One of our models, Alexandra Chelaru. (still from the film)

Hi Everyone,

My name is Motomu Ishigaki from the UrbanMouse production team.  Recently, created a fashion film for an inspiring, upcoming women’s clothing brand, District Lane.

We wrote, directed, produced, shot and edited all in-house, and I'd like to share the process of making the film here.

CONCEPT

During preproduction, District Lane gave us following ideas, input, and requests:

  1. Inspiration of their Fall/Winter '14 collection comes from the designer’s own childhood memory.  Therefore, the wardrobe is 80’s vintage inspired.  
  2. They would like to film models in a snowy forest as well as a vintage-looking home.
  3. They’d like to use a narrative short film as their vehicle, but without losing the elements of a fashion video.  Without being too direct, the film needs to showcase each dress.
  4. The goal of this project was to compound our resources, and incorporate a look book photo shoot as well as the video shoot on the same day, somewhat simultaneously.

Location Scout Photo 1

I proposed a treatment where we can film the video and photo in one day within two locations. One was an urban industrial subway tunnel in NYC.  The other was a vintage-looking house surrounded by forest in Ulster Park, NY (upstate).  Based on the designer’s inspiration, I wrote a script that told the story visually from a little girl's perspective. 

Location scout photo 2

CASTING

During auditions, it was wonderful to meet three models/actresses, Kathryn Ramirez, Alexandra Chelaru, and Marjorie Simionato. They did have not only great looks for the collection, but they also possessed the ability to bring emotion to the story.  District Lane really liked their subtle and sincere performance.

SHOOTING

On the shoot day, the Ulster Park location was covered with up to 30 inches of snow and it kept snowing throughout the day!  While we wanted to have snow, it was WAY more than we needed!  Even though one of our awesome crew members, went to the location and shoveled snow down the long driveway the day before the shoot, a 12-passenger van couldn't drive up to the house, and many of us had to hike 200-300ft in the deep snow.  Fortunately, we had efficient shooting plan with our great collaborator/still photographer, Shumma Nakatani,  enabling us to shoot everything that we wanted.

Last but not least, I was very fortunate to incorporate music from a great composer, Danny Bensi. 

We hope you enjoy our fashion film "Memoir," and big thanks to District Lane!

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