First off, we just want to say WOW!!!!! This whole experience was crazy...
and we are all obsessing Over it!
Let’s do more! Please!
WARNING: Long blog...
Vince Roy, owner of Royal Productions, did a video shoot a few months ago for his niece who wanted a professional video of her solo. Of course when Mike saw this, he gave him a hard time for not asking us to be a part of it, to capture some dance photos, and other behind the scenes moments. It didn't end there though...
...that lit the spark!
It led to some talk and collaboration prep work. Vince and Mike started developing a photo/video package that dancers could purchase for the ultimate experience and memory keepsake. This offer is meant for the graduating dance student, someone working on building a dance portfolio, or even for someone who just wants wicked dance video and photos done really badly, to remember for a lifetime!
In order to promote this package, though, we needed to gather a couple dancers together to work with so we could have material to share. We brought a super talented dancer up from the Toronto area to do a contemporary pointe routine, and used a super talented local Sudbury dancer to do a contemporary/lyrical routine. The dancers worked their solos wherever and whenever they could in the leading weeks working on their own choreography (Covid made using studio space a little tricky at times)... But, man did they pull it off well! Thanks for being our guinea pigs, Jersey and Veronica! We wouldn’t have rather had anyone else do this with us for our first go.
A lot of prepping and planning went into this to make it as wicked as it ended up being! Vince was able to get access to a warehouse in Alban in which we did the shoot. We decided to work here because we loved the idea of the contradiction between a dirty and rough machinery warehouse, and the beauty and grace of dance. We set up some awesome lighting, flash, and swept the floors the best we (as in Brittany lol) could. As clean as we tried to sweep the floor, though, they got so dirty (to say the least), but this made it so fun and just added to the feel of the space. We gave up on wiping them clean. Embrace the dirt lol! Afterall, who walks out of a machine shop clean?
We worked for a few hours starting in the morning with Jersey. She ran her dance through its entirety twice as Mike and Vince ran around taking video and behind the scenes shots, as Brittany tried to “dodge, duck, dip, dive, and... dodge” (Dodgeball movie quote lol) the cameras while still trying to watch for corrections, technique, and mental-noting focal moves of the dance. That’s when we focused on highlighting parts of the dance, where Vince took different angles of video for specific moves. Once we felt like we got good coverage of all the ‘important’ parts of the dance, we moved on to photos. This took a bit of extra time trying to get creative lighting for the shots and incorporating the machinery in the building, but it led to some wicked and unique shots!
"I was a little nervous because I didn't know what to expect, BUt then once I walked in I was like 'THis is super Cool' with all the smoke everywhere and the lights..."
Veronica started her session mid-afternoon, following the same outline of shooting. We ran her dance in parts because her song was almost 3 minutes long, which is a long time to be dancing nonstop on pointe. After completing the two run-throughs, we worked on the focal parts of the dance and redid parts to nail them perfectly - or shall we say to make sure everything was “en pointe” ;) Bad joke? Okay… Moving on… By the end, Veronica completely destroyed her pointe shoes. They changed from ballet pink to black, and the satin around her box/platforms were starting to look shredded. And of course, she was completely covered in dirt, too!
"You kind of have to get dirty to get the good product out of it. It was nice to actually see my pointe shoes get wrecked up. It really shows we were doing something here!"
We wrapped the day up just after 8 p.m., with sore feet, sore backs, blistered hands (Brittany and her poor sweeping skills lol), and very hungry stomachs! Our reward was going to be chipstand, but they were closed… So, back to Sudbury we went. Even here, nothing was open, so McDonald’s it was. Regrets! But it was nice to munch on while glimpsing through the photos of the day and doing some teaser photo edits. Then it was off to bed for a short sleep, before another early morning to work with Veronica outside around Sudbury!
We are so pumped about all of this and can’t wait to do more. Take a look at our pictures (behind the scenes included) below… And be sure to check out the teaser video at the end.
-Mike and Brittany
AND NOW BEHIND THE SCENES!
Brittany and I are used to being behind the camera, but just to prove we were actually there, here are a couple screen captures from our interview with Vince! We look a little rough... But it was a long and hot day lol!