Interview with Stephen Whelan




Can you describe White Lodge in your own words?

and follwers. We also work with advertising agencies as any standard production offering does. Our unique attribute is a specific eye for style, beauty, fashion and luxury. 

White Lodge is a collective of creatives, film makers, photographers and ideas generators. We collaborate with brands and musicians to elevate the ways they present their visual identity to consumers  


Can you tell us more about a White Lodge project that you're particularly proud of?

was incredible to have everyone pulling on their respective store of influences and ideas to bring this one together (by which I mean it was great to finally have a professional application of the hours and hours I've spent watching Britney and Madonna videos).

Our Creative Director Sibylle Boettger steered an incredible range of collaborators who really meshed well to push Charli's image up a gear.  The project feels like the sweet spot for how we want to work - developing creative in collaboration with artists and clients, overseeing production with a unique approach to drawing on our network of collaborators and injecting a fashion and style edge that's uniquely 'White Lodge'.

We've just completed a two part project with the incredible Charli XCX with our artists and directors Bradley & Pablo.

The guys came to work with her through their previous promos for QT and Hannah Diamond and began the collaboration with a series of GIFs and stills that created the visual identity for Charli's next evolution as a performer. Following on from that project Charli approached Bradley & Pablo to direct the launch promo for her self-released EP, a killer track called Vroom Vroom which she debuted on her Beats 1 radio session.

It's the first time we've worked on a big choreo and beauty promo. I'm a huge fan of luxe, slick music videos as opposed to low-fi "realism" or storytelling so it



What makes a good fashion film in your opinion? What does it take to make one?

The same thing that makes any film good - it gives you something you want to watch.

A visual that's new, an idea that's engaging, an emotive journey. There are really no special or specific rules that apply to fashion film than apply to any other form of moving image. It's good if it manages to keep you watching past the first 5 seconds.

What does it take to make one? Having an original or compelling point of view, style or clarity of emotional communication are essential. And don't follow the rules of all the other fashion films you've seen. 

It's something I always hammer on about but really - we don't need another girl in a corn field, slow and dreamy behind the scenes film or edgy East London "urban" clip.

Just because everyone else is shooting that stuff doesn't mean you have to - look at the YouTube views and see if people actually watch that sort of content or skip straight past it.

Critical distance is important too. You have to be more brutal in your assessment of your own work than any viewer might be. Think - if I hadn't made this would I genuinely want to watch it?


"We don't need another girl in a corn field, slow and dreamy behind the scenes film or edgy East London "urban" clip"



European festival. That diversity filtered through into the work on show so the program felt like a really thorough snapshot of the key trends and emerging styles in fashion film. 

Really just getting to meet the community of fashion film directors, producers, stylists and creatives was just such a unique opportunity. People came from all over the world so it didn't feel like a specifically


What are your goals and expectations for this year?

Sign some new talent! We're always on the hunt for exceptional emerging directors so I'll be trawling through the program and watching as many of the films on show as possible.

I'm really looking forward to being part of the Creative Speed Dating event. Sometimes it's tricky at festivals as there are so many people

who want to chat and get advice and share their work so having a structured context in which to do this is a great idea.

I'm also wondering what you guys are going to pull out of the bag to top last year's nude extravaganza at the awards ceremony!


If you are a talented director looking for a career boost, sign up for BFFF's CREATIVE SPEED DATING to apply for a meeting with Stephen.