Iris Warriors, a global high-end dance film production, opened up its film set at the Salt River Film Studios to a select few on Tuesday, 31 May 2016, offering a rarely seen behind the scenes preview of a film in the making.
With an original screenplay written by Don Macnab-Stark, directed by Roydon Turner, and produced by Donroy Entertainment Limited of London, UK, Iris Warriors is a unique story told through dance, shared through film, and brought to life with cutting edge CGI.
Guests were taken through the journey of the production, then watched a live performance of the dancers in their extravagant costumes and make-up, all while the cameras were rolling. Director Roydon Turner also shared the inspiration behind the Iris Warriors, an idea that came to him about 6 years ago, since when the concept has evolved into this incredible production.
The mythical story tells of the birth of colour, of Light and Darkness and how their union produces the Iris Warriors, the seven colours of the rainbow that brighten and illuminate our world. The elements of Light, Darkness and Colour are brought to life using a mix of modern and classical ballet. Months of dance rehearsals took place before filming could commence on Monday, 16 May 2016, with a diverse and talented cast and crew from all parts of the Rainbow Nation.
Iris Warriors is a story within a story, beginning in an orphanage in World War Two England. The orphanage scenes will be filmed at Marsh Memorial, an orphanage in Rondebosch, Cape Town. In the opening scenes of the film, the children are woken in the middle of the night by bombs crashing down around them, and hurried to the cellar for safety. In the hopes of distracting them, their teacher, Miss Shaw, begins to tell them the story of the Iris Warriors. But what starts as a simple story read from a book soon becomes a magical tale set on a floating crystal island, a dazzling blend of music and drama and dance.
It was announced at the behind-the-scenes premier that well known actress Jessica Brown Findlay, will be playing the role of Miss Shaw, the teacher. Findlay is best known for her role in ITV series Downton Abbey as Lady Sybil Crawley.
Every aspect of the production is unique, created specifically for Iris Warriors. The original score has been composed by Matthew Oliver, produced by Jake Bright and will be performed by the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra. The CGI animation has been brought to life by Rob Rae from Toronto-based Motion Cult studios. It’s a story told through many different mediums, each complementing the others to create the overall picture.
Iris Warriors will be released in the summer of 2017, with a live production set to be performed at Spier Wine Estate in February/March 2017. For more information on Iris Warriors, visit www.iriswarriors.com, and follow the journey on our social media channels by searching for IrisWarriors on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
*Photography by Julia Janse Van Vuuren