How I shot my “This is 50” video in Paris.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be ballerina.

Pretty. Pink. Light.

Someone who could do 32 pirouettes. I had watched a dancer do it once, effortlessly spinning on one foot, the other flexing in and out. 32 in a row, without stopping. I would practice in my pink bedroom, with the door closed. I imagined the neighbors were watching through my bedroom white paned picture window, applauding my precision and dedication to my craft.

I didn’t become a ballerina. This year, I did a pirouette. In a gown. In the streets of Paris.

How I shot my “This is 50” video in Paris.

If you would like to do the same, here is what I did

1. LOCATION. I didn’t want the same old location that everyone does in Paris. (The Eiffel Tower). I wanted a traditional Parisian balcony. The Hotel Brittanique in the 1st arrondissement had one room with that feature at an affordable price point. I booked to stay there & got permission to shoot

2. WARDROBE AND JEWELRY. is my go-to for renting gowns. The brand Badgley Mischka size 8 fits me perfectly. I chose 2 gowns from their collection and the fuchsia gown from @BlackHalo. My earrings are from Mio Mora, a former member of my women’s leadership platform.

3. VIDEOGRAPHER. I Googled “Parisian photographers” and looked for talent that only shoots video. I reviewed their portfolios online. Here I looked for clues that point to the aesthetic I wanted. I have directed shoots for years and been in front of the camera. I knew it when I saw it. I booked Chris in December for an April shoot.

4. DRONE. This is the first time I experimented with drone photography. Chris shot it. I asked for traditional Paris shots that I could pepper in during the edit. Chris provided 33 minutes of that.

5. VOICEOVER. After I wrote my script, I used a Shure7 microphone to record it. It’s the microphone Joe Rogan uses, by the way. You can buy it at B&H. I put a big wool blanket over my head as I record sound, so it sounds intimate and warm.

6. EDITING. I use a desktop editing software called WeVideo to edit video. There is a built-in stock video and audio library. I pulled “Clair de Lune” by Debussy from the audio library. It’s a popular ballet pick and considered “stock audio” so I don’t have to deal with copyright issues.

7. COLOR CORRECTION. It was a windy and gray day in Paris. I use a platform called “Clideo” to color correct in post production.

I head up a leadership platform for senior women business leaders.



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Joya Dass

Joya Dass


If you have a goal and want the steps to make it your reality, I have a solution.