Scott Breckenridge’s Opinion on My Fashion Film

Once I had completed editing most of my fashion film, I decided to email it over to Scott Breckenridge, a film editor, so that he could give me his opinion and any suggestions on how I could improve. I told him that I was considering adding in some music box music in certain sections, but that apart from that I was pretty much finished. I was delighted to find that he emailed back very quickly and he said the following:
“I’ve watched your film several times tonight. I think it’s excellent. The lighting, hair and make up are all really superb and very effective not to mention the editing is really spot on hitting all the music cues and using speed ramps and fast edits to great effect. You’ve got a film with a really great atmosphere. I think the music box idea is a good one as well and I think that will help to establish the dolls theme – you could possibly start with that music and a few abstract shots of the girls before launching into the darker music.
My only suggestions are that you could possibly move the section from 1’17” to 1’28” to after 1’36″as the music seems a little repetitive there and your shot with the candle at 1’28” is very strong.
Do you have any other shots of the Male antagonist? My other suggestion is to make more of that character if you can – in terms of a story element it really moves the story on but it feels over too quickly – perhaps you could cut a few abstract shots in between the shots taken from 1’17” to 1’28” to establish a relationship between the characters. I also think it would be nice to end on a shot of one of the girls – possibly the one with the candle and find a longer end to the music – it just feels like it cuts off quite abruptly at the moment. Anyway, these are only suggestions. I think you should be very happy with what you’ve achieved – push for a high mark on this one!”

I am really happy and excited by his response to my film and it has inspired me and given me the motivation to continue to push this film to make it the best I can! The edit that I sent him is shown below:

Scott agreed with me when I said I wanted to add some music box music to my film and he said he thinks it would work well right at the beginning to establish that they are in fact the man’s dolls. I had never mixed music before so I just kept experimenting and researching until I worked out how to do it. I really like where I put the music box music faintly over the top of when the man starts being properly introduced because it reminds you that he is about to use them as dolls and he has the power and strength to do whatever he wants to them. The music that I included in my fashion film is shown below.

NUTSIE III, 2013. Dramatic Story Telling Music [28 October 2015]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onKxANKeasQ

He suggested that the section from 1’17” to 1’28” felt slightly repetitive which I can see as well because the music is very repetitive and I have just continuously used the same girl through and changed the shots in time with the music at every beat. It feels slightly slow and not very emotionally charging so I think I will take his advice and add some shots of the male antagonist in-between some of the clips of girl 3 so that he is introduced sooner. I added in some overlays of the man over the top of some of the girl 3 clips, in time with the building of the music to introduce the character and to break up the repetitive movements. I also sped up some of the clips of girl 3 in a random order to mix up the speeds of the clips to make it look less uniform and I think both these ideas made the section look more diverse and engaging.

Scott suggested making the ending longer and possibly ending with a shot of one of the girls because he thought it ended too abruptly; however this is how I intended the film to end because I wanted to shock the audience when they finally see his face. I feel like if I add more footage of the girls then it will seem like an anti-climax, especially as I haven’t got any footage of the man coming into contact with any of the girls.

He sent me a further email suggesting that I added a title, which many of the fashion films I researched had. I therefore tested out what looked good, for example whether I would have it fade in at the beginning or whether it would flash up more sharply etc. I ended up added it when the second clip starts when the music has three sharp beats, and I made the text “Stolen Dolls” flash up in time with it. I made the first flash of text small with a low opacity, the second one slightly bigger with a higher opacity and then the third time the biggest with the highest opacity to act as a transition.

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