I decided, instead of experimenting with a range of different camera angles, zooming and repetition, to try and do them all at once, kind of blindly as I didn't have time to try out a lot.
Here's what I came up with:
I wanted to see if I could make the mouth movements a little more realistic in time to words, but this still needs a lot of work (though I don't need it to be perfect as evident artificiality is integral to my film). I can polish this by studying human speech and drawing how each sound shapes the mouth, along with looking at existing examples for reference.
I have done very minimal editing here (only spent about 5 minutes doing it) because of time restrictions, but hopefully the main ideas I was trying to animate are evident.
The effect of dispensing with the mirror and vast expanse of background is that the viewer is confronted fully by the doll (particularly when it is facing forwards and zoomed in) and this is unsettling. It is as though the face on the screen is trying to communicate with the audience, which is fairly sinister, but I was aiming for this.
The idea of spinning the head round was fairly spontaneous as I had originally hoped to shoot some frames from different angles (high up, low, far away, from the side...) but was unable to do this. I like the effect but I don't really know what it's saying, apart from perhaps trying to turn away/ escape the viewers gaze.
The wink at the end was just for fun, I was trying to see if I could get it to look creepy and it did. I only shot 4 frames of the eye closing at different stages, then copied these in reverse order to get the eye open again at a consistent speed. I think this was a good trick and saved some time, I could do the same when I've made more mouth shapes - I could have about 10 of them and use them in different orders to create the effect of words; shooting each word separately in sequence would be tedious.