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Behind the Scenes: Crafting Romance and Haute Couture in 'At The Chateau: The Bachelor' - An Exclusive Interview with Victoria Napolitano.

1. What was the inspiration behind the plot of your short film "At The Chateau: The Bachelor"?

My passion for castles and romance has been the driving force behind my career as a designer. I have been fortunate enough to have my designs featured in several films, but perhaps none more impactful than the recent release of “The Bachelor”. In this film, four stunningly beautiful women are vying for the affection of a handsome bachelor, and I had the distinct honor of designing each of their outfits.

2. How was the cast selection process for your film?

Casting for talented actresses who can both sing and act is a priority of mine. As such, I have decided to take an invitation-only approach, foregoing the traditional casting call process. This allows me to handpick the actors and actresses I feel are most suitable for the roles, while also avoiding wasting the time of those who do not fit my specific criteria. I am confident that by taking this approach, I will be able to find the perfect set of individuals to bring my project to life.

3. How do you approach the connection between haute couture and romance in your film projects?

Anyone who has ever watched a romantic movie has likely seen at least one unforgettable ensemble that speaks volumes. In the old Hollywood days in particular, the costumes worn by the female characters were designed with this in mind, often featuring unique, one-of-a-kind gowns that are etched into the memory of the viewer. These memorable costumes have become a hallmark of the classic romantic films of yesteryear, and it is not only the actors that make the movie but oftentimes the fashion

4. Your short film was shot at the Château de Fleures in Paris. Tell us about the process of filming in such a sophisticated environment.

My entire team had to be flown into a private winery which was located outside of Paris, and not within the city itself. It took almost 10 hours to shoot the entire project, with an entire team of people, including models, makeup and hair artists, and even singers and dancers. Everyone was rewarded with gifts for their efforts.

As a result of the intricate details, the expensive costs, and the sheer amount of work involved, this film was truly a labor of love. Everyone involved had to be booked in advance, and the winery was closed off to the rest of the world for the duration of the shoot. It was a fantastic experience for everyone and the final product was well worth the hard work.

5. As a director, what were the biggest challenges in directing "At The Chateau: The Bachelor"? What were your strategies to overcome them?

Shooting in a large location can present a variety of challenges to any director. One of the most significant of these is the issue of lighting, which can prove to be a major obstacle. We faced this challenge head-on during our shoot, having to adjust the lighting every 30 minutes. To make matters even more complicated, we were filming and taking photographs at the same time. This meant that we had to be constantly mindful of the sound levels, as this was the first consideration when planning a shoot of this magnitude. With multiple costume changes required, we needed to maintain a high level of focus throughout to ensure that the shoot ran smoothly and that the end product was of the highest quality.

6. How would you describe your approach to the actors' direction?

I always take the time to speak with each actor individually to ensure they understand my vision. We have detailed conversations that go beyond the script, as I want to ensure they can bring the characters to life. I'm fortunate to have worked with my team for many years, so they know what I expect and we're able to communicate efficiently. I also send the scripts out weeks in advance so that we can discuss any changes or questions before arriving on set. This helps to cut down on the time it takes to shoot, and the only reason this particular shoot ran for 8 hours was that we had to frequently change costumes and adjust the lighting to achieve the desired outcome. We also had to record the actresses singing several songs from different angles. Despite the length of the shoot, I was able to edit out seventy-five percent of what we filmed that day, which is a testament to the level of preparation and efficiency we achieved.

7. What role does music play in your films?

Music is an integral part of my work as a director and producer. I strive to ensure that all of the music featured in my films is written and composed by me, to ensure that it has a personal touch and fits perfectly with the script. I am incredibly fortunate to have been recognized for my songwriting skills, having won four awards in this category. I take great pride in these accolades, as they serve to validate my talent and passion for creating music that reflects the story I am trying to tell in my films. With each new project, I look for ways to push the boundaries of music and storytelling, to create something truly unique that resonates with viewers.

8. What can viewers expect from "At The Chateau: The Bachelor " in terms of cinematic style and tone?

It's definitely a slow-burn type of film, not for those that are looking for fast action or quick movements. This is a reflective and engaging film, one which encourages you to take your time, relax and think about the characters and the situations they find themselves in. It's not a film that should be rushed through, as it has many layers to it and encourages you to think about what you would do in the same situation. It's a deeply thought-provoking movie that rewards those

9. Tom Ford is an American fashion designer and filmmaker known not only as a great creative director for brands like Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent but also for award-winning films like "A Single Man" and "Nocturnal Animals". How do you perceive the connection between haute couture and the 7th art?

Haute couture is a unique form of art and fashion, one that allows the designer to express their creativity in a multitude of ways. Every piece is thoughtfully crafted, taking days, months, or even years to complete. There is special attention to detail, from the choice of fabric and color to the embroidery, hand-beading, and intricate hand-painted details that can take up to nine months to complete. It is this level of craftsmanship and artistry

10. How do your experiences in the fashion world and video production complement each other and influence your approach to directing films?

I create films as commercials to present and showcase my haute couture. As opposed to a fashion show, which can be quite tricky and involves a lot of waiting and uncertainty about who will be picked, these commercials will be filmed and anyone can see the style and get the feel of what is portrayed with each theme. This is actually why I became a filmmaker - to create something that could be seen and appreciated without the hassle of being just a number in a huge field.

11. How do you balance your different careers as an haute couture designer, filmmaker, composer, and editor-in-chief?

It can be difficult to navigate the complex and ever-changing world of couture, film, radio, and music, but I find it incredibly rewarding. Traveling the world and immersing myself in these cultures allows me to gain an understanding of the trends and influences that shape fashion today. My goal is to give my clients an experience that is far more than just clothing. Every piece I create is an expression of art that is meant to be passed down for generations. I take my craft very seriously and never consider it a task to be completed. My couture is a reflection of my passion and I strive to ensure that each client has a distinct and memorable experience that they will never forget.

12. How does your background in visual arts influence the aesthetic and form choices of the films you produce?

Visual arts can play an important role in psychology, as the visual arts can help create an environment and experience that can evoke an emotional response from an individual. For instance, a calligrapher can craft letters and notes to their clients that may be lost in our modern world. This can create a sense of appreciation and understanding in the recipient of the art. Visual arts can also encompass a wide range of mediums, from telegraphy to filmmaking to luxury magazines to books and photography. I have been a finalist in Canada for photography, and much of the work I create is based on my photography. I believe that 80% of my work is derived from images I have taken with my camera. Visual arts can be a powerful tool in creating a meaningful experience for an individual.

13. How do you insert and balance the luxurious visual aesthetic of haute couture in your films to be highlighted in complementing and elaborating the plot and characters?

I am just finishing up my story, Midnight and Florence. I have been writing stories around my unique categories. Every character I create will have its unique traits and characteristics that I have described in each of my audiobooks and films. For instance, I love the color red and so I make sure that most of my characters come out wearing something red, whether it be a gown or a robe. Red is considered a very bold and strong color, and I believe it is a great way to make a statement with my characters.

I not only write stories and create characters, but I also write music and film movies that reflect my personal style. I love fashion and I love clothing and I try to make sure that my fashion choices are unique, but not too bizarre. I believe that uniqueness is beautiful, but too bazaar or too over the top can be unpleasing to the eye.

14. Besides being a filmmaker, designer, and editor, you are also a radio personality. How have your experiences in this area helped you communicate with actors and other crew members during filming?

Before the onset of the pandemic, I had the opportunity to travel to Italy and while I was there, I discussed with one of my closest friends the idea of utilizing my radio station to communicate with people from other countries and share my experiences. I suggested that this would be more efficient than trying to maintain communication through other methods. After some thought, I realized that I could use my radio station to discuss fashion, film, music, and all the other activities I was involved in so that listeners could keep up to date with what I was doing and experiencing. This gave me a thrill, and I was excited to have a platform to share my adventures and knowledge with the world.

15. In what ways is video production in haute couture similar to directing movies? Do you have new film projects coming up?

No matter if it's video production, film production, or anything to do with haute couture, I have learned throughout the years that the most important aspect is being on time, being prepared, and understanding your audience. While you could have the most beautiful film or video, if it is shown to the wrong audience, it can easily come off as being flat. There are so many talented artists out there, creating films that unfortunately, may never be seen, not because they are not good, but because they are not being shown to the right people.

I am so proud of the upcoming projects I have lined up, including a five-part series created in Europe. The first part of the series is titled "Midnight in Florence", and the following four will take place in Lugano, Switzerland; Milan, Italy; Monte Carlo, Monaco; and Paris, France.

To stay up to date with all the latest developments and news surrounding my projects, be sure to follow me at I am ever so thankful for the opportunity to give insight into my world.


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