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How is a Les Mills release created?

Part 3: Filming

The music has been carefully chosen, the choreography lovingly arranged. In part 3 of this series we go behind the scenes of Filming – the final product you see as the masterclass when you get your new release resources.

People make the product

Often the masterclass presenting teams are selected and confirmed months in advance, so coming into the week the Program Directors (PD) have a very good sense of who is teaching what and how the release looks and feels. Rachael Newsham (PD for SH’BAM and BODYCOMBAT) says “when I know who’s on the presenting team, I tend to pick music and movement styles that suit them”.

While the choreography is 98% set by Filming day, modifications and changes during Filming week are inevitable and for various reasons. In some cases last minute changes are due to music licencing issues, in other cases it’s because tracks don’t have the right feel during practice classes. Other minor adjustments occur as the presenters spend time deep diving into their tracks – whether it comes from scripting or performance moments.

The script

The majority of the compulsory coaching cues are often created in consultation with the Program Director, Technical Consultant, Program Coach and Presenter – these are usually heavily scripted. A lot of work goes into how the movements are coached, especially the new moves specific to the release. The words that are said on the masterclass need to be as accurate as possible, as around the world, they become many instructors’ scripts.

When the coaching layers are integrated, this is where the presenter’s unique teaching style is integrated along with the track focus. This also allows for every track to be different from the last release.

Next step

Once the masterclass is filmed, the final step in creating a Les Mills release is undertaken: post-production, the fourth part in this 5-part series.