Recorded at the end of March, I titled this video “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb”, featuring the always photogenic Danielle. The expression has to do with how the month usually starts all fierce and blustery, but then ends more mild and Spring-like. But it also reminds me of Danielle’s character, in a way, as she starts out the story confident and full of optimism, but finishes quite humbled and in the most pure and vulnerable state… completely bare!
The story is pretty much a celebration of the new season, beginning with Danielle commenting on what a beautiful, sunny day it is. In fact, so beautiful, that she decides to walk to the stores to do a little shopping. However, once she is at the mall, she has an unexpected misfortune when she undreses in a changing room. All of her clothes have disappeared, perhaps stolen like some April fool’s prank, and she is left with no other option but to sneak outside to make her way back home.
I want to mention, the scene where she presumably takes off the items she was wearing happens off camera. It is implied action, but done more so as a matter of practicality as there was no actual clothing store at the location, and it would be challenging to get away with shooting this in front of other customers.
But also, after the scene fade-in and exciting reveal, Danielle does have a line about her clothes gone missing. She even references some mysterious girl who might have snuck off with them. Unfortunately, the angle I shot at when she gives that line, showed her dress and flip-flops and everything right on the side. It was too much for me to allow her to talk about losing her clothes, when they are in plain view. So I had to cut that scene. It will be featured in the outtakes video.
More to the point, shooting the scenes in a very public location was not without risk. Even when she starts out and walks into the mall in her nice dress, I was aware of people watching, cars slowing down in the street. During the first instance when she is naked, a couple of people seemed to be taking an interest from the middle of the mall plaza. I was grateful to have Danielle’s girlfriend along again, as she intercepted and kept them from bothering us. She was a pretty helpful look-out during this shoot.
Another concern is that nude scenes taking place outside in broad daylight tend to go pretty quick. In other words, I do not have the luxury of lingering around and giving Danielle the chance to break into some long-winded monologue. We did capture some wonderful moments, to be sure. This is just to say, we had to shoot each scene, pack up and then get out of there. As a result, the running time for the whole video is not as long as I would have liked it, and I did stretch out some establishing shots to help fill the gap. These are complimented by suitable spring-time sound effects.
An obvious and fair comparison can be made between this video and the one I shot in September, Mystery Shopper. They both use a shopping mall as a centerpiece for the location. However, with Sativa, we shot on an early Saturday morning and limited our scenes to just outside the doors of various places. In this video, we were able to walk through the inside of the tiny mall, even squeeze in a bit of nudity before running outside. From there, the story takes Danielle to other scenic spots along the road as she tries to run back home.
Sativa of course is a better actress, and was able to include more improvised quips and comments, even getting in some classic physical comedy. But I think Danielle hit her stride about midway through the outdoor scenes, and she does come off as plenty cute, in my opinion. The other consideration is that this video was shot on a Wednesday afternoon with people around. Some of these “extras” do appear in the video, as well as numerous cars passing. I hope this element adds some excitement to make the production a fun one to watch.
The music featured was composed by Peanuth O’Toole. Opening up with a pastoral movement of strings and melodic woodwind accompaniment, I wanted to evoke the feeling of spring’s renewal as Danielle starts her day. This track is used in a couple of places in the first half, leading up to when she first loses her clothes. At my request, Peanuth also provided an alternate version that replaces the wind instrument with electric guitar. Soon the bass and drums kick in for a more upbeat and invigorating track. I use this at the climax of the video, leading into the end credits.
The running time is just under 9 minutes and it is available at my clips4sale store.