some sketches of my ideas of movement
To express the mass effect of the people, the chaotic in the crowd in the Middle East streets. I want to show this overwhelming feeling through the movement and still poses. I want my models to be very close to each other, and tight, on top of each other. As they were in a Egyptian microbus where there is never enough space for everyone.
"La Marche Bleue" French dance company, movement references
La Marche Bleue is a French dance company directed by a dancer called Leo Walk.
I got inspired by the movement direction on their group photos. I really liked how the models are on top of each other.
carlota guerrero - Paloma Wool - Caos Creación
carlota guerrero is a photographer and art director based in Barcelona who works on personal and commissioned project.
I got a lot inspired by her work during my research. She has this talent to create performances with a lot of people by focusing a lot on the power of the body and its freedom. I absolutely loved everything about her movement directions, her colour palette and even at her casting, how she wants to show how every women is different by her skin, ethnicity and size.
in her work she tends to expose very often the female body and her forms. She also uses dance as a form of empowerment which I love and inspire me to do the same in my work.
paloma wool - Caos Creación stills
carlota guerrero- drained sun
"Drained Sun" this video showed me that even with the simplest decor we can create something strong and powerful. The use of a white ( while room ? ) background highlights much more the movement of the dancers, we focus more on them, how they look, their facial expression and even it make us look more on what they are wearing.
I really enjoyed watching this because of the sobriety of the decor, it made me want to think more of shooting the film in a simpler location without too much detail. To think more in a place like the white lab for example
carlota guerrero - A seat at the table
carlota guerrero - Vogue Brides
This photo inspired me to think about a still position for the film by trying to build a tower made of tires, by putting them on top of each other and the ideal will be that one of the models enters inside this giant tyre tower.
To do list :
Our Brief / to give to models and tutors
White cloth selection from the Costume Store
Styling / Costume decision
Talking about styling, our decision didn't come immediately, we took a long time to experiment and research. Styling can have a big impact on the concept it can not just be something irrelevant and a last minute thing to decide.
We hesitated on many ideas Omar and I, which sometimes put us under tensions and disagreement. He wanted absolutely at the beginning to make each models wear a veil that covers their entire face and a long robe like a big djellaba (the veil is directly linked to the symbol of Islam). I didn't agree to make them wear a veil as it is a symbol of religion and our concept was not about that.
I think choosing the styling was for us two a bit stressful, we got a little too late with that because we weren't sure about the models yet and how many there would be so we weren't organised enough and after that it was to late to order the costumes online or even go and search for them.
Three days before the shoot, I had the idea to show the costume store to Omar and decide from what we will find together. This room was a life saver for us, we first decided to take everything that was white, it didn't matter if it was a dress or a suit, we just took everything. After Omar found 15 similar off white/ cream monks robes, we also decided to take them and put everything on a dress rak.
This collage we made was with the 15 cream robes we found on the costume store. We were inspired by Carlota guerreo´s work "A seat at the table" image selection, the 6 models wearing the purple dress, were each dress is connected.
( carlotaguerrero.com )
carlota guerrero - A seat at the table
make up idea
make up idea
The make up idea came very easily, we clearly knew what we wanted. In fact we decided that before focusing on the styling. Our idea was to concentrate on the color palette we chose, which was the four pastel colours that we spray-painted the tires with. We loved this effect of body paint but why can´t we do it with a spray-paint effect ? The idea is to put the four colours we chose on each models faces to highlight the beauty of these four colors, and to show the contradiction with dirt , smoke and the chaotic effect of when the protesters burns tires.
car tire sell near Camden Town
15 tires collected and put in the mezzanine
10 bottles of spray paint purchased for the 15 tires (blue, pink , purple & yellow)
Color Palettes Decision
The decision for our color palette was very simple, we got inspired by the color palette of the streets of Cairo. We usually see a lot of pastel and bright colors. We see these colors on public transports, on sidewalks, on advertising signs, on street art and even on tires.
The tires that we find on the streets that are used for coffee tables and decoration are usually covered with pastel color paint. We decided to show this by spray-painting them in these 4 pastel colours : Baby Pink, Baby blue, Light yellow and Purple.
We will also use this color palette as an essential tool in our film with the editing, the make up and many other things.
Model / Dancer CASTING
Casting our Models and Dancers
Omar and I, our first decision we took before planning everything, even before creating our concept we wanted one thing for sure, having a lot of people in our project. We really wanted to be ambitious even if it was going to be hard for only a 2 week project. Our idea was to have between 10 to 15 dancers on set, but where are we going to find them?
I remember after the film I did last term for Sinfonietta I contacted 4 dancers but that wasn't enough, but I knew that I was going to be lucky and I had to take this opportunity. Before this project, I did Colab 1 project the month before and I had the chance to work 4 weeks with dancers from London Studio Centre, I knew after this period that I was going to continue to collaborate with them.
I decided to contact the Head of LSC school, Nikki Espinosa and the subject leader of choreography that I had the chance to meet last month Yael Lowenstein to ask them if I can collaborate with the dancers from Collab 1 for two days.
After having recieved the acceptance to collaborate with 6 dancers from LSC, It was still not enough people so I called some people that I already knew from my last film project and also Omar contacted some friends and even classmates. Not everyone were dancers, it didn't really matter anymore because I already knew what I was planning for the movement direction and it was more still movements than an actual choreography.
Omar was very concerned by the casting he wanted diversity, not only girls that looked a like. That was difficult to find especially that our time was very limited.
Video Production Equipment
We managed to get all the necessary equipment we wanted from the CSM loan store.
Thanks to Agnes and Alex our two DOPs, they managed to bring a black magic camera and also a drone, omar and I were very excited about this !!
Sound ideas and research
Oum Kalthoum - Alf Leila wa Leila أم كلثوم , الف ليله وليله ...
Oum Kalthoum was an Egyptian singer, songwriter, and film actress active from the 1920s to the 1970s. She was given the honorific title Kawkab al-Sharq (كوكب الشرق, "Star of the East").
She is a star still shining bright in Egypt she symbolises a happy past, she continues to inspire generation of people from the Arab world. Everyone knows who is Oum Kalthoum in our culture, she was the first singer that popped in our minds when we were doing research for music especially the song Alf Leila wa Leila as its the most famous one and the most listened to by the Egyptian people.
Cairo’s Underground Sounds,Mahraganat
The Dance, Music and Fashion of Cairo's Youth
Mahragan Dance Cairo Egypt | مهرجان حاحا و سادات
Mahraganat or electro shaabi is a genre of Egyptian electronic music. It is a combination of popular shaabi music played at weddings, streets and electronic dance music.
It is how people dance in Cairo´s streets, it is a very weird dance for me when I watch the people dancing because they try to move their body part as quickly as possible. Its weird but its unique at the same time.
Ash - Mosaïque (Live at The Pyramids)
Cairo wedding: Kids dancing in alley
sounds of Cairo
The sound of Cairo, on the streets, the traffic and the noise of cars that we hear endlessly. For me ,this noise is what makes all the charm of this city, without it Cairo doesn't exist.
I had the idea of inserting this sound at the beginning and at the end of the film
Final Music decision for the film
We both decided together to choose this song for our film, the decision was made on our way home in the bus while we were listening to music. For us this song was the best combination for its rhythm and the instruments chosen, the musician Molotof managed to make a mix of electronic music that can be played in nightclubs by still using traditional Egyptian melody and instruments. That was exactly what we were looking for, a sound that represents us, youth and the sound we love about Egyptian music and sound that we can hear in Cairo´s streets.
Finding the location
Finding the location for the shoot was the hardest and the most stressful part for us two. Our film was going to be filmed in two days, luckily we managed to book the film studio at CSM from 10 to 1 pm on Wednesday but this day for us was only supposed to be for green screen scenes and test shoots and we only asked 3 models to come for that day.
The most important day was Thursday, we were so stressed because all the studios at CSM were booked, from film and photography studio nothing was available even the White and the Black lab were booked.
Omar and I started to think to look from outside the university, we had this idea in our head for the big shoot day (Thursday) with the 15 models to film it in a garage, junkyard environment, we thought it will be a very good idea with the concept of the tires. We started to search everywhere on the net and even ask people but everything was too expensive it was from 100-200 pounds per hour, we couldn't afford any of this.
Two days before the shoot were very hectic and stressful, we were desperate to find a place, luckily I managed to book the mezzanine room for the entire day as a backup, but it was still not ideal for us because the celling wasn't high enough and the width of the room was not large to fit all the models and the 15 tires we had, also the mezzanine was full of the mess of all the students from PDP, we clearly didn't had enough time to clean everything.
I finally decided to not give up about the white lab, and contacted the people that booked it from 10 to 5, it was CoLab 2, they unfortunately told me that it wasn't going to be possible but I still should contact the person that booked it from 6 to 9 pm.
I finally sent an email to my main tutor Peter Bond to explain him the situation and he told me that he will try to help to convince the person who booked it. Finally, I got very lucky and the person responded to my email by saying that she will give me the time slot, I was very happy and I learned that if we want something so bad we can but we have to fight for it .
WE WERE FINALLY GOING TO FILM IN THE WHITE LAB ON THURSDAY WITH THE 10-15 DANCERS AND THE WHOLE CREW FROM 6 TO 9M!!