Arts & Entertainment

Directing Dance for the Screen

Parris Goebel

Lesson time 08:49 min

Parris reveals the nuts and bolts of directing a music video, from figuring out the perfect camera angles and getting the best performances out of her dancers to managing all of the little details on her own.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: How to Shoot Choreography · How to Find Your Shot · How to Work With Dancers · The Power of Eye Contact


[00:00:00.00] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:00:25.04] - As I entered the world of dance and choreography, I naturally started to direct my own little concept videos. I guess I didn't know it was called directing when I first started to do it. But I had just this urge and itch to bring my vision to life not only through choreography, but 360. [00:00:45.56] If you're a choreographer that's transitioning into directing, understand that you have such a unique perspective to offer. And you see the lens in such a different way. So for me, when I got into directing, I understood that to shoot dance in a way that I felt it in person, it took a different I and a different perspective. And for you, it's important to think about how you want the world to see your dance through the lens and through the screen. [00:01:16.37] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:01:21.80] When it comes to shooting dance, it's all about perspective. It's all about your perspective and how you want the world to view your choreography and your movement. I think it's really important to explore different angles and different perspectives and what feels like your stamp, your way of shooting something, your way of viewing your movement. [00:01:45.95] I like to view the camera as not a camera, but a person. With this mindset, I've become a lot more specific with my camera angles. And I make sure that the person is experiencing the world and is amongst the movement and not just watching it. So I feel like it becomes more of an immersive experience when you're thinking of the camera as someone in your world. [00:02:09.38] I really believe the key to having a successful shoot is preparation and finding those angles. And just thinking outside the box on how you want to shoot your choreography. So for me, I have to shoot everything in rehearsals. And I have to prepare my angles. [00:02:26.90] So an easier way of doing it is just grabbing your iPhone and just exploring all different angles. As dancers are performing in the rehearsal space and practicing, just grab your phone. And just, you know, sometimes I'll lie flat on the floor or I'll stand up on a chair. You've got to put that work in and explore all different perspectives to see what you like and see what feels powerful and effective. [00:02:54.09] I feel like this is something you personally need to do as a director, especially if you've done the choreography and then you're directing it. You need to put this work in. Because only you know what's going to feel right and what's really going to bring your movement to life. [00:03:08.27] Every detail matters, a little to the left, a little to the right, a slight angle here. It all counts, what your frame is, who's in the frame, how many dances. All that counts. So really taking the time and energy to perfect your shot and the experience of that shot, it all pays off in the end vision. [00:03:29.88] [MUSIC PLAYING] [00:03:35.87] So I'm referencing this really cool shot that we did in "Level Up" for th...

About the Instructor

The creative force behind Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” video and Jennifer Lopez’s Super Bowl halftime show, Parris Goebel is a dance powerhouse. Now the award-winning choreographer breaks down her approach so you can harness your own creativity. Learn how iconic performances are made—and how to develop and polish routines, direct videos, and exude confidence every step of the way—as Parris opens up like never before.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Parris Goebel

Award-winning choreographer Parris Goebel teaches you her techniques for bringing a vision to life and her approach to owning your creativity.

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