#tbt Nick de Pencier Dances for a Small Screen

Nick de Pencier with Jennifer Baichwal on the shoot for Act of God
Mongrel Media

By Pat Mullen

Nick de Pencier’s Black Code opens tomorrow at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. The doc marks de Pencier’s second theatrical feature as a director after 2007’s Four Wings and a Prayer and after shooting acclaimed films such as Watermark and The Ghosts in Our Machine. However, de Pencier didn’t always plan to be a cinematographer and, as he notes in this POV interview with Brian St. Denis, he shot of fell into being a DoP after starting out as a still photographer with thoughts of making fiction films.

Among de Pencier’s earlier credits as a director is the short film Dances for a Small Screen: Motel (1998). The short is part of a TV trilogy that features segments by Moze Mossanen and Laura Taler. Shot by Marcus Elliot, this racy and melancholy dance film/performance piece offers a dynamic portrait of two separated lovers grieving their lost romance in a seedy motel. Film at a variety of odd and intimate angles, the short showcases a cinematographer’s eye and a filmmaker’s eagerness to take the audience directly into the personal space of the characters.

Watch Dances for a Small Screen: Motel below:

(And stay tuned for a new interview between de Pencier and POV editor Marc Glassman!)