If you saw last week’s post, you learned about the original ideas for Larkspur’s final project “Full Circle.” Over the weekend we had our video shoot. It was an amazing day! Luke and I can’t wait to start putting the final cut together. Unfortunately, with all the packing/moving/real life stuff we’ve got going on we’ve put editing footage on hold until after the move. Obviously, we’ll share the final product when the time comes.
In the meantime, here is a behind the scenes peak at filming day!
Location, Location, Location!
We filmed in my Aunt Diane’s yard. My late Uncle Frank was an architect and designed their underground house to be the stuff all your hobbit dreams are made of. The house, built in 1979, sits on six acres and every inch is straight up gorgeous. Truly, a magical place! We found plenty spots that inspired us when
we walked around her yard toured the property. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better setting for this dance!
We were pretty laid back with plans for filming and scheduling the day. Luke and I selected around 5 shooting locations beforehand, some more big-movement friendly than others. Taking safety, ease of set up, space, and story into account, we created a storyboard/outline and shooting itinerary which prioritized the choreographic moments we wanted to capture in each space. However, we wanted to make sure we weren’t too static in our plans that spontaneity was taken out of the equation. The relaxed planning paid off; some of my favorite moments we captured when straying from our strict plans. Gotta love an itinerary though, it really helps to be organized when undertaking projects like this! Dream big, but stay practical.
Dance for Video
Since shooting, I’ve been thinking more about stage performance versus performance specifically meant for film. Looking back on it, I’ve only participated in a handful of artistic experiences that would qualify as “real” film pieces. Of course, performances have been documented and video taped but this a whole different beast. Channeling your energy into telling a story and presenting a character each and every take is hard! For me, the experience of performing the movement felt different without that performance adrenaline rush that carries me through a live performance. There is just something about audience/performer connection. Feeding off that energy. I was worried that I would find it hard to split my time/brain between my choreographer, performer and artistic director hats. Thankfully, Luke and I had already discussed my relinquishing some creative control to him when it came to filming. Out the pair of us he is definitely the video expert! His projects always impress me. What can I say? Dude’s got an eye. #proudwife!
Even though I’ve made few short film pieces before, editing “Full Circle” is a step up in ambition. The manipulation of choreography for the camera is particularly interesting to me – there is so much power in the post-production edit. It’s so much more than slapping editing out mistakes (although that features is awesome too – I love a blooper reel). You’re able to present the story from (literally) all angles and decide the specific gaze with which the viewer experiences the work. And it’s a different approach to collaboration with Luke, working behind the lens. The final version of the piece is still a mystery. There are so many different stories we could tell!
Help and Love
The day was a full on Larkspur family affair! My friend/photographer/former Larkspur dancer Kelly, came to photograph. Girl is amazing! She’s been sharing a few sneak peaks on her Instagram (@kellylouisephoto) and they are making me very excited to see the rest of her shots. Despite being a performer I’m not too comfortable having my picture taken. I am happy to do it if I am actively engaged in something or goofing around, but it makes me self conscious. I never know what to do with my face or how to hold my body. Kelly made me feel very relaxed when she took our photos! Vulnerability is probably an emotion I should speak with more.
My immediate family jumped in to help too! Seagraves love an art project. They helped with everything from mowing lawns, feeding the cast and crew, moving equipment around, and watching our youngest dancer Zelda in between her takes. Evan, the fiancé of one of the Sarahs in the dance company became our the assistant cameraman. I am not sure if he knew EXACTLY what he had volunteered for, but he was a champion! For someone new to this type of filming experience, he dove right in and took some great shots. Thinking about each person’s role really puts all the moving parts that go into a project like this in perspective. Definitely a group effort!
I love the community that has been created through Larkspur. It gives me hope for what Rabble & Twine can create in the future. Community through artistic experience!
If I learned anything it is not just what happens when the cameras are rolling but also what happens in between takes that makes something like this a success! The whole group was excited, invested and down for the experience. Also, props to my girl Mother Nature. She was definitely on our side with just the right amount of cloud coverage and not too humid a day. Scampering around the woods with crazy teased hair giving off sexy animal sacrifice vibes with your friends is a great way to spend a Saturday!