In this short film, the idea of social stereotypes is explored through interactions within a confined space. The addition and subtraction of bodies qualifies as site-specific work because each body is finding new ways to utilize the allocated space in and around other people. The characters of this story experience the everyday interactions that are taken for granted as pedestrian and inconsequential, but the bound nature of the elevator magnifies the over dramatization of their personas, conveying an aspect of unreality. Pushing these boundaries, these characters navigate their physical and social surroundings in a way that illustrates the importance of incidental moments that are constantly happening around us. These moments are important because human gestures, along with all nonverbal language, are an essential form of communication that is currently being lost in today’s society. The perpetual reconfiguration of the inhabitants in the elevator demonstrates the exploration of how bodies can change the appearance and depth of a space, even if the space appears flat and two dimensional at first glance. The inert state of the elevator makes it an ideal location to demonstrate this hypothesis, while reiterating how bodies entering and exiting a space can give it depth and dimension. WARNING, PG-13: Some content in this video may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13.
This was the description we put alongside my group’s video featured in the “Moving Space” digital video gallery that is currently on display in Sullivant Hall. The idea was to choose a space anywhere inside of that gorgeous building that the Dance Department is so lucky to call “home,” create a work that explored bodies moving in and out of a space, and then make a short film using that content.
Initially, we thought the elevator would be a really interesting choice of space because it is so confined and unyielding. Then it occurred to us that it was a perfect choice for the assignment! Bodies do nothing but move in and out and around with in them all day long, but we consume those pedestrian patterns and choreography without even taking note.
Mason Chapello created the soundtrack for our film in GarageBand. We, as a group, were initially weary of trying to create elevator music from scratch but we all clearly underestimated the musical skills and talent that Mason has in his toolbox because the track, with it’s accumulation and subtle build up to the end could not have turned out more perfect. Check out this link for my post describing my personal adventures in GarageBand.
Kelly Korn who did the majority of the editing, chose to do it in iMovie. The film was shot in one long take, with the camera set up on a tripod so that the elevator doors took up the entire frame. She clipped out the time in between the doors opening and closing, as well as very subtly sped up a couple of the scenes for both practical (we were working with a time limit) and comical (who doesn’t love a little high speed slapstick comedy) purposes.
We had only about 4 hours to come up with a concept, film it, and edit it. I was anticipating a lot of stress and rushing and being crunched for time, but the process itself ended up being a blast. When you don’t have time to second guess or analyze too much, you have to go with your gut! or just improv–improv is always an option, in both dance and life.
All in all, it has been an amazing first semester as a Dance BFA at Ohio State and I feel truly blessed by the universe for this opportunity to explore myself in every way that I exist on my own, as well as in tangent with others.