Only until APRIL 2nd!
Only until APRIL 2nd!
I can’t believe a week has already gone by since since we shot the trailer for The Art of Stealing…
Last weekend Jenn and I organized and together co-directed the trailer shoot to promote The Art of Stealing and the response. capsule collection. It. Was. Awesome. To me anyway! A week has past and I’m still on a high from it!
I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time—make a mini movie that is! I was pretty gung ho and very specific about what I wanted to film as I had been geeking out about it for months and, I’m sure, driving everyone around me crazy. I was also super excited for us to get our hands on the samples of the finished collection from Lululemon Lab! Yes, it’s really happening! As I mentioned in a previous post, I equate these creative marketing projects as small love letters to and with my collaborators. Not only is this my personal love letter to the world of The Art of Stealing but it’s also a fun and creative way I get to promote and thank Lululemon Lab for not only amazing costumes but also for such a thoughtful and lovely collaborative experience.
The entire week leading up to the shoot I agonized about the weather. My stomach was in knots. We had decided to shoot the entire trailer outside. That week I watched the news each day and each day Mark Madryga promised me it was going to rain on Saturday. And rain it did. But because Jenn Strom is so awesome and we were highly organized we were able to capture the essential shots we needed despite the weather. And I have to say the weather also made a huge contribution to the mood of the scenes and shots. I’d also like to express my eternal gratitude to all the dancers and crew for sticking it out despite the rain and the cold. We did end up wrapping early on the Saturday but we got the shots we needed and essentially were still on schedule for Sunday.
Once again I am so thankful for artists like Jenn in my life. The months and weeks preceding the shoot we scrutinized locations, refined a game plan and discussed in details the shots and action I wanted to capture. Jenn played an instrumental part in location scouting (THANK YOU JENN!) and realizing we needed some extra assistance on this bad boy. She contacted Mike Mckinlay to join our little operation and I am so thankful that he decided to work with us.
Mike is nothing short of AMAZING and he not only filmed the dancers but essentially acted as our director of photography. He also generously contributed to use some of his gear and also brought along this kick butt homemade dolly made with skateboard wheels (did I also mentioned that Mike is a professional skateboarder?). One of my favorite moments of the entire weekend was Mike filming me as I ran while he rode his skateboard to capture the shot. After one take he essentially told me that it worked and he was pretty sure he got it. I high five-ed the dude and thanked my lucky stars that Mike had agreed to work with us!
You know who else rocked? Our production assistant. Daniel was a total hero. The majority of his Saturday with us consisted of holding up a massive beach umbrella to keep Mike’s equipment from getting wet. Really, if we didn’t have Daniel I don’t think we wouldn’t have been able to get anything done on that rainy Saturday.
Kevin, Heather, Maiko and Jess were basically rock stars that weekend. Myself, I have been dying to do my homage to Bladerunner with Pris inspired make-up and let me tell you is it ever liberating to take black eye shadow and just brush it across your face with no regard whatsoever. The dancers were awesome to watch as they were filmed—they all take direction so incredibly well and I am so thankful for their patience.
I am so happy I asked Chris to shoot the weekend, behind-the-scenes and actual action. I’m not sure when I’ll get to do something like this again so I want to make sure I remember it.
As always, I am so touched and still moved by how much people contributed with regards to time, energy, equipment and ideas. I am so thankful that I got to work with such generous and talented artists. By the time I got home Sunday night I was exhausted and so incredibly happy I couldn’t stop smiling. What a weekend! What a fabulous weekend…
All photos in this post taken by Chris Barton.
The current state of my brain
“I’m fascinated by the awful, awful things that human beings do to each other.” -Edward P. JonesI read this quote a couple of weeks ago and it has stuck with me, especially with The Art of Stealing on my radar. Perhaps it is because my personal life is rather calm but I find myself fascinated by conflict and the psychology behind it. I find myself curious as to why people act the way they do in compromising situations and in my imagination conflict and awful things are what seem to make up the equation of an engaging story.
If you only knew how much preparation takes place in order to produce, direct and choreograph a full length performance I think you’d be shocked. I still am!
Although I don’t go back into the studio with the dancers for our final rehearsals until the end of April the world of The Art of Stealing is very much alive and constantly gnawing at my brain. Not only has the collaboration for costuming continued to take place during this time but many conversations are now being had regarding the technical side of things to ensure the performance will be executed efficiently. Discussion around the stage set up and strike are crucial as turn around time is tight resulting in me trying to make sure my budget stays in tact to support all of this magic. The constant adrenaline I feel as a result of this is exhilarating and exhaustively fulfilling.
For this production I’ve also decided to pursue some additional artistic marketing and/or projects to help support the premiere and hopefully get people excited not only about the performance but about artistic process as well. Enter Jenn Strom! My lovely collaborator, fellow glitter enthusiast and friend has been with me every step of the way on this little side project/love letter of ours!
I met Jenn back in…oh gosh, 2003? I was performing a solo in doc boots and a red wig (don’t ask) at the Dancing on the Edge Festival. That was the first time we met and she filmed my work. Since then she has become a constant person I “go-to” and want to work with. She has filmed and documented countless performances I have done. She has been a source of artistic inspiration and recently we have begun to deepen our artistic relationship. Last year I asked Jenn to work with me to expand my experience with dance and film (translation: I wanted to make my own music video) which has led to many more fun filled things. Not only will Jenn be contributing text projections for The Art of Stealing but she will also be working with me as we prepare a mini documentary (a behind-the-scenes if you will) and short film/trailer to promote The Art of Stealing.
For whatever reason Jenn seems to like me and she has been interested in interviewing me for quite some time. So the time is now! She also asked a colleague of hers, Chad Galloway, to join us on this little project and since January we have captured interviews of the team at Lululemon Lab, shots of their workspace as well as myself and my creative process. We were also very fortunate that Finch’s was kind enough to let us shoot inside their cafe outside and during their hours. Thank you Finch’s!
I love working with Jenn. I really do. Every we get together it reminds me how lucky I am.
So here’s a sneak peak of what we’ve been up to this past month. The pictures have been taken from Jenn and Chad’s beautiful work.
Here we come! It’s finally happening! SAVE THE DATE!
If we were a graphic novel…
I even got my dog reading graphic novels now!
It’s 2014 (Happy New Year!) and the year has already kicked off with a lot of preparation for The Art of Stealing even though I won’t be going into the studio for final rehearsals with the dancers until the end of April.
The collaboration with Lululemon Lab is going really well and the artistic relationship I am developing with them is just what I had hoped for: invigorating, inspirational and totally fun. I remember being asked once during preliminary meetings what I was hoping to receive from this collaboration and/or what my expectations were.
"Honestly? I just want to be inspired." was more or less to the effect of my answer.
With regards to costuming I have never experienced a collaborating relationship this in depth nor over an extended period of time such as this. I absolutely love it. And I feel it truly is a collaboration. The team at Lululemon Lab were introduced to the dancers and Jenn, Mike and Marc during our technical residency at the Firehall last August. They listened to our ideas, desires and needs and took scrupulous notes. They sat in on our rehearsals and provided templates for us to perform in for WorkSpace II. They have been nothing but supportive of us and the work we are trying to accomplish. And now we are really starting to see the manifestation of the time, research and care these talented women are offering as their contribution and response to the work.
In December I was shown the first drawings of the intended collection. I was touched and overwhelmed by the details that had been incorporated as well as the integration of ideas I had but forth via images from a pintrest board I had shared with everyone to hopefully better explain myself. Not only that but my suggestions were respectfully considered and notated during our first fittings.
What more could a choreographer ask for?!
So yes. To make a long story short I am inspired! The opportunity to have the costumes developed at this stage in the game is like…I’m being given more clues to what this world is and the people in it; how they move through it. As the director and choreographer, I feel that my job now is to now pay more than the usual attention to these clues so I can try to solve the riddle of this work and how it could be put together…