Whitehouse Post’s Kate Owen and CLM Film’s LACEY on the editor-director relationship underpinning a chic new film
Editor Kate Owen and director LACEY have been creative collaborators ever since they met and bonded over a shared passion for fashion, music, and dancing around edit bays. Their most recent project was a vivid and energetic fashion video for VOGUE Japan, and they have previously partnered on stop-motion projects for VOGUE and Details Magazine, as well as several other fashion pieces including visually striking spots for Gucci and NARS. Keep reading to get to know these two colorful creatives, and find out more about their latest collaboration. Click here to view the film.
You guys have worked, independently and together, on loads of fashion and beauty projects—Gucci, NARS, YSL, Details, and Vogue Japan. I notice a few visual themes; vivid colors, stop motion, energetic cuts—what guides those, and how much do you inspire each other in that regard?
L> Stop animation is a medium I have always experimented with. I love it. I am keen to keep the graphic aesthetic of animation in my film work, but with the freedom film brings. Unexpected moments are the ones that Kate always finds and adds in with her style to make it the main feature. It works so well. Colour is so important to me and what drives my style, whether stills or film.
What is your favorite part of the process?
K> My favorite part is the moment you find that secret magic edit that ties the piece together, you never know at what part of the process it will happen. In the Vogue film it was the moment when she nods her head to her father; the movement was so smooth. I was able to play with the speed of the head movement to create a robotic uninterested nod, while keeping her poised, elegant feel.
L> I always love the very early stages at the beginning and moulding the idea, sourcing reference material and teams to make it work. It’s like organizing a great party. When I get all of my favourite people I know it’s going to be great!
What was the creative brief for the Vogue piece?
L> I saw an amazing painting by Richard Estes in the Museum of Art and Design. It depicted a family eating dinner together from above, and it struck me as an interesting way to look at dining. I loved the idea of gluttony in a fashion film, the over indulgence of it all and the ceremony of dining, a feast for the eyes and senses. I pitched the idea to Vogue and they loved it.
What role did direction and editing play in determining the relationships in the scenes?
L> Having worked with Kate on many occasions now, I know what she needs in the direction to be able to play with speeds and jump cuts. I love this style of hers, it brings such a unique character to things.
K> My inspiration was to create an engaging cut with subtle hidden edits, so that on second or third viewing you noticed new details and were delighted all over again.
How did you manage to make the jump cuts so seamless across so many different sets?
K> There are only two reverse motion effects in the piece. The seamless fluid motion between jump cuts is created using a detailed frame cutting technique. I cut each frame by eye. It’s hard to explain, I just do it till it flows. The edl did have 1600 frame cuts and take over 6 hours to unpick!
L> We shot with two cameras, which was very important for me. It enabled some really seamless cuts and obviously saved lots of time on the shoot days. It opened up so much more in the edit and moving forward this is something I am keen to explore more of. On my next project I am shooting on the move and with drones and handheld cameras.
The use of speed ramps in this piece is very effective in creating an energetic feeling, how did that play out in post and how did that affect the mood and direction on set?
K> As Lacey describes the mood of each scene was set in the casting and on the shoot day. Lacey will shoot certain key shots for a scene knowing that I’ll play with the footage in edit to accentuate or heighten a moment using frame cutting or pauses to create tension or pleasure in the vignette.
Do you have a favorite scene? (Milkshake, spaghetti shoes)?
K> My favorite scene is the Chinese food date scene. It was really fun to edit the karate chop of the cracker, feeding the octopus and of course the stunning dress by Alessandro Michele for Gucci.
L> I LOVE the slow mo of the man in the Italian restaurant slurping his egg!