Monument: An Epic Journey

Posted by Jonathan Bayme on 09 August 2013

The wait is finally over! Monument by Dimitri Arleri is finally released and available on DVD and HD Digital Download.

The project is over 2 hours long, beautifully presented on a 2 Disc Collectors set. Amazing. Have you seen the trailer? Here's the inside scoop:

We began talking with Dimitri about a cardistry project 18 months ago. We didn't know then what the project would look like, but we knew it had to be epic. A year later, we were ready to film, and Dimitri flew from France to Vegas for a five day shoot.

The shoot was a massive undertaking, to put it mildly. I had shot Solo with theory11 in 2011, which was four full days of shooting for 10 flourishes. Monument was five full days, with over 50% more content, and plus, did I mention Dimitri's flourishes are infinitely more complex?

It took a huge amount of concentration from our team as well as fingers made of steel from Dimitri, who had to meticulously work his hands for 5 days straight. But filming went brilliantly. Dimitri's insane talent is only outmatched by his driving passion and kind personality. It was seriously a pleasure to work with this guy.

We shot in multiple locations including the city, the mountains, the desert, and even underground. A couple of the challenges we faced was shooting outdoors in the blazing hot weather (Vegas was 100+ at the time) and a constant lack of caffeine - okay, that challenge was unique to me, but it's worth mentioning nevertheless.

Anyhow, we persevered and completed the five day shoot. We had sigh of relief, albeit very brief, because we knew our job was only half done. Now we were faced with putting together this enormous project AND meeting or exceeding the standard placed by Dimitri's previous work. Remember, this is the guy who put out the game changing Opera and ulcer-inducing Silent Transition. (I may be a tad too dramatic on that one)

Fast forward to early 2013, and everything was looking incredible. The project was nearly finished and we were ready for promotion. Nope. Fate dealt us a different hand of cards. Out of the blue, our hard drive containing the entire project decided to crash on us. Mild panic ensued because this was the very first time a drive had crashed on me. We ended up sending the drive to LA for service and we were able to recover more than 98% of the project. With a little bit of extra work, we were able to complete the project. Now we have the first ever instructional DVD by Dimitri Arleri on the site, available now.

It was an extremely challenging project with it's ups and downs, and it's something I'll never forget. There is one funny story I'd like to leave you with: If you watch Monument, you'll notice a few abnormal grins during the brief overview of Flower Fan Helix. What you see on the project was preceded by nearly ten other takes with all of us laughing uncontrollably. The reason for this is because on the first take, while I was operating audio, I noticed Dimitri's wording was strikingly similar to that of a lion describing how to kill it's prey. "Your nails sink straight in" and "Once the nails are in, squeeze and hold a very tight grip" and "It's pretty brutal, but it has to be done pretty quickly" The clawing action at the beginning of the flourish didn't help either. Anyway, after pointing this out, the dialogue became painfully hilarious, and it took many, many takes for us to get through it. So if you see this segment or the bloopers, you'll know the story behind the grins and laughter.

I hope you enjoyed reading my experience with the production of Monument. Make sure to pick it up! It's one of the most anticipated cardistry projects ever produced, and it's AVAILABLE NOW on DVD and HD Digital Download.