1. Who is Cara Stricker in 3 words?
Artist, lover, director.
2. How did you start your film and fashion journey?
I started off, for 15 years, dancing full time, storytelling through contemporary movement infused by a strong foundation of modern, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and music training. This way of expression, channeled through performance, movement, and sound, transformed into a strong desire to tell a visual narrative, in both filmmaking and photography. I went to film school, to learn how to craft these inner stories into something contained, and simultaneously abstracted.
Film seemed like such a large undertaking, although something that I was obsessed with at the time, down to frame by frame animation, that I was simultaneously provoked do something more immediate that I could explore my point of view, on an individual level. So I shot still photography, on film, for a more pure, momentary medium.
From there came the first photography story, that was picked up by an Australian fashion magazine and published. This lead to more and more photography experiences propelling my stories forward and developing collaborations with other artists.
In my spare time, I’d create exhibitions of photography, sound and film, any-which-way I could…
My day was filled with animation and assisting filmmakers, and writing short abstract films. I directed while studying at university, a music video that went viral, filled with stop animation. This was coupled with the release of my university short film I wrote, Illustrated and animated, that had it’s life screening at film festivals internationally.
The film journey started there… and took me all over the world… falling into whatever moves me. The fashion films came ricocheting from that desire. It was a new medium at the time and I was interested to explore where that would go. It was something that had not been defined quite yet… I still feel like it’s shapeshifting.
3. What drives you? How do you stay creative?
Telling stories… It’s what I feel good doing every day, and what keeps me, I guess, saner than anything else. I put time aside for that every single day.
4. Your work has been published by major magazines, TVs, record labels and fashion houses internationally, what is the recipe for success? How did you gain all of that recognition?
Obsession, passion, leading with intuition and your gut. To be honest, there hasn’t ever been a path or clear line, I feel like it all happened while I was just making.
5. How does your creative process look like? Is the first idea similar to the final result?
It has changed a lot over time, also with the medium or project, I’m working on. It really starts with daydreaming, wondering, and giving time for my thoughts to run wild. Over the past year, running gives me that meditation and freedom to come back and put those ideas on to a page.
From there, the process fluxes, molds and develops, deepening with the creative collaborators brought onboard. They bring their life, art, and eye to the film, music, or photograph. The feeling and story conceptually drive every creative department and their choices. The resultant piece, I’d say is a true expression of the first idea of the story, but better… By miles and miles.
6. What are the most interesting projects (in your opinion) you have done so far?
I like most of them for their own experience. There’s always been a deep desire to explore the themes, technique or whatever each piece has at its core, which makes it an interesting project to carve.
So far… The short twenty-minute film I wrote and directed starring Abbey Lee and Rhys Coiro was an insane journey and learning experience I’ve ever embarked on, and can’t wait to release… and continuing to write narrative pieces…
The Chloe x Halle album film was a dream project, an expansive and really special film to direct as it played into my more experimental, nonlinear filmmaking.
The SZA photography story for Fader’s cover earlier this year was gorgeously free as it was full of trust, which I feel like I was really able to shape light, images and create with SZA.
The DROOL music album I co-produced and wrote was one of the most interested and uncharted projects I’ve been able to explore, alongside all the visuals for it, in Berlin, LA, and Australia…
In each and every project though, there is something I want to learn, explore, and develop.
7. Who is a dream to work with for you? Who would you like to collaborate?
I’d love to work with Joaquin Phoenix on a feature film. I’d love to collaborate with Beyonce, Solange, and Rihanna.
8. Tell us about the shoot that you’ve done with SZA – we absolutely loved it! What was the concept behind it and how did this all happen?
The lighting and photography approach was inspired by underwater jellyfish, and how they glow from the light within.
It was kind of like, Fader reached out to ask to shoot, then we jumped on a call with one of my closest friends Shibon Kennedy, who styled the story and then going with the flow. The whole process just felt really organic. Later on, we were chatting to SZA over our inspirations, and what she felt and responded to for her truth. From there, then there was complete trust and freedom.
9. Any exciting projects coming up?
Yes… particularly looking forward to some more narrative longer form film.
10. Which project you had to turn down in the past and why?
I have to turn down a lot of projects. Usually taking on a project takes weeks or even months. So each project I take on, the connection to the artist, their vision, or sound has to be very important and first and foremost.
11. Is there anything creatively that you’re afraid of?
Going for anything you’ve been dreaming about forever is usually scary, but so good simultaneously.
12. Who/what are your main inspirations?
Storytelling moves me first… then,the music comes. I can never explain it, but when I hear or see something that is story provoking, it’s undeniable. Avant guard filmmakers and artists move me and forever inspire. I like to see people who are pushing the form of art, whatever medium they are in, and able to communicate a feeling to us, the audience, without spelling out how to make us feel. It could be a film, painting, human, song, image, movement…And then there’s Nature. That informs everything.
13. Lastly, if you were meant to give one advice to someone starting in the industry it’d be…
Trust yourself, and your gut. Listen to that always. Lean into your obsessions and passions. Focus on what you’re interested in, and it will take you to where you should be.