I am smitten. I am moved. I am excited to see an example of great content begetting more great content. And, it wouldn’t have been possible without the internet. Granted, it took me a while to find it and it’s just in time for the show to come to Los Angeles tomorrow night. The show I’m talking about is GIRL WALK //ALL DAY. It’s a piece of long-form dance music video that is based on the music in Girl Talk’s 71 minute mash-up release ALL DAY. One of the great things about it is that it builds upon the creativity that Girl Talk’s Greg Gillis put into his music mash-up piece that he released for free last year and put a story-telling spin on it that is exhilarating. On the GIRL WALK site, it is explained as a tale about finding community and vitality in shared public spaces – and where can that be accomplished if not on the internet?
Granted, part of the joy in the film – which is divided into twelve parts on the site – is seeing the interaction with people and places in the real world of New York City, but its been a very long time since I have seen a dance film this good online or on the big screen. Usually, there are so many cameras that you lose the dance entirely. Or, there’s not enough movement – leaving the viewer to feel as if they are an outsider and not part of it. One of my favorite chapters is, #3 “It Goes Like This,” where the lead teaches random people the dance and they all perform back-up for her.
Some other points of interest were:
– When there was an entire dance party on the subway and you can clearly see who is part of the cast and who was not by the mere fact that those who were not all had the mobile phones out to capture video – then riders entering the train at a stop were treated to a male pole dancer in the doorway.
– When they seized the opportunity to visit the Occupy rally at Zuccotti Park during the “Shopping Spree” section to get nice footage and convey the societal ends of the spectrum.
– When theprotagonist – who often comes across as an Audrey Hepburn/Holly Golightly for this millenium – gets kicked out of Yankee Stadium for standing on the outfield wall (timed perfectly with the lyrics, of course.)
I have listened to the ALL DAY piece since downloading it last March and had not even thought to overlay a narrative. Director and Cinematographer, Jacob Krupnick, and his cast were able to weave an eloquent and even moving story into the narrative Krupnik derived from the music. So, the introduction of that emotionality beyond the music is what blew me away. Additionally, the potagonist, Anne Marsen, seems to be a force in dance and perhaps even more (see the Audrey Hepburn note above.) Her improvisational style is refreshing and intense with expressions of full emotion.
To me, this provides a strong sense of what’s possible in digital – either as a creative outlet or a marketing element. The filmmaker and cast’s path to making this real is chronicled briefly in a NY Times Magazine piece by Bill Trough a year ago after they had only created a proof of concept. Their original goal was to post on kickstarter.com and raise $5,000. They ultimately raised $25,000 and shot from April through October of 2011. With a range of cast members, volunteers and “innocent” bystanders throughout Manhattan, the piece goes beyond being a love letter to the city.
In the past, something like this would have been hard to pull off – let alone distribute. They are currently on a tour of social events and screenings that hits Los Angeles tomorrow night at Space 1520 in Hollywood on Cahuenga and it has been accepted to the SXSW Film Festival. My hope is that they are able to release it as a DVD, EST or whatever as one long piece, though I imagine there may be a considerable amount of legal restraints to doing so.
The Filmmaker and promoters have been able to generate coverage across the board. They have moved off of the internet and into the real world with inclusion into festivals and tour events and the hope is that the movement will continue. To think that it all basically started with experimentation and passion enabled by technology, the future possibilities are quite exciting. Hopefully, this will open more doors for this form of entertainment, trigger ideas for others and extend the power of Content across the digital realm.