A short film based on the historical 1895 painting "The Fancy Dress" by John White Alexander.
Thanks to Liz Schultz for acting and Stephen Nicksic for assisting with the filming and editing.
This short was created as a project for my Digital Cinema class, in which we exercised our lighting, set design, wardrobe, and story-telling skills. I chose "The Fancy Dress" because I liked the content of the painting. The lighting and the hidden reflection of the girl's face were interesting to me.
As I did research on the painting and the decade in which it was made, I found that men and upperclass families collected paintings of beautiful women to hang in their homes as decoration and as a sign of wealth. I also found that having a narrative behind the paintings was becoming less important to painters, and rather making the paintings beautiful simply for the sake of being beautiful became more of the norm. Due to the findings in my research, I chose to make up a story to go along with the painting: a girl is running through through the rooms of a house. We don't know if she's on her way to something, or running from something. And even more than that: we don't get to see her face, so we have little to no personal connection to her. The set design is made up of fancy, decorative objects (and plastic-bead necklaces...but hey, this was low budget!) to give off the impression that the owner of the house is wealthy.
If you want to learn more about my process, watch my process video at: vimeo.com/62478328
Fun Fact: The ceramic angel, plates, and tea-cups were hand-made by Rosemary Korff. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, Rosemary was married to my late grandma Dorothy's brother, so there is a lot of her work floating around in the family. For the past two years we have been going through grandma's things and recently I was able to acquire these old, precious items. I hope that including them in this video will give them the long life that they deserve.