My name is Tamzen, I am a circus artist. I create both live and film work for my company Inverted. We have performed our show BOX at The Lowry and they supported Inverted’s most recent film creations.
Over the past year live performances have not been possible and many circus artists and creators have turned to film and video to continue creating work, myself included.
I have a long term interest in video editing having made dance films and other projects over the years. In 2020 and 2021 in midst of the Corona Virus pandemic we worked on three short films, Fall, Wake and Exit.
With the support of Arts Council England, The Lowry and MK Gallery, I collaborated with Simon Beckett (cameraman and editor) James Bonus and Aelfwyn Shipton to create these pieces that could only exist on film, and would allow Simon to show off the art of film making as well the skills of the performers.
Some circus films are beautiful and abstract, others are narrative, linear and non- linear. My favourites take you on a journey, like a piece of music they can move you emotionally with both highs and lows.
On film the pace of circus can lose impetus which we have to regain, either in the edit, the style of filming or choreography. Creating circus for film is different from creating for stage, I don’t necessarily want to see the whole trick, we can distort, zoom in, create multiple versions.
Film can create new and different ways of viewing circus, especially with VR technology becoming more available to us. I would like to continue to explore the possibilities of circus and film both for viewing on video and mixing with live performance. .
There are a lot of fun things that can be done on film, from in-camera effects, after effects, animating on the footage, using greenscreen and motion capture.
Our films use effects created in the choreography, design, filming techniques, as well as during the editing process.
This year was the first Circus International Film Festival accessible online. The winners are listed on their Instagram and a full list of submissions on their website. There are varied styles as well as genres and some are available to watch if you search the internet.
Some examples of animation and circus, include Plume produced by Jacob Jonas The Company.
And Joel Sebastien’s, Republic of Heaven and Shattered Prism uses animation, live performers, VR and film.
The 7 fingers company made a short film using motion capture where the circus artists looked like avatars from a computer game.
Here, a dance artist talks about what she found when an avatar was less human. Click here to listen.
With more VR being used in variety of ways, it could be an interesting development for circus performance and experiences.
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