Despite what you’ve undoubtedly heard time and time again upon the media’s discovery of some ‘new’ talent, there is no such thing as an overnight success. Regardless of how effortless they may make it seem, behind every celebrated sensation lies countless hidden hours of toil, setbacks and most importantly, perseverance. It is this dogged pursuit for personal perfection which consumes the injured dancer at the centre of Australian Director Mick Soiza’s The Best is Yet to Come. DN asked Mick to share how creating this film about an artist striving to excel in her field no matter the difficulties, in turn inspired his work and determination as a filmmaker.

The Best is Yet to Come reinterprets the symbols of passion, persistence and fragility of an athlete as a human being. It explores the never-ending pursuit for greatness and ultimately how we must connect with both our past and present experiences to successfully move forward.

I wanted to take a look into ballet and dancing and I remembered one of my friends had danced professionally a while back. I was in awe of the grace in her craft so I decided to make a short with her. I was struggling a little with my own craft, with finding time and putting energy into personal projects, so I wanted to show that behind every form of art there’s a lot of work and the most visual way to portray that could be in a dancer. It follows her journey, the day to day struggles of a dancer but more so the mental strain dancers have to deal with on a day to day basis.

I wanted to show that behind every form of art there’s a lot of work.

This is my first narrative personal project, I had everything in mind. I wrote a brief story about Midori Lotz (actress) a list of scenes to shoot and ended up storyboarding the whole thing because I didn’t have a budget but had time. Essentially, this project is about the athlete’s struggle – I love films that focus on the artist’s or athlete’s struggle as it is so inspiring and terrifying at the same time to be immersed in their journey. I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of overnight success and how suddenly everyone knows an artist’s or athlete’s name when they have been working every day for their entire lives to achieve this moment but the question is, do we ever reach that moment? Or is the best yet to come? I feel this piece tries to encapsulate that.

Midori is a former ballerina with The Houston Ballet and has always had a huge love for dance and music. She trained at The Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, graduating with an Advanced Diploma of Dance in 2007 and attained a contract with Houston Ballet soon after graduation until 2010. Currently, she loves that she can teach her passion for ballet, pilates and yoga to adults and children.

My Cinematographer Sean Ryan and I have worked together quite a bit and were pretty excited to jump into a personal project, so we self-funded the film. We shot over 2 days and as this was a love project it took around a month and a half in post, allowing us to work it around other projects. We shot on RED with some Old Super Balters lenses, and minimal lighting – I think the combination gives off more of an atmospheric tone. Sean and I wanted to soften the images a lot more with some vintage lens, haze.

I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of overnight success and how suddenly everyone knows an artist’s or athlete’s name.

I had my best mate Tom Antolini cut the film. He was working out of California as an editor whilst I was in Australia during post. It made the experience a lot more challenging but we understood each other’s sensibilities which made things a little smoother.

The score and sound design was composed by Jonny Higgins, a super talented composer based out of Sydney. Jonny was on board with the idea and pretty much flipped the track on its head – originally we were going to go something more guitar driven and minimalistic but Jonny hit me with a couple of synths and things went 80s pretty quickly. I feel like it is something unexpected and not traditional to most dance films.

I feel like there are different ways for everyone to overcome a struggle but creatively, persistence would have to be my number one. We can sometimes get caught up wanting things yesterday but being at peace with the process and enjoying the journey, not giving up and committing each day is so crucial to hitting that future goal.

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