Portrait of a Dancer Short film with the BMC Pocket Camera

Telling an intense story with stunning visuals is every filmmaker’s goal and dream. After filming our mini documentary BAD MUSIC we wanted to tell an even more personal story. BAD MUSIC was not much about the visual part but really more about what the people were thinking about music. It was an honest conversation with different types of artists and musicians.

For our next project we wanted to keep it short and intense so the audience would get the feeling that the film could have been longer. Pretty much like a trailer. We didn’t have to think long to come up with an idea of whom to film and portray. Our good friend Lukas is obsessed with dancing and it’s truly his passion so we decided to make a little film about him.

Below is the portrait called THE IMPROVISOR.


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Thanks to Beatsuite.com for providing the great music.

We wanted to mix the interview part with the performance part to keep the piece as interesting as possible. The performance part was filmed spontaneously at night in the streets of Frankfurt. Lukas is somebody who really does a lot of freestyle and moves pretty much every minute. As soon as he hears a beat he likes he starts to dance; just like he said in the film.

When I think about filming outdoors at night with only available light my number one choice would be the Canon 5D Mark III because the low light performance is just crazy good. But I wanted to try the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. Of course it is limited to max. ISO 1600 so I knew that could be a problem when using a fixed F/2.8 lens. I also wanted to keep most of the shots relatively wide – as far as this is possible with the Pocket Camera. I started out with some tripod shots with a Sigma 30mm F/1.4 lens at ISO 800. Focusing was an issue because Lukas was moving however he wanted – it was all spontaneous just like he felt in that specific moment. He changed from moving slow into a fast dance movement within a second. At F/1.4 the image is also very soft and I usually try not to shoot too wide open with the Pocket Camera. The camera shines when shooting with a closed aperture. So I decided to do more hand-held shots with the Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8 at ISO 1600. Saying good bye to shallow depth of field when filming under low light conditions is something new for me because I mostly filmed with Canon DSLRs for the last 3 ½ years which are known for the incredible shallow depth of field.

This short film is also part of our upcoming documentary course. That means we will be showing you how we made that little film from planning to post production.

Written by Moritz Janisch

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