Digitising Dance by Pauline Finet

Pavilion dance South West offered free full day workshops on how to create engaging and well produced dance films. Digitising Dance – Plymouth took place in the Dance and Drama studio at City College Plymouth, the Goshen Centre on Thursday 4th April 2013.

The Workshop was lead by James, a filmmaker from Somerset Film, accompanied by his assistant, who was music composer and film director with a preference for cartoons. There were 6 participants, aged between 14-20 years old, with different dance experience; dancers, free runners, students, there was also Ben and Sophie, from Attik, helping to link between professional film makers and dancers.

The first thing was to discover the film equipment (camera, tripod, microphone, battery) inside them, how to protect them and how to construct them. After we learned their usefulness, how to use them became more complicated. Thus James explained clearly their use in practice.

After having gone around the equipment and its use, it remains to know what you can shoot. Divided into two groups, the participants create a small sequence around the concept of touch/ movement. Once the sequence was created, the set up was improved with the advice of Sophie. It’s time to eat!

A one-hour break to build a lot of energy because the afternoon promises to be intense! So following the debate on the advantage or disadvantage of sugar, it’s time to shoot!

For this, the second group chose the location, decor and shooting angles. Once selected, the first group is set up and the second group are divided between those who said: “camera roll” / “speed” and the famous “ACTION”! Although “the cut” announced the end, it’s only the end of the shot and others are necessary. The group danced again and again and even if when they start to get hot, they have to keep their pullovers on because everything has to be filmed in the same conditions! Once the filming group is satisfied comes the turn of role change between dancers and filmmakers and it sets off again, “camera roll, speed, action and cut”!

After the two groups have danced and been filmed, is the last great moment, the creation of the film. At this moment, bits of videos are in every corner, but a few clicks by James on the desires of dancers / producers are enough for a short film that looks professional!

So in a day, participants were able to discover the professional equipment, their use, get know each other through dance and learn to shoot in a professional manner! So one day intense and very rewarding!