For this post I wanted to go into the primary inspiration for our film Better Than You Doin You (don’t be mad). 

 For a long time I have played with the idea of creating a ‘non-verbal rap song’ where the dancer stands in as the rapper and her gestures are the lyrics. My choreographic style is highly gestural and often seems verbal with my use of both intricate hand movements and facial expressions so I thought this would be a perfect match of styles. I took the song ‘Sweatpants’ by Childish Gambino, broke the rap lyrics down in terms of rhythmic structures, and then choreographed my movement version of the rap and rhythms. The gestures are characterized enough so, upon closer look, the audience might be able to infer the words that inspired them.

See my discussion of the inspirations for the film in interview with MovieMaker Magazine below!

I wanted this film to look like an ‘elevated music video’. I wanted the filming to highlight the intricacies of the choreography and elevates the dancer as the famed personality, while still maintain a familiar air of the standard music video. I have always had a slight gripe with the general music video filming structure of taking an entire dance sequence, filming it in several locations with different costumes and a few different angles, and then completely chopping it up in post, spreading it out across the music video in-between cuts of the artist singing towards the camera or acting/posing sequences. While thought has gone into the choreography, it has always seemed like more attention could be put on the filming and the integration of the dancing into the story of the music video. So with this film, I set out to make a music video dance-film where the dancing is at the forefront, with all of the camera movements, angles, and edits designed specifically around each movement in the dance rather than long sequences, yet at the same time hold onto some of the quintessential music video tropes for a cheeky and fun reference. 

See the music video for Childish Gambino’s Song ‘Sweatpants’ below! 

This reference particularly shows in the chorus section: backup dancers magically appear at the start of the chorus to join in, the choreography at the start of the chorus quickly turns simple, easy to grasp, repeatable, and entirely unison, and the camera simply stands there to capture it all rather than being an active participant. There is supposed to be this play between the familiar and the new when it comes to the choreography and filming style.

Hope this gives you a better idea into thought behind the film. Thanks so much for reading and for your support!

xoxo Caroline