(The above embed is a playlist, containing the “Nutcracker” film and the behind-the-scenes videos.
Select the hamburger menu in the top right corner of the video player to jump to any video in the playlist.)
For more than 50 years, local audiences have enjoyed a beloved holiday tradition as UNCSA students bring “The Nutcracker” to life. In 2020, the live production was cancelled for the safety of students and audience members alike, but the magic of “The Nutcracker” lived on through a filmed adaptation; a collaboration between the School of Dance, Design & Production, Music, and Filmmaking.
This behind-the-scenes video series highlights the incredible amount of work and creativity it took to bring the film to audiences in a short time frame. The series was released in the weeks leading up to the film’s premiere to excite viewers and encourage them to watch the film. The series also expertly served as a visual way to highlight a hands-on conservatory education conducted safely during a global pandemic.
What began as one behind-the-scenes video concept quickly evolved into a series of seven videos to uniquely showcase different aspects of the making of the 2020 “Nutcracker” film. Growing the concept into a series was beneficial from a content standpoint, because it allowed for greater storytelling around each component of the film. For example, an entire video was dedicated to highlighting new choreography, while another focused on lighting design and implementation.
The series was also incredibly valuable as a marketing tool. Instead of promoting one video, we were able to release them individually through a tailored e-mail series, and across social media — cross-posting with departmental and school social media accounts.
The behind-the-scenes videos were incredibly well-received, and are among some of the top-viewed pieces of content for the 2020-21 academic year. When Public Media NC (formerly UNC-TV) requested to air the “Nutcracker” film during the Christmas season, the behind-the-scenes video series was included in the broadcast to more than 52,000 viewers across the state.
Cover photography: “Nutcracker” by Peter Mueller