If any of us still haven’t downloaded TikTok to their phones, you are missing out on not only complex choreographed dances and funny sketches, but also creative videos taken to a whole new dimension with design and cinematography. Madelaine Turner is one of the pioneers of this new wave, which is enriched by drawings, graphic design, and editing similar to feature films. Her Tiktok page, which she opened to keep up with her younger siblings, has now become a source of inspiration where you can even find the home-made version of your favorite Wes Anderson movie and many others such as her own home-made original films that fit in to only 15 seconds. We are stepping into this creative, quirky and pleasing world that Madelaine built on her own, using only her mobile phone. Follow us.
Why did you start on TikTok, other than the pandemic boredom?
I have siblings who are much younger than me, so I try to be an active big-sister and stay in touch with the things they are interested in. They got on TikTok, so I did. I’d been aware of Tik Tok for a while, but didn’t realize it was so…fun? Once quarantine hit, it became a way to be creative in a bite-sized way, and also have something fun and entertaining to send to friends and family. Like- “Sorry the world is ending, hopefully this thing I made makes you laugh!”
What do you think about the TikTok hype and the hate that is going on right now simultaneously?
I think short-form content never gets any acclaim until after it’s death. Vine didn’t really get the “Hall of Fame” status it has now, until a few years after it was gone. I really do hope Tiktok stays around, but I know people will always be interested in watching and creating minute-long videos.
TikTok is a very powerful communication tool especially for the Gen Z. Do you agree with this?
Absolutely! I think Gen-Z’s have really adapted to communicating with friends and family through relatable “memes” and videos. I think the app facilitates that in an easy way. My cousin and I primarily communicate by sending TikToks back and forth to one another. It’s kind of a sweet way to say “Hey, I was thinking of you. Here’s something to make you chuckle!”
How was it to re-create that Wes Anderson esthetic at home?
It’s almost embarrassing how easy it was! I left out more props than I put in. My whole apartment is filled with tiny little knick-knacks and treasures. I’m *almost* a hoarder. I also have a hard time saying “No.” if someone is giving something away. The backdrops used were these old piles of fabrics my mom had given me years ago.
How do you define your aesthetic?
Ooh! That’s a really good question. I’m very mercurial in nature- so my aesthetic tends to change often. However, I’m drawn to things that are colorful and youthful (with a little bit of an edge). If I’m going out- I like to pair a mostly simple outfit with one piece that makes you go “-What?” (I’ve had my wardrobe described as “Cool Babysitter”- and I think that resonates.)
What are your inspirations for your videos?
I’ve always been drawn to the surreal. I like a little magical realism and a little absurdity, with a dash of romance. Old cartoons, films from the 80s, Jane Austen adaptations, British pub-style quiz shows. I like things that don’t take themselves too seriously. I tend to feel the impact of an emotion better when a filmmaker isn’t jamming it in your face. Some creators I’ve been drawn to are Agnes Varda, David Lynch, Michael Gondry, Greta Gerwig, Steve Martin, Woody Allen, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and just about anyone who manages to blend humor and tragedy in a really delightful way.
Do you think that especially with the pandemic, home-made videos will somehow change, impact the digital media industry?
I hope they do! I think our best works tend to come in moments where innovation is necessary. The cream rises to the top. I think we will always love movies and want to watch them in their traditional format, but we may see a new form of the “independent” filmmaker.
You are really talented at video editing. Are you self-thought or did you receive any education on video production?
Thank you! No, I am a community college drop-out, haha! Everything I’ve learned has been self-taught (or -more like- internet taught). I’m pretty impatient and scattered in my approach to most things, so learning by myself saves someone the frustration of having to teach me something. And, truly, I’m still learning. When I post a video- that’s usually the byproduct of me trying something out for the first time.
How it is to be a Tiktok celebrity? Does it affect your life?
Celebrity is a heavy word. I wouldn’t say I’m there yet, fortunately. I think the coolest thing that my “notoriety” has gotten me would be the facility to connect with so many people. I love getting DM’s and emails from creators wanting advice, or me to look at something they’ve made. It’s been overwhelming -in a good way- and I feel really, really lucky.
Who do you follow, admire on TikTok?
Oh, so many! My favorite TikTokers are @scorpiosierra @lastmanstanley @frokie_is_thebest @blewk_huston @toriromo @captainfarkle @hollisblake
Do you have an upcoming project you want to mention to us?
Oh goodness! Nothing I can talk about just yet. I’d say, follow me on TikTok and Instagram to stay in touch.
What do you want to do in the future? Do you want to pursue film making?
My dream is to write and direct films. I work as a screenwriter in my free time and it would be my absolute joy to be responsible for someone’s favorite film. (Even if it’s just my mom!)