Magical yarn unleashes sick dance moves in Weave, the latest short film written and directed by Iqbal Ahmed. The video centers on a night cleaner, played by dancer Jamal "Soup" Campbell, working in a 1930s fabric-weaving factory who dons discarded knit garb and discovers unexpected dance powers. It's a little like So You Think You Can Dance? meets The Red Shoes—except instead of dooming our protagonist to dance forever, the groovy garments free him from janitorial purgatory.
The world of Weave is a synesthete's paradise, all nostalgic, golden light and chunky knits, which transforms into an ultramarine, industrial techno-haven. "After first stumbling on the location, I was mesmerized by its authenticity and rich visual details. It is a completely functional fabric weaving factory that uses looms from the 1930s. The factory takes raw cotton, turns it into yarn, custom dyes the yarn, and weaves material through a complex process of automated weaving and hand-weaving. The location literally felt magical. And I wanted to capture that feeling," Ahmed tells Creators.
With the factory as the backbone of his story, Ahmed let his imagination and Campbell's dance moves run wild. "After some brainstorming, I decided to write a story about an after-hours custodian who works night after night in this fabric-weaving factory. A man whose life might be a little humdrum and repetitive. And a man who could benefit from a little magic," Ahmed says. "That set the stage for him to find a woven sleeve on the floor—and to have his life forever changed. The rest of the film was me having fun with that premise."
The world of Weave is sprinkled with luxe, woolen texture thanks to LA-based avant garde fashion retailer Please Do Not Enter. "We went through their whole inventory to find garments that could fit into the story. I was terrified when my dancer had a routine with a handmade $3,000 cashmere scarf!" Ahmed says. At one point, in head-to-toe knits—which, gotta admit, seems itchy—Campbell looks like a blissed-out, graceful scarecrow.
Cinematographer Shadi Chaaban's smooth tracking shots and Jean-Luc Sinclair's thrumming score are perfectly paired with Campbell's joyful moves. When our custodian friend trades his daily grind for a far funkier reality, Weave makes a strong case for eschewing work. After all, a world with more full-body sweater ensembles and dancing janitors sounds pretty darn idyllic.
Check out the entire short film below:
Click here to visit Iqbal Ahmed's website.