Director Dimitri Basil, who’s helmed music video shoots for the likes of Vance Joy and Flight Facilities, has responded to an uproar that erupted over social media last week in response to a callout for a Kyle Minogue video shoot that requested professional dancers work all day unpaid.
Last week, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that several Melbourne-based dancers received a callout from dance schools and agents to work on the video for I Was Gonna Cancel — choreographed by the Sydney Dance Company’s Rafael Bonachela and taking place at Docklands Studios — advising them the 11-hour shoot would be unpaid but a “great opportunity and fun.”
After several dancers took their frustration to social media using the hashtag #paythedancers, Actors Equity Australia stepped in and the clip’s producers soon confirmed that dancers working on the shoot would be paid. Many noted the incident highlighted an ongoing problem for many creatives.
In a statement to Music Feeds, Dimitri Basil, who directed the I Was Gonna Cancel shoot, has insisted that he has “the utmost respect and admiration for the dance community” and that “In my enthusiasm to create the best video for Kylie, I independently contacted a number of potential cast members.” He says his intention was not to “undermine the experience and talent of professionals.”
“Instead it was a call out to my friends and the people they knew to be part of a particular crowd scene in the video, who wanted to share this great opportunity with me. This was always intended to be a fun and creative experience, and I certainly didn’t mean to offend the dance community.”
Basil adds that those involved “had a great time on set and everybody was happy to be part of the creation.” Meanwhile, Minogue herself has responded to the #paythedancers campaign, tweeting, “All video cast had a blast & yes, OF COURSE all were paid..contrary to reports! #paythedancers”
— kylie minogue (@kylieminogue) April 26, 2014