A.O.’s Production Blog: Business model/SIDE project.

So before we get into the pre-production goodness, there is, in the true fashion of all things dance, an update that affects, well, everything. To start, my soloist dancer Julia has a major neck injury/illness, and won’t be able to move for a while (probably somewhere around three weeks).  So that’s something. Additionally (perhaps for the best) a sudden rain/snow leek at the production co’s office directly on top of my work station and computer put us behind a few days (although, wouldn’t you know it, that little G4 took the water like a pro, and is back up and running!).

So there’s that.  However, while i can’t fascinate you with all the exciting post-production details that we’ve yet to discuss at our yet-to-be meeting, i can take this post to tell you about the general structure for this piece, and the side project that’s developed off of it.


As i touched on briefly during my “Epic” program at chez bushwick, and am now publishing to my blog, this piece (in terms of the overall film and dance project) is equally an artistic and a marketing exploration.  Don’t let it dissuade you or turn you off – i’m not saying that it’s commercial or that it compromises artistic integrity to be marketable – quite the opposite! What i’m doing here is engineering the best system with which to a) make my work, b) showcase said work, and c) gain some profit (or at least don’t go into debt) from said showcasing, which will d) allow me to attack the process cycle all over again.

To get a little deeper in: we’re starting in the studio, making all these different sections (“spots of time”, if you will) that are all inter-related across a (maybe/maybe not) linear narrative.  As we’re making them, we plan to film each section.  We’ll then be able (or at least have the potential option) to release each of these films, either online, at an event, or via some combination. So, already, we have somewhere between 5 and 8 “products” – piece of art that can be showed both to raise friends and funds, sent out to festivals across the country and overseas, as well as serve as an audience engagement tool to entice people in to the larger piece as a whole. Additionally, once all the sections have been shot, we’ll then combine them into a larger feature film.  Again, this gives us another potential to show, fund raise, send out, bring in, sell, gift, etc. You came to our first “glass tree” screening and thought it was interesting? That’s great! Come to the screening of the full film so you can see the rest, see how your favorite section relates, etc.  You’re a big AOMC donor? Well then, i’d like to send you this beautiful film as a thank you for all your support over the years.  You’ve never heard of the AOMC? That’s cool – take a look at this clip from the film that’s online, and you can see what we’re about. You live in New Zealand? Wow, that’s such a coincidence – we have one of the sections of our film screening in a festival there!

You get the idea.

Then, we go into phase two, which is transferring this epic little baby to the stage. Aside from the artistic exchange (which i talked about a little more last time) again we have the potential to show sections (“13 variations on a car crash” at the RAW showings NYU studios, April 12 @ 11; “Rock solo” and other material at the Chocolate Factory’s THROW series, May 19 @ 6; and excerpt TBD with CrossCurrents Dance Company at DC’s Dance Place, May 30th and 31st) which fulfills both a “product” delivery of the showing or performance, as well as audience engagement and advertising by providing more opportunities for more and more people to become involved in the piece as a greater whole.

But we’re not done yet, oh no!

We’re also developing a side project, specifically off of Julia’s Glass Tree piece. The idea came from the way we’re working with the bag-timed phrases – so having 40some odd 1- to 5-second phrases. I usually work in a much more organic (or maybe i should just say differently structured) way, so this format appealed to me much more for sharing than my other work.  I’m also interested in these webs of connection (thus the AOMC logo) and really liked the idea of people who were “in the know” being able to access hidden information about the piece, like Easter eggs in a DVD.

So. i put out a call for work to all the artists I knew, asking for ten artists to take the phrases (some or all) that we had started with, and make a piece of their own.  I was especially interested in the cross-media exchanges that might occur, so i invited a slew of different artists – dancers, writers, media artists, filmmakers, and the like – to take their shot at it.  Brian, my co-worker, even suggested that i make an instillation of 40 commemorative plates, one for each phrase, and i’m jealous i didn’t think of it first.  The only rules (then and still at this point) is that they tell us how they want to capture it, capture it in that manner, and then make something.

Initially i was interested in doing a super low-key no frills showing of the ten pieces plus my film of the original, but in talking with Jonah at Chez Bushwick about availability, he mentioned CB’s CAKE series, and now we’ll be potentially presenting the project for that, on June 12th.

It’s exciting artistically to see what people are going to do (so far we have a few dancer/choreographers, a few dance/film artists, a filmmaker, a writer, two photographers, and a handful of people that i have no idea what they’ll make). I’m excited for the questions it will bring up about authorship, embodiment, translation, essence, etc.  It’s also GREAT business, because for a pretty low cost ($300 covers production, publicity, and video/photo documentation from CB) we not only do a showing of our first film installment, but support ten other area/international artists.  Each of those artists brings friends to see it that then (hopefully) become friends of ours (and vice versa) and a whole community develops, just through this one project.  It tags the A.O. Movement Collective as a community builder, a presenter/curator of sorts, and more importantly, doing something interesting artistically.

I’m really excited about the side project (which, as you can see from above, we’re calling SIDEsubTEN) and will (i’m sure) stick in some updates every now and again, though the focus of this remains the production of the one film.

Footage of the phrases should be online sometime this month, although we’re set back due to Julia’s injury. No matter though, we press on. Innovation and more questions await! Join us!


Sarah A.O. and the AOMC

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