VIDEO | 04:58
Kylie
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Kylie

A Black ballerina from Los Angeles performs throughout inner-city neighborhoods while sharing the trials and tribulations she’s experienced within the ballet community.

“Kylie” is a film that is the result of three people coming together to create something special with the materials and locations available to us during a time of relative turbulence. As a friend of the documentary subject, Kylie Jefferson, I learned about her achievements and of her struggles within the ballet dance community. She speaks with conviction and frankness about her experiences. Her unapologetic truth, dedication to her craft and immense talent as a dancer inspired the creation of this short film. The COVID-19 period has presented sufficient opportunities for uninterrupted quiet time. My longtime friend, colleague and cinematographer, Adam Shattuck, and I ventured out with our gear and captured these poignant moments of Kylie in the concrete jungle of greater Los Angeles. We see her at locations in Inglewood, Dockweiler Beach and other spaces familiar to many Angelenos. A black and white aesthetic with a 4:3 aspect ratio lends a simplicity that elevates the words of Kylie and composition of the objects in the frame.

Filmmaking has been my life’s passion. So, like many new up-and-coming filmmakers, I wear many hats. I directed, edited, colored, camera-operated and sound-scored the film. The editing decisions concerning the cognitive dissonance in the form of audio/film transitions were decisions that felt like good pattern interrupts. The viewer is rather shocked into holding onto the information consumed in the scenes prior to the transition and is also primed for new information beyond the transition.

Altogether, this piece manifests itself from the desire to tell the truths of a compelling individual and the curiosity of others’ perception of the material in the manner it is presented. We hope the film inspires others to live their truth and be proud of their culture. The film has reinvigorated my love of documentary and narrative filmmaking, apart from my previous work within the music video and commercial world. The momentum from the film festival circuit (Tribeca, DWF, etc.), along with the addition of “Kylie” to the L.A. Times’ documentary feature program, has also added fuel to the fire in my endeavors to direct feature full-length films.