“Summer brings out the best of the colours in this city, the city of Brooklyn. The greens of the grass and plants, the reds and yellow of street signs and flowers, and the fruits at each bodega. The bluest of blue skies accompanies all of the colours we see on a daily basis.” – William Bakken, Editor and Colourist
For Mikaela Pabon, the way she dresses boosts her mood for the day. It is her belief that clothes should make people feel joy and confidence in their own skin, and this ethos is at the heart of her colourful clothing line Dressed in Joy. It was our job to create her first ever brand film, capturing the uplifting energy and confidence she wants her clothes to make people feel.
We soon decided that the best way to bring through that elated, carefree happiness would be through fast-paced editing and shots with lots of dynamic movement, both from the models and of the camera itself. Every single shot was deliberately planned; what the model would be doing, what colours could be seen, and how the camera would move, ensuring each one has a smooth, kinetic motion and energy.
Cinematographer Steve Szmed meticulously calculated where the sun would be at certain times throughout the shoot so the colour of the scenery and depth of image could be carefully controlled. Each shot focussed on a colour – whether that was the sky, the streets, park greenery, or the clothes – and it is thanks to this planning that the collection of scenes so perfectly complement one another.
In post, to ensure the film wouldn’t become confusing and dizzying with all of this movement, the editors painstakingly colour-matched each shot to the next to give the piece a sense of rhythm and structure within the high-energy pace. Even B-roll of the city was embedded with the same colour range of the shots around it.
Ironically, it was the very thing that gives Dressed in Joy its characteristic style that posed the biggest challenge to the team. We quickly found that the vibrancy of the prints made it difficult to highlight their colour without making the skin of the model look unnatural. Furthermore, balancing the greens given to the raw footage by the camera with the greens of the clothing required some colourist magic – but after persevering through hours of tests and experimentation, we were able to achieve a wonderfully rich and vibrant palette that does justice to the beauty of the pieces.
What makes this project a little different to our usual work is that it arose out of chance; Mikaela’s office is just half a block from the RDNY office, which is how director Mariana came across the brand. After suggesting her idea to make a film for Dressed In Joy to the rest of the team, RD Content approached Mikaela and pitched to her, with the whole film becoming something of a passion project among the team. Their genuine love for the brand radiates through the film, as each member’s dedication to getting the perfect shot makes this piece a shining example of their passion, expertise, and talent.