YOU can DANCE if you want to …
Special to The Aspen Times
If you go..
What: “Globe Trot”
When (screens three times):
• Competition Program Seven, today at 5:30pm, Wheeler Opera House in Aspen,
• Family Fun program, Saturday at 5 p.m., Crystal Theater in Carbondale
• Family Fun program, Sunday at 2 p.m., Wheeler Opera House in Aspen
Cost: Gen. Admission $15/Members $12/Students $10
Extra: Free special presentation with filmmaker Michael Rose, Saturday at noon, Wheeler Opera House in Aspen
Mitchell Rose gets a kick out of getting ordinary people to follow complex instructions. A constant experimenter in human behavior, the Ohio-based Rose believes that anyone — including you, yes even YOU — can dance like a Bolshoi performer … for two seconds.
For “Globe Trot,” Rose’s entry into this years Aspen Shortsfest competition, Rose enlisted famed choreographer Bebe Miller to produce a dance that could be replicated by just about anyone for the briefest of stretches. The two devised a movement that is at times part ballet, part end zone celebration, and part Pee Wee Herman, then crafted a detailed set of guidelines for filmmakers around the world to follow.
The result is the visually intriguing “Globe Trot,” a crowd-sourced music video that was shot by 54 different filmmakers in 23 countries on all seven continents — including Antarctica.
The dance is performed by dozens of casually dressed people who twirl, hop, dipsy-doo and generally shake their moneymakers in front of compelling landmarks and other cultural signifiers — train stations, the Sydney harbor and the Hollywood sign are just a few.
The key to the films success is the intense amount of work that Rose and Miller put into detailing exactly what types of framing the filmmakers should use and the blocking of the dance within the frame for the performers to follow. “The last couple of years I’ve been experimenting with what I call “hyper match cutting,” which involves the perfect placement of upcoming clips (within the edit timeline) to replace previous clips,” Rose said.
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The creative process was not easy by any stretch of the imagination. Coordinating volunteer producers, filmmakers and dancers all over the world took months of emailing, networking and plying social media to pull together the Globe Trot crew. Once his website was built and filled with the intricate written instructions and video tutorials, Rose unleashed the Globe Trot filmmakers and producers to go forth and dance.
After months of pre-production, the days between issuing the official green light and when clips first started coming in were nerve-wracking. When initial submissions started pinging his inbox, Rose briefly thought that his concept might be a disaster.
“The first footage came in from Turkey. It was just … off. The timing was wrong, said Rose, whose five minute film will screen three times in Shortsfest competition over the course of the week, as well as at a special demonstration performance featuring the filmmaker at noon on Saturday at the Wheeler. “I thought, ‘Oh no!’ This is just not going to work. Then the next two or three came in and I thought the same thing. I felt a tremendous sense of relief when clips came in that worked,” Rose added.
Part of the challenge was that the dancers themselves were often performing to a “tempo” track — not the actual song heard on the film — or in some cases even just their producer audibly counting off their assigned measure. Timing and spacing were crucial, as is evident by the seamless cuts that make Globe Trot work.
Rose then edited the submitted clips to an audio click track. Once his frequent collaborative composer William Goodrum created the groovy bass and keyboard-driven instrumental number for the piece, Rose match-edited the two-second clips from around the world to complete the finished version that is now touring the festival circuit. To Rose, being accepted to the Aspen Shortsfest is special.
“It can be frustrating applying to festivals,” laments the filmmaker, who has over twenty films of various styles and lengths under his belt. “You apply, get turned down … It feels fantastic to be screening in Aspen. The Wheeler Opera House looks fantastic! When you’ve worked for 15 months on a project, you want people to see it when you are done.”
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