The first music video to drop from Duit’s upcoming debut album, Krzysztof Grajper’s All the People delivers a striking contrast of pitch black dance against the world-famous white Marble Quarries of Carrara, Italy. We speak to Krzysztof about the hunt for the perfect location and how he and dancer Magdalena Fejdasz devised a elegant symbiotic choreography between her movements and Mateusz Wołoczko’s floating (almost) single shot cinematography.
How did you approach pitching the single shot shadow dancer concept to Duit?
Duit, for me Piotr actually, has been a good friend of mine since high school and almost everything we made came from common ideas so I didn’t have to pitch anybody because Piotr took part in the creation. We were inspired by a photo from the 70s and documentaries of marble quarries.
Clearly the Carrara marble quarry was an essential backdrop for the dance sequence to play out on. How difficult was it to find? Were there any on set preparations needed to make the location shoot ready?
I’m really happy that this project came into effect there because I had an opportunity to see these breathtaking, magnificent views of the marble world. The point was to find a location that was uninhabited and looked somewhat abstract. It was not easy to find one and the whole team was involved in the search for such a bright and extraordinary natural place. The preparations necessary to make it shoot ready took a few hours, we had to make the set perfectly clean for Magdalena not to get hurt by small pieces of stones.
Rather than simply capturing the action there’s an interplay between the camera and Magdalena’s dance. What drove the movements of both elements?
For three weeks we rehearsed camera movements in parallel to the dance choreography (which was devised through a month of thrice weekly rehearsals) , as one impacts another. Listening to Duit’s album brought out emotions of hope and sadness in me, therefore we were trying to achieve a combination of those two emotions.
How long was the shoot and what was your camera setup?
It was one day of shooting. I value the Red Dragon a lot and I think it was the best choice for this video. Nevertheless, the Kowa analog, anamorphic lenses played a huge role in getting a unique plasticity combined with steadicam for smooth camera movements.
So how many takes did it take to get ‘the one’?
I didn’t count, but as soon as I knew I had ‘the one’ we only completed one safety retake. I suppose it was about 8-10.
The image contrast is so crisp it becomes imprinted in your vision. What’s the balance of in-camera vs grading?
Of course the raw material was prepared with a proper range of information about light and color so it always looks colorless at first but the magic hands of the people working at Lunapark (postproduction house) revived the shadow character.
What projects are you heading to next?
For now, I’m going to direct another Duit video for MOST Records and I’m also in the middle of writing scripts for series of short films.
DID YOU REALLY PAINT THE WHITE GIRL BLACK? AND PUT HER IN AN AFRO WIG? OMFG.