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Filmmaker Friday: Jono Lawley

March 29, 2019

This week for Filmmaker Friday, Jono Lawley shares how a passion for dance can ignite a career in film:

I was never a cinephilia, although I always loved the process of making movies. My father was an AD for commercials and music videos and I grew up riding on dollies and running up cyclorama walls. Most films I made were with my brother and sister when we were kids. We made James Bond style movies with mini bikes, and chase scenes through the farmer’s fields in Keswick. I never really fit-in in Keswick, as it was a hockey town and I started taking ballet at a very young age.

I always had a mini DV camera in my locker during my years of dance training. I would shoot my friends dancing during my downtime. When I was 19 I was dancing 8 to 12 hours a day, then brought the footage home from that day and edited it at night. Then I would show everyone the next day on the 17 inch CRT tv at the studio. I thought I was so cool.

Aside from ballet, I also trained in jazz, modern and took the occasional breakdance class. My breakdancer teacher was Jesse “Mighty Mouse” from the Boogie Brats. He was a super cool guy. One day on the way into class Jesse was playing a video on the small tv at the studio. It was a teaser he was in for the “Moving Pictures Film Festival 2000”, directed by Gregory Nixon from Toronto. I was blown away. This was the coolest dance on film I have ever seen. This introduced me to the world of dance on film and has been a huge influence on my work.

Years later one of my dance films played alongside, Gregory’s film. We both spoke at about dance on film for BravoFACT.

Here is that teaser that change it all for me.

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