By Dave Warner
Hannah Straney is back in Little Falls with Retrograde Studios to make the next dance film in the series called, ‘Don’t Leave Me.’ She is collaborating with artist and dancer Asha Benjelloun, Emmy award-winning producer Joe Hill, and accomplished creative directors Baylie and McCall Olsen out of LA.
“Kevin is dancing with the Gibney Dance Company out of New York City, a world-renowned dance company that tours worldwide,” Straney said.
“This film is the second part of our five-part series where we are focusing on the sense of taste. We’re also entering a more nightmarish realm, so it’s an aspect of horror. There are also themes of relationships, longing, missing, and hope, as well as fear and anxiety,” she said.
Straney said that they’re really trying to focus on taste and what it’s like to be overwhelmed by that.
The filming occurred three days before Thanksgiving on her family’s farm just north of the City.
“The whole film was shot there. We had a set of starting images that happened inside the house, and then everything else happened outside in the fields. It’s open and away, and these two bodies running towards each other, or running away.”
The weather was a bit colder than they expected. “Our shoot days are so long.”
Straney said that the production team she had was amazing. “Our production coordinator was Skyla Schreter, as well as Joe Hill from Vice News and Baylie and McCall Olsen. They’re all coming together to ensure that everything is running smoothly and looking how it should. They’re also making sure that it’s telling the story that I wrote.”
“Jake Kruty and John Rodrigues are really bringing the story to life through these cameras that we have,” she remarked.
There currently isn’t a release date for the completed project, but she says that they expect to take a similar trajectory towards how they marketed and submitted the first film, ACT 1: ICU.
“Any place that we think this film will resonate or fits the description for a film festival, either here in the States, or New York State in particular, or abroad. We’ll send it out,” Straney stated.
ACT 1: ICU followed two dancers as they explored a foreign space without a sense of sight. The film was a collaboration between the dancers and videographers, who took on the task of conveying the absence of a sense.
That film has been selected for the 2023 ADF’s Movies by Movers Film Festival as one of 15 films presented during its online showcase. It was also chosen for the 2023 DANCE CAMERA ISTANBUL- Impro Dance Fest.
Straney aims to raise $5,000 for this current project in Little Falls. “While we partner with Huron Studios in Brooklyn, NY, we hope to gather additional support from within the Little Falls community. All donations will be greatly appreciated, as it’s a self-funded film,” she stated.
If you’d like to support the film, you can make your tax-deductible payment through The Creative Outpost by visiting https://creativeoutpost.org/projects/.