote selected 91 winners, including two Oklahomans, for “Project Imaginat10n,” in which 10 celebrity filmmakers each will use 10 of the winning photos to inspire a short film.
In addition to Chapman, four other celebrities already have been chosen to direct “Project Imaginat10n” shorts: Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx; Golden Globe-nominated actress Eva Longoria (“Desperate Housewives”); Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter; and singer/songwriter/producer James Murphy.
Chapman, the wife of Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein, is the designer and co-founder of the Marchesa fashion label. Her “Project Imaginat10n” mini-movie will mark her debut as a film director.
All five short films will go into production between this fall and spring 2013 and will premiere at a special “Project Imaginat10n” Film Festival. Five additional directors will be announced at a later date, according to a news release.
For “Project Imaginat10n,” 10 winning photographs were chosen from the thousands submitted in nine different storytelling categories: Character, Mood, Goal, Backstory, Setting, Obstacle, Relationship, The Unknown and Time. Howard personally picked the victor in the Discovery category — “Unparalled” by Jennifer Harris, of New Orleans — and that photo will provide a thematic tie for all the celebrities' short films.
While Johnson was a winner in the Character category, Richard Waters, of Broken Arrow, was picked in the Relationship division for his photo “Gone Fishin.”
“I am so passionate about the integrity and user-generated process of ‘Project Imaginat10n' where our celebrity directors can be directly inspired by photographers from all across the country,” Howard said in the news release. “As we selected the photographs, I was blown away by the beauty, perspective and intrigue that they conveyed, and was thrilled that so many people wanted to once again take part in this exciting artistic experiment.”
Along with the Discovery image, the celebrity filmmakers each are selecting one photograph from the other nine storytelling categories, ultimately using 10 photos to create their short films.
Last year, Howard and Canon partnered for a similar creative endeavor, “Project Imagin8ion.” From the more than 96,300 photos submitted online, eight photos were selected and influenced the award-winning short film, “when you find me,” which Howard produced and his actress/filmmaker daughter Bryce Dallas Howard directed. Broken Arrow resident Chris Wehner's “Yea, Though I Walk,” a stunning image of a gate at Tulsa's Memorial Park Cemetery, was one of the winning photos in the “Project Imagin8ion” competition.
For “Project Imaginat10n,” Ron Howard again will mentor the celebrity directors as they begin the filmmaking process in his effort to prove that “we're all creative.”
To see all the winning photos, go to http://imagination.usa.canon.com.