This interview was conducted on the BCD Show.
George James (Host): It is my pleasure to introduce you to Henry Armand and Katrina Williams, the producers and writers of After the Ball. (applause)
GJ: Henry, Katrina, your short film just came out about a week ago now. What was your inspiration behind the idea?
KW: I can take this one. This story was based on a friend actually. She had everything planned out: the perfect man, the perfect wedding. However, she realized that in the process that she had lost herself. This story mimics her rediscovery of herself as well as bringing a mix of reality into a popular fairy tale.
GJ: What was your goal when creating the film?
HA: Our main goal was to inspire people to realize that they didn’t need anyone to live their dreams, specifically women and girls, but really any one. A lot of people get trapped in the mold that the world, their family or friends, or society has set for them. They lose track of their dreams and end up in a place they do not enjoy. We wanted people to feel empowered to take control of their lives and follow their dreams.
GJ: Final question, what kind of thoughts did you have to consider when making the actual film?
HA: When we created this film, we were working with a lot of established clips and music. It was a big consideration to make it all flow together nicely, to tell the story that Katrina had written. Due to the low budget for this film, we weren’t able to hire separate voice actors so we were dependent on one person to read the story and voice the characters. However, we were very pleased with how these pieces combined to make our final project.
GJ: Thank you so much. Alright, you’ve all seen the posters, you’ve heard the behind-the-scenes, let’s watch the film.
These Two Weeks Weren’t Long Enough
Man, I can’t believe I’m talking to you with my final project posted just a quick scroll above. These last two weeks have been intense as I’ve been working to finish my video. I started with a story idea that I had written for another class, but I decided it would make a very interesting “My Story” project. While this video is not about me or anyone I know, this is a perfect representation of a good part of me: my writing style. I often write stories that take a common tale (like Cinderella) or trope and retell it in a fun and surprising way. Similar to how, in the song “In Summer,” you are expecting Olaf to say ‘puddle,’ and are surprised when he says ‘happy snowman’ instead.
Honestly, I don’t want to just say that I spent hours on the video and audio but it’s true. Because I was working with a story I created, rather than a song template, finding the “perfect” clips took a lot of time. In addition, not all of the clips worked when I first downloaded them. They would glitch in the video, and thus I would have to delete them and find new clips. This honestly reminded me of the audio week as I tried to find the right sound effects to tell my story. I feel I cannot fully describe how much thought and planning went into each selection except by saying, it took me the full two weeks to complete.
In addition, there were some scenes that naturally had music that went with the video, and others that didn’t. Originally, I only added music in a couple of locations, but I decided that I liked the background music and added additional clips. This also took a lot of searching to find the right music. I ended up using a lot of instrumental tracks of popular songs because I knew the impression that they gave.
This presented its own problem. Because I added background music, I now had to go through and verify that the track of my voice could be heard over the music, and heard clearly. I had to modify the sound volume of each clip individually because each clip had its own beginning volume. I also had to modify the tracks of me speaking to play in both ears, rather than only one. Because I recorded it on my phone, the system automatically thought it was one side of the audio, rather than both. I was able to modify the settings to fix this. Together, these required a lot of audio editing, in addition to the editing required to make the clips the right length and for them to fit together.
As the project started to shape together, I created the posters, as a design project. I decided to create four of them (because I was having way too much fun making them). Most movies or short films have promotional material and I tried to do something similar with my posters. I chose to use Canva for this, simply because I liked a lot of the templates. However, I had to modify them significantly to fit my idea. I changed all of the background images and had to only use my name as an actor, whereas a movie might mention several actors. When I finished these, I downloaded them as image files and then uploaded them to the final project.
I also wrote the interview found at the beginning of this article. All of the characters, interviewer and guests, are figments of my imagination. In reality, the only people working on this project were me, myself, and I. However, I tried to phrase my project and my theme in a way that one might talk to a show host, even though parts of the interview were fictional. I also mentioned that it was on the “BCD show” to play off of some of the popular shows that have a letter name.
I think, if I had some more time to work on this, I might try asking my mother and younger sister to voice the mother and daughter in the story. I really did not like my voice acting for the young girl. I felt like I misrepresented what a normal 10-year-old girl would sound like. However, once I started pairing it with clips, it would have been a pain to re-work it due to the timing being thrown off.
Overall, I am extremely proud of how this piece turned out. It was a lot harder than my previous video work but I enjoyed every second of it. I wouldn’t mind repeating this project with other stories and creating more short films. It was time-consuming, but I looked forward to working on it every day.
This is a playlist with most of the videos/audio used in this project.
Other credits: Shoe Images (Galaxy, Blue Sneakers, Pink Sneakers, Aqua Heels, Dark Blue Heels, Boot, Red Sandles), On My Father’s Wings, Man Clearing Throat, Something About Me, Believe That, Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?, Playground, Cinderella Movie Scene, and This Is My Idea.