Kayla's storyboard (225K) for the film

Panasonic Centre, Cornwall St, Plymouth, UK

"Inner City" being screened in the Panasonic Centre in Cornwall Street, Plymouth 30/5/01

Kayla filming

Slate Circle - filming pixillated dancers

Amanda and Jun

Principal dancers Amanda Banks + Jun Morii


After a year of fund-raising and planning we finally got started on our collaborative dance/film project "Highly Visible" in March.

'We' are Lois Taylor, choreographer, Stuart Moore, filming, Amanda Banks and Jun Morii, performers; I'm the director. For us all "Highly Visible" is a really exciting collaboration, and very challenging. Our aim is to explore human movement and interaction within urban spaces, and to create a very public piece of public art by siting our project right in the pedestrian areas of Plymouth along Armada Way.

We gave our project the overall title "Highly Visible", as that's exactly what we wanted - to make a dance film right in the centre of Plymouth where people could see what we were doing. We deliberately chose the most public and accessible location for our Year of the Artist project, which has been funded by South West Arts and the South West Media Development Agency. Right from the beginning we've encouraged people to join in and take part.

We have a huge 'thanks to' list - from Jack the Busker to the City of Plymouth Model Boat Club. I'm really pleased with the reactions we got from people. We did most of our filming in the school holidays so it was pretty busy in town - a lot of families out shopping and teenagers hanging around.

One afternoon we were filming a high energy dance sequence in the subway under Royal Parade. A group of Slipknot fans came over and told us we were scary and weird... then asked what we were doing. Stuart (on camera) explained. So the Slipknot gang hung around and watched the action. When we'd finished filming they all clapped and said thank you - you're cool.

We've shot some of our sequences on Super 8 film. I love Super 8, it's a really lush format to work with. The stock we chose to use is one from the late 1960's, developed by Kodak for people to make their own home movies. It gives a really warm, slightly unreal feel everything, with highly saturated colours and a bit of graininess - like you're moving through the city centre and it's all gone a bit dreamy. Of course a lot of the restructuring of Plymouth took place in the 60's and this influenced our choice of which film stock to use to capture the mood of the city centre. When you shoot on film you can't see what you've actually got until the film has been developed. With the Super 8 stock we used for "Inner City" there's a 2 week turnaround time as the footage is processed in a lab in Switzerland.

We've also used DV to shoot on because it allows us to come up with ideas, respond to things happening around us, and quickly record them there and then. The filming kit is lightweight so it means we can move from filming a backstepping sequence in Drake Circus to a human waterfall in the Place de Brest in minutes. Our weekly session of viewing the rushes together as a team is an essential part of our production process.

During May I'll be working with Stuart - selecting the best sequences, manipulating them in the computer, and creating a sound track to give a 10 minute film called "Inner City". See it first at the end of May when the film will be screened in different shops and stores throughout Plymouth City Centre, where it began.

Kayla Parker 29/4/01

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