Production Update — Week 3

12 Mar

This was the big week for us– Bo’s Locally Grown Dance Festival performance. It was breathtaking to say the least. She performed a 14 minute solo in the Ithaca College faculty component of the performance. It took place in the Schwartz Center in Collegetown, a beautiful building with an even more beautiful stage. And Bo really lit it up.

We arrived early before the show started to shoot Bo warming up. She found an empty studio upstairs from the theater and began her warm up process, which entails barre work and stretching followed by going over her routine in its entirety and then working on specific parts. We ran into some technical snares (as per usual), when we realized that there was still footage on our SD card from a previous shoot on a GY-700 and since we were now using a JVC-100 we couldn’t delete it, at least not to our knowledge. Luckily, after frantically running around looking for a computer, we found a nice guy who let us use his to delete the footage. A serious word of caution about making sure your SD card is empty.

After Bo warmed up we talked to her about how she was feeling. She said she was calm, and that in order to have a good performance one has to be calm. We followed her down to the green room where she continued to get ready and talked to the other dancers, including Lindsay Gilmour, the modern teacher who Bo is subbing for. A few minutes before the show started we left Bo and took to our spots on the balcony where we set up the camera. We had a nice view of the whole stage and practiced some panning and zooming action and also got some shots of the theater.

Bo was the third to perform and the audience loved it. Overall it was an amazing show. Feedback about Bo’s performance was completely congratulatory. I talked to some of the people I dance with and they were in awe of the way Bo moves, from her quick yet fluid movements to her simple yet strong stage presence.

Now we can check the performance off our list and continue to shoot Bo’s modern class and do some more interviews. In the upcoming weeks we plan to get interviews from those who know Bo, like her students and her husband. We are interested in what they have to say, and I’m sure they will be willing to talk–after the performance, Bo was all anyone could talk about.

Production Update – Week 2

2 Mar

After an extremely busy first week of production, we took things a bit slower in week two. We had one shoot this week, on Monday, February 27. We returned to the modern dance class that Bo teaches through the Ithaca College dance department, and captured footage of her teaching her students a new dance.

The new choreography was thuggish… literally! The beginning of the dance symbolized the cocking and loading of a gun, and the rest of the dance dramatically depicted the dangers and fears that go along with living a life of crime. In the interview that we conducted last week, Bo mentioned that American students, while technically less solid than Korean students (in her opinion), are far better at improvising and adding emotion to their dancing. After her students mastered the incredibly acrobatic choreography, she told them to improvise and create characters for the choreography. The dance studio suddenly turned into a theatre, and everyone played the part of both actor and dancer.

We shot with a GY-700 and a phantom-powered boom mic. We’re confident that we have all of the basic shots from rehearsals and her dance classes, so we took the opportunity to get creative and capture shots from some interesting angles, and take some that incorporated the dance studio’s large mirror.

Next week is expected to be just as busy as week one. The Cornell Locally Grown Dance Festival occupies the second half of the week, so we will be headed to shoot Bo Kyung’s performance on Thursday night. We also plan to shoot at one of her final rehearsals and conduct an interview about her rehearsal methods and her thoughts on her performance.

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2 Mar

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Production Update – Week 1

27 Feb

It’s been an exciting, busy and productive first week for CouchBoat Productions!

We had our first shoot on the night of Tuesday February 21. We shot footage in a dance studio at the Cornell’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, where Bo Kyung is rehearsing for the Cornell Locally Grown Dance Festival. We filmed her warming up process, which involves a lot of terrifying-looking stretches and catchy Korean pop music; and a practice run of her 14-minute solo modern dance piece entitled “Unquenchable Thirst.” We were fortunate enough to be the first people to see “Unquenchable Thirst” performed. To say that the piece is emotionally evocative, and simply beautiful, is a gross understatement.

The dance studio had excellent lighting and acoustics, and we’re confident that we captured some interesting and aesthetically pleasing shots. We’re looking forward to reviewing the footage.

In light of Bo Kyung’s exhausting rehearsal hours, we returned to IC too late to return the GY-700s on the same day. After one day of shooting, we have unfortunately already used up $500 of our production budget.

The following day, we filmed one of the modern dance classes that Bo Kyung teaches at Ithaca College. We followed her and her students, mostly students in the theatre school, through stretches, dance exercises and some incredibly challenging modern choreography. The Dillingham Center dance studio provided fantastic lighting, opportunity for some creative camera work and excellent acoustics. With the help of the fabulous Drew, we were able to get a boom mic up and working in concert with the GY-700. As a result, we can hear Bo Kyung giving instruction over the music and other incidental dance class noises.

For the final shoot of the week, the CouchBoat girls returned to the Schwartz Performing Arts Center for an interview with Bo. Bo told us about her dance career in Korea, her many professional dance accolades, where dance has taken her (literally all over the world!) and where she hopes it will take her. She ended with a few comments on her time in Ithaca, and how it is different from her hometown, the capital of South Korea, Seoul. The entire interview has a simple, elegant and powerful tone.

In short and as previously mentioned, it has been a fabulous first week out for CouchBoat Productions. We are thrilled to be ending this week with nearly three hours of dance footage, b roll and interviews.

Plans are already in the works for more shoots next week. On Monday, February 27, we will be shooting another one of her Ithaca College dance classes, for which she prepares new choreography each time.