As part of The Vision Project we took time to talk to our wonderful participants. In this series which we have called PEOPLE OF VISION, we explore how they came to join in with The Vision Project and what they have taken away from it.
Today we speak to the fabulous film maker, Floyd C Konde, who has worked for over a decade on dance films and projects.
1. How did you hear about The Vision Project and what attracted to you taking part?
I was contacted by Vicki Balaam, founder and current board member of Stopgap Dance Co, who said she had a friend looking for a filmmaker to help make a dance film and documentary. What attracted me was the collaboration between different art forms of painting, sculpture and dance, ironically documented through the art of film.
2. What is your filming background and what appeals to you about this art form?
As a filmmaker I work predominantly with a lot of dance artists and/or companies such as Stopgap, Gateway Arts, Green Shoes Arts, Dash Dot Dance and I think why I find dance and physical theatre so appealing, is the physical expression and how that expression can be beautiful on camera.
3. Why do you feel art as film is so important?
Film is one of various forms of artistic expression, which can be used to tell stories. You can tell a story using a your hands by drawing, painting, sculpting, through instruments, music and singing, through acting etc. We live in a digital society where technology governs our lifestyles - it can be used for our leisure and entertainment, and film/video is an important art form, which documents a story or something we may not be able to experience for ourselves physically. The story can be brought to you and can reach wide ranging audience.
4. How does capturing dance on film differ from other types of movement genres?
Capturing dance is truly the form of actions speaking louder than words, when comparing it to acting or theatre. I was once told "if you can show it, then don't tell it" - being able to tell a story without words can be more impactful to your audience and when it comes to dance, you can interpret the work for yourself. It doesn't necessarily have a set a meaning or message, it can take you through a journey evoking different feelings and that's the prevailing output - how it makes you feel first, not what the dance is or isn't trying to say.
5. How do you work? What is your filming process?
I collaborate with fellow artists, who usually have a story to document or a product to promote, but when it comes to filming I work alone, I don't have a team - I'm a solo artist. So it's important for me to have more than one camera running simultaneously, when I'm on set, especially for documentaries where the action isn't directed. This allows me more opportunities to capture the scene from different angles, therefore doing the work of 2-3 person crew. I have a go to list of shot types I like to capture, but when it comes to documentary filmmaking it's usually an improvised process.
6. A little nightingale told me about an extra guest on filming in June. What happened and what are the challenges of filming dance on location vs studio set up?
The difference between location and studio work is the amount of control you have of your variables. Working indoors allows greater control of lighting and sound; you don't have to worry about aircrafts overhead or traffic, nor do you need to worry about weather. (And an extra guest in the form of a dog who ran past us twice).
On the other hand, when you work in a beautiful remote location like the Healing Sanctuary in Shere, with the added bonus of the sunshine, we were able to enjoy and capture the incredible natural serenity of the landscape, to help create the piece. The location can make such a difference to your work's impact.
7. How have you found The Vision Project overall as an experience?
It's been a positive experience, I've been able to meet some talented and passionate people, I've been able to see places I've never seen before and made a few more contacts, of who I'm sure I'll be collaborating with again in future.
8. What have been the highlights so far?
The picturesque views from the Healing Sanctuary in Shere, the incredible art work I've seen people make in the various workshops, and seeing the dance piece develop.
9. When can we see the final film?
The final film will be shown on the 8th September at the Lightbox - details for tickets are here and these will be available soon.
10. For others interested in your work - where can they find you best?
To be honest, I don't have a website but I do have a Facebook page that hasn't been active for a while. I'm quite rubbish in that regard. I think this whole process may prompt me to finally put some sort of blog or website together.
Thank you so much Floyd for your words and your filming - we are very excited to watch it on the 8th September.
Emma and The Vision Project Team