We sit down with aspiring filmmaker and model Elias Becker after a shoot in the blooming canyons of L.A. He talks about his passion for film and how his relationship with his father, champion tennis player Boris Becker, shapes him on a daily basis.
Words & Images: Ger Ger
"Every day is the happiest moment of my life."
Elias Becker was born in Munich, Germany, in 1999, but grew up with his mother and siblings in Miami. Today he lives with his father, younger brother, and sister in London, where he studies Art Direction at the London College of Communication. His older brother, artist Noah Becker, lives in Berlin and most recently directed Lenny Kravitz's video "5 More Days 'Til Summer."
"I spent 18 years in Miami and it was magical. My early childhood was all sand castles and Legos. It gave me ease and clarity and let me focus on what was in front of me that very moment. When I was 12, I started to appreciate aesthetic balance, artistic techniques highlighting symmetry, and working with people to make something beautiful. Initially, I found that in photography. Today my passions are in moving images and creating stories."
"The first time I discovered my dad's fame was when I was in elementary school. I remember my teachers asking about him and he would pick me up from school, put me on his shoulders, and some cameras would appear.
Elias' father, Boris Becker, was once Germany's number one professional tennis player. He won his first Wimbledon at just 17. He would go on to win Wimbledon and the Tennis Masters Cup three times each; the Australian Open two times; the U.S. Open, the World Championship Tennis Finals, and the International Tennis Federation’s Grand Slam Cup once, not to mention an Olympic gold medal in Doubles. Elias' mother, Barbara Becker, is currently a designer, but has also been an actress and model. His parents separated when Elias was just one, but Elias continues to see his father regularly.
"Many summers I remember traveling with my dad from Miami to London, watching Wimbledon and waving, smiling, and greeting people. The jet lag would always make me fall asleep during the matches. Everybody was so excited but I just wanted to go to bed. The sound of the tennis ball bouncing against the racket was very soothing.
The feeling that surrounded sports back in the day was so powerful. I think it is still beautiful and we have a new wave of extremely talented athletes these days but with too many instant replays and streaming on demand, I believe the media coverage of sport events no longer offers the same excitement. Today, if you missed last night's game, you can watch the highlights of every single play and catch the buzzer beater again. I do like having that option but I still think without all that it was far more special."
I often saw my dad playing tennis and if we played together it would occur randomly. Every time there was a court in a hotel we were staying at or at a house or club, I would want to play and he would join. But my favorite sports are basketball and soccer. My brother and I play a lot and we are very competitive."
"My dad is one of the smartest people I know. He catches on to a lot of things easily. He influences me every day without saying anything. He always goes the extra mile. Sticks with his instincts. Learns from his mistakes. Finishes his tasks.
My mom is my best friend. I can talk to her about anything and she will give me the truth. She always has my back, is a great travel companion, and a peacekeeper. She treats people with respect and kindness and I try to do so as well."
I also often experience different color sensitivities based on certain circumstances or my environment. I then dive into those feelings of color and everything that reaches my spectrum. Even if it's a patch of grass, I seek to match its aura through storytelling, coming to a place of spiritual resolution, where everything is in alignment. When it comes to 'seeing' or 'viewing,' both the self and a lens are physically capable of absorbing light, but each process the perspective in different ways. A sophisticated lens does not have the sensory capabilities of the eye. The camera does not rely on memory, but can recall in totality what it captures on the film or frame. It has been said, 'the truth of your instincts is the root to your foundation.'"
Everybody pays attention to the things in space, but who pays attention to space itself? Consider the vastly different emotional references to water, for example: the energy embodied by waves, the sadness or exuberance of being caught in the rain versus the literal reflectiveness of a pond. Emotional connections take us all on a journey as a story develops. Usually things beneath the surface bring it all full circle. Fantasies are powerful because the imagination is often deeper and more persuasive than the real experience. I strive to capture the stillness and invisible, emotional elements layered between the action and being. I challenge myself to remain free of self-consciousness, a skill modeling and acting also challenge me to strengthen."
"My biggest adventures? Traveling the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail in seventh grade from St. Louis to the Pacific by driving, kayaking, and hiking, and the following summer going across Canada."
When I visit my grandmothers or other family members in Germany, it feels like home although I didn't grow up there. Every summer I would visit. I am in the process of improving my German at the moment. I am thankful for having a loving and inspiring family as well as the opportunity to chase my dreams."
"How we can make the world a better place? By bringing back real communication. Most people don't know how to listen because the major part of their attention is taken up by thinking. And we can give another person space, the space to just be. It is the most precious gift you can give." — Elias Becker
Wearing: Sweater by Joyrich Jackets by RCS, B. James, Joyrich x K-Swiss, Braydon Alexander, Keiser Clark, Philip Ayler via Church Boutique Trench by Bazaar Tyler Shirts by Reuben Avenue, B. James, Uncommon Thrds, Joyrich, David Michael Kimono by Pour Les Gens Pants by Reuben Avenue, Toussaint L’Ouverture, RCS, K-Swiss Hat Stylist's own Sunglasses by L.G.R. Shoes by Dr. Martens