The story is this in a nutshell: Two performers try out for a role at a local theater but they come face to face with an enigmatic director who exposes their deepest relationship fears. With each step of the dance they take two steps into the dark side of love.
Love like that again was a day dream brought to life by an awesome creative circle of friends. The musical artist was Josh Money who worked with me on the Superman, Tiger Woods, MMA and the NFL Blitz video games.
The concept of our video got rolling after we saw the Lindsey Stirling- Crystallize video back in March. Josh and I had been considering doing a video of some sort for a long while but we didn't really know what the subject would be. During a talk with Josh, the film Black Swan came up and the whole concept of a dancer transforming into a persona brought an exciting new perspective on our future video. I just so happen to know a couple of classically trained dancers and so my next phone call went to Tamara and Alonso Millar at Flamenco Del Sol.
Flamenco Del Sol has been performing in Orlando for years down at Universal Studios and many other venues in the Florida area. Josh sent Tamara the music to see if she would be interested in working with it as the style was about as far from Flamenco as it gets. Tamara and Alonso decided to accept the project to explore new territory as dancers.
The next meeting roped in Kyle Vest, a makeup and special effects artist from Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights and Florida Cinematographer Fernando Lopes . Now things were starting to get interesting so we really started to develop the story. This project was such a dramatic departure from the norm for all of us the energy and ideas flew like crazy.
Tamara took several weeks to lay out all the Choreography and then presented it to Fernando and I to analyze for a storyboard. In July Fernando and I sat down and drafted the 54 scene storyboard and presented it back to the group. Now it was time to find the place to shoot.
The Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center is located in the historic district of Sanford Florida. It was an idealistic theater for the storyline with it's layout and old school charm. We worked a deal with the managers and were elated to shoot there.
To prep for the special effects and make up I helped Kyle Vest make 35 feet of fake barb wire that was supposed to be wrapped around the lead dancers during the transformation sequence. The wire was made with simple string and white glue and painted silver
In late August, the dream started to become a reality as cameras fired up under the stage lights for what would be a 7-hour shoot.. yep 54 scenes with radical makeup adjustments in just 7 hours.
Alonso and I going over the shots before the scene
Here is a little behind the scenes look at what went on the day of the shoot:
Footage courtesy of Bang Bang Productions
Other photos from that day:
Kyle Vest preparing Tamara for her first transformation scene
The whole cast and crew
Kyle setting up the makeup station
Kyle faces his creation
And sometimes after a long day of shooting you just have to be silly
After the shoot, the long process of edit and color stylization began.
The "Scarf Fight" as we called it was one of the big action scenes on stage. We shot this from three angles, including one that involved me on my back sliding across the stage on a skateboard to get the shot.
The emotion of the dancers was impossible not to feel on stage. I often found myself so focused on what I was seeing that it was easy to forget we were filming.
The director role was originally going to be played by Josh Money himself but he had moved to Detroit before the shoot so Bernice Chaberier took the spot. The character was supposed to be enigmatic with a dark side presence ...likely how most auditioners feel about the person judging them.
My favorite moment in the video when the couple become fully transformed into their personas. Visually I loved the light columns and the bleak feeling of the color palette
A final edit emerged in September and though it hit all the storyboard points the 5:30-minute tune was simply too long to just be about the theater experience so a second storyboard was drafted up and shot in the forests of Florida.
The outside scenes were filmed in the woods near Apopka Florida. I have always wanted to film a chase scene.
Some still photographs were used in the video to show little details that helped the overall feel of the story.
And what is the story really?
Well the concept here is that this couple is like any other couple in a long-term relationship, there is great chemistry, at first, a lot of love and passion but often as time goes on outside forces (in this case the director) influences their spirit. Things such as greed, jealousy, and control can take over to the point where the same two people become monsters to each other. Of course, sometimes, as in this story, things go too far and the male lead loses the one he loves and discovers he was equally as much a monster and chases his true love away but in his regret he cannot change what has happened, evil has won. At the end of the film, a set of clipboards fall and we see one says "Money" both for the name of the music artist but also to illustrate greed. You may have noticed the six other clipboards behind it...collectively the seven sins that the director illustrates into each the dancers lives, custom tailored for each act (to find the sin that breaks them).
This is also why the couple we see running out of the audition at the start looks so distraught, it's foreshadowing of the evil this couple will soon face. Not a happy story but it's a beautifully danced metaphorical look at part of the human struggle of love and loss.
Now here in October, the horror themed dub step/Flamenco dance video seems right at home for a Halloween release. We had a blast making this and hope the fans enjoy it.
If you like the music you can download it here:
Jesse James Allen
Directed and Edited By
Jesse James Allen
Dance Choreography By
Tamara and Alonso Millar
Flamenco Del Sol
Makeup and special effects by
The Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center
Thanks for reading!
- Jesse James Allen