Entering into the modeling industry can be a daunting, alien experience, one full of excitement, letdown, success and rejection. For the young models, many of whom are still in their teens, it’s a foreign affair, but it’s also a chance to earn a living, gain worldliness and encounter an industry full of creativity. That sense of emotional risk and self-investment is a brand new playing field for a lot of new faces. Established Models in London enlisted filmmaker Shawn Butcher to capture unscripted moments, following four of the models from their development board Oli Donoso, Tamirys Melo, Elizabeth Salt and Liberty Mann during a typical day. The result is a reflective short film called “New Faces” that quietly peers into the everyday life of the new crop of models.
Shawn provided extra insight, saying he noticed in each of the models that, “There was a sparkling optimism, a hope beyond hope, and at the same time an armor to deflect all “no’s” and critical eyes and the people who sat in silent judgement, the girl’s fate in their hands. The two emotions that were true of everyone in the mornings before a casting were: optimism and pragmatism. “I hope I’ll get it, but I probably won’t.” And the better the casting went, the more sure they were they wouldn’t book it.” And while the whole gig can be exhausting for those so young: career affecting casting decisions carried out on perfunctory whim, superficiality and insouciant rejections–there is the upside Shawn noticed, the part that makes it worth it, “They would light up the most when they remember booking gigs, getting to travel, when friends see them on the side of a bus, or share a link to a show they walked in. It’s a testament that they’re really doing this, finding success, in a tough industry where they’re one of a hundred girls to go out for a job – and that’s them in the photo.” Spending time with each model in their bubbles ultimately led Shawn to conclude, “My take away at the end of the week was that these are mostly regular kids, from different walks of life, with an opportunity handed to them. They have the same doubts and the same hopes as most in any line of work, and for every glamorous photo in a magazine, there is a regular girl who’d rather be in bed, just trying to do well at her job.”
Watch “New Faces” here exclusively on Models.com: