I am super super super excited tonight as we are so very close to the release of the official dance version video for Zachary Ray’s song Let Go!
I can’t believe we are almost there and it fills me with so much joy to see this come to life. I didn’t get to write about the process here before, so I want to write a little something about it so I can look back later and remember the steps in the road. Or just some random highlights too. Giggles. If you follow my blog or instagram posts you would know I love being a little random.
My first memory is standing in the rain with the dancer and film crew wondering if we could really shoot that day. I hadn’t realized we really have to do the shoot that day. Some of the team were flying out to other cities in India and the US that very afternoon. It’s a 4 minute piece so perhaps filming wouldn’t actually be so crazy. But it took more than 6 hours, and I don’t know how many times of doing this really strenuous piece on a grimy wet terrace surface to get all the different camera angles and takes. So exhilarating. The dancer Rayan of course was getting really mucky with the mud and the rain and just the one costume change. I was literally hitting him with a towel to get the mud off so we had parity between takes. Quite hilarious really.
We had such a fabulous team on the shoot led by a dear friend Krishna. It was an honor and privilege to work with each one, looking at the best angles for the choreography to be filmed. I have to say I have never felt so spoiled. Everyone was so professional, redoing things if it wasn’t quite right. No wonder the hours just slipped away. At the end though, time was so tight, I seriously was praying everybody made their flight.
Rewinding abit, to studio time in February, the choreographic exploration was quite a difficult process. The lyrics and meaning of the song are so beautiful but quite poignant as well. As an artist creating movement to echo images from the song and create other layers of meaning I felt it wouldn’t work if I wasn’t vulnerable. And neither could the dancer. Movement material wasn’t the most difficult part, I did what I usually do, took my time to envision, research and develop. Coaching the dancer to bring out the best performance quality, emotion and presence, this meant much more work in a sense. We spent many rehearsals just talking about life situations that were not just relevant to what the song talked about but also our own personal stories. I am so grateful to Rayan who performs this piece for really going all out.
Meanwhile, Zac was in the US and I would keep sending video footage from rehearsals. It was wonderful to collaborate with him and really feel like we were so much on the same wavelength thinking and imagining on the realization of this project. I had to really pitch with the tech team to do the shoot on the terrace versus a closed indoor space. But I am so glad they agreed and we could make it happen. The cloudy weather and rain were actually perfect.
The final phase was doing reviewing the edits. Gershom in Chennai was so great with taking into account all the tiny tweaks and notes. I am so proud of the finished video that will come out soon. I think my happiest memory in this phase was the out of the blue any time of day video calls from the director!! We make such a happy team though and this multi-city cross border international project has actually fallen into place quite seamlessly. It has taken more time in every phase than I first thought it would, but it feels great to have put in the hours. A sweet artistic reward awaits. All this said, Let Go, might make you think of the difficult moments in your life, but I hope you also know there is a way out, there is hope, there is freedom.
Let Go, Zachary Ray, check out youtube very soon! https://www.youtube.com/user/MrZacharyray