My very first experience as Director, Editor and Producer of a Short Documentary Film and even if I had to do it because of one of my modules in college (Video Production1) I really feel that it’s just the beginning of a much wider story between Video and me, just because I enjoyed it way too much to confine this to a one-semester experience. Maybe, it will be the beginning of something which will rapidly become a part of my every day life, maybe it will be something that I actually do not so often as it’s definitely time consuming, especially if you want to do it in a good way. In fact, it is so not just about going out with a camera and shoot some nice stuff.
It all start with the main idea, followed by a very careful planning which should take into consideration the accessibility of the topic and all the other factors regarding the development of the idea itself. After planning, you should be able to actually see if the idea could be put into practice or it’s just bound to remain in your dreams and wishes. The planning also helps when you go out and get started with the footage, because it enables you to create in your mind a sort of “preview” of what you’d like the final result to be. That could be tricky, especially doing Documentary, as the things you imagine might be very different from the ones you are going to have in front of the camera. But at the same time it makes you more confident about what you want and helps you set up your standard. The higher, the better, of course…
After getting my idea, falling in love with it, approaching my protagonist, plan where and how I was going to get the footage and finally going out and film despite the rain and a very unexpected snow storm, I thought that the biggest was already done. Imagining myself in the studio, in front of a ginormous Mac screen, editing my video I actually thought: “Sounds pretty cozy!”. But no! Final Cut pro is not a game, the studio is not my living room and the computer is not a fire place. Editing is hard, especially if it’s the very first time you approach the program and learn the various tools and their function.
As our lecturers told us, there is always something to learn, but when you are at the beginning and you have to actually find out how to do the basic, it gets scary… That’s why it took me so much time, also because I am quite a perfectionist and I had not only high but super high standard for my video to be. In the end, I must say that I am pretty happy with it.
It was such an intense experience for me that the very last time I watched it before handled it I cried. Yes, I did cry like a kid in front of my own work.
But they were not tears of stress or desperation, I just got very emotional because as I said, it was a very intense experience for many reasons. I feel so lucky for all that this idea of doing my project about Dance turned out to teach me. I went somewhere I would have never gone (The College Of Dance in Monkstown, Dublin), I found myself in surreal situations that made me feel so incredibly lucky (The snow storm which I filmed from the window of the beautiful studio we were shooting in), but most of all I got the chance to meet some pretty amazing people.
Caitriona, professional ballet dancer and dance teacher, who I already knew and who became a main character when she went with us on the last day of shooting in the Liffey Trust Dance Studio, which she recommended as a place where to film the final choreography,
Teresa, my partner who I had met on the very first class of Video Production, when our lecturer told us to go out with the camera and shoot randomly around college and we didn’t even know how to open the tripod! She suddenly became the best person I could have ever found to help me: always there under the snow, the rain, in the Dart, in the Luas, with no food or eating like pigs after a morning of shooting: she really became a friend.
But most of all Alex, my protagonist. The one that inspired me so much with his positivity when I was following (well, trying to follow…) his dance classes. The one who is able to make me feel like partying all the night after just 45 minutes of dance even when I have an entire week of college and eight hours of work on my shoulders. The one who was so nice since the beginning and turned out to be not only an amazing dancer but a truly amazing person.
I really tried to portray even a small part of his talent and personality, but of course all of it couldn’t fit in this short amount of time. I hope that this short movie is going to give an idea of how he is anyway, and that it’s going to inspire who watches it just as he has inspired me.
Seeing someone so passionate and determined to follow his dream makes me think about everything that is good out there, and it helps to stick with our dreams, even if it’s sometimes hard, even if nothing is for granted, even when they seem so far away…
One Dance With Alex