Fashion Anecdote: Noam Griegst
By Carla Christine Bruus Aagaard-Strube
Fashion Photographer Noam Griegst: The power of tears
Noam Griegst is an acclaimed fashion photographer and director as well as creative director in the family-owned jewellery company, Griegst Jewelry. Here he takes us a couple of years back, to a time in China when his acting skills were put to the test in an attempt to convince a bossy agent to give him an extra day of shooting with a Chinese mega-star.
“Two years ago I was in Hong Kong to direct a commercial for an expensive Cartier watch featuring one of China’s biggest stars, the actor Chang Chen. It was a huge production with a large crew, multiple locations, and heavy equipment that had been rented. Everything had been planned down to the minutest of details. What Cartier had not let me know, however, was that Chang Chen hadn’t signed the full contract prior to filming. There simply wasn’t enough time with him to get all the necessary footage, and in particular I wanted a scene shot during the magic hour.
Just 12 hours before everything was to go down, it fell on me to negotiate the extra day with him. Keep in mind that this was not on home ground in Europe, but in China, with a much more hierarchical culture and different ways of conducting business that I had to take into account, just as time was running out. We’re at this nice Lost in Translation-esque hotel, and before me sits a bulldog-like manager with her assistant kneeling in front of her. Imagine a woman projecting more power than Angela Merkel, a Komodo Dragon in the shape of a female human, gazing at me and saying, “If you want this to happen you have to fight for it.”
Meanwhile I had this awful cold from the air conditioning, my voice nearly lost. My throat was so dry that I actually started crying as I gestured about how important it was to get an extra day with their million-dollar star. The tears ran down my face and finally she said, “what an act” and agreed to the additional day of taping. She thought I was crying because I was fearful of losing the job. But it worked, and the film was made.”
Favourite spot in Copenhagen: “I love a glass of wine at Den Vandrette Vinbar,
or just to go for a walk in Christiania.”
Den Vandrette Vinbar, Havnegade 53A, basement., Copenhagen K
Copenhagen Fashion Week highlight: “To get a well-deserved drink somewhere.”