Sunday, December 12, 2010

a note to videographers and photographers

Dear Photographers and Videographers of dance recitals (or any event),

You are the last threshold of all dancers, cast and crew. It is your work that will be used as THE ONLY remembrance of that moment under the spotlight.

If the performance is only once, then it's not you that's screwed. It's the dancers. But if we're going down, we're taking you with us.

That great moment under the spotlight is shared by all dancers on stage: fat or thin, curvy or twiggy, male or female, physically blessed or challenged.

Everyone deserves to be photographed. Imagine if you are one of the dancers and there is no photo of you. And yet, you are the choreographer of the piece, or worse: you are the dancer who always shows up on every single, painful rehearsal without excuses.

If you are unsure about what kind of photos the other photographers take, ASK! It's more than irritating to see that all the photographs are taken from the same angle, and all close-ups. No full-frontal group shots. Or vice versa.

Show up during rehearsals. It's the best time to actually find out which moments are the best photo-moments. It will make your portfolio more interesting. Dance is the art of movements. And it gets better with props. It's one of the most challenging things to take picture of. So use it to enhance your photography skills. That's if you're serious. This is also applicable to videographers.

Videographers of dance... Ah, your skill is the most crucial as you will capture the motion itself and immortalize it for the dancers and everyone else interested in seeing the recording for whatever reason.

This is the ONLY RULE IN VIDEOTAPING DANCE: TAKE A FULL BODY SHOT. Dancers are interested in seeing everything to learn from mistakes (if any). To re-learn intricate steps and correct posture and body alignments (if wrong).

If there happens to be another video camera, then you can play around, WITH THE CONSENT OF THE CLIENT. I had the most unfortunate video where I had Lilith balanced snugly ON TOP OF MY HEAD and only MY FEET were shown.

And when you are combining footage from multiple cameras, please, DO NOT BE GENEROUS WITH THE COMBINATIONS. It is okay if the three minutes from a three-minute-thirty-second song is only from one angle, one camera. It might be boring for you, but YOU ARE NOT A DANCER. If you happen to be a dancer, you will know what I'm talking about.

If you don't, well this is why: Dancers are interested in seeing everything to learn from mistakes (if any). To re-learn intricate steps and correct posture and body alignments (if wrong).

Sounds familiar? Of course. It is cut and pasted from a paragraph a little before this.

That being said, I'm glad the photographers and videographers for this year's The Dance Within 2: Beyond the Dream are so much better and well-informed than last year. Well, especially the videographers.

Monique and I just learned why editing could be so costly today. We edited the two-hour show (and more, whatwith backstage preparation and the aftershow mingle shots) in eight hours. It is a very painful and tedious experience, but Mr. Wawan from OneStudio Jakarta was so very patient with all our whims and wishes (and downright madness).

20 pieces of chocolate biscuits. 10 digital video tapes. 9 hours of footage. 10 hours of nonstop editing. two crazy bitches. one depressed video-editor. one computer.

One final masterpiece umm... thing that we can really be proud of.

The DVD of "The Dance Within 2: Beyond the Dream" will be released soon right before Christmas 2010.

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