Seeing dresses on mannequins in a gallery always gives me a strange feeling. We see dresses on mannequins all the time around us in shop windows and yet put them in a gallery and we feel the need to pay close attention to them and take close up shots of them. Would I take close ups of mannequins in Toshop? Probably not, but then the lighting isn’t half as good. It’s all context I suppose.
I’ve been so overwhelmed by life lately, and my brain is so fried from seasonal work, that I haven’t been able to thread two thoughts together despite having plenty of things to write about. However, lolita has really been keeping me sane. I’ve never professed to actually be good at lolita fashion or really to do anything amazing with it; but the idea of putting items together in some sort of theme, going and hunting down the items and then putting them together is really satisfying. Naturally, much like in this photo, half of it is blown to disarray by the wind, but at some point in the day this outfit was some immensely elegant lolita granny chic. I’m really inspired by mossmarchen and I wanted to create a nice array of brooches to emulate her style, but sadly two of the brooches broke immediately.
You might remember this outfit from September where I wore it to Regalia in London. For that outfit I wanted to go for a more “lady of the manor” vibe, but this time I changed the blouse, hat and accessories for a vintage/granny mood instead. I really like how changing up a few items really changes the entire mood of the outfit. Would anyone be interested if I wrote some kind of co-ordinate tutorial for making flexible outfits like this?
I really needed a break and I love my local community, so the perfect solution for stress was a meet to visit the Manchester Christmas markets. We had a lot of new members and it was another big meet for us, so I was elated! A few girls felt that they didn’t have finished co-ordinates so they were very shy about coming to their first meets so nearly dropped out, but I think this should not be an issue. As an admin for my community, I feel like it’s my duty to make everyone feel welcome on their first meet up and encourage them to enjoy the fashion, so I don’t mind at all if people don’t turn up in a full co-ordinate while they still get to learn the ropes of the fashion. It was so lovely to meet people for the first time; it makes me feel like I’m doing a good job with the community when lots of people come to meets, and even more so when they come back again!
I loved the different styles that were visible at this meet. We had classic, gothic, old school, mori, sweet and even more otome style outfits. I even started a furry wrist cuff trend! I’ve never felt cooler or more like Regina George in my life than when half my comm loved my furry wrist cuffs enough to bag their own. We had such an eventful day of enjoying the markets, walking around Manchester and even riding the carousel! I wont lie to you, dear reader, I went back later in the week and rode the carousel again. Turns out, I just love the whimsy and nostalgia a little bit too much.
For example, I MADE someone take this photo of me elegantly riding side saddle on my lovely horse Spice because I was really giddy about riding the carousel. I spent the whole time grinning like an idiot because I had such fond memories of riding on carousels as a child. I live quite close to Southport and we used to visit a lot when I was a child so I’ve ridden the huge carousel there many times and every time I hear the music it just makes my heart happy. It really is the simple things in life.
Anyway.So. I went to see this film. I went in to the cinema and all that, got my popcorn as you do, ate it during the trailers as you do and watched the film. When the lights went up and I came out I stood still for a moment like “did I enjoy that!?” I still haven’t figured it out. Did I enjoy it? I have no idea. Here are some other thoughts I had.
Please comment with which animal you’d like to be turned into if you failed to find a partner within 45 days.
Remember the film I said I made in three weeks? Well, here it is! I hope you enjoy it. I really enjoyed making it and I think it’s one of my best pieces of work, if not the best. There were lots of parts I wish I could have used, but audio issues ate some of my best interviews unfortunately.
I think there are maybe a handful of people on the Earth who truly love their jobs. I feel like most people have a neutral opinion, they don’t hate their jobs and generally they like the people they work with and just put up with what they have to do for about 7 or 8 hours a day. Well, last Friday I had a day as a location scout and it was the most fun I’ve ever had doing work.
After I left the India buildings, I was thinking I should get back towards the city centre as I had an appointment to get to. It was about lunch time and I was hungry so I popped my head into a café that had one or two people start in it. I totally missed the sign in the door that said “staff training day” and just pottered in like an idiot. Good thing I did though, because I met the owner of the café, Lynn, who told me all about it and how she’d come to open it. Lynn worked as a cookery and catering teacher for adults with learning difficulties for about 10 years before being made redundant. With the money, she decided to pursue her dream of opening her own café.
You might have been wondering where I’ve been for the past few weeks, after I’d been a diligent poster for a few months. Well, about three weeks ago I stumbled on a link that mentioned FACT were taking submissions for Liverpool Film Night and that the deadline was 18th October. I was sat at my laptop like “Damn! I need to enter this!” and thus began a three week quest to make a film happen. If you’re interested in how I did it for your own projects, keep reading…
So, three weeks is not a lot of time to make something happen. You have to know your limits when you start, and really short time limits and media production generally do not mesh well together. It would be really hard to make a scripted short film in this amount of time, unless it’s a really, really short film and you’re friends with a bunch of people who act; we’re talking 3 minutes maximum here. Hence, I ended up making a documentary, or really it was basically a piece of video journalism. I feel like a documentary has more of a passage of time involved with multiple visits and a journey over a period of months; documenting an event as it progresses. I don’t feel like one or two visits can really document a story, even though I suppose you could count the recording of any period of time as a documentary.
I got incredibly lucky with this project. A friend of mine has just started roller derby, and I looked into the team to see what they were about and I thought “Wow! That’s super cool.” I really liked the ethos of the team so I sent them an email right away explaining what I wanted to do in clear terms. I got lucky with this part, it might not necessarily go so smoothly for everyone. They replied the same day and I started to get to work on my treatment for the project. Writing a treatment is really useful for a project like this because it makes your aims and needs super clear to the people you need to work with and you can organise yourself well. My treatment included the aims and themes of the film, a storyboard of the kinds of shots I wanted to take and where I wanted to set up cameras, the kind of questions I wanted to ask potential interviewees so that the entire process was completely transparent.
The next thing I had to do was beg borrow and steal every piece of equipment I could get. I have my own camera and lenses but I’m really, really lucky in that my parents both work in schools so I was able to borrow some lighting and sound equipment. The last time I did something like this I was still studying, so I was able to use things at my university but sadly that’s not the case these days! My dad is also a hobby photographer so I borrowed his camera too. In the end, the microphone I borrowed wasn’t compatible with my camera, so I ended up dangling camera 2 on a tripod over the interviewees like a very crude boom. It worked, for the most part, but some of my audio still messed up. Thankfully, I learned a lot of audio clean up tricks to help with that. By that I mean, I learned to make a volatile cocktail of lasso tool, heal tool and vocal enhancer on adobe soundbooth.
After I took all the footage, I panicked as usual that none of it would turn out well but thankfully I got some really beautiful shots. As a filmmaker I always worry that I’m not close enough, that my shots aren’t intimate enough. I really like close up, very textural film. Videos of close up fashion details are always my favourite, and I feel like Chanel always does this really well for every collection. After watching this, I always want to get closer with my camera and see every tiny bead of sweat.
The editing took me somewhere over 50 hours. I remember cancelling everything over about 2 weeks and just editing constantly. Everyone who knows me knows that my gym routine will rarely suffer for anything. I’m an absolute gym addict and even my precious gym time went out of the window to get this done. Again, short deadlines and media production do not mix well! I really burned myself out doing this and I really would not recommend it for your health but if you do have a tight deadline like mine then sacrifices must be made.
I had people look at the film a few times during the editing process. I had my friends who are involved in film and animation look at it from their perspective and also my mother and father look at it from a viewer perspective. It went through quite a few iterations before I got to the final piece. I had to beg, borrow and steal skills from my friends too! As well as getting people to watch my film, I had one friend help me out with graphics too. The things, I don’t have a great sense for graphic design but he has a great sense for it! He added the final touches that made my film look really polished in the end. When it was done and sent off, I really couldn’t believe it. No budget, borrowing from everyone I could and who knows if the film will make it through to the festival. Well, at least it’s something new for my portfolio and CV.
To summarise, if you want to make a film in three weeks you need to do the following:
- Get your inspiration and get it QUICK. You can’t afford to lag here!
- Keep your ideas small and very manageable in terms of resources
- Make your process transparent and organised, the clearer you are the more efficient you can be
- Get everything you can ready; be resourceful and creative, especially on set. Try not to panic!
- Allow plenty of time for post production and even a re-shoot if you need to, get your shooting done asap
- Keep yourself open to criticism throughout the process and stay open to many different opinions because they are all valuable
- Don’t forget your vision and what you wanted to achieve in the first place
- You’ll probably need to learn a lot of new skills on the fly and a lot of better, more efficient ways to do things you already know so be prepared for that
- Take input from others and allow yourself to ask for help where you need it, and you definitely will need it!
- Make sacrifices and cry a lot.
I just finished my edit of the Fujiwara-san question and answer session yesterday and it uploaded today! If you would like to learn more about Japanese fashion and specifically Innocent World, or just a bit more about subculture fashion then I would definitely recommend that you take a look! Please enjoy.
I finished working on this a while ago, but was having some issues with the copyright – it turns out it was picking up the background music at the end. I’ve had to awkwardly silence it but please enjoy nonetheless!