On the 22nd of June 2015 we launched our short film “A City Like This”. We have always been motivated to show Russia as the modern and creative country it is and its people are as the diverse, complicated and joyful as you would find anywhere.
We first got involved with Dance Walking as participants when it first found its way to Russia via Alexander Girshon, a psychologist and dance therapist, and from the very beginning we realised that there is a great film to be made.
A very nice film to watch and story to hear, with a certain amount of pleasure in seeing Russians in a way we do not often get to see in the West.
Short of the Week
In 2012 Ben Aaron, a reporter from New York City brought Dance Walking to a wider audience when he spotted a guy on 5th avenue with headphones dancing on his own and joined him. He discovered that this form of dance walking combines three of his favorite things: Interacting with people, seeing the city and dancing.
Very quickly the idea spread to other countries as the world’s newest fitness craze and in 2014 it reached Moscow as well as the other cities of Russia.
2014 was full of complicated events in Russia and in all corners of the world, and many people seemed to be looking for something positive, something inspiring that could be a distraction if just for a short time.
So when Alexander Girshon announced Dance Walking on social media, it was the perfect time for people to go out into the streets, get involved and share something new. He didn’t expect so many people would come straight away and that it would grow into what it has now become. People of different backgrounds and ages all united by their passion for dance.
Filming Dance Walking Moscow
Our Producer Alyona Pimanova attended the very first Dance Walking in Moscow as she has her own love of dance. She shot some beautiful footage on her phone and when we saw it in the office, we all agreed straight away that this would make a lovely short film.
We met with Alexander Girshon and made preparations to shoot the next Dance Walking. We shot it with 3 cameras and all of the team had the same music play list in their headphones as the dancers had.
For me this was very important to the shoot, this almost Gonzo treatment would mean the camera team would capture the joy of the dancing with the subjects they were filming.
Dan Smith, Creative Director
As music is such an important part of this film and for copyright reasons we couldn’t use music from the original playlist, we called upon a good friend of ours Alex Beharrell and his wonderful band The Reckostacks. They kindly agreed to let us use their music and it became apparent in post-production that their music gave the film the perfect emotion to accompany the footage.
So we want to say a huge thank you to The Reckostacks. Go buy their music, it is truly moving and beautiful – www.thereckostacks.com
We shared ‘A City Like This’ on social media with the Dance Walking Moscow group as well as Ben Aaron and other people and have been overwhelmed with the positive feedback.
So why not find a Dance Walking event near where you live, join in this wonderful experience as it will truly inspire, you will meet a lot of great people and it will open your eyes to the place you live.
Building up to the release of the single It’s Christmas Time by The Acoustic Reverbs on the 17th Nov 2014 we launch the music video. It has been a great pleasure to work on this project and we know this song will be a great hit as it sums up perfectly the feeling of Christmas.
Lets not forget why we all worked so hard on this song. Taylor Made Dreams support children who are very unwell and don’t have long left. If they can be helped to see a final dream come true then we should all do as much as possible to make that happen.
As part of our documentary Women in Creative Industries, we shared a day with Daxa Parmar, a visual artist who was the mentor during the British Council creative entrepreneur workshop in Moscow which all three of our contributors attended. As well as continuing to support our three creative businesswomen after the workshop she also inspired us to make the film itself.
It was a great honour to be able to film Daxa work in her studio and observe her work, to find out more about her vision and find out what inspirers her. With family life as important as her work, We spent a wonderful evening with Daxa and her daughter, sharing dinner and discussing more about how to combine being creative, making money and running a home all at the same time.
We want to thank Daxa and Molly for letting us follow them for the whole day. If you want to find out more about Daxa’s work, take a look at her website here
We’re are pleased to be continuing our film about Women in Creative Industries with one of its main characters, – Nika Chernyaeva, a modern artist. We have started following her everyday life while she communicates with different creative outlets to represent her work.
We are discovering more about the life style of an artist, all the difficulties that she meets on the way to success as well as learning more about her personality which makes her paintings unique.
We would like to show in this film all the stages of creative business development, the way of dealing with the answer “No” and how to keep motivated when you would sometimes rather stop your creative dreams.
The first weekend in September we filmed the recording of the Christmas charity single “It’s Christmas Time” by the Acoustic Reverbs. 2 long days of recording all the instrument’s and then the singers.
So now all filming, recording and mixing has been done, work starts putting together the music video to accompany the song which will be released on the 17th November 2014 as a CD and digital download.
It’s always a pleasure for us to work with The Acoustic Valium Project, so when Dan Littlechild asked us to get involved we jumped at the chance, especially as this song will be raising money for Taylor Made Dreams, a charity that help children with life limiting illness achieve their dreams.
We have just completed the main interview for our film Dance Walking Moscow. Alexander Girshon spoke in depth about the origins of Dance Walk and the development of this form of dance into the shared experience by the participants. Interestingly this type of event has sprung up in many European cities recently which proves there is a real need for people to come together and express themselves in this way.
This is a massive leap forward for our film as we can now wrap all the great footage we captured at the dance walk around this very inspirational interview. We filmed on a Sony XDCAM EX3 at Naked Studios Moscow.
Production of our new film started in the park opposite Nikulin Circus on Tsvetnoy boulevard where we followed the flashmob style group dance walk all the way to Ekaterininskiy park. It is an amazing sight for onlookers as this large group of people dance through parks, across roads and down busy streets in almost total silence as they all listen to the same playlist through headphones.
We captured the joy felt by the dancers who express themselves in these public places. A Rossia 1 news crew were also there to get some footage and we over heard them ask one dancer “Why dance here, why not in a disco?” The answer to that is very clear to all, this is a much more personal way of creative expression which is not possible in a night club. It is also open to all and was great to see whole families there with many children joining in as well as women with babies in slings dancing.
This film was originally focused around this one dance event where word spreads via social networks, but having now had the chance to spend time with Alexander Girshon, we are looking to develop this film into something bigger. With additional interviews and another event, as well as finding out more about the people involved. A truly organic film and very much a co operation of different creative individuals.