Hall of Mirrors

For my project I filmed my dance teacher, Francis, dancing in a reflection. Preliminarily I was unsure about how to film Francis, at first I considered using a new wave effect- i.e making the camera jumpy and capturing only elements of his body at different times, to create a playful effect. In the end however I set upon a simpler style, just placing the camera upon a box and not moving it at all.

The piece in question is seven minutes long, black and white, and silent.  I collaborated with my friend, a professional photographer, to create the film. Before filming my teacher, we filmed the mirrors in a dance studio on their own for a few minutes, and then later introduced Francis onto the scene. Francis did several different ballet poses in the mirrors and we filmed both his body in front of the mirrors as well as his reflection in the mirrors. The camera used was a Canon 5d mk 3 with a wide angle lens of 16mm. The film was  shot with a frame rate of 24 fps in order to achieve a more filmic look. The aperture was f11 in order to keep everything in focus during the shoot.

After filming, editing was done. For the final edit we created the kaleidoscope effects through Final Cut Pro X. We also used a mirror filter in the non kaleidoscopic parts. For some sections, we experimented with slow motion to give a dream-like effect to the action.

I really like the way it turned out as it is quite minimalistic, owing to the fact that there was only one individual in the film, with only environmental noise. I wanted to play around  with the lighting but unfortunately I could not obtain any LED lights. I would have also liked to have done more close-ups, capturing Francis’s reflection in the mirror better. Finally I am unsure about the length of the piece- initially I wanted it only to be a very short piece but the outcome’s duration was much longer than this. I believe that  the message of the video might be more powerfully portrayed if the video was shorter, perhaps it should have been 4 minutes and 33 seconds, in homage to Cage’s 4’33”. The video can be viewed below: