(Flash forward) “How did you get such amazing interviews and performance footage?” Asks Cindy from Albuquerque, one of a dozen questions I field during the Q & A session after “Do The Dance” screening before an enthralled audience. “A lot of luck,” I say. The crowd laughs. (End of flash forward)
Like most productions, luck played a role in helping our team return from our Portland trip with footage that exceeded our expectations. Skill and friends in the right places also played a big role. When the team loaded the gear into my SUV and aimed it north, we had two rock-solid interviews scheduled and a whole bunch of maybes. In our pocket was Dr. Judith Hanna, an anthropologist who has testified in over 100 trials over exotic dance, and Ivizia Dakina, a well-known Portland performer I met the summer before at Burning Man.
Documentary "Do the Dance" explores a pivotal 1969 Sacramento trial over exotic dancing and its ramifications. The Portland chapter looks at the ultra stripper-friendly state of Oregon. In our three days in Portland, we conducted eight interviews, visited seven strip clubs, with 4K video of performances from 9 dancers. The interviews include Vicki, the owner of Mary’s Club, the oldest strip club in Portland, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, Det. Chad Opiz of Beaverton Ore. and journalist Byron Beck. Turns out Ivizia isn’t just a performer, she’s a producer. She secured access to some of Portland’s best clubs and a showcase of some of Portland’s finest performers. Jack Ohman, The Sacramento’s Bee editorial cartoonist formerly of the (Portland) Oregonian, helped secure Beck. Our mission now is to leverage the footage we have to secure the funds needed to finish our project. Wish us luck.