SID: A Sci-Fi Ballet Film

The future of ballet is not what you think.
Ben Estabrook
San Francisco, California
United States
1 Team Member
SID is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of SID must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.


For those of you who are fans of ballet, think of SID as a story ballet, like Swan Lake, except that it is a short film with original choreography made for the camera. If you enjoy films, think of SID as a throwback to the silent film era, when the physicality of the actors and the musical accompaniment carried the weight of the storytelling.  

This is not the first time that dance and science fiction have crossed paths.  Ballet has a long history of dancing automatons, dating back to CoppeliaNutcracker, and the Ballet Russes' 

Petrouchka Fritz Lang's Metropolis is one of the first science fiction films created and features an android, Maria, that dances a crowd of men into a frenzy.


While many science fiction films foresee a time when humans are overrun by advanced artificially intelligent machines through warfare, SID reimagines this theme. What would happen if during the evolution of artificial intelligence, an android gained a creative impulse? How would human society react to a machine that is capable of creating art?  


This film is a rare opportunity to take world-class ballet dancers off the proscenium stage and onto the sound stage.  If you've seen a recording of a ballet before, it was most likely a performance shot in a theater with a live audience.  The coverage is limited to static shots from cameras positioned far away from the stage. By shooting on a sound stage, we can bring you much closer to the action. The camera is no longer a passive viewer of the dance, but almost a participant as it is free to move and capture the intimacy and bravura of the choreography within a few feet of the dancers.


The music used in the pitch video was arranged and performed by SID's composer, Preben Antonsen.  He has worked closely with the choreographer and arranged the works of Shostakovich and Prokofiev to satisfy the specific time requirements of each scene in the film. Preben will ultimately arrange an atmospheric and emotionally charged score for a seven piece acoustic ensemble that serves both as the basis for the choreography and an important story-telling device.  He will also play and record musical passages on his analogue modular synthesizer to create SID's authentic sci-fi sound.


Performing ballet companies provide art lovers with one of the great experiences the world has to offer. Dancers, choreographers, musicians, composers, designers, etc., rely on them for their artistic careers and livelihood. SID represents another important facet of evolution for the art of ballet. These same artists are looking to film for employment opportunities to do their work in a non-ephemeral way and for creative control. As a form of digital media, SID will reach far beyond the limited numbers of people a ballet performance at a theater can attract. SID's popular subject matter also allows it to vie for distribution beyond the typical dance related tracks. 


Shooting an original ballet on a sound stage comes at quite a cost which is why we are asking for your help. Many of the artists and crew members are working well below their normal rate to make this film possible. We could not be making this film without them and we cannot bring this film to completion without you. Your support will go towards the construction of sets and costumes, rental of the 32TEN Studios sound stage, the camera crew and gear rental, arrangement and the recording of the score, payment for the dancers, and costs like production insurance. 

 As a thank you for being a part of this incredible opportunity for ballet film, we have assembled a collection of unique perks for your tax-deductible donation. For as little as $25, you get a digital copy of the film so you can enjoy the fruits of what you helped to create.


Headshots by Sandy Lee and Danielle Short.  
Publicity stills of Sarah Van Patten and Carlos Quenedit by David DeSilva.  
Beat boards by Mark Simmons.  
Costume and set design by Ben Pierce.  

Find This Campaign On
raised by 68 people in 1 month
33% funded
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Verified Nonprofit
$25,000 USD goal
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This campaign ended on December 13, 2013
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Select a Perk
  • $10USD
    SID Wallpaper!

    Thank you by name on our website and SID wallpaper for your computer!

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2014
  • $25USD
    Digital Download of SID!

    HD download of the film, exclusive access to an episodic making-of documentary of the film, and the rewards from the previous tier. (amount over $10 is tax-deductible)

    17 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $50USD
    Signed Movie Poster!

    Signed 11" x 17" movie poster by the cast and crew and all previous reward tiers. (amount over $13 is tax-deductible)

    9 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $100USD
    DVD or Blu-ray of SID!

    DVD or blu-ray with cast and crew commentary plus making-of documentary and all previous reward tiers. (amount over $33 is tax-deductible)

    16 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $250USD
    Signed Pointe Shoes by SVP!

    A pair of pointe shoes autographed by San Francisco Ballet Principal Dancer Sarah Van Patten (SID), thank you by name in the film credits, and all previous reward tiers (backers will be responsible for their own air travel and accommodation). (amount over $108 is tax-deductible)

    4 out of 20 claimed
  • $500USD
    Signed Book of SID Art!

    Signed bound book of storyboards and concept art from the film and all previous reward tiers. (amount over $133 is tax-deductible)

    3 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $1,000USD
    Attend the Film’s Premier!

    VIP tickets to the premier of the film in San Francisco where you can meet the cast and crew and all previous reward tiers (backers will be responsible for their own air travel and accommodation). (amount over $183 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 15 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2014
  • $5,000USD
    Executive Producer

    Executive Producer credit in the film, original artwork by the Production Team, and all previous reward tiers. (amount over $193 is tax-deductible)

    0 out of 4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
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