$20 on Pump 5 came about after Jowaan Sullivan and I took a day trip to a small desert town about 2 hours outside of LA.

It had been a few months since our last dance video collaboration and we both expressed the desire to create new work.

Jowaan had remembered and area of LA from his Lyft driving days and found this gas station that generously allowed us to film here for a few hours.

My challenge on this dance video was to visually heighten the late-night dance off that takes between the gas pumps. The space itself was relatively straight forward, and luckily the colors were a forest green–quite rare for a gas station–but complimented the wardrobe and hair very nicely.

What’s different about this dance video in comparison to dance videos I’ve directed in the past is the much more pronounced set pieces–there are columns, gasoline pumps, the vintage Mercedes–as well as the continuous flare from the overhead lights I had to incorporate into the framing of each shot, as well as the movement of the camera.

I did a lot of camerawork this time around that starts with one composition, then moves into an entirely different composition, all in one shot. It’s a very economical way to shoot, yet much more difficult as you have a lot more variables you need to account for when creating the shot. I have to be careful with how I step, going up and down curbs, I need to avoid hitting gas pumps or garbage cans, and I also need to be sure I don’t catch too much of the flare so I don’t wash out what we see on screen.

Overall, I am very happy with how it turned out and am excited to see this level of complexity enter into these narrative dance videos.