The bboyz battle, that is.
About four years ago some of my broadcasting boys asked to use my classroom during lunch to practice dancing. That’s when I discovered the bboyz culture. Highly energized contortionists who threw themselve into dance with wild abandon. Turns out I love both the music and the movement.
After my husband’s near termination due to an accident, his first real smiles and laughter came at a bboyz battle at my high school. He, too, was captured by their love of life and energy.
So it’s no surprise that even though I’ve retired, I still keep an eye on the club and jumped at the opportunity to haul them to south Stockton on a field trip to battle another high school.
Tech stuff: used my HV20, handheld. Shot maybe twenty-five minutes of tape. Interviews done with a Radio Shack lav mike. It shorted out on two of my interviews…so, goodbye to that mike. I was able to pull off the edit over two days…with another day to upload.
This is true storytelling on the run. I went in with an idea of what I was going to see and a few ideas about how I’d shoot it. I knew (for my own safety) I couldn’t get too close and it was better to stay wide because the dancers are all over the place.. And I also knew that the audience would be just as jazzed as the dancers…so for a few minutes I would have to turn my back on the main event to capture the reactions. Summarized:
1. When in doubt, stay wide
2. Move in closer as you get to know the event
3. Get reaction in addition to action
4. Always keep your own safety in mind (and the safety of those around you)
5. Think about how you are going to edit…to tell the story
Regarding point number five, once I got the rhythm of the event…the dancers and hooting and hollering by the audience, I considered who to interview for the thread that would bind the story together. They included:
McNair club advisor – her view of the battle
Edison club advisor – ditto/unfortunately this was one of the interviews with problems and no time to go back and redo
A school administrator – official sanction of teen activities
McNair alumni – long time bboy and dancer who could give an overview of the battle
So check it out (above) and enjoy. And see what sparks the energy of young people in your area. Might surprise you.