attending the first High Strung Free Dance screening!

There I was, one fateful Tuesday afternoon, as I stepped out of the Uber, thanking the driver as usual and taking a beat for a deep breath. There I was, in front of the RealD theater in Beverly Hills, California and about to step further into my strange and beautiful life as a storyteller in the entertainment biz.

As I am sure you may already know from past posts all over this site and my social media profiles (@sarahfhamilton), this past summer, I got the incredible dream opportunity to go on location in New York City, film some behind the scenes videos and make a cameo debut with my family in the upcoming feature film, High Strung Free Dance!

It was such an unbelievably great experience and I was not ready for that weekend to come to an end. Ever since, I have been busy with my own productions and school life as a film junior at LMU and excitingly waiting for the first screening.

That notice for the first screening happened at the end of one of the most stressful weeks of junior thesis short film pre-production and proved to be a delightful (and greatly needed) burst of inspiration.

The first private screening took place on February 6th in Beverly Hills. As exciting jitters settled in on the uber trip over, I realized two key things…

  1. As an actress, I was about to witness my first feature movie theater screen appearance… that has been quite the dream for as long as I can remember so to have that come to life was truly a dream come true!
  2. As a filmmaker, I was about to learn more about the filmmaking process on a professional scale, network, and be a part of the process!

What I did not realize was about to happen was that I was going to find great inspiration and a newfound confidence that turned my entire mindset right around in the best of ways.

Alright, but enough about me fangirling about my own amazing life lately… here is a non-spoiler first look at the movie!

lights down, picture up…

High Strung Free Dance follows the story of two dreamers, Barlow (portrayed by Juliet Doherty) a ballerina, and Charlie (portrayed by Harry Jarvis) a pianist, as they get the opportunity of a lifetime cast into the tour of Broadway’s, Free Dance! With stunning choreography numbers, a love triangle with Zander (portayed by Thomas Doherty), amazing music (composed by Nathan Lanier) and visuals that leave the audience in awe, this is a movie that truly brings art to life with a beautiful blend of dance, music, and pure emotion.

Right as the movie began and the first note was played, I was instanty in the world of the story. There is something truly incredible when the world around you fades away and all that seems to exist during a movie is the storyworld being shown. Such magic definitely took place while watching this movie! As the story continued, the characters came to life and brought such captivating realism to the emotions at play. The music, during both the performances and just running throughout, was easily felt to the soul. The compositional choices, production design, and visual storytelling elements with the cinematography brought the film to a whole another level. The performances were absolutely incredible and left everyone in the theater clapping in pure awe and joy. Every scene brings so much power, especially the finale… which I will restrain from saying anything about here, but all I will say is that it is truly breathtaking.

Yes, seeing myself and my family on the big screen brought additional tears to my eyes. Simply noting what I am calling the “elements of the other side” of filmmaking left me appreciating the film from the viewing point of view and the point of view that included better understanding the process. It was fascinating to see how amazingly scenes translated from the bits and pieces I knew of throughout.

During a press screening (the screening that started it all for me) for the first movie, High Strung, I remember getting this chill of pure happiness as I realized that the movie I was watching was going to premiere exactly a week from that day and I was going to be able to meet so many involved with the project. When that premiere took place at the TCL Chinese Theaters, I had this surreal moment of watching the movie alongside basically everyone involved with it. There is something truly incredible about that sort of theater experience that I simply cannot put in words. Such a moment happened again at this screening, but this time, I truly felt like I belonged. I am a part of this from both sides of the screen. It’s surreal and I still wonder how this is even humanly possible.

Surreal. Magical. Emotional.

Those three words just barely summarize the massive amounts of thoughts and emotions that I have been able to experience through this journey. I have learned so very much and I am so inspired by both what is on-screen and what I have been able to understand about the filmmaking process. Being a part of this continues to be so monumental for me. To make matters better, I had a great sense of clarity with who I am as a storyteller. I act, write, direct, and find a plethora of ways to bring stories to life and share emotions with others. I have gained a rush of motivation, creativity, and additional passion towards my current filmmaking adventures, especially as I prep for filming next weekend my junior thesis short film.

As this journey continues getting closer to the premiere and summer release, I will definitely keep updates here, as well as, on twitter/instagram/youtube. Definitely follow @HighStrungMovie, get excited for High Strung Free Dance this summer and watch High Strung (now available)!

Follow your dreams & create pure magic,

check out former High Strung posts here:

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