This is it, the last week of my first year of Fashion Management! Our final project has been to create Derelict Youth, a sister brand of American based clothing company Nasty Gal. My final task has been to create a video to promote the brand. The video should be between 30 seconds and 2 minutes and it should accurately portray the brand image, its USP and its core values.
My initial idea for the video was a stop motion, using paper figurines, watercolour, pencils and other art materials. I was inspired by all of the organic illustration I had seen in recent issues of iD, Garage, Pigeons & Peacocks and other fashion magazines. Don’t get me wrong, I think the world of fashion photography is amazing and the world wouldn’t be as exciting without it. But I love fashion illustration, I think it speaks to me more than the promotional side of fashion photography, oversaturated pages of clone models and editorials.
I created a sample lineup of figures to see if the idea would work. There were a number of reasons that I decided against this idea. For one, our brand is very simplistic and monochromatic, I felt that using watercolour would contradict our theme. Also, our brand is centred around the issue of sustainability – this idea did not communicate our brand ethos at all, so I decided to look for a video idea that helped the viewer to understand why sustainability is an issue.
The issue of sustainability is critical and urgent and I wanted to portray this within the video. I played around with the idea of humanity running out of time to change its ways -and I came up with the idea of including a timer within the video. This would create tension throughout the video and help the viewer to understand why we feel so passionately about sustainability. I also created a storyboard for my new video idea – the storyboard changed multiple times, but the main body of it was a series of sustainable choices been made through the camera-holder’s eyes. Each time a sustainable choice was made, a few seconds would be added to the video’s timer, to demonstrate how making sustainable choices links directly to how much time humanity has left. I decided to have the beginning of the video in black and white and the ending in colour to show how the world can be a brighter place if we make the right choices.
I didn’t want all of the video to be shown through the camera-holder’s eyes, because I needed the products to be shown and I wanted there to be some people in the video to make it more engaging. So I asked volunteers to help me film quick 2 second shots of them wearing our slogan T shirt and doing simple things like bumping into me in the street. I also decided that every person involved in the video should wear a sheep mask. This was because the sheep was a running theme throughout our mood boards – it was a symbol of the brand’s ironic and dry attitude and how the issue of sustainability is being ignored.
Once the first draft of my video was finished, I watched it back to look for where any improvements could be made. I found that the video was too long at 2 minutes – all of the choices seem to be too drawn out and boring, especially seeing as these clips were in black and white. To solve this I shortened the video to 1 minute, by speeding up some of the clips and cutting ones that weren’t very exciting. I also scattered a few short videos of a rural area through the video (in colour) to tie all of the video together and add some colour to the monochromatic theme.
I also changed my initial soundtrack three times – at first it was going to be a song by Arctic Monkeys, although a specific song was never confirmed. This was because they are from Sheffield and they have the gritty, youthful sound that Derelict Youth represents, but this was decided against because I needed a song that would be edgy and forward thinking enough for S/S 2017. I then chose Hourglass by Zedd. This track had a ticking clock in the background, so it brought the video’s story to life – however, the song was too slow paced. I finally chose Greek Tragedy by The Wombats – the track is more upbeat and gritty than Hourglass and I feel that it is obscure enough to have a fighting chance of becoming the trendy, catchy sound of Derelict Youth in 2017.
Overall, I feel that the final outcome of my video was to the best of my ability – this was my first time making a promotional fashion video and I used the opportunity to simply get my bearings, try out new things and have fun with it. Also, I didn’t use experienced models or film makers for the production – it could be argued that this hindered the video’s progress, but I wanted to make the film look organic and have a ‘plain folks’ appeal. I enjoyed the experience and I have learnt a lot from it, next time I will be more confident and I will try to be more adventurous with my techniques.