The artisans behind Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” which was recognized for the artistry behind the film’s production design, costume design, cinematography and sound design broke down the iconic gym dance scene which went viral on the internet.

In conversation with Variety’s senior artisans editor Jazz Tangcay for the Variety Streaming Room presented by 20th Century Studios, was joined by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, costume designer Paul Tazewell, VFX editor Sean Kachenmeister, production designer Adam Stockhausen and set decorator Rena DeAngelo for the conversation, which covered the magic behind some of the sequences in the film, including the fan-favorite “Dance at the Gym” sequence and Tony and Maria’s “Tonight” duet.

Guillermo Del Toro said the scene was, “Extremely hard to execute. Pure, masterly clockwork precision and a lot more complex than “seamed” shots or steadicam-to-crane “relay” shots. Baffling, virtuoso- but one of so, so many shots that make the camera “dance” with each musical number.”

Kaminski explained, “Steven, [costume designer] Paul and [production designer] Adam Stockhausen and I had a lengthy conversation about how to do this shot. It evolved from being several shots into essentially almost a one-shot that was conveyed by Steven and executed by us. It’s a tough shot to do in every aspect. One of them is the choreography, clearly an amazing part of this, if not the most important part of it.”

The sequence introduces the Jets and Sharks, and as Kaminski explains, the key was there needed to be a storytelling aspect to the way it was shot. “That shot gives a very clear indication to the audience what this particular scene will be about. It’s about two teams competing against each other in terms of which team has the better dancers, better performers, more charming and more enticing.” He continues, “The lighting was essential simply because it is a one shot and the camera goes through the crowd, pans around 360, and the action continues. And the action needs to look spectacular simply because just because we’re doing one shot, it doesn’t mean the lighting or the visuals need to suffer and be compromised.

Kaminski said the shot was different in every aspect to execute particularly for the lighting team, led by Steve Ramsey. Kaminski says, “We had our lights rigged on the dimmer so when the camera was turning around, some sections of the scene would dim out, another section would dim up with the lights. You set the light so it’s in one direction, then when you turn around, you have to either cut or relight or do lights in the dimming board so you can fade the lights in, or fade the lights out, so you can maintain the romance and beauty of the shot.”

Tazewell further complimented the sequence with his costumes for which he is Oscar-nominated. He explains it was the first clear view of what he was after in terms of setting up the two gangs that have this dance face-off. “The Jets being in largely cool tones and then the Sharks being in warm tones. The cool tones were reflective of the city of.  For me, it was the steel, the concrete, the streets of New York City as it was in the 1950s. And then, for the Sharks being more reflective of where they’ve come from of Puerto Rico, of the island, having a tropical feel, many of the dresses of the sharks, I reserved all of the floral pattern for that group for the Puerto Rican community. So I was establishing rules for the clothes that you then see.”

Sound effects recordist Andy Aaron added, “The intention was to blast open those doors and go right into the full orchestra.” Aaron explained the dance footsteps were actually recorded on set. He said, “Todd was able to pick up the sound of the dance without the music intruding so that we could use it rather than just relying on additional sound.” That luxury afforded him to have the original footsteps and movement tracks, and since the dialogue wasn’t a sung piece, his only question was getting all the dialogue clarity through.