An Interview with Cy
Tell us a little bit about your (pre-pandemic!) experience joining ABT Studio Company in the 2019-2020 season.
Joining Studio Company last year was a dream come true. The classes were rigorous and we had some difficult rep to learn–but it was so much fun. We got to travel the world, to such amazing places, dancing for all sorts of people. I am also very lucky because everyone in StuCo gets along really well, and we all support each other a lot.
What got you interested in video editing? How did you learn?
I got interested in video editing in high school at The HARID Conservatory. My friends and I were bored one weekend, so we had the idea to make little horror movies with everyone. I filmed all the scenes and then learned to edit everything together by watching Youtube videos. That sparked my interest in film and editing. From then, I just continued to watch hundreds of Youtube videos to teach myself how to edit videos.
What is your process for creating the ABT Studio Company videos?
When I make a video, I start by looking through all my footage (which can take hours), and then I make a little outline of how I want the video to be set up. I then try to pick music that I think would fit. It’s hard for me to start editing without knowing what music is going to be in the background. I’ll listen to tons of different playlists while I drive, then save the songs that could possibly work. After I do that, I upload all my videos and start stitching them together. Sometimes when I can’t make up my mind, I make multiple versions of a video and figure out which one I like better, once they are both finished.
What has the experience of making these videos been like during the pandemic when everyone is scattered?
Making videos during the pandemic has been interesting. While it’s not possible to do any filming now, since we’re not together dancing, the pandemic is actually the primary reason I have gotten more opportunities to create and edit videos. From editing some of Isabella Boylston’s videos for her Youtube channel to editing videos for Ballerina Book Club through All Arts, and making videos for Studio Company, I’ve been able to keep busy during the pandemic. Of course, it has been difficult having to send these videos back and forth because of our separation, but we’ve gotten the hang of it.
How do you see your filmmaking skills evolving? What would be your dream project?
Of course, my goal is to have a long professional ballet career. I intend to continue working on film projects in my spare time and during the off-season. It’s possible that a career in film would be something I would love to explore in the future.
It’s hard to imagine a dream project right now because I am still finding out so many different things that I love about film every single day. However, I do think it would be amazing to one day work on some sort of film, doesn’t matter what type! I also think it would be lots of fun to one day make some sort of professional documentary about my talented colleagues.
Who are your filmmaking inspirations/what movies, videos, or styles most influence you?
Christopher Nolan is a huge filmmaking inspiration to me. The cinematography, score, and complex editing makes his films into something that is like a piece of art. On the horror side of things, I love films by Alfred Hitchcock and by Ari Aster. The mood that they can create even within a still image of a scene is haunting. Music plays such a big role in all of their films, and that definitely influences the role of music in the videos I make. I also like to add unexpected comedy in my videos to ‘humanize’ the dancers. I’d say my comedic influences come from shows like “The Office” or “Parks and Recreation.”