October 14, 2014

Documenting Site-specific work: Flyaway Productions

Flyaway Productions headed to the Tenderloin Neighborhood in SF last month to present a new site specific dance work. In an area where privilege and deprivation meet, Flyaway Productions captured the presence and struggles of homeless women who inhabit the area.  After documenting the show with multiple camera angles, we helped Jo put together a four camera edit of the performance.

This show was a joy to watch and edit. Our excerpt compilation is below.

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San Francisco Dance Film Festival 2014

Lindsay Gauthier serves as a producer for the San Francisco Dance Film Festival’s Co-Laboratory. The SFDFF has been around since 2010 and has provided a much needed platform for dancers and filmmakers around the Bay Area to develop and present work.

Rapt helped the festival this year by creating a trailer for the event. Be sure to check it out our work below!

Visit www.sfdancefilmfest.org for schedule and tickets.

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October 16, 2013

Saint Mary’s College Presidential Inauguration Ceremony

On Thursday, Oct 11, 2013  the Board of Trustees of Saint Mary’s College of California announced the inauguration of James A. Donahue as the College’s 29th president! Here are some photos of us during set up on the Chapel Lawn.

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September 11, 2013

San Francisco Dance Film Festival Co-Laboratory

Rapt Productions was given the opportunity to document the Co-Laboratory, presented by the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

3 choreographers, 3 filmmakers, and composers were paired up to collaborate on creating 3 short dance films in a compressed amount of time. This one-week experimental, intensive process challenges these artists to work together and explore the many possibilities of expression outside their fields in hopes of inspiring future creative relationships with other artists.

The Djerassi Resident Artists Program has been very kind in allowing these artists to use their space for their creative outlet.

Amy Seiwert, John Haptas, and Kris Samuelson
Amy Seiwert, the Artistic Director and primary choreographer of Imagery, collaborates with artists of other disciplines and commits to experimental work from a classical base. She was named one of “25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, one of the “Hot 20 under 40” by 7×7, and was honored with a “Goldie” award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian. She’ll be working with John Haptas and Kris Samuelson who have been making documentary essays for over 25 years. Kris has also taught in the Stanford Documentary Film and Video MA/MFA program for three decades and John works as a freelance documentary editor.

Yaelisa and John Korty
During the last twelve years, Yaelisa has spent extensive periods of time living and performing in Spain, presenting her choreography there and in the U.S. Her choreography has been commissioned by several modern dance companies, including John Malashock & Company, Rose Polsky and Collage Dance Theatre. She is pairing up with John Korty who has over forty years of experience making animations, documentaries, and dramatic films. He has also won one Oscar and two national Emmy awards; major credits as writer, producer, director and director of photography.

KT Nelson and Chris Mason Johnson
KT Nelson, ODC/Dance Co-Artistic Director, danced with ODC for 22 years. She has choreographed over 60 works, and has been awarded the Isadora Duncan award three times:  in 1987 for Outstanding Performance, in 1996 for Outstanding Choreography, and in 2001 for Sustained Achievement. Nelson will be working with Chris Mason Johnson, who has worked as Head of Development at Open City Films and taught screenwriting and/or film production at Rutgers University and Amherst College. Chris’s next project as writer/director, Test, is set in the San Francisco dance world of 1985, in the early years of the AIDS epidemic, and received grants from the Horizons Foundation and San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation.

These three films will be screened during closing night Sunday, September 15th at The Delancey Screening Room in San Francisco.
Well Contested Sites will also be screened that night!

Don’t miss out! Come join us and get your tickets today!

For more information check out San Francisco Film Festival’s Blog!

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March 26, 2013

Rapt’s work for Paul Stinson and his Band “The Stripminers”




Rapt’s work for Paul Stinson and his Band “The Stripminers” has been creative and fun. Working with Music Video Editor Doug Freel and collaborating with choreographers Leyya Tawil and Damon Mahoney, Rapt recently shot two music videos for The Stripminers.

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Rapt Productions 99 Seat Theater Discount!

Rapt Productions is offering a 30% discount off of our normal videography and photography rates for theater and dance productions in theaters with 99 seats or less. We want to offer accessible, high quality video production & performance documentation to small theaters and dance companies –
and keep it simple.

For only $350.00, one of our experienced videographers or photographers will document your show with a professional HD camera and transfer the footage or photographs to your hard drive. That’s it. There are no additional costs and you will have complete access to your images. If you do want us to handle the video/photo editing, DVD authoring or studio photography, we can do that too.

For edit quotes, please don’ t hesitate to contact us. We have 15 years experience documenting performance and editing compelling work samples,sizzle reels, and mini docs. We bring a choreographer’s eye to the capture of live performance, striving to give a visceral experience of your work.
Don’t take our word for it, check out our website.

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January 23, 2013

School of the Arts (SOTA)

Yet again, we had the pleasure of working with the talented dancers of Ruth Asawa’s San Francisco School for the Arts (SOTA).  SOTA’s Dance department has a highly respected training program that prepares students for the professional dance world, where they build a strong technical foundation in ballet, modern, and jazz styles, and choreography.

The Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts is a public, tuition-free, visual and performing arts high school dedicated to providing students with an alternative educational program that fosters artistic development and creativity.

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December 10, 2012

Well Contested Sites

A 13 minute dance and theater film that delves into issues of  incarceration in the United States. Through dance and stunning visuals the film explores the effect of imprisonment on the body: the “well contested site”.  Filmed on Alcatraz, the cast is comprised of a group professional performers and previously incarcerated men. We hope to engage the audience in a dialogue around the problem of over-incarceration in the American justice system, utilizing the film as a tool to begin a discussion long over due in our society.

Well Contested Sites is a collaboration between choreographer Amie Dowling and our very own Artistic Executive Director of Rapt Productions, Austin Forbord.

To find out more information please visit the FaceBook page:

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November 14, 2012

“Blue, Black, and White” a brand new film by Rapt Productions [Tiit Helimets and Co.,The de Young Project, Fall 2012]

In this brand new film produced by Rapt Productions , Tiit has given us yet another behind-the-scenes opportunity to watch the entire creative process of Tiit Heliments and Co. “Blue, Black and White.”

Blue, Black and White is a collection of three captivating dance films performed by three San Francisco Ballet principle dancers [performed on October 12, 2012]. Their choreographed movement paints the canvases over time, as an hommage to the Estonian flag.

We look forward to sharing the video with you in coming weeks.

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Opera Parallele’s Video Design in Ainadamar

Opera Parallel presents Ainadamar, a one-act opera, by Osvaldo Golijovn, February 15-17th 2013, at The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. This piece artfully integrates videos to enhance the dramatic Libretto (by David Henry Hwang), and we were privileged to have the opportunity to film the scenes presented in our studio. This gripping reflection of human faith, moral duty, and the relationship between artistic and political freedom, reveals the story of the final moments of actress Marfarita Xirgu’s life; who was banished from Spain during the Spanish Civil War (Photograph above is of Xirgu casted as a statue being executed).

With Kickstarter Donations, Opera Parallel has been able to further develop their intricate video design and technology.  The sets and the floating stage bring alive the parallel levels of heaven and earth.  Their mission is to engage audiences by using contemporary opera to bring their stories to life. The picture above is of Austin and Brian Staufenbiel, shooting video footage for the show in our studio.

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October 31, 2012

Flyaway Productions’ Niagara Falling Performance

Rapt Productions had the opportunity to document this stunning performance by Flyaway Productions. During the performance, artists suspended 100 feet above the street on the Renoir Hotel wall told the story of America (a street, two towns, and a nation) falling and rising. The backdrop was a beautiful film by Hi-Jin and David Hodge. Watch a few excerpts from the performance: 


“This inspiring coming-together of artists and mediums does more than wow with its awing visual effects; it educates, inspires, and informs the route we must take if we want to solve urban decline…It speaks to something much deeper than throwing money at the lack of money, because what is really missing is not lack of money but lack of care and foresight from the leaders we entrusted.” – In Dance

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September 12, 2012

Inside Walnut Creek’s Company C Contemporary Ballet

Rapt Productions had the privilege of creating a short documentary for Company C Contemporary Ballet‘s 10 Year Anniversary. It premiered at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at the Gala in February and was met with much excitement. With an inside peak at the company and how it was created, In a Moment presents the journey of Artistic Director Charles Anderson, his childhood growing up with two professional ballet dancers as parents, his days of dancing in New York City, and the last 10 years spent building a contemporary ballet company from the ground up in Walnut Creek. The above clip is an excerpt from the film.

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Theatrical Design for Ensemble Parallele’s Great Gatsby


In February, Rapt teamed up with Ensemble Parallele for the third time for their production of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby. Our videos received awesome praise in several reviews.  The projections included the ominous eyes of T.J. Ikleburg, Oculist, the Valley of the Ashes, and Myrtle’s Death scene. We can’t wait to get to work on EP’s next production Ainadamar at YBCA in 2013. Watch a few excerpts from the performance:

“Many aspects of the production reach a level close to perfection… Austin Forbord’s videography is some of the best I’ve seen anywhere for an opera. His projections from the driver’s point of view in Gatsby’s yellow roadster were highly effective, and his use of the “T. J. Eckleburg, Oculist” billboard became a coup de theatre when its glasses suddenly lowered down and surrounded Gatsby and paramour Daisy on the stage.   –San Francisco Classical Voice


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May 20, 2012

New Dance Photography

Check out a new series of dance images from a recent Rapt Productions photo shoot by Kitfox Valentín, and stay tuned for a behind the scenes video!

Behind the scenes:

photo by Maya Alberta

Photography by: Kitfox Valentín / Rapt Productions
Co-Artistic Direction / Choreography: Maya Alberta
Makeup & Hair: Inna Mathews
Models / Dancers: Coco Mason, Mariam Gaibova, and Anna Morton
Videography: Mathew Wolfe
Assisting: Elizabeth Tan and Clémence Pluche

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April 13, 2012

Dance Photography for SOTA San Francisco

This is the result of a Rapt Productions photo shoot of the dancers of The School Of  The Arts in San Francisco, celebrating thirty years of dance!
The task of capturing this shot of an epic wave of dancers was no easy one. Not to mention the lighting arrangements, we built scaffolding twenty five feet high on either side of the cyc wall for several of the dancers to leap off of. Before the shoot, the dancers had a good, limbering warm up and drew straws to see who would have the ground and who would have the leaping positions. It is fortunate that they’re fairly young subjects and are therefore resilient, as we needed multiple takes to get the shot just right…

Okay, I joke. The dancers for this particular image were composited from the individual shots below, and even though no one had to jump off of scaffolding, I was very impressed the subjects ability and commitment as they threw themselves through the air with a wonderful mix of study and reckless abandon. Thanks to everyone from SOTA for making this a great shoot!


… And some non composite shots:

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