"Creation Story" Part 2: 1st Road Block
Patrons! Here is my update on the dance for film. Just a note: I will always have a numerical indication of the chronology of posts in the title in case you need to go back. Also, you can search tags for Creation Story to see only posts about this project.
So I've been filming regularly. My method for creating movement has been primarily Authentic Movement influenced by the overall concept of the progression of pregnancy. Authentic Movement (AM) is a form of improvisation that is simply about listening to the body and following your impulses. This could include movement or stillness, it's really just about what your body feels like at that exact moment.
The above video is actually a longer session of AM I did a few months back, unrelated to "Creation Story". You'll see that it is very raw and may or may not be all that interesting! AM is a great tool for finding your movement voice, but never really intended to be public or performed. I wanted to share this video with you, so you can see what pure Authentic Movement might look like.
I thought AM would be the most accurate method for constructing movement for "Creation Story" since the piece is about experiencing the physical and emotional journey of pregnancy in whatever form arises. However, while the movement for the film is based in AM, in the end the movement has to be a little bit choreographed since the film involves a concrete concept, a specifically located audience (the camera), and an end product I'm working towards.
Unfortunately, when I started the editing process a few weeks ago, I suddenly felt like my choreographic method, my concept, and my expectations were in conflict.
My expectation is that I'm trying to create a dance for film composed of short weekly segments that will ultimately string together as a single piece of work. My method includes creating the movement for those segments absolutely in the moment, with no regard to what was before or or will come after. Yet, when trying to string the weekly segments together, there was no continuity from one week to the next to the next and I started to doubt if my concept would work. To make matters worse, I usually start with music since it helps my movement come so much easier. But with this project, I wanted to be sure that the focus was on my physical experience, not influenced by any outside source, so planned to add the sound score after. This meant the film I was editing together was also in complete silence!
Andy (my husband) casually walked by and asked how it was going to which I responded, IT'S NOT WORKING AT ALL, IT'S DISJOINTED AND BORING!
I reluctantly let him watch it, knowing that outside perspective is always helpful. He didn't hate it as much as I hated it. He felt like there was hope yet.
Andy went away and I kept tinkering. I adjusted the speed of some of the segments, rearranged the order of a few, and added some transitions. Getting a little better. Then I sat and stared at my screen lamenting the lack of music to help the movement come to life. Andy walked by again and I said I NEED MUSIC, THIS ISN'T HOW I WORK, IT'S SO BORING IN SILENCE! We talked out my conflict a little more then he left again and I finally had an idea.
Flashback to when I met with my music collaborator (more on music in the next post), I showed her a mock up of my concept and tried to explain vaguely what I had in mind stylistically. The music example I had didn't actually have a beat though and I wanted a beat to keep it moving. She suggested maybe we add a heartbeat.
Back to the editing room I remembered that conversation, found a heartbeat track on iTunes, pulled up the vague music example I had shared with her on my phone and played them both at the same time to my rough film. Finally, hope that things just might come together in the end.
The next day I went back into the studio and filmed a few more movement segments that I thought would help draw some of my rough transitions together and have begun adding them to the edited film.
And that's where it stands today. Next post I'll talk more about my music collaboration, and hopefully I'll have sent her a draft of the first trimester so she can begin working on the music score.
I hope you have enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look at the artistic process!