DESERT HEART, the latest short-film directed by British director Jacob Sutton tells the story of one man’s journey to overcome the trauma of his childhood. We had a chat with a him about his new project:
Could tell us about the creative process?
The film grew and changed quite a bit from its starting point. Once Ryan and I had developed a script I started blocking out the structure of the film. We approached each scene in the same way you would a conventional film narrative with characters and objectives. Ryan translated these scenes into choreographies and we went from there.
What were the most challenging parts of it?
I think the most challenging part fo the film was to tell a story through dance. It was really important for me that the story was legible and emotionally resonant.
A lot of the time dance films are concerned with aesthetic and a general mood and I like that, but it was really important for me that we tell a story with this film.
What were your influences for this short-film?
I was really struck by Steve McQueen’s film ‘Hunger’ and how it told the story with very little dialogue. It was a very physical film about a very physical protest and that made a lot of sense to me.
This short-film is more narrative than what you usually do, did you approach it differently?
Yes it was quite a different process to a normal dance film. I worked on the structure for quite a while before we got to rehearsals. Each scenes was I planned scene was scripted in the same way you would a narrative short film. Ryan then choreographed the scenes based on the characters we’d created together.
The performances of the actors are amazing, especially the younger boy, how did you find him?
We found Cody (the young boy) at the first casting we did. He was amazing as soon as he walked through the door. It was such a stroke of good luck for us.
The rest of the casting was done in LA at Ryan’s dance studio.
Dance has been a big part of your work, what does dance mean to you?
I think I just enjoy movement and what people can communicate with their bodies. I’ll never get tired of watching people dance or express themselves physically.
I’m working on a documentary series, but it’s still in it’s early stages. I think what I’ve learned in this project will probably have a strong influence on it.
Watch DESERT HEART below