Dog Dancing School
DOG DANCING SCHOOL Is a funny and heartwarming Documentary Film about two amateur Dog Dancing enthusiasts and their teacher at a small Dog Dancing School on the outskirts of London. They have difficulties and challenges along the way, but together with their enthusiasm and guidance from their passionate teacher, they may just make it.
Donna LipowitzDirectorGokula, A Place on Earth for Cows, Cat Show
Completion Date:February 1, 2013
Production Budget:3,000 GBP
Country of Origin:United Kingdom
Country of Filming:United Kingdom
Shooting Format:Digital Camera HD
Montezuma International Film Festival 2013Costa Rica
July 1, 2013
Winner Best Short Documentary
Donna Lipowitz is an Australian independent documentary film producer/director based in London. She specialises in heart-warming stories about people and their relationships with animals. After a career in film & TV in Australia working in the Art Department, Donna moved to London and studied Documentary film making at the MET Film School in London.
I first saw Dog Dancing on 'Crufts' (a well known British Dog Show), and was fascinated by the sport. I am interested in making films about people's relationships with animals, and I thought that making a film about this subject would be a perfect, as the owners and their Dogs must have amazing relationships in order to perform such complicated routines.
Of course it also was the opportunity to make an entertaining film, a touch of 'British Eccentricity' wouldn't hurt to add interest to the subject matter. There have been many serious political Documentary Films made in recent years, and I liked the idea of making a Documentary film that was funny and heartwarming.
The original idea was to follow them on their journey from beginner to performing in their first show, perhaps at Crufts, but then I soon learnt that it could take years for someone to achieve that, and I wanted to complete the film in one year. Including a story in the film was a high priority to me, so I was always looking for a journey for the characters in my film. This of course was a real challenge as it was 'Real Life' , and what happens to people in their lives was not in my control.
Filming was great fun, to start with I just filmed everything, but it soon became apparent to me that I needed to refocus my plan and I went back during the edit to film some extra scenes to complete the story of the film. I tried my best to keep looking at my film with fresh eyes, and also showed the film privately to a handful of test audiences from a variety of backgrounds along the way, which really helped.
All up it took me around 3 months of solid editing in my little kitchen table converted to an edit suite, to get the film from over 30 hours of raw footage down to the current cut of the film that is now just 42 minutes.
Is was an arduous process and probably one of my proudest achievements to have completed it.
We had an amazing response at our recent Private Preview screening for the Contributors and their Dogs at the Dog Dancing School in Swindon recently, and I was so pleased that everyone enjoyed it so much.
As one person said,
"It would have been so easy, with the subject matter, characters and recent press, to present scathing report or, even worse, to poke fun. This film shows people striving to reach their goals in an entertaining but serious form."
Quote Steph Rendall
The film was great fun to make and if the initial reaction is anything to go by, it should entertain many audiences for years to come, I hope you enjoy it too.