FilmDance is a film trilogy exploring the relationship between different film styles and shooting techniques and dance and movement. The idea was to connect a choreography made specially for specific places with different film styles, chosen according to the place-event-dance style. The goal was to challenge both Grenland Dance Company as well as the audience to what a dance film – or dance on film – should be and/or can be.
TLH is behind the film esthetical concepts and choice of shooting techniques. He invited Grenland Dance Company to a collaboration. Artistic leader of GDC, Tine Fossmo and artist duo Siri & Snelle are the choreographers and responsible for the dance chosen to suit each film. The FilmDance project is supported by Sørnorsk filmsenter, The Norwegian Audio and Visual Fund, and The Norwegian Arts Council.
FilmDance was initiated by TLH as an opportunity to get to play with genres and expressions in a wider artistic range than what is possible in his daily job in the production company Vepz Media. Here he mainly does commercial video and commercials. TLH is also behind the 8-film cycle Remembrance (2007), also with dancers and a free form. The FilmDance project represents a wish to take the concepts from this project one step further. The original idea was to produce five films but due to lack of funding the project was reduced to three films.
The shooting period mainly took place during three weeks in August 2012. The films had their premiere screening at the Film Centre Charlie in Porsgrunn (N) on November 30. 2012.
FilmDance 1: Lense Flare
Location: The parking house of the Down Town shopping mall in Porsgrunn, with additional material shot at the TV-house in Nenset, Skien. Filmed with surveillance cameras and RED high definition camera.
The main part of the film was shot on the 8th floor of a parking house at a mall in Porgrunn. The picture quality of video surveillance systems is generally so poor that we cheated and shot using highly mounted and fixed video cameras (Sony EX1). The images was supposed to be flat with poorly set contrast; we found it easier to pull quality down that to work with and try to fix poor images, especially since this material includes some amounts of Fx material.
The film has no strong story; just a series of strange scenes and happenings develops at the parking house. These are watched by a security guard, who soon finds himself drawn into the action.
Added to this, we shot the security guard scenes in an abandoned television studio with the high definition RED camera. The point to these shots was to do everything the opposite of the parking house scenes: Camera movements, colour, a super high quality resolution camera, etc.
The main problem was to edit the film without a strong storyline or rhythmic musical score but still end up with a good, filmic rhythm. In the beginning I solved this by editing after metronome clicks, and made cuts on a 4th- and 8th-form; just as the dancers worked with movements on 8 counts. Then I added the soundscapes material, made by noise artist Lasse Marhaug, added to this again rhythmic elements, ambience sounds and effects sounds I made myself, making layers upon layers of sounds until I was satisfied.
Working out of the 8-count form gave a fixed but also organic expressive form, as the length of a clip depends on how much is happening in the image. A 4 second image with no or little action will be perceived as longer than an image in 8 seconds with much action. Of course, manipulating the audience receptions of the films dramaturgy is one of the main tasks of the film editor.
Finally I messed everything up with no regard to the 4/8 counts to make the film find its own natural rhythm.
Concept and Director: Tom Løberg Hovinbøle. Choreographer: Anne-Kathrine Fossmmo. Soundscapes/Mastering: Lasse Marhaug. Dancers: Caroline M.H. Skjørshammer, Ole Aleksander Hansen, Rathi Windrati. The Guard: Steinar Sande. Stab Parking House: Camera Technician: Tom Marius Kittilsen. Lights: Terje Gundersen. Technician /Grip: Torgeir Kalvehagen. Grip: Henning Nystad. Production Manager: Jonas B. Olsen. Still Photographer: Max Emanuelson. Stab Studio: RED camera operator: Olav Skogøy. Lights: Daniel Fahre. Props/Production Manager Studio: Hanna Hekkelstrand. Post Production: Editor: Tom Løberg Hovinbøle. Green Screen/Fx: Daniel Fahre. Sound Mixing: Tom Chimmichurri. Thank You: Bent Rosenberg / Down Town, Sparebank 1 Telemark. Producer: Tom Marius Kittilsen.
FilmDance 2: Prelude
Filmed with mobile phone cameras at Café Sitt ned in Skien (N), on August 16. 2012, with a dance happening taking place live in front of an (mostly) unwitting audience.
The challenge here was to capture a live atmosphere where the dance happening was not only to be filmed but should also create real reactions from the audience.
The original idea was that the choreographers-dancers, Siri & Snelle, was to interact with the audience and thus create situations and reactions that would be an important part of the film. Unfortunately the final choreography was to be more scenic and the contact with the audience for the most part evaporated. The music was performed live by pianist Anette Röde Hagnell; the Chopin piece selected gave the film its title but also added an important element to the films live feeling.
The concept here was to give ordinary people out for a coffee and lunch – preoccupied with their daily life – an experience of something not quite ordinary, and then to capture this together with the dance/performance. We used mobile phones (three Apple iPhones and one Samsung Galaxy), and made micro stories for each table to justify and camouflage why there was filming going on; at one table a girl had her birthday, at another a guy was showing of his new phone, etc.
The style and editing process was somewhat inspired by among other Mike Figgis’ film “Time Code” (2000) and Norman Jewisons work on the main titles for «The Thomas Crown Affair» (1968; Jewison in his turn was inspired by the film maker Christopher Chapman). The idea was from the beginning to work with an images-in-images aestethics so that the viewer could see the same action-and-reaction from different viewpoints at the same time.
Concept og Director: Tom Løberg Hovinbøle. Choreography and Dance: Siri & Snelle Produksjoner. Photographers: Max Emanuelson, Tom Løberg Hovinbøle, Tom Marius Kittilsen, Jonas B Olsen. Musician: Anette Röde Hagnell. Music: “La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin” by Claude Debussy. Sound: Espen Mjøen. Mastering: Lasse Marhaug. Lights: Terje Gundersen. Technician and grip: Henning Nystad. Editor: Tom Løberg Hovinbøle. Thank you to: all the unwitting guests, all the extras, Anne Helene Westby and the employees at Café Sitt ned, Sparebank 1 Telemark. Production Manager: Jonas B Olsen. Producer: Tom Marius Kittilsen, Anne-Kathrine Fossmo
FilmDance 3: Picnic At the Beach
Filmed in the kitchen and living room of our scenographer Guro Dale, using Super 8mm Kodak Echtachrome 100D. The film was developed thru and digitized by FilmTek in Kristiansand (N).
As we didn’t fully trust the technology – and old Yashica Sound 50XL that producer Tom Marius Kittilsen bought on the net for a mere 700 NOK – we shot everything twice. Once on analogue film with an extra take on video for safety. Our fears proved unfounded; the camera delivered perfectly and the final result was more than we had bargained for.
This turned out to be a more strenuous shoot as I this time also functioned as a cameraman. Add to that that Guro’s house didn’t exactly give us spacious working conditions. But she lives in a private museum and her love of the retro style really gave this film an edge, together with composer Espen Gundersens lovely period music.
After all the planning and rigging the main problem turned out to be the cameras automatic light meter, causing the parts of the action that took place in front of the windows to blacken out. This ruined some shots and corrupted the flow in the scenes and arrangements taking place in the kitchen where the camera position was more fixed to a spot than in the living room.
The idea behind this film was to play around with the shooting situation. An uncle films as the rest of the family prepares for a picnic at the beach. The family clowns in front of the camera, which also captures some moments that are not part of the official family idyll. The story of this film – the clearest of the three films – plays on the conflict between the hidden relationship between the characters as opposed to the pure comedy form presented by the style and expression of the medium.
The quality shooting on genuine film stock here gives a perfect match to the scenography, clothes and props used; even to the point of the car we used. Doing this on video and manipulating this with After Effects would never have given the same texture and feel to the film. Visually the film came out better than I had dared to hope for. Technical limitations, tear and wear on the film, jumping out of sync, the uncle’s waving around, are elements that were used in the editing of the film as bridges, plot points, etc.
The film stock was developed in Berlin and digitized by FilmTek, a company in Kristiansand (N). Except for toning down the red of the colours and lightening the images at certain points, nothing was done to the look and feel of the film.
Concept, Photographer, Director: Tom Løberg Hovinbøle. Choreography: Anne-Kathrine Fossmo. Music: Espen Gjelstad Gundersen. Scenography, Props, Costumes: Guro Dale. The Players: Mother: Caroline M.H. Skjørshammer. Father: Ole Aleksander Hansen. The Child: Ingeborg Dale Lauvli. The Uncle: Tom Løberg Hovinbøle. Production Manager: Jonas B. Olsen. Director of Lights: Terje Gundersen. Rigging and Technician: Henning Nystad. Still Photographer: Max Emanuelson. Editor: Tom Løberg Hovinbøle. Musicians: Åsmund Knutson (drums), Hugo Risdal (guitar), Guttorm Guttormsen (flute), Håkon Guttormsen (trumpet), Espen Gjelstad Gundersen (keyboard, programming). Thank You: Berit Iversen, Kjetil Vala, Guro Dale and family, Sparebank 1 Telemark. Producer: Tom Marius Kittilsen