This film came about when myself and co-director Jessica Taylor were approached to film a short ballet for a graphic design student at our university. The student, Olivia Ratcliffe, was an ex-professional ballet dancer who unfortunately had to retire due to injury. However, she decided to put on her ballet shoes again for her project where the aim was to show the beauty and the pain of ballet. The project started out as a website (which you can view here), but she also wanted a film making to accompany the website, which is where we came in.
We shot the film in 4 hours, which required us filming it again and again simply going up and down on the tracks which we shot it off. It was an interesting and fun experience and is our first collaborative dance film, which also gave us the inspiration for our upcoming film The Ferryman. This film is quite different to The Ferryman as we didn’t have any influence on the choreography, however, it did help us when it came to thinking about how we wanted to film The Ferryman. So for us it was an essential film for us to make as it has provided us with so much more knowledge and wisdom for us to apply to our own film, where we have had a creative input on everything.
With Beautiful Illusion, the music that the dance was choreographed and performed to was written by Max Richter. However, this music was copyrighted and so for us to submit our film to festivals we would have had to get permission to use the music which would have cost us quite a bit. Instead we decided to get original music written for the dance after we had finished editing it. The music we had written for us was by Rebecca-Kate Leach who we think has done a wonderful job. It’s an approach I would use again, but not in a rush, as I like having the music that you will use in the end there at the beginning, as otherwise you can become too attached to the original music. For The Ferryman we managed to secure our music before we started choreographing so for our next film the music will be the same in the end as it was at the beginning. But we shall have to see if it makes a difference to the finished piece.
If you want to know more about Beautiful Illusion I have created a page specific for the film containing a synopsis as well as cast and crew bios which you can view here.