Victoria Baker, known to many online as Lady B, charms and delights audiences with her video diary Instagram account.
In this interview with Close-up Culture, Lady B talks about her recent rise online and plans for the first “made for Instagram” movie.
Q: What initially led you to start this Instagram page? Did you have any designs on it turning out as it has?
A: I started making videos for friends just for fun, years before I even joined Instagram. That’s how I got my nickname “Lady B”. I would travel a lot and send them video messages. But at that time I had no intention of being on any kind of social media, it never even crossed my mind.
It wasn’t until my phone broke and I purchased a new iPhone and got a notification saying: “You have 400 videos and 6,000 pictures, would you like to start an Instagram account?” that I thought this would give my videos an outlet beyond my inner circle. Of course, very soon after it took on a life of its own and has since become an all encompassing occupation.
So no, I had absolutely no designs on it turning out as it has. If I’d have known – I would have started sooner!
Q: You’ve had remarkable growth on the account in the last few months. Why do you feel you are connecting with Instagram users?
A: I feel like there’s a lot of “sameness” on Instagram. Everybody trying to emulate the other and not enough people (that I’ve come across at least) trying to break the mold and be themselves.
I’d like to think I’m connecting with Instagram users because the Lady B TV content is entertaining and is a little like a TV series they keep tuning into. There’s a lot of beautiful pictures on Instagram, but after a while it gets repetitive. Whilst I do sometimes post pictures I try to constantly be innovative with my content, like doing new types of video content and I dislike doing the same thing over and over again.
Q: With that growth, you have recently released a trailer for the first ‘Made For Instagram’ Movie. Why did you feel the time was right for this movie?
A: I think the time is right because it has never been before! And being the first to do something is important to me. Instagram has also recently launched its IGTV feature which allows me to release much longer content – I couldn’t have done this before. I also think my audience is ready for longer content like this and they will relate to the story.
Q: The trailer shows plenty of black and white action, as well as green screen Hollywood dances. What can we expect from the movie when it releases on 15 September?
A: The whole movie is in black and white, with the exception of the ending where we morph into color. We did a lot of special effects: animation, green screen with Fred Astaire, lots of dance numbers and some singing.
But more than any pyrotechnics, I wanted the movie to be inspiring with a light-hearted but no less powerful message – and I think we’ve accomplished that. Even though it’s a silent black and white movie, I wanted it to be relevant to modern audiences which is why there’s a parallel in the story line between flapper girls and Instagram Fashion Blogger Girls. I think everybody will be able to get something out of it.
Q: There is a lot of fun editing in the trailer. What is the creative process like for the Instagram account? What goes into the content you put out?
A: The editing is a huge amount of work. We spent about seven full days (around the clock – non stop) of filming and three months of editing! I don’t think most people realize how time consuming and extensive editing work can be.
With regards to the everyday editing I put into the videos in my Instagram feed it’s not as extensive as the work that went into the movie, but I can easily put in three days of editing for a fifteen-minute video. Not to mention the days it takes to film the content and plan it out. But it’s not all hard work: it’s so much fun to be able to create whatever you want on your own terms.
That’s the magic of Instagram and social media platforms: you can do whatever you want and nobody controls your creative output. I really let my imagination run wild. I do a lot of cooking videos on my feed (even though I’m a terrible cook) but I always thought people would get a laugh out of watching my terrible cooking – and apparently I was right, they do!
But ultimately, I try to always do things because I like them and they feed me creatively. There’s so much work involved that I have to make sure I love it or I might not have the stamina to do it all!
Q: The movie is a big step for the Instagram account. What are your plans and hopes for the future?
A: Yes, this movie has been a huge step. There were many moments when I wondered: “Why am I doing this?” but I don’t think the Instagram account will be the same once this comes out – we’ve gone through some major growing pains with this!
I plan to do more special projects like this one – not necessarily movies though. I have a new cooking project with a political flare in the pipeline, but that announcement will come a little later. I’m also working on a Thanksgiving as well as a Christmas Lady B TV Special.
Q: I thought we could end on one your trademark series, Shag, Marry, Kill. Here are a few (sorry in advance if you’ve used them already, also if you need to google them!): Lee Van Cleef, John Cena, Idris Elba, Danny DeVito, Jose Mourinho, Ice Cube, Donald Glover.
A: I love this! I needed to google all these guys as I didn’t know them, but here we go!
Lee Van Cleef: He seems like a bad boy and I wouldn’t want to mess with him. Maybe shag him with an option to kill (if the need arises).
John Cena: A WWE wrestler – that’s interesting. Hmm, he definitely has muscles not sure he’s much of a conversationalist though (all I know about him is a brief google search). I think shag him with an option to marry.
Idris Elba: He seems very accomplished so maybe marry (with an option to shag depending, haha!)
Danny DeVito: He’s too short, but he does seem very funny. So maybe we keep him around for entertainment purposes. No shag, marry or kill though.
Jose Mourinho: At first glance, he seems sophisticated and successful, which doesn’t hurt his case. So I’ll go with marry, potential shag.
Ice Cube: I know absolutely nothing about rap, so not sure he’d even want to shag, marry or kill me! Maybe I’ll go with marry – it’ll be a new experience!
Donald Glover: Just googled him but feel like I need to watch his movies and listen to his music to see if he’s shag, marry or kill material… so maybe I’ll put him in the potential shag waiting list – haha!