The Haunted Closet is the first video I produced with Briella Jaden, in October 2011. She had contacted me the month prior and we arranged to set up the shoot. After discussing possible dates, and without a good location readily available, I booked a room for when she would be out here. The entire video was shot at the hotel, including the hallway and nearby laundry facility, with a couple of exterior establishing scenes I recorded separately.
A very atmospheric night-time frame of the full moon with clouds passing over, opens this story. It is about Briella getting ready for a Halloween party and she is quite excited. She is cute and giggly, expressing a lot of enthusiasm. But when she approaches her closet to select an outfit, I added some spooky sound effects to suggest there was a little paranormal activity going on. Here character reacts with a nonchalant “Whatever!”
Far from following a horror theme, this was meant to be silly and playful. The curse that has unwittingly befallen Briella is that after she gets dressed, her clothes begin disappearing one by one, as she remains unaware. I use the old stop-camera method of having her hold a position and then we discard the item before recording again. It was the intention of the story to set up Briella as the oblivious nude, a young woman preparing to leave for a party while not realizing all her clothes have vanished.
But before reaching that part, there is a nice tease of her character getting undressed out of her casual jeans and sweater. She does this from the side of a doorway, tossing the items across the room. Briella is having fun and giggles the whole time, and then stretches a very bare leg to drive home the point. I have always found Briella sleek and sexy, but I enjoy how she plays the silly bubble-headed party girl in this video.
Many of the remarks she makes as she strolls about the apartment are meant to be dramatic irony. The audience knows what is going on, while the actor is completely clueless. Such as her peeking behind the window drapes and musing, “I can’t wait till everybody sees me I look so cute!” while being naked except for a pair of shoes.
Some suspense is added when she sits down on the couch, feeling that she has forgotten something, or something is just not right. And then her character reveals she almost was ready to leave without her cell phone. What follows is an interlude of a totally bare Briella searching for her phone, stretching and checking behind furniture, and crawling over the floor. The discovery of the elusive communication device is finally made under her bed, as she lies flat on her back.
This all is leading up to Briella actually walking out of the apartment. Will she realize that she is exposed in time before she humiliates herself? Well, the hallway scene is rough and goes quicker than I would have liked, because we were almost caught and it sounded like there were people around. So I ended the video in the hotel’s laundry room, where apparently her character had to stop off to pick up a jacket or some dry cleaning before going to the party. It is then the spell is broken, Briella looks down and realizes she is naked, and so far from home.
During postproduction, I shot some roads at night and the exterior of a Laundromat. This was added between her in the hallway and in the laundry room, to create the illusion of space and distance. I have gotten more experience with public shoots in the last two years. If I were to do it today, I think we could have had some more daring scenes. Also, I would have shot differently the part where she loses her bra, from behind the opened refrigerator door.
The music accompaniment I selected for this production was Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens. This classic piece is an example of programmatic music that was meant to evoke pictures or images in the listener’s mind. It is translated as the Dance of the Dead, and rather fitting for a Halloween themed story. I worked the soundtrack throughout including some interludes and of course the end credits.
The full video is approximately 13 minutes, which is very ironic if one is into superstition, and is available in 2 parts at my clips4sale store.
I do have a special 8 minute Outtakes video that included some bonus material after the main shoot with Briella. Because I realized that her “side of the door” strip was a little unfair, I had her do a full striptease for me on camera. Almost the exact same scene from the video, but a different angle. It’s very hot, and I think worth watching. The clip can be downloaded at the link below.