I was able to attend the We Are Queens music video production day before Thanksgiving break. I was so excited to see what it takes to produce a music video in a one day mass production setting. I took a back seat, as well as a helping hand, for the choreographer and creative visionary. Every precaution was taken in order to ensure everyones safety and health involved- the video was shot inside the dance building, in the Betty Paese Studio Theatre. Everyone was wearing masks and 6ft apart.
We Are Queens has created a community outreach program through these music videos. This is their 6th successful video in the year and half of first forming as a nonprofit arts organization. To begin, a statement is released on their social media platforms, as well as, their website; they advertise that they are now beginning to accept applications for dancers, choreographers, and creative visionaries (director and person behind the message of the music video). The creative visionary and choreographer do not need to be dancers or even artists, they just need to be people looking to get involved in a welcoming organization, and share an empowering, personal message. Once selected, the choreographer and creative visionary meet and discuss ideas, location, message, and choreography with Tal (the founder), creative director, music editor, and videographer. After the initial meeting the choreographer and creative visionary will be in constant contact discussing and finalizing ideas. Before the video shoot there is a WIP (work in progress) where the choreographer presents the choreography they have create to the 5 exec members and dancers. This meeting will give the choreographer the feedback corrections they need before shooting the video. Finally, the day of the video shoot arrives!
The day began at 1 where I helped Tal and the creative director set up the curtains in the studio to create a black box theatre effect. We also cleaned the floors and disinfected the stereo system, 2020 mood.
The choreographer, Emma Zordan, rehearsed and cleaned the movement that she had created previously before coming to the shoot. The dancers were sent the choreography via video a week prior, but to make sure the dance was cleaned and all of the dancers questions were answered, the choreographer ran the movement with them before bringing out the camera. Zordan also added in formations and timing dynamics to make the music video more interesting and powerful.
Before shooting the choreographer and creative visionary (Nya Johnson) spoke to the dancers and explained what this process and message behind this music video means to them. Emma, Zordan, and dancers were all selected, from the hundreds of eager artists who applied to showcase their talents and personal stories in this music video. These dancers are eager to be a part of this community as well as have the opportunity to perform during a time of COVID.
After almost three hours, it was finally time to shoot.
It was so interesting to see the difference between dancing on stage versus dancing for a camera. With the camera being so close to the dancers faces they often time really dance for the camera and use their facial expressions to help tell the story. Unfortunately with masks the emoting that they often do is inhibited, however, they still managed to express the powerful message through their eyes and strong dynamic movement. It was so amazing to see the space transform into a performance space, even if it is just for the camera. The curtains, lighting, and camera really helped this whole production come together. Recording the dance only took about an hour and a half, the videographer took many takes and recorded each section from different angles, ensuring that when editing the video she would have a lot to work with.
The beautiful case of dancers!
The music video will be released on Saturday on the We Are Queens Instagram. I highly recommend checking it out!