10 minutes with Titiana Varca

10 minutes with | 17 December 2020

Dance film - 'Eclipse'. A short film by Tutiana Varca

Make Your OWN Dance Film
10 Minutes with Titiana Varca…

As part of Greenwich Dance’s Online Festival and inspired by the tasks set in our Up My Street ONLINE films, we put a call out for anyone interested in filmaking who had little to no experience and gave four selected applicants the opportunity to make their OWN dance film and have it edited by a professional.

Each successful applicant was paired up with a mentor, one of the four choreographers whose work featured as part of Up My Street ONLINE, who offered creative guidance throughout the filmmaking process.

FILM FOUR: Eclipse by Titiana Varca.
Mentored by Temujin Gill. Edited by Roswitha Chesher.

What do you do, and what are you interested in?

Currently, I am still a student and I have decided to specify more into film, TV and media production in school. Along with that, I do a variety of other extracurricular activities, primarily focusing on the creative and entertainment industry as I’d like to take my expertise and skills to the next level. Along with film, I am passionate about dance and have been doing it for 10+ years now and I also do acting, music and sports outside of school. With my passion for the creative and entertainment industry and good creativity and reliance, I hope to take my filmmaking further and incorporate a lot of things I am interested in into the films to provide entertainment and impact.

What made you want to apply to this project?

When I first came across this project, I thought it worked quite nicely with my interests as I am a dancer myself and also beginning to start off in the film industry, so not only did I think it would be a fun and unique experience, but also a great opportunity for me to work with amazing people in the creative industry such as professional filmmakers, editors and choreographers, in order to bring my idea to life and to gain knowledge and experience. Furthermore, I wanted to deliver a story (some aspects based on a true story) to highlight different themes in hopes of a slight impact on the audience.

A female dancer leaping through the air from left to right with head and arms thrown backwards

What has been really exciting/interesting about this project?

There have been many exciting things about this project and I am very thankful I got selected to direct a film of my own. It was exciting for me to form a crew that has educated me more about the film & dance industry, so being able to receive the chance to work with them has helped me tremendously, as they assisted in making my plans come to fruition. Additionally, I have really enjoyed the process of making this short film, especially the planning and production, as it was pleasing to see my idea being brought to life.

What has your process been, how did you go about getting your head around how to approach making a start, and bringing the film together?

Similar to any journey, there have been fluctuations, but it has contributed to the process because I could see what would and wouldn’t work which was crucial if I want to get things right in the end. The process has overall been very fun and it started off with me coming up with an idea based on dance and after making that decision, I had a zoom meeting to share my idea with the choreographer and editors, where the storyline was tweaked and finalised so I could move onto pre-production and then production. I also had a few zoom meetings with my team in which I received guidance and other creative ideas to make sure I carried out the journey with ease.

A moodboard comprised of a collage of different dancers

Were there any challenges you had to face/deal with? If so what?

Absolutely, there’ve been challenges faced, mainly due to COVID-19, such as finding locations, being able to film, finding dancers, the amount of people allowed on set so I had to adjust the number of characters; going from 5 to 1, leading me to change some of the plot. There were also difficulties with sorting out production as I was unable to film for the dancer which was really a shame as I wanted to film but due to COVID guideline restrictions, I couldn’t, so she had to film the dance and I would approve it. This impacted my time management as it was a longer process and I also had to balance out school and my extracurriculars whilst doing a completely new project.

Did anything change for you regarding what you wanted to do with the film, from your initial idea to now? If so what?

Yes my initial idea for the film did change, but they were only slight changes. My initial idea was actually based on a true story of a ballerina I knew, but I thought it would be too personal if it was exactly the same so I decided to change aspects of the story. I changed the style of dance to contemporary and the ending of the story by adding a positive ending to it where the dancer continues to dance despite people being jealous/ hating on her. However, since we went back into lockdown whilst production was about to take place, I had to adjust and change some parts of the storyline as dance studios were closed and I was unable to meet with the dancers. I then made final adjustments as I decided that I wanted my film to not only be a story meaningful to me, but also to impact others by relaying important messages such as the power of society and oneself, especially during these uncertain times where help from others is very much needed but also being independent and self-motivated is key.

What have you discovered during this film project, any new skills, ways of working or reflections about your own interests and talents?

During this project, I have learnt a lot, especially the basics of making a film. I’ve also been able to develop my storytelling and creativity along with my digital skills which are important building blocks for communicating messages to the audience, especially since there is barely any dialogue in my film. I have taken on a huge role as a director, so I ensured I did as much as I could by pushing myself to learn more. Overall, this project has been an exciting one where there was a lot of creative freedom, allowing me to just have lots of fun and I hope to have many more opportunities like this so I can develop my skill set and make many more films for people to watch and learn from.

A moodboard with a collage of different pictures of ballet shoes and children in ballet-wear

Keep an eye out for Titiana’s film on our Digital Stage and Youtube channel this Friday 18 December.

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