The Act of Creation – Blind & Frozen, #7

The Act of Creation – Blind & Frozen, #7

Background: a look into my creative process as I build a dance start to finish.  See previous posts to follow along if you’ve just jumped in.  Welcome to my madness!

distractedThings are moving again!  I’m a bit behind…choosing animations now.  I do admit I did take the time to switch to another animation manager that really sounded promising – and so far I’ve been thrilled with it.  It did take about a day to load as I dug through my inventory and found a relatively small number of dances that weren’t in the right folders, plus I wanted only a few organizers but still be able to find animations by store too.  I’m finding with this set-up I’m more likely to use different animations because they’re in 3 pads – Abranimations, “main stores”, and SineWave/Ministry of Motion/Misc.  I’m really hoping this gets me unstuck from going to the same animations every time – plus I’m consciously ignoring ones I always use, forcing myself to do something a bit more fresh for me.  I also found that for me, it reduces the time it takes to choose animations and load them in a choreo hud.


My new animations area.  An inspiration picture, calming pictures, and candles.  I like the feeling of it.  Those are my new animation managers.  I do the actual choreography in a different area with a grid so I can see where I am.  The HUD is part of the animation manager – so I can just use the HUD instead of moving my mouse down to click.

It was an amazing feeling as I played the music in Troff.  Ohh…I haven’t mentioned how I choose animations, have I?  Everyone has their own way, this is mine:

I play my music in Troff on repeat, but any player you can put on repeat will do.  I then go through my dance animations – now my animation manager pads.  If an animation feels like it might be right, I “tag it”.  For my new organizer, I can click the memory button and it will remember, giving me a list and folder of the animations at the end.  For the Boom Station organizer I would click on it to give me a copy of the animation so that I could put them all from inventory into a choreo HUD at one time when I was done.  Before these organizers I used to write the names down, find them in inventory, and copy it to the HUD.

Selecting the animations is kind of like brain storming in a way – if I get a feeling that the animation will work well in the dance, I tag it.  I don’t over think it – I just toss it out there.  This is a 2 second decision usually, not a lot of thinking.  Occasionally I’ll spend a few seconds thinking about it, but not often.  I narrow down the animations I use later as I begin working on the actual choreography.  I don’t limit my animations to just hip hop – I go through all the main store and abranimation ones, sometimes the misc ones, sometimes not.

Choosing animations:

Stage 1:  quick selection from dance animation inventory.
Similar to:  picking possible paint color cards at the store.

Stage 2:  begin choreography and narrow down the animations that will be used.
Similar to:   picking the best paint colors to paint your walls.

By doing a quick pick first, I go based on feeling and gut instinct.  If I thought about it too hard, I might decide “naaah” that won’t work.  Because it’s gut instinct, I tend to have some very interesting choices in there, some of which make it into the final dance.  Because I go through my animations frequently and freestyle, I’ve gotten to know a lot of them which helps too.

I also find this helps me work faster as I’ve narrowed down the animations I’m going to actually work with to choreograph.  How many?  Usually around 100-160, but my final dance usually has 30-40.

Does everyone do it this way?  Definitely not.  Does this mean they’re doing it wrong?  Definitely not.  Does everyone use the same amount of animations?  Most definitely not.  Will I change the way I do it?  Possibly – I’m always open to more efficient and fun ways to do things that help me create what is in my head.  Everything evolves.

Before I start the choreography, I’ll switch into my costume.  I may switch into my costume tonight to see how the costume is flowing with the animations.  It wouldn’t be the first time I changed costumes as I was choreographing, hence why I don’t purchase dancer costumes until later.  Honestly, this morning I really didn’t want to change and instead drank my coffee with one hand and chose animations with the other…

I’m glad to be back on the horse again, I know why I fell behind and I’ll be writing that in another post – Too Many Peas.

Happy creating!

Blind & Frozen Timeline
Start date – 6/2
Performance date – 7/13

Finish Day Goal
1 6/2 Choose the music  6/2
1 6/2 Buy or download the music  6/2
2 6/3 Write up an outline for the dance, background, the story, ideas, feelings, how many dancers, etc.  6/3
4 6/5 Edit the music (if needed)  HOLD
4 6/5 Pick a costume, or something similar to what will be my costume  6/5
5 6/6 Listen to music for dance and change ideas  6/8
8 6/9 Choose animations  IN PROGRESS
14 6/15 Work on choreography and record
20 6/21 Build set
22 6/23 Finalize costumes
22 6/23 Create style cards for dancers
25 6/26 Plan out movers and create routes
27 6/28 Test and adjust movers and choreography
29 6/30 Add effects
30 7/1 Test and adjust
31 7/2 Pack up set
32 7/3 Test again
33 7/4 Make any final adjustments
33 7/4 Take a copy of set and movers into inventory

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