Gregory Is A Dancer
The life to death story of a compulsive dancer who is born into poverty, sucked up by the fame machine and spat out the other end.
Airdate Channel 4 – Wednesday 12th March 2014, midnight Awards & Achievements Vimeo Staff Pick (2014) Official Selections London Comedy Film Festival – London, UK – 24/1/2014
Encounters – Bristol, UK – 16-21/9/2014
New Culture Festival – Moscow, Russia – 17-21/9/2014
Grenoble Int. Short Film Festival – Grenoble, France – 26/6/2014 Screenings Leeds and Reading Festival – Leeds/Reading, UK – 22-24/8/2014
Flatpack Film Festival – Birmingham, UK – 29/3/2014
Bar Shorts – London, UK – 26/3/2014
Bar Shorts – Salford, UK – 2/4/2014
For distribution and screenings contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
March 2014 | 2:50min | Colour | Stereo | Live Action | Comedy
Gregory – Tom Reid,
Young Gregory – Freddie Fawke,
Voiceover – Richard Heathcote
Mum – Claire Corfield,
Dad – Craig Deeley,
Media Mogul – Padje Mescall,
Wife – Joanne Billingham,
Pub Regular – Pat Carney,
Mistress – Carrie-Anne Bowyer,
Waitor – Cameron Moon,
Playground idiot – Phil Ravenscroft,
Pub DJ – Ian Ravenscroft
Director – Louis Hudson
Writer – Ian Ravenscroft & Louis Hudson
Producer – Ian Ravenscroft & Louis Hudson
Music – Rob Connor
Sound Design – Rob Connor
Colour Keying – Steven Spencer
Green Screen Director of Photography – Craig Bush
Gregory Is A Dancer is our second Random Acts film for Channel 4 and was commissioned by Balletboyz. This was our first live action commission but still has an animated sensibility and contains the same surreal approach we use in most of our work.
Part of our pitch was for this to be an ‘anti-dance’ film. However it still needed to be entertaining and work physically to deliver the right emotions and comic timings. That’s where Tom Reid came in. He’s an incredibly talented comic performer with a lot of physical control. Rehearsal sessions helped us find out which parts of the dancing could be pushed and where it needed restraint. To over the top and it would look too staged, losing the humanity in the performance. To small or too loose and there was nothing to hang the scenes on. Although Tom would say that he just based it on how Louis dances. After one of the funniest days ever spent on or off a set, it was obvious that nobody else could have brought what Tom did to the film, especially under the low-budget conditions and filthy tracksuits he had to endure.
Having almost no dialogue we re-united with Rob Connor to help tell the story through music. The general idea was for the film to be perceived as a driving music video that happened to match the emotional beats of the music. It was a nice process of starting with our points of reference, particularly our rehearsal track, and hearing Rob slowly build up different ideas and changing the nuances of the track to capture the tone of the story.
We looked at different ways to show so many scenes with our tiny budget. After first being put off by weekend hire of green screen spaces, we realised that a small kit green screen filmed at one end of our studio offered a garish, shabby feel that suited the main character’s upbringing as well as pulling the sleazy glitz of stardom down to the same level. Using flat lighting rather than matching up the environment light also enhanced the feel of all of the characters not quite fitting in their disjointed world. Keying and compositing was then a tricky balance of retaining green screen artefacts and the cheapness of the production while making sure it was slick enough not to be distracting.
Quirky symmetrical single-point perspective has been very much done but it was a very convenient way to reinforce that this film is all from the main character’s simplistic point of view while being surrounded by the things that have made him. At least we didn’t use Futura for the titles.