Tag Archives: film

“Run Away” – A Dance Short Film

“Run Away” is a short film based around the dance known as Rumba, performed in the International Latin Ballroom style. It is part of my not-for-profit Dance Short Films project.

The creation of this short film began when I heard “Don’t,” a beautiful and haunting piece of music by Camila Recchio. I immediately asked her for permission to use it for a dance piece, then began talking to dancers. Natalya and Umario ended up finding inspiration in the song, and after I gave them a few general story beats and concepts and images that I wanted to include, they choreographed the movement and developed the story between the characters.

“Run Away” has many themes, which may mean different things to different people at different times. To me right now, it’s about the death of a relationship. It shows the tragedy of a once-thriving friendship that is now dead at the core. In many ways, this short film deals with similar themes and visual motifs as my short film “Time Withers” (2011) (choreographed by Elisha Thompson), but while that film ends on a hopeful and inspiring note, this one is deeply tragic.


  • Directed, Filmed & Edited by Garrett Wesley Gibbons
  • Performance & Choreography by Natalya Zrazhevskaya & Umario Diallo
  • Music: “Don’t” by Camila Recchio (Produced by EOM & Andrew Savoie). Used by permission, All rights reserved
  • Production Assistants: Daniel Suchman & Race Newkirk
  • Filmed on location at Blakely Harbor on Bainbridge Island, Washington

Production Info

I filmed this entirely in 4K on the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K (some shots in ProRes 422 and others in CinemaDNG raw for a little more dynamic range), using an assortment of Canon EF L-series lenses. The camera was often mounted on either a Kessler Crane KC-8 or a JAG35 shoulder rig. The SmallHD AC-7 SDI monitor was invaluable on this shoot, since its color rendition and brightness outdoors is far superior to the built-in display of the Blackmagic Production Camera.  

The editing workflow involved first using Resolve to create 1080p proxy files (with a basic Rec 709 lut applied), which I used for editing. Once the edit was locked I exported a shot list that was used to conform the edit to the source media in Resolve, where I finished the coloring process and exported in 4K. The fade-in effects and a few final visual effects were then added in After Effects (the transitions were created using the Video Copilot plugin called Twitch), including a bit of extra sepia processing on the “happy past” clips (because I wasn’t entirely happy with the look I created for it in Resolve). The closing titles were also created in After Effects.

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Roxanne – Tango Short Film

I recently had the pleasure of filming this short dance film with Natasha and Umario for DanceShortFilms.com. We filmed in one of the oldest buildings in Seattle, located in Belltown.

“Roxanne” – A Dance Short Film from Garrett Wesley Gibbons on Vimeo.

Just for fun, I made a reverse version. It was fascinating for me to watch so I uploaded it as well!

“Ennaxor” – Tango in reverse from Garrett Wesley Gibbons on Vimeo.

If you’re in the mood for more dance media, check out DanceShortFilms.com, or if you want to see more that I have worked on personally, check out this album or look below!

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Garrett Gibbons Demo Reel 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my demo reel. Maybe I was just waiting for the right musical inspiration? This one is long – just over four minutes – but I also made a 90-second sizzle reel for those with less interest or shorter attention spans. Thanks for watching! It’s been an amazing last few years.

Here’s the full-length version, set to “On Saturnalia Eve” by RA Scion (feat. Blake Lewis):

Also, the 90-second version, set to “Woodwalker” by RA Scion (feat. Mark Shirtz):

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How to film and edit dance

How to film and edit dance to convey spatial continuity

Why do dance-centric films and television vary so widely in their ability to engage viewers? What principles can we follow to better convey the energy, beauty and athleticism of live dance, even though audiences will view the film in conditions that are highly detached from the live experience?

This topic merits a long book, rather than a blog post, and I’m purposefully ignoring many aspects of dance on screen, including the arts of choreographing for the screen, creating or choosing a set that works well for filming dance, staging dancers within that set, costuming dance for film, and varying techniques of lighting dance for film. For today, my emphasis will stay on two aspects: the camera and editing.

I will add to this post over time, so if you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

Filming Dance

1. Lens Choice

I have read a lot of discussion in the academic community about the supposed difficulty of translating a three-dimensional art form (dance) into a two-dimensional space (the screen). While those challenges would in theory apply to any performance art displayed on the screen, I suspect that this discussion stems from a generally-perceived flattening of 3D space and loss of location reckoning when audiences see dance on screen.

“Matched” (presented by The LXD, directed by Charles Oliver, DP Alice Brooks), was originally filmed and presented in 3D. Is its impact lessened in 2D?

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Walking through Machu Picchu

I was fortunate enough to visit Machu Picchu with my wife last September, where we took photos and filmed video footage for Destination Peru a travel agency and tour service based in nearby Cusco, Peru. You can view some of the photos from Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu in this gallery.
Guard Tower Machu Picchu

I filmed a ton of steadicam footage while I was there, walking through the ruins and trails, and I thought that the nearly-raw footage might be useful to future travelers who are trying to get an idea of what the terrain is like and what they can expect. Here is a piece I put together with composer Richard Williams:

Also, here’s the walkthrough of Machu Picchu:

Here’s a walkthrough of the hike from Machu Picchu to the top of Huayna Picchu (the peak that we see so prominently behind the ruins):

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Garrett Gibbons – Director, Editor, Photographer – Demo Reel 2013

I’ve updated my demo reel! It has a bunch of projects I’ve done since my last reel (plus a few old clips that never made it into any previous reel). Enjoy it and let me know what you think!

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The 500 LED workhorse location light

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite lights: The 500 LED non-dimmable video light, sold in various places by ePhotoInc, CowboyStudio, and Fancier Photography.

I have been using a number of these lights alongside the 1000 LED dimmable lights, some tungsten DP lights, tota lamps, and others. These 500 LED lights (with four banks of switches) are some of my favorite workhorse lights. They’re built like tanks, they work every time, they don’t flicker, they don’t short out, they don’t have bulbs burn out, they don’t have weird proprietary power adapters that get lost and break easily (it’s powered by the same type of cable as a computer monitor), and they don’t have knobs that wear out and break off. Everything is controlled through on-off switches that feel like they will last longer than civilization itself.

There’s a handy handle on the top that’s overbuilt and gives room to carry them easily when wearing gloves. They can swap between portrait and landscape orientation by unscrewing the little mount and moving it to another part of the frame. The light mounts using a standard light stand mount.

Compared to the square-arranged 1000 LED light, this gives off about as much light (unexpectedly), and the quality of light is softer and more flattering for portraits (also unexpectedly). The color fidelity is higher in this light than the dimmable 1000 LED, and I’ve had to use fewer gels (if any) to get this light to look great for people.

The 5600K color fidelity isn’t 100% pefect daylight, so if you mix them with daylight and you need fidelity, throw a 1/4 magenta (minus green) gel on the front, tape it well, and just leave it on there.

These 500 LED lights draw relatively little power, so I plug them into a Black & Decker VEC026BD Electromate 400 (about $100) and I can power one of these lights on that battery pack for about 90 minutes to two hours, depending on outdoor temperature (which affects the Elecromate 400’s battery output, as with all batteries). Throw on a grounded plug and you can power a two or three of these on location, out in the middle of nowhere, for 30-60 minutes without using gas, emitting fumes, bothering neighbors, or warranting city permits. That utility is worth more than gold to me.

I used one of these 500 LED lights (powered by a Black & Decker Electromate 400) to light the Moverz web trailer a few months ago:

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Demo Reel 2012 – Garrett Wesley Gibbons

Looking for a filmmaker, music video director, dance photographer or visual storyteller? I’m based in Seattle, Washington but I travel the world. Hit me up!

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