KSUIF slated to produce modern hip-hop dance video

Music video

Music video

Neville Hardman

Kent State University Independent Films is in the works of producing its latest project, a three-part dance concept video called Heartbeat.

The same group that created projects such as Hell at Heathridge and Second Time Around, KSUIF is tackling a concept that hasn’t been touched by the organization, set to pick back up in the spring.

Brandon Lazenko, a senior electronic media production major, gained inspiration for the creation of the project by hanging out with a friend who is a professional hip-hop dancer and choreographer. After spending time with him and learning dance through him, he was hooked on the concept and decided to turn it into a full-scale production.

“(Heartbeat) is basically a short story that climaxes with a choreographed hip-hop routine and what we decided to do is have three different segments that actually tell a story throughout all three with an ending to each one,” Lazenko said.

Lazenko said dance concept videos add an extra element compared to other videos that center only around dance because it tells a story. It is the combination of real storytelling mixed with physical storytelling, he said.

Hannah Raulston, a junior electronic media production major and producer, said the segments will be short as the story follows PJ, the male lead, through his struggles at work, in relationships and eventually in marriage.

“It starts off with two to four minutes of plot and characterization, much like a regular film, but then climaxes with a motived dance propelled by the story,” Raulston said.

Casting for Heartbeat took place a month ago for two female roles, one being the lead to accompany the current male lead. The female lead will play as an actress and a dancer while the other female role will just play as an actress.

Heartbeat is different than other projects KSUIF has produced because not only is there professional dancing in place, but the cast does not solely include Kent State students. Filming began this semester and will continue throughout spring semester.

“KSUIF has really only done things that are strictly story and they’ve never done anything revolving around dance, so I was just trying to kind of bring to the table something they have never done before,” he said.

Lazenko said the project will help others to “appreciate raw talent and find a new interesting in something.”

“This going to be a very cinematic, professional production that I feel like whether you dance or not, everyone can appreciate it,” Lazenko said.

Casting for additional roles such as back up dancers and extras will take place during spring semester.

Contact Neville Hardman at [email protected].