A Ballet Ruse


A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with screen writer & director Darius Gardner on "A Ballet Ruse (An Act of Persuasion During Matinee)." This was one of those projects where immediately after I read the script, I was in. A moral dilemma of good and evil as it dances into a man's consciousness just as he's about to make a life changing decision. How could I not be interested? 


Another big draw from a cinematography stand point was that he wanted to shoot it all essentially in one shot. This meant a lot of planning and vision from the beginning. After Darius had put all of the pieces in place we began to map out the choreography of our ballet dancers, actors, & production crew. 


Onset in a ballet studio in the afternoon we all went over the choreography a few times and then went straight into shooting. We wanted to keep the camera motion fluid, but it real time, so I decided to shoot at 30FPS with full resolution. I had rented out a tokina 11-16mm lens and shot at 14mm with the aperture set at 2.8 for a slightly shallow depth of field and used my glidecam to create a dreamy effect. After about 4 or 5 takes we wrapped in the studio and moved to our final shot outside. 


After hours spent editing & color grading "A Ballet Ruse" was complete just in time to be submitted to the Western Michigan University Bronco Film Festival where it won the award for best cinematography. Huge props to Darius for making his vision become a reality and bringing me on as director of photography. 

Check out: A Ballet Ruse (An Act of Persuasion During Matinee) below.