Former resident shoots scenes in the Parkland
Jeannie Barton-Northrup, firstname.lastname@example.org
Local dancer and filmmaker Elliot Geolat is using his knowledge of the area to create movie magic with his newest film, “The Ride.”
Filming has begun and will continue through the summer, mainly in Potosi, Bonne Terre, and Terre Du Lac. The Dancing Fox Pictures film crew may also appear in other St. Francois and Washington Counties locations.
Geolat grew up in Terre Du Lac and began studying dance with Kim Anderson at the Ballet Art Center before it moved to Farmington.
In his early teens, his ballet education moved to the Ballet Conservatory of St. Louis. And at 16, Geolat began dancing professionally for the St. Louis Ballet Company.
During his 22 years with the company, Geolat began dabbling in film editing and camera operation. Increased work and interest in the film industry led Geolat to become a founder of Dancing Fox Pictures in 2018.
He said the film in production is about a ballet dancer from a small town in the Ozarks who gets a job with a dance company in a large city.
After more than a decade of working for the dance company, the protagonist begins a journey of self-exploration told through traditional dialogue and not-so-traditional dance.
“You learn about the character as he learns about himself,” said Geolat about the character he plays.
Geolat began the project in 2021.
“We started it during the pandemic. I’d been planning it for years. But the pandemic hit right around when we were gearing up for production,” he said. So they extended pre-production.
“We were all meeting on Zoom and doing all these virtual conferences, and we — I think we thought of it as a positive way to kind of stay connected and, you know, keep creative, keep the project alive.”
The team at Dancing Fox Pictures started filming as soon as it was possible to do so.
“Once we were past the worst of the pandemic, we started doing outdoor shoots that were arguably safe,” said Geolat. “I thought that was beneficial because many of these outdoor shoots, especially at night, have to light huge areas.
“So those are more expensive and more difficult. I thought well; this is okay; this is great. I’m shooting something that’s, you know, a little more COVID-safe; it’s outdoors. But I’m also getting some more complicated shoots under my belt and out of the way.”
Geolat found it also really extended the production.
“Because we started shooting over a year ago, there will probably be scenes in this movie where you’ll see somebody one second, and then you’ll see that same person in the next scene or even in another shot from the same scene. And they’re going to be two years older,” he said.
Geolat said he was glad he got the scenes out of the way, but it made a very long production.
“Continuity is important, and you obviously can’t stop aging. So a lot of attention to detail, like taking snapshots of exactly how long or short your hair or facial hair was in a scene, is in this film,” said Geolat about how the production crew managed to deal with a long production schedule. “It’s a labor of love and a collective, collaborative art project.”
Geolat says the film crew plans to finish all the outdoor scenes by the beginning of October. Then they will work on the indoor locations during the fall season. He hopes to start post-production around the holidays and finish the film in the spring of 2024.
“When we finish, I will start submitting to film festivals. I’ll start with local independent film festivals and dance film festivals,” he said. “Then I will go for the big ones like Sundance and Cannes.
“They’re [the festivals] all accepting entries at different times of the year, so that will be a long process – and maybe more than a year. But that’s our goal; enter and just see where it goes.”