Director John Balazs discusses his Australian neo-noir.
Australian action film Dancer has enjoyed a very successful festival run overseas having won a swag of international awards.
Dancer is a fast-paced, 55 minute, drama/martial arts film set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Melbourne.
It tells the story of Richard, a disconnected hitman who develops an infatuation with Dallas, a stripper at a local club who has aspirations of becoming a ballet dancer. As he uncovers the violent and corrupt world she is enslaved by, he takes it upon himself to rescue her from her downward spiraling life at any cost.
“Dancer is the first time, in a career spanning 10 years, that I had complete creative control over a project,” said director John Balazs.
“I decided that this film was going to showcase my ability to direct action as a driving tool for dynamic and interesting story and characters.”
Heavily influenced by the Neo Noir 80’s tone, Dancer offers exciting and fast paced martial arts action with a gritty story and stylised visuals.
“Having set a goal of making an action film, I had to look at the kind of films I liked, what tones and themes stuck with me and what visual and aesthetic qualities do I enjoy and appreciate in films?” said Balazs.
“Having been heavily influenced by the neo noir 80’s ‘Synth Rave’ sub-genre, I knew I wanted Dancer to have an 80’s tone through music, costumes, and lighting. Dancer would be told in a world of hot pink neon lights, dark blue rooms and seedy, dim environments,” he continued.
Since its premiere on June 30, Dancer has had 9 official selections at American film festivals and has won an impressive eight awards, including four Best Director wins for Balazs and four best picture wins at various film festivals.
“Dancer is the first time I am truly proud and excited about my work,” Balazs said.
Dancer was shot over three consecutive weekends in Melbourne and had a pre-production period of five months which included 3 months of fight training and choreography. The fight scenes took approximately six hours to shoot over one day and condensed three months of training to just a little over six minutes of footage.
Australian Martial Arts legend Richard Norton offered his advice on the fight scenes and passed on his knowledge to Dancer’s fight choreographer Alex Lukacs.
Dancer stars James Conrado, Zoe Thornburgh and Marcus Merkoski and will be available to view online in 2018.
You can keep up to date with the film here.