Special Projects

Digital Dance

2001

In 2000, Vincent Dance Theatre was awarded £35,000 to run Germinate, a two-year programme of work looking at the interface between dance and digital technology in both the community and professional environment. Year One delivered four exceptional projects for young people. Year Two focused on professional development for dance and digital practitioners.

Notes

CAPTURING AND EDITING DANCE

17th – 18th March 2001, Sheffield
Led by Jason Budge
Vincent Dance Theatre, Lovebytes (digital arts organisation) and Yorkshire Dance offered dancers and choreographers a unique opportunity to learn about capturing, composing and editing dance for the camera. This weekend course offered intensive training in camera work, composition, in camera effects, real time digital video effects (trailing, slow motion), time lapse, editing (using Final Cut Pro software) and the composite layering of images. Capturing and Editing Dance took place in Sheffield with 12 dance workers/choreographers participating to increase their knowledge of capturing and editing movement on digital video.

BEGINNERS DIGITAL VIDEO EDITING

Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th December 2001
The Point Arts Centre, Doncaster
Led by Jason Budge
A basic, hands on, desk-top editing course which empowered arts workers to make their own documentary and creative videos. Using Final Cut Pro software, on Apple Mac computers, this course taught how to browse, capture, view, compose, log footage, edit, render, apply soundtracks, add basic special effects and titles to video footage. The weekend workshop also offered the opportunity to view Vincent Dance Theatre’s new video works, and to gain practical knowledge of using digital video cameras and their many functions.

Evaluation

EVALUATION REPORT DIGITAL DANCE WORKSHOPS

Capturing And Editing Dance Workshop
10 am – 5pm, 17th – 18th March 2001

Forced Entertainment Studio
Workstation, Sheffield, UK

Led by choreographer Charlotte Vincent, editor Jason Budge and film director Michael Ackerman, with equipment supplied by Lovebytes digital arts organisation, Vincent Dance Theatre led an intensive workshop for dance professionals which explored the uses of digital cameras, and an intensive crash course in editing with Final Cut Pro software on Apple Mac computers.

Participants spent the first day exploring the camera, learning terminology, storyboarding, planning, learning practical camera and tripod handling tips, addressing composition, shooting movement based footage on location around Sheffield, and exploring in camera effects.

The second day was spent in the Lovebytes Lab learning how to handle an edit suite; logging, capturing, batch capturing, editing, applying special effects and rendering to produce a 30 second – 1minute video of their work. Work was copied onto VHS for participants to take home. In response to feedback given, an intermediate intensive editing weekend course was arranged.

BEGINNERS DIGITAL VIDEO EDITING

Date: Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th December 2001
Place: The Point Arts Centre, Doncaster
Cost per participant: £60
Places available: 10
Target Participants: choreographers, dance workers, visual artists with little experience of digital video editing

A basic, hands on, desk-top editing course to empower arts workers to make their own documentary and creative videos. Using Final Cut Pro software, on Apple Mac computers, this course taught participants how to browse, capture, view, compose, log footage, edit, render, apply soundtracks, add basic special effects and title your work. Led by Jason Budge, a film maker who has created four Germinate digital shorts with Vincent Dance Theatre, this weekend workshop also offered the opportunity to view Vincent Dance Theatre’s new works, and to gain practical knowledge of using digital video cameras and their many functions.

Capturing and Editing Dance was the first of Vincent Dance Theatre’s Germinate professional training workshops, taking place 17th & 18th March 2001 and looking at the interface between dance and digital technology. Aimed at professionals working in the fields of dance and choreography, this weekend course offered intensive training in

The Camera and its uses:
Handling a camera, handling a tripod
Camera features and how to use them
Framing and composition
Coverage
Exposure
Lighting
Shot-lists, storyboarding, clarifying concepts and writing treatments

Desk top video editing with Final Cut Pro:
Browsing, Capturing, Viewing, Logging, Editing, Music, Basic effects, Titles

For this workshop VDT joined forces with Yorkshire Dance (Leeds based National Dance Agency), who programmed the weekend as part of their tri-annual weekend workshop season and Lovebytes (digital arts organisation, Sheffield) who provided camera, person power, computers, tripods and editing equipment. The weekend aimed to provide participants with an opportunity to learn about capturing, composing and editing dance for the camera.

The workshop took place at Forced Entertainment’s studios, at the Workstation in Sheffield, 10 am – 5pm over two days in March 2001, led by Jason Budge (Editor/ Film Maker), Michael Akerman (Video Director), Richard Bolam (Digital Technologist) and Charlotte Vincent. The workshop used 4 Digital Cameras (3 Sony VX 2000 DLR, I Canon), Final Cut Pro Editing software, 6 x Apple Macs and 4 Monfrotto Tripods.

The workshop was filled to our desired capacity, with 12 participants from the North of England attending. Participants came from Liverpool, Durham, Manchester, Leeds, Sunderland, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sheffield.

The professional spread of the group included Choreographers, Community Art Practitioners, Students, Photographers, Dancers and Film Makers. Group cohesion was very solid, which created an excellent working environment. This view was shared by many; the atmosphere was described as, “friendly”, “relaxed” and generally conducive to learning. This combination of mixed professionals and the relaxed atmosphere contributed to the success of this workshop. Many participants commented on how positive this experience was.

Participants came to the workshop with a range of aims in mind. Some very basic, “to push myself” other more complex, “discover clarity of purpose when filming”. The majority of participants wanted to gain more confidence when handling a camera and to learn short cuts and tricks of the trade. Learning to use editing software was high on the agenda.

All participants gained a greater understanding of the camera and editing software. For some the workshop opened up new opportunities of combining dance and digital technology. Others felt they had learnt more basic but important skills including

  • The importance of planning
  • Being flexible
  • Need for discipline
  • Working in a short space of time

Participants also felt refreshed and that they had gained patience with new technology. Others confirmed their beliefs that they didn’t like editing!

This workshop was a learning experience for all involved. Leaders also learned how to deal with mixed abilities, structuring and delivery skills, and gained a new respect for each other’s skill base and knowledge.

Challenges

Technology and the time available to get to grips with it were very challenging for most of the group. Some found the software and computers ‘scary ‘and ‘daunting’ to use.

Due to the short time scale there was a pressure to finish a piece of work. This challenged the majority who attended. However, a great sense of achievement was gained on viewing the final product.

Dancing was part of the course and this was very challenging for non-dancing participants, although also extremely enjoyable.

“The dancing was quite a challenge but a very exiting one – Thanks!”
Workshop Leader

A solid working relationship evolved through this initial workshop between Charlotte Vincent and Jason Budge, who have gone on to work together on all of VDT’s Germinate projects including the Beginners Digital Video Editing workshop which took place on Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th December 2001 at The Point Arts Centre, Doncaster.

Target Participant for this training weekend were choreographers, dance workers, visual artists with little experience of digital video editing. This basic, hands on, desk top editing course was designed to empower arts workers to make their own documentary and creative videos. Using Final Cut Pro software, on Apple Mac computers, this course taught participants how to browse, capture, view, compose, log footage, edit, render, apply soundtracks, add basic special effects and title your work. Led by Jason Budge, a film maker who edited the four community based digital shorts described above, this weekend workshop also offered an opportunity to view Vincent Dance Theatre’s new works, and to gain practical knowledge of using digital video cameras and their many functions.

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