SV Showcase: Otis Walks Into the Woods by Emily Terndrup and Derrick Belcham

For this month’s SV Showcase, StandardVision teamed up with 40 North Film Festival: an international, multi-night, event celebrating dance and film, located in San Diego, CA.

The second of the three films to be featured in our December showcase is called Otis Walks In The Woods, directed by Derrick Belcham and Emily Terndrup. The film depicts the dynamic relationship of power, possession and otherness within a transparent environment. Set within the historic Philip Johnson Glass House, the dancers permeate both the interior and exterior spaces fluidly, oscillating between the frustrating realities of the banality of their present and the idealizations of the outside world. The architecture of the grounds becomes the anchoring metaphor for the pair’s dual states of rigidity and flow. Within the seemingly fixed and defined walls of the main structure, the dancers reflect their states of mind through elegantly choreographed movement.

Chelsea Zeffiro from 40 North Film Festival writes about Otis Walks Into The Woods:

“Co-director, Derrick Belcham’s work had been introduced to me by a colleague of mine and a former collaborator of his, Haylee Nichele. Belcham’s work, rooted in music video and documentary filmmaking, finely interprets and expresses the music and movement of the world-class musicians and dancers with whom he regularly collaborates.  Having worked with an extensive list of impressive subjects from Philip Glass to Laurie Anderson to Paul Simon under his own company, A Story Well Told, Belcham co-produces work under Belcham Terndrup with his collaborator, Emily Terndrup, who stars in and choreographed 40 NORTH Official Selection: “Otis Walks Into the Woods”.

I was immediately a big fan of Belcham’s work in dance-film and now, equally a fan of his and Terndrup’s dance-media collaborations. “Otis Walks Into the Woods” was a no-brainer to include in the festival as it demonstrates everything we support and promote at 40 NORTH: a high level of collaboration, innovative storytelling techniques via camerawork and editing, and choreography for camera.

With it’s stunning cinematography, attention to detail and impressive setting (Philip Johnson’s The Glass House) – “Otis” seems to be made to screen on a large-scale environment like Standard Vision’s LA Live location. The combination of the SV screen and Belcham and Terndrup’s film is truly awe-inspiring.”


Emily Terndrup is a performer and choreographer working in dance, theater, and film. Her dance career has included regional and international tours as a member of Gallim Dance Company, as well as the creation and performance of new works with Andrea Miller/Gallim Dance, Shannon Gillen + Guests, and Gregory Dolbashian. In addition, she has performed for three years in the acclaimed immersive theater production Sleep No More. Emily’s choreography has been presented at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Packing House (CO), and most recently at The Knockdown Center (NY).

Derrick Belcham is a Canadian filmmaker based out of Brooklyn, NY whose internationally-recognized work in documentary and music video has lead him to work with such artists as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon and hundreds of others in music, dance, theater and architecture. He has created works and lectured at such institutions as MoMA PS1, MoCA, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum Of American Art, Musee D’Art Contemporain, The Philip Johnson Glass House, Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Contemporary Arts Center of Cincinnati. His work regularly appears in publications such as The New York Times, Vogue, Pitchfork, NPR and Rolling Stone as well as being screened at short, dance and experimental festivals and retrospectives around the world.


Otis Walks Into The Woods will be screened on the SVLA1 screen in downtown Los Angeles, at 901 W Olympic Blvd., every Thursday – Sunday from 9pm-midnight until January 8, 2017.