MUSIC VIDEO Silas - Dreams Circus/movement director
Song writing student Silas Blackburn asked me to collaborate with this project. He is producing an album as his Major project and he wants to make a music video for a song called Dreams, to support the album. He has a base vision of the video being about fragile masculinity and inspired by the movement of flowers opening towards the sun and curling up. He and his father are shooting the music video and later Silas will edit it with help from his screenwriter friend.
My job in the process is to find the right performers and make sure they are committed to the project. Then I will plan material for them and think of different ways to get the kind of movement and content that supports Silas’s vision. I will organize one or two rehearsal sessions for the performers where I communicate the ideas and qualities to them and run a few orientation improvs. We will also rehearse some sequences and take test shots. Then I will direct the performers in the actual shooting session and manage the time of the shooting, since we only have a limited time in the studio. After the shooting, I will go through the material with Silas and give him my notes for the edit. My aim in this project is to collaborate with a “client” and performers in a very short project. I am aiming to learn how to communicate efficiently with performers you hardly know, while trying to make them comfortable and authentic in front of the camera. Communication with the client to make sure I have correctly understood his visions and that he trusts me, is also crucial for this project. I have never directed anything for the camera before, so I am studying perspectives and possibilities which the editing, cropping and camera angles provide. My goal is to create material which fits with the client’s order while it represents my artistic thinking and is interesting circus wise. This is also a good opportunity for me to work as a link between circus artists and non-circus artists, and I hope that after this project I will have again a bit better understanding of what non-circus people needs to know about circus work and vice versa.
STARTING POINTS Everything started with Silas introducing his ideas for the video. He had made an inspiration video (below) which was very useful and I think it saved us lots of time. He wanted the video to have three layers: him singing, human movement and non-human movement such as flowers and liquids. He wanted the layers to be separate and that made it easy for me to focus on my part: human movement. Silas’s idea was to have fragile masculinity through strong muscly body stretching and the camera showing details from his skin. He also thought that there could be other people whose face would not be seen.
In the first meeting, we wrote down three main inspiration titles which I should work from: 1. Fragile masculinity 2. Flowers curling up 3. Sweet pain, like waking up or falling in love. Agreeing the titles was small yet very important thing in building trust between me and Silas. It was also important for me to get artistically inspired; nothing inspires me better than frames. During this MA course I have understood the importance of inspiring frames and I think that has helped me a lot to communicate with collaborations: now I know better what to ask and why. The time frame for our project was that after the first meeting we had a month until the shooting, which would take place in BSU film studio which Silas had hired. In that month, we needed to do the casting, planning and have the rehearsal. After the shooting, we agreed to have one session where we go through the material and I tell him my ideas and preferences about it. Then Silas would shoot rest of the material and edit the video before end of the summer.
CAST My first task was the cast. Since we didn’t have any money to pay for the performers it was obvious that we should use Circomedia students. When Silas was talking about skin being the metaphor for the fragile masculinity I immediately though of Jamie Double; he is strong and has lots of body art, yet he seemed very nice person to work with. So I showed Silas Jamie’s Instagram profile and he got very inspired by his looks. I talked Silas through what Jaimie does and that handstands as a discipline serves his idea of movement qualities well and handstands wouldn’t require a lot arrangements for the studio. With Jamie Beth Lannigan was a natural choice to have as another performer and because Beth was working with Jake Oob in Inari’s DaA -project it felt reasonable in that time limit to ask him to be the third. I contacted Jamie first and when he said he would be happy to do it I asked Beth and Jake, who also were available to do the shoot.
I communicated with them through Facebook messenger, which was quite handy and made the atmosphere relaxed. I started with private messages in which I described the project concisely while intriguingly and tried to make the performer feel very wanted to increase the level of interest and commitment. I also included the shooting day info and link to the song. When I had had a chat with them individually and they had agreed to be on board I created a group chat where I kept updating the process and asking their preference to things like schedule. I think I managed to make them trust me and commit to the project well through those procedures. Later I also heard that they had talked to others students who I had worked with earlier and I guess those students had confirmed that I am worth working with. I think that was a good simulation to the real world: people talk and your working history effects to your future, so it is worth being honest while working and handle connections well.
Even all the performers were very excited to do the project I noticed that they were a bit leery at the beginning. I think one reason for that is that I contacted them through Facebook messenger which is very casual channel where message reading and responding easily get disturbed. To save some time and make things more professional in the future I will use e-mail even with this kind of small projects. That also helps me to keep the work from coming through off hours.
ARTISTIC PLANNING Because I was working for client I started with going through his inspiration material very thorough: I listened the song over and over and watch the inspiration video + other videos of flowers opening. Because I always get inspired by people I also watched lots of Instagram videos by the performers. Through those I studied the movement qualities and personas of them, since I hadn’t even met either of them before, I had only seen Jamie’s and Beth’s clowning presentation. During that process I realized how good tool social media can be and how important it is to make sure the content you put in there communicates your work and persona. While I felt like I got quite a good introduction to the performers and their skills through Instagram I also kept in mind that not everything comes through and I need to be careful not to make any presumptions when I start to work with them in real life. I started my planning by picking up moves from their Instagram videos that had opening, closing or other flower quality, and wrote or draw them down (Images 1&2). It was very inspiring to be able to point out details from a bigger movement, because zooming and cropping are not usually possible while creating for the stage. I noticed that in pair acrobatics there are lots of interesting details where two people - or some bits of them – curl up to one another and where two skins have rough but relying contact to each other. With three people doing handstands there were lots of possibilities to create symmetrical flowerlike patterns. I wanted to make sure that none of the moves are too hard for them, because we had such a limited time. That is why I created the patterns from basic handstand moves which I had seen them doing on videos.
IMAGES 1 & 2
Drawings of the ideas
After planning some pair acro and handstand moves I started adding non-trick movement ideas to my list. In that point I naturally started to think more of the different angles of view that camera provides and draw some patterns from above. Fortunately, I realised to ask Silas if we can do the above perspective, and he said that we can, but not higher than two meters, since we didn’t have right equipment for that. Basically, that meant that we couldn’t shoot any circus material from above, which I took as a new frame: detail based movement, such as flowers created from hands, would be shot from above, handstands and pair acro from the side. In my planning I didn’t want to be too precise about the angles because I trusted the professional cinematographer to know better. I draw different types of ideas in to the same paper to test the limits of Silas’s will; e.g. in the 1st image you can see very basic stuff with the handstands and then on the left side there is images with slightly homo erotic vibe and a grotesque cropped image of armpit hair opening like a flower.
Two weeks before the shooting we had a meeting with Silas and his screenwriter friend and I showed them the drawings. They were happy with the ideas and trusted me with them. Drawing was a very good way to communicate my ideas yet I still needed to demonstrate qualities and movement patterns which are not possible to draw. In the end of the day I think the most important thing about my drawings was still to show that I am committed and done my work, which was very important bit of building trust between me and Silas. I also got some valuable information about his taste by proposing a wide range of material, so that I could continue towards the right direction. In that meeting I realized that Silas was quite stuck with his first ideas of a muscular man stretching and hands coming towards him from nowhere, so I thought that it is my job to take it to the next level. That was a very good motivator for me: I came across my own professional specialty while staying faithful to his ideas. In that meeting I also talked them through the specialties that need to be considered while working with circus performers: warm ups, costumes and the need of time when doing something new. Now when I think of that I should have been more clear about the importance of planning and time management effecting the performers capability to deliver what we want. In the meeting that part was handled too vague by them just saying “of course, of course” and then moving in to other subjects. I should have bee more clear with the importance of those elements and take them in to action right away: for example by making an hour to hour schedule for the day and making sure that we had clothes to put on them while not shooting. For the next time I need to communicate circuses special needs to non-circus people I will prepare better by making a list of the issues and preparing a small motivation speech to communicate the importance of those requires.
FIRST JAM I held one research session for Jaimie, because he had the lead role which included more specific movement quality. I also wanted to have a session to test how he responses to my instructions and if my instructions provoke the kind of quality I wanted. He invited me to his self-guided practice. I showed him the drawings that I had made and when I saw a relief in his eyes while he was looking at the drawings, I knew that I had gained his trust. Then I asked him to do a movement improv about opening and closing movement. Because it felt awkward to start doing movement improv with me watching him while there were other students in the room as well, I joined him for the first round. Then we had a chat and shared our findings. In that point he wanted to make it clear that he is not a dancer and I ensured him that his movement quality is exactly what we are looking for: strong body moving with “sweet pain” quality. Then I played the song Dreams for 3 times and asked him to study an idea of a small puppy opening his eyes for the first time mixed with the opening and closing movements. He did a great job and I was impressed how smart he was with creating material and brave to try out the sensitive things while other students were in the room. I understood that circus practitioners are used to create while there is other people in the room doing totally different projects. I circled around him and tried to spot interesting moments, images and angles. I got inspired by the bottom of his feet: the skin in the feet is very pure and soft compared to rest of his tattooed and muscular body (image 3). We talked through that and other findings, wrote them down and ended the session talking through the group rehearsal and shooting session schedules and practicalities such as lifts to BSU.
IMAGE 3 Innocence of the bottom of feet
GROUP REHEARSAL We had set a rehearsal a day before the shooting, just to make the whole project compact for the performers. Only two days before the shooting I found out from Inari that Beth is sick. I contacted her saying that even if there is a slight possibility that she might get better, she won’t be in her best condition and it will be better for everyone if we just decide that she is out. We negotiated with Silas and I proposed that we ask if Jordan could join us and fortunately he did indeed. Even we lost the pair acrobatics, with Jordan the fragile masculinity became even clearer with all the performers being male.
The night before shooting we had a rehearsal session with all three guys. We started with everybody introducing themselves, but very soon we needed to get to work because we only had two hours. It was a bit uncomfortable to start the work when I barely knew any of them, but because they knew each other I could trust them to help each other out. When they started to do the warm up opening and closing movement research together I was very relieved to see how easy it was for them to jam together. In the future, I will use people’s already existing dynamics because then I don’t need to build trust between my performers that much and I can focus on making them trust me. It is also important not to trust their existing relationship too much because knowing each other already might also include old ressentiments which might cause unpredictable issues. I also need to be aware that already existing group dynamic might make it hard for me to become part of the group, since I already tend to feel like an outsider when directing. During the first jam I also realized that I should have shown them the drawings first, because I could see that Jake and Jordan found the research of opening and closing flower quality harder than Jamie who had done the exercise earlier and seen the drawings. After the first jam I asked how it was, and both Jake and Jordan said that they find movement improvisations always hard, so it might have been just that.
I showed them the drawings and while we were round the paper it became a shared brainstorm session where we gained a few more ideas together while making sure everyone understood the drawings and the ideas. Silas also pointed out some things that he had found interesting while the movement improvisations. Because Silas is not a circus person he was impressed with many imposing tricks. That was bit tricky situation, because those tricks (such as handstand jumps) didn’t support the movement “world” that I wanted to create but I could understand Silas’s will to grow the production value of the video with those. I didn’t react to that contradiction in that point, because I trusted that after we had tried the ideas I had planned we would know better if we needed more imposing material or not.
We started with the handstand canons, because I wanted us to have time to rehearse them properly. In that point it was clear that we also needed some time to get to the same level with communication and I needed to learn their ways of working. I kept the atmosphere light by making jokes and making it clear that this was new to me as well. It appeared to me very fast that Jake is very productive and fast person which also means that it is often very hard to follow his thought process. Luckily he is also very relaxed person, so him being so fast that I couldn’t follow gave me a good space to allow the silly atmosphere. I also found out that Jordan was insecure with his handstand skills and that his arms were sore after a long week, so I started to encourage him and also deny him to do too much.
In the video below you can see our first try of our leg opening canon. Because that was the first thing we tried we just kind of flowed in to trying it without agreeing the pace of the canon, which of course led us not succeeding. Yet I think for the atmosphere that was an important moment; by failing together we set an unspoken rule, that failing is ok. I also wanted Jake to lead the trio to the first try (before the video clip he organized them in order and showed the movement), because he did it naturally and it opened up my role less author like and the work more ensemble like. Even the sound of the video is not good, you might hear me saying “Maybe we should talk about this before we go?” and others laughing, which shows the good atmosphere we had in this phase of “creating our shared working language”. After this clip we agreed how to do the canon with me counting which made the simple canon our shared trick where everybody just needed to play their part.
When we had rehearsed the canon choreographies we took test shots of the “limb flowers” which we were about to shoot from above. The organically symmetrical images looked amazing and I adored the feet bottom flowers (image 4) because they created beautiful but more imperfect movement than the hands. Usually I emphasize the importance of the gestures of the hands, because after the face, hands are the second communicative body part. But because in this project we were creating something abstract out of the body parts the hands were almost too smooth and didn’t have the fragile quality like the not-so-controlled feet. We had earlier had an idea of red silk tissue (you can see the tissue next to me in the image 4) coming out from Jamie's mouth to add a sense of the flowers insights opening. Because the hand flowers were not as inspiring to me I wanted to try to add something to them and since the tissue was there I tried that. It worked very well because it gave the thirty finger flower a simpler shape and vertical movement as a centerpiece. We decided to use the tissue in as many things as we could so it would became a real part of the video, not just a nice little trick. Silas also pointed out that the movement of the tissue could be reversed in the edit and because the finger flower would be shot from above me or him could manipulate the tissue under the arms and still not been seen. While watching them figure out the patterns together I made a mental note that there was very beautiful and innocent caring between them and if we would let the camera run while they are organizing themselves to the positions, we might get some beautiful shots of them helping each other.
IMAGE 4 Creating and being amazed by the foot flowers.
Fortunately we had time to play with the patterns from above, because by trying we found some amazing shapes created by more versatile use of their legs and body than just the feet (Image 5). In my planning I had followed the vision of not anybody else’s face to be seen than Jamie's, but when we found the kaleidoscope like patterns with their whole body movement it was quite obvious that we should also be open to other dramaturgical options. Silas was very open to everything and I realized that he didn’t have the notes from our first meeting. I had used those notes as the “order” from the client, who obviously wasn’t too attached to those guidelines. That was a very good moment to realize that, because in the rehearsal session the clearly narrowed plans gave us a structured start and we managed to try the planned images out efficiently so that we had enough time left to follow the new directions raised from the shared doing. If I would have let go from the guidelines earlier we wouldn't have been so efficient and the team building wouldn't have been so smooth.
IMAGE 5 Kaleidoscope like patterns created with full body movement.
CREATING THE SET We started the shooting day by Silas and his dad setting the lights and camera, and me going to the greenroom with the performers to warm up and make some coffee.
After a while I went to the studio to ask Silas and his father about the lights and camera settings. They shared me the basic information, but it was obvious that they had father and son dynamic with propping up their own capability, so that I needed to ask very specific questions if I wanted the information. That made me feel a bit insecure, because I was lacking both timetable and technical frames, but like I had decided the day before I focused on things that I could do. So I asked the performers to come to studio and we started by doing the same opening-closing-puppy-quality-movement improv which we did the day before. I asked them aim to get focused while doing it and warm up their handstands, because we are going to start with them. While they were moving I went to Silas’s dad to explain what they are going to do and we sat the camera in the front for doing the canon’s. I wanted to be as efficient as I could because only setting the studio had took an hour of our time. I also decided to go next to Silas’s dad and Silas while communicating with them and close to performers while communicating with them, to be able to make the atmosphere caring and to help my reading of each person. I wanted to stay on board with everybody’s energy levels because I knew the day was going to be intense. By running back and forth I also made the atmosphere lighter which was good, because there was a danger of weird power dynamics since I was directing three almost naked guy’s while collaborating with father and son, who had definitely worked together before and together they had a bit strange atmosphere of underrating. Image 6.
IMAGE 6. Me working between the (almost naked) performers and the Blackburns.
IMPORTANCE OF CHECKING PERFORMERS CONDITION After the warm ups we started with the handstand canons. We managed to get the basic leg opening one, but when it came to the more complex “flower opening” Jordan’s hands were to sore to stay in handstand long enough. In that moment I should have stopped doing handstand movements immediately and do other things for a while, but because Silas’s dad had said out loud that “everything that needs to be shot from the front have to be done now”, so I think Jordan got under pressure and kept saying that he can do it. We tried the canon unsuccessfully for a few times, but fortunately Silas was supporting me when I told Jordan that it is ok if he can’t do it now, we can try later and we then managed to move on smoothly. Silas also proposed that we could shoot everybody separately and he could overlay them in the edit. You could tell that Jordan was disappointed to himself, but we kept telling him that since he had only committed to the project few days ago, we totally understood that he was tired since the day was supposed to be his day off. Next time I know better to emphasize checking the performers condition before starting the work: we didn’t do the check in that day so I didn’t create a space for Jordan to tell about his condition and for me to sense how tired he was.
MOVEMENT IMPROVISATION FOR CAMERA Silas wanted us to do one improvisation shot from the front before moving the camera. I wasn’t sure what he wanted and when I asked him, he said that he wanted to have similar material that they did yesterday in the improv. I said to him that it would probably be easier for them to improv if they had some kind of rule for doing it. Then together we defined a rule of passing the center-line of the camera cropped space back and forth. I asked if Silas thinks they should apply the warm up improv but he wasn’t sure about that so I just gave them an easy task of passing the center-line so that it is never empty, someone needs to be there all the time and they all can be there as well. That was because in that quick moment I thought that they would probably provide us more usable material if they were doing something all the time rather than waiting for a good idea to come on the sides. While they were doing the improv I thought that this was exactly one of the moments which should be talked through advanced, because if I would have understood what was wanted from this improv, I could have phrased a better instruction. While doing the improvisation, I kept praising the guys to keep the atmosphere cheerful. Silas was soon happy with the improv and said that “I will see in the edit if there is something usable”. That reminded me that working for camera the pressure of producing good material is not as high as in live performance because you can easily get rid of not-so-good material. In the image 7 you can see a screenshot of the only clip we are going to use from the improvisation, and I think that small clip supports the video very well by giving an image where all three performers are doing non-symmetrical abstract whole body movement. Without the movement improvisation we wouldn’t have had any of that kind of material.
IMAGE 7 Screenshot of the material from the improvisation
ROLES While Silas’s dad was setting the camera to a new angle, rest of us had a break. I used the break getting to know the performers better which was useful and made the atmosphere more calm: after having chats about everybody’s goals and passions in circus field we got closer and the atmosphere got more homelike. The second half of the shooting went much better, everyone were more relaxed and we had enough time to take lots of shots from the above angle. Then we took some close-ups of the hands coming to Jamie’s body. Silas wanted me to give the shots an extra pair of hands so I swapped to a role of performer for a while. There I realized how important it is to trust the director in video shoot, because often I had no idea what our action looked like.
During the last hour of shooting there was a few awkward situations where Silas’s dad was rude to me when I tried to figure out the image and lighting with him. I felt like I was just explaining my though when he already got frustrated, gave me annoyed answer and continued working without sharing what he was doing. Then I just stepped aside because there was no time to argue (Image 8). I watched him figuring out the angles by himself and taking shots which were cropped so that they didn’t communicate the idea we were trying to achieve. After he had done the shot his way I kindly proposed my idea for the angle of the shot and surprisingly he got excited about it and played with it for a while.
I think that small conflict happened because we had not had a conversation about the roles. He must have been frustrated with the situation where it was not clear who is leading and who is responsible of which areas so when I tried to collaborate he interpreted it as me stepping on his feet. He normally works for BBC and there must be very clear hierarchy and systems for communicating at shootings. I had had similar frustrating moments earlier that day for example with the movement improvisation, when it was not clear if the lead was on me or on Silas. Even this was not a big problem, it was again a good reminder of the importance of clarifying the roles. Because I had taken a stand working for a client the natural action was to step aside when Silas’s dad got annoyed by me. Because he was the most experienced one, oldest and Silas’s dad I guess it was hard for him to think Silas as a client, and he wanted to lead his part of the project. Ideally older professionals would have an educative attitude towards younger ones, but from my experience rarely that is the case especially amongst middle-age males. I think that is because they often know what they are doing, but they are not as highly educated with new waves and values of working as younger professionals are, so they feel threatened. Why that happens more amongst the male workers is probably because they were educated during the time when male were not allowed to show weakness. When I watched Silas and his dad working together I could see the difference between generation. Silas’s lack of experience was shown mostly in the lack of efficient organizing skills, but he was open with that and apologizing when he made a mistake or was unclear. His dad was less humble and just continued without softening anything, making himself more like an authority character.
As an only female in the group I recognized a few moments where my role in his eyes was changed: when I was moving heavy boxes with them and when it appeared to him that I understood quite a lot about lighting technique. In those small moments, I sensed that he was also testing me a bit, and when I was proved to be as capable as others, I could hear it in his tone that I had gained his trust. Luckily those moments were at the first few hours of the day, so I didn’t feel like my gender affected my role during the shoot. This short working period was very good examine of what happens if the roles are not clear: we managed to handle the loose roles almost the whole day, but the cracks during the last hour was a proof that we couldn’t continue like that for much longer. In this case I think it helped that I was aware that the role defining was not done, so I managed to navigated with that orientation, step aside, ask questions and lighten the air when needed. If I would not have been aware of that I think I would have felt more confused and frustrated during the day. This role defining tool is revolutionary for me, because just year ago I found myself having lots of unexplained frustration issues in many projects and now when I think back at them non-defined roles and people only assuming the responsibilities of others was the reason for all that trouble.
IMAGE 8 Which I took when I had stepped a side for a while after Silas's dad got annoyed. Silas went closer to him to show his support but he didn't say anything. You can also see from the image how different energy Jake had the whole day compared to Jordan; he didn't stop the physical work even during his breaks.
GOING THROUGH MATERIAL A week after the shooting I went to Silas’s home to go through the material. He had just transferred it to his computer. I proposed that we should watch everything through and mark what each clip contains, what are our favourites etc.. He thought that would take too much time and showed me how he would just go through the clips and put the pieces he likes in to a rough edit. He did that so fast with two computers that I felt like he did not even look at the material properly before putting it to the rough edit. (Image 9.) For me that seemed a bit sloppy and even a bit disrespectful for the beautiful and detailed material we had shot and I kept asking him to calm down, but he just wanted the raw edit to be done so he could see what kind of material he should shoot to complete the video. Even I was a bit confused about his way of working I knew that he is more experienced with video editing, so I decided to only assist him to achieve what he wanted to do. He explained to me that he is used to do fast and intuitive rough first versions with both song writing and video editing, and then making new versions repeatedly until he is happy about the song/video. That made me realise that song and video both differ from performance making quite a lot; both are short forms which are quite easy to handle as a whole. Whereas live performances are more complex and it is harder to see how changes in order and content affect to the hour-long performance that they do in 3 minute long song/video. Song writing and video editing also don’t require as much communication between people, the work can be done alone. That new way of approaching the process was very intriguing to me so I could not help but watching Silas working and only commenting from the circus point of view. Even I have considered myself as a quick person, my need of digesting and thinking through is actually slow compared to Silas’s way. Sometimes that makes me ask irrelevant questions too early. By making rough and fast actions Silas pushed those questions for later and it was inspiring to see how he kept being excited about the material and not focusing on the faults and meanings of it. When the final first rough edit had almost twice the song length of material I could see what, he did there.
IMAGE 9 Silas working on the first raw edit with two computers.
NEW MATERIAL WITH NEW WORKING METHOD After doing the rough edit Silas turned to me telling that he thinks the material where he is singing should match up the level of weirdness of the studio images. He asked me how would I approach that, because he knew that visual and bizarre images are my thing. Inspired by the fast editing I proposed two things that intuitively came in my mind after watching the studio material for a few hours: 1.the image of Silas singing should be entirely white because the studio material was black 2. his eyes should not be seen because the most interesting studio material to me were the shots where performers bodies were cropped to be anonymous 3. there should be the element of hands.
We followed the fast working method and started to put those ideas in to action. Soon we had a set for test shots and we shot some surprisingly good material (Image 10). Silas placed that next to the studio shots and we both agreed that the images of actual flowers opening could now be forgotten, because these two worlds together make more sense and are coherent. We agreed that the video still needs one layer of very simple and understandable image, possibly of him singing to the camera in a grey set. We were also wondering if the red tissue could be used again and did some experiments with Silas being seen through the thin silk, but we did not have lighting equipment good enough to try that out in that point. We ended that session with inspired atmosphere and agreed that next steps of editing and shooting more material would be up to him. I promised to give him feedback and help with shooting more material if needed.
IMAGE 10 Test shots of Silas singing in white with his eyes covered with sheep fur.
FEEDBACK In late May Silas finally sent me the rough edit for feedback (video is at the bottom of this page). I kept telling myself that it is only a raw version and that some of the material will be replaced with new material. Still I found the result very flat compared to the visions we had. I thought that is a matter of dramaturgy, but because I had no idea what was the narrative Silas was aiming towards I ended up writing him a feedback where I communicated my experiences while watching the video, asked questions and proposed some ideas (Image 11). This phase was hard for me, because I aimed to let go from the project because my agreed job was already done, but I still wanted to help Silas to improve the video and of course I wanted the final outcome to present our work well.
He was thankful for my feedback and admitted that he had got stuck with the material because his screenwriter friend did not have time to help him after all. I happened to go out with group of my TV-editor friends the next day and I asked their advice for Silas. They said that editing material where you perform yourself or which is very precious to you should never be edited alone. Ideally you should not edit material where you are performing at all, but because we didn’t have any resources to hire anyone else to edit the material we should at least get an outside eye for this stage. It was funny realizing that outside eyeing is needed both in video making and performance making. My friends emphasized not to just ask anyone, but to ask someone who was experienced with video editing. They said that they could try to help, but it would be easier if someone could sit down with Silas in the edit. The next day I realised that my classmate Courtney Prokopas would be a perfect person for doing the job! Courtney was happy to help and I paired her up with Silas and provided her with the rough edit video and my comments on it. They had a meeting two days later and what I heard was that Silas now knows what direction to take and is organizing a new shooting session, so Courtney definitely was a right person to ask.
ENDING THE PROJECT Pairing Silas and Courtney was very good way to end my process for now with the music video. It is always better to have help from right professionals than trying to do new areas by yourself. That applies to all directing work and I think one of the biggest areas of directing actually is combining the strengths of different specific professions. I have promised to provide the new video shooting session with some hand acting and organizing help. We are also planning to organize a premiere for the video so that we could invite all the performers to watch the final video and thank them by offering them dinner. The aimed deadline for the final video is in August and I am looking forward following the process until the end. I learned a lot mostly about a working from the side for a client and about communication between circus performers and other artists. Even there were some difficulties I think those were only a good learning experiences and overall I enjoyed the process a lot. Enjoying my work is also something I have bounced back after years of being lost with finding the enjoyable side that performing arts used to have when they were only a hobby. Now I feel very privileged having a profession which I enjoy doing while knowing that I will always keep learning new things through other people; directing is always collaborating.