Anue | Feature

Anue directors, Elvina Farkas & Lucas Milone, featured in the August edition of FEMALE MAGAZINE. Discussing the nature of their creative relationship in love, work & play, the directors divulge their secrets to a successful partnership to Female's senior writer, Imran Jalal. Read the full script of the interview below or purchase a copy of the magazine to view the wrap-up version (scan above);

His name: Lucas MILONE

Her name: Elvina FARKAS

His age: 30

Her age: 24

His nationality: Italian

Her nationality: Australian

How did the two of you meet?

Elvina: At the time I had just started my career as a full-time photographer, moving away from family and portraiture work and into the fashion and beauty realm. As a self-taught photographer, trail and error and research education were my general learning tools while evolving my skills. One day I had hired out some studio time at this great local boutique studio Luca was managing back then. He was such a technical person who was very particular on lighting and was a knowledge book of studio gear – he picked up instantly that I was inexperienced with studio and jumped right into teaching me the basics. We struck up a close friendship after then in which he became my assistant, my teacher and my best friend rolled into one.

Lucas:  [laughs] There you go!

How long have you been together?

Elvina: We were best friends for about a year before I realized, on my 21st birthday, that I was in love with this guy. Even though it’s only been 3 years, I swear it already feels like a lifetime! 

Lucas: Wow! Is that it?! I’m starting to feel that infamous itch creeping on… Jokes aside, it has been an amazing rollercoaster ride with the most amazing person I know.

What does each of you do for a living? Can you elaborate a little?

Elvina: I am a photographer and creative director and one half of the company Anue Management. We are a creative consulting and production agency that deals with video and photography productions, photographic studio and event space hire. We are also expanding quite quickly to include the launch of our blog that will feature local and international creative insiders with interview articles and accompanying photo editorials, as well as in detailed documentations of everything from local events to favourite hangouts and exclusive behind-the-scenes write-ups. We are also currently taking the steps into including creative artist management, bringing in exceptional international creatives to Singapore for selected periods of time for job availabilities and workshops. Ultimately, I want to inspire people and keep the heart of creativity flowing. I want people to know that working in the creative industry is a real job and if you work hard and are passionate about what you do, you can make a healthy living out of it. I know I faced a lot of confusion over my job choice initially, but now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Lucas: I’m the guy that replies second to all these questions… On the side, however, I’m a videographer and studio director at Anue Management. I’m the commercial and video side of our dynamic duo partnership, with a focus on fashion films. On a daily basis, when I’m not editing or filming, I handle the studio floor: equipment maintenance, cyclorama painting, lighting and booking handling – the not so pretty fashion stuff.

Can you name some of the clients you handle?

Commercial clients include L’Oreal Professionals, Crocs, Sony, OSIM, EMI Music Publishing, Pepe Jeans, American Crew & Hermes to name a few. Editorial work includes Cleo, Esquire, Estetica, GQ, Culture, Yen, Female, Fashionisto and many, many more!

What do you think of the notion that couples who work together and have been together for a long time tend to look, speak and behave like one another? 

Elvina: So false! Luca and I are complete polar opposites of each in almost every respect! Luca is a very technical and precise person while I’m much more laid-back and free flowing in terms of our work style. Everything about us is a stark contrast from the way we get dressed, our styles, the way we speak and definitely the way we behave! I think what makes us so successful as a working couple is the fact that we are yin and yang and that we balance each other completely. That and the immense respect I think we share for each other, I am always so proud when I see him achieve and grow in his personal goals.

Lucas: Although we are inseparable, our strong personalities do allow us to be our own selves, without becoming a broken record to stuff at the bottom of the pile, and keep every working day, and non, fresh and challenging. We do have our differences and argue, which helps us grow and bounce off each other for the better.

How do each of you feed off each other's creativity?

Elvina: I think what makes us so dynamic is our contrasting aesthetics and work style. I am all about the mood and feel of a production, very much so the creative side. My style also tends to be quite dark and feminine, almost raw in a sense. Luca is very technical and a wealth of knowledge in all things film and photography. His style is very quirky and fast-paced and he’s extremely gifted at alternating between styles and concepts. Our dynamics even feeds into the way we run our agency and daily lives. I’m very much the business side of the company, dealing with clients, staff and finance while Luca deals more with the maintenance and managing of the studio, stock and productions. In life I’m far more patient than Luca!  

Lucas: Exactly. Having different styles working on the same projects, we’ve learnt to complement each other and support the other’s work in the utmost professional manner. In pre-production for example, when I am scriptwriting, storyboarding or shot-listing, I always get her “approval” or opinion on it, as a potential client/coworker/industry person. Many ideas get canned, for the better, as her higher knowledge of fashion and other areas do put me on the right path, as I tend to be too quirky or absurd.
My Filmmaking also has influenced her work and creativity, if I may say, as I have taught her to shoot with continuous lighting and fluorescents, instead of flashes, to allow me filming as she shoots simultaneously.

Is it tougher or easier to have your other half who is in the creative industry? Why?

Elvina:  Well, to be honest, I think there would always be challenges with whether or not my partner is in the creative industry. Living and working together mean we are with each all the time, the moment we are separated it feels like my right arm is missing! It is easier in terms of being in sync with understanding the highs and lows and being able to comfort and lend support when needed but it’s also very difficult to define our work and personal life as its all gets jumbled into one. The fact that we work 7 days a week also puts a heavy strain on our friendships and social lives with other people, so being each other’s best friends sounds really lame but it’s extremely important in keeping each other sane.  

Lucas: She put that perfectly.

What are some creative ideas that you two have come up with thanks to your partnership?

Elvina: Our entire current careers are thanks to the creative ideas we come up with together. I think we are far stronger as a team of course. Even on the projects we handle separately, it’s all shared in discussion pre and post-production.  

Lucas: As stated before, whenever I have an idea, note or sketch, I pass it onto Elvina, with whom I try to craft out something interesting thanks to our perspectives and styles. We are in a position to have a studio to our availability at any time of the day and night, so when one of us sparks up an idea or concept, we rush there and play with lights and shadows. It’s a marvelous thing!

Who is the more creative of the two? How so?

Elvina: We are each equally creative when it comes to our particular styles. Luca is extremely creative in lighting and envision things in a very cinematic way while I think my creativity stems more from wanting to evoke beauty within an image.

Lucas: Having a filmmaking foundation, shooting narratives for so many years, I tend to conceptualize stories and characters for everything I do, even for one of Elvina’s “brainchildren”. This is a case where Elvina is the more creative, I’m just more pedantic.

Could you please provide about six to 10 images of your creative works for us to use in the feature?

Elvina:  Sure.

Could you also provide the brands or origins of the outfits you wore for our shoot the other day?

Elvina: Bra by Sass & Bide, Shorts by Zara, Vintage Kaftan (inherited from mother) & Batik Coat from somewhere in Geylang

Lucas: Pants by Zara, Top by H&M & Velvet Jacket by We Rob Banks

Does it get ever get competitive between you two when it comes to being creative? 

Elvina: Not at all! Not with each other anyways, but with other creatives, definitely!

Lucas: Our work is so intertwined that it’s impossible to be competitive with the person creating the work with you.

Are creative couples more fun? 

Elvina: This is a hard question! I think our personality is what makes us fun - our creative side probably just makes us slightly crazier than the average…and perhaps a little wild too! 

Lucas: Define “fun”…? 

Do you make sure that the creative work of your partner does not take dominance?

Elvina: I think I’m quite dominant when it comes to certain concepts or when I’m directing, although Luca is so used to me he probably doesn’t even notice that I’m being bossy anymore! Even if Luca is more creatively involved in a project, it doesn’t bother me. His success is my success really.    

Lucas: Only when it comes to particular projects we’re working on, a photo project will be more Elvina while I’ll take the creative lead on video projects. In these cases, we allow the other to take more dominance, but usually we’re quite good team players.    

- fin -


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