Sunday, October 25, 2009

Catalyst Rehearsal Two

Ah, again I arrive at the blog with a knot in my stomach. I'm taking a deep breath and going for it! Enjoy!

This week I played with one phrase that I started to develop last week. I added on and experimented with looking at the camera. I really enjoy the "one take" riskiness of this phrase, as well as the quick spins and swings that feel like a roller coaster when I watch them. There are two attempts at the phrase, and at the end of the video I filmed myself doing the phrase without the camera.

This phrase feels "playful" and makes me want to shoot this on a grassy field on a beautiful day - which is probably playing into a lot of stereotypes about what it is I'm doing. Looking at the camera just amplifies that stereotype, and I'm unsure how I will play into that, or not.

I'm not so into the movement phrase without the camera because it seems all about he hands (since I am usually holding the camera in my hands). This gets me thinking about how ELSE to hold the camera (body parts, other support devices, etc.). I will probably put this "phrase without the camera" on my shot list regardless, in case I want to cut it into the piece at some point.


  1. Hi Ally - thanks for inviting me into your process. What an honour.

    I'm commenting on both posts at once. I hope these are useful thoughts.

    I wonder what this piece is about - is it about a girl holding a camera? a play between voyeurism and exhibitionism? a feeling of being off-balance and disoriented? I ask because each one lends itself to very different choices.

    To me, seeing you dance while holding the camera took the magic out of it. There were a number of times that I thought, "Wow, cool! How did that happen?" I like that you never show us your arm extending up to the camera. Big A+ on that. Then when I saw you do it from the outside perspective, it wasn't as interesting to me anymore. Maybe that is just me.

    I think it's that the role of the camera is interesting because it is the audience's POV. You are engaging in a duet with me when I watch this video. If you put the camera in it, then I know that you're not dancing with me. You're dancing with a camera.

    The off-balance/disorientation thing might be in my brain because it's what I'm working on, but your current footage suggests that a lot to me.

    The only time time I feel "sickened" is when the camera is not on you - when it spins around the room. Maybe just be aware that the movement needs to be steadier or more precise when you do that.

    I like the idea in your first post under Proposal about the different camera "tricks". Interested to see how they ground or heighten the handheld footage.

    This is long. I hope it was helpful and coherent. I'm fresh off a long rehearsal and I just spat it all out into typed words.

    Congrats on an awesome beginning. Can't wait to see it develop.

  2. VOYE! i am so glad you're doing this. i secretly have a choreography blog for my new media class but neglected to give it out because i'm too embarrassed. you're brave...and full of good ideas. here are my thoughts:

    i am actually really interested in the 2 camera angles. seeing you dance with the camera doesn't take the magic out of it so much for me as it offers something new--after a while, the camera becomes this extension of your body, rather than something you're dancing WITH. the only thing that gets weird for me in there is when i see you look at the camera. that shows me that you acknowledge it as something foreign and restores the camera's identity as a thing that films opposed to the interesting singular relationship you have with it otherwise.

    as for the close-up:
    - i agree with Laura's post above that the only time i felt "sickened" is when there's no part of you in the frame, and it's just whirling surroundings...but it depends what you want.
    -i love the spinning moments (when we see your head)
    -i realize that i'm most drawn to the moments where the camera is relatively fixed in it's angle (like when you're moving but your arm is not), because otherwise, it can almost look like someone else is filming you close-up as opposed to it being necessarily ON you. i think that's what's so interesting--that the camera is literally physically on you/from you...not just aimed at you from close range. have you thought about/tried finding ways to place camera on different places on your body besides hand?

    i'm excited to see how this progresses!!! if i'm brave enough, i'll send you some of my footage :) let me know if anything i wrote doesn't make sense!


  3. Ally! Love it. I can't wait to see some more videos and posts. You should post your featured video from the Festival!

  4. Ally,

    the blog is a FANTASTIC project. I hope you'll keep it coming. It's really great to be able to follow your process, your questions, and gets me already excited to see the outcome.

    So, i think that the camera works nicely with your movement sequence. My first thought on the opening shot: you are so beautiful. it's a really great perspective on your face. (one that only very tall people get to enjoy...) i got a sense of curiosity in your face, looking straight into the camera. it seemed inviting, and then you take us for a ride!

    The camera's perspective highlights details and makes it feel pretty intimate. We are so close to you, and somehow, i develop a kinesthetic empathy in the parts where things move vividly. It seemed good to have lots of focus points in the frame at first, and it really transitions nicely from one body part/area to another. Then I get the sense of flying (in) space until it comes back in a different perspective - also really fun, fluid and intriguing to watch.

    Because it was so close up and intimate feeling, it feels pretty sexy at parts, or at least flattering and appreciative of the attractiveness of the lower back / butt, feet or cleavage. :) It feels like an agreed upon presentation of an attractive body, rather than an "objectifying gaze." (WAC WAC!)

    I really really look forward to seeing more!!! ari