December 2008

December 2008

Postby Barry » Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:54 pm

7th December 2008 - Peterborough

I've got to the 7th and am just, quite literally, seeing daylight for the first time this month. it has been an amazing, exciting, tough, creative, emotional, and plain exhausting week, and I wouldn't have missed it for anything. This time last sunday the Broadway Theatre was hosting 'Beyond the Christmas Barricades' and we moved in at midnight, with the set arriving the following morning, going up very well, but oh the pages of the book were heavy - heavy and difficult to carry.
But it all went up and everyone seemed to have loved it. I'll be the first to point out that I've made some mistakes but I'm learnign about that difficult venue - oh look I am blaming that venue. The auditorium is very low and sunken and I don't think I took that into account with the animation. The front rows will lose some of the bottom of the animation, but then they will get all the detail of the set. It does look great. One more set of pros arched or perhaps a filler sideways on between them would have made it neater perhaps, but this is panto which is no way to excuse anything. Ray was quite giddy with the set, and the cover of the book does make everyone tingle! Everyone has more or less kept their calm, and some excellent friendships formed. There have been some splendidly eccentric sights, propbably none more so than Anthony firmly sorting out out difficult peopel and problems but standing there dressed in corsets, tights and a towering pair of heels, and little else.
A logn way with techs and tensions - plenty of both, and plenty of passing the buck rather than sorting things out. Long hours, rushing out to the local shop and then back again, and then all of us, everyone of us, got hit by the lurgy, slowing things down. Coughing filling that auditorium inthe early hours. People have felt simply dreadful, and then the death of a very close friend and colleague to most of us added a cruel extra thing to deal with.
But, but , but, yesterday we had two shows, and they went so well. Ok, so the first one was longer than Les Miserables, and packed, and the second one shorter, but to a tragically small audience, but there was a lad called Joshua sat dead centre on the front row, having jsut the best time in the world. I chatted to him and he'd got every twist of the story, every visual detail, and was so involved with it all. This was his first time in the theatre, and he was clearly hooked for life. Our worries about the smallest details didn't mean a thing to him, as he was overwhelemed and totally caught up in it all....loving it. Meeting Ray and getting a poster back to school probably had him buzzing all the way home. That's what it is all about, and in that we have clearly succeeded.
But oh, we are drained.
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Re: December 2008

Postby Barry » Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:57 pm

December 14th 2008
Well I've finally come to the end of an extraordinary packed few months that began with rehearsing Quartet in september, and has taken in talks all over the UK, five weeks of Bob the Builder, some book, and then getting the panto on. Way too many hotels and too many motorways but I'm home now, though the rest of the month has turned into three Funerals and a Wedding sadly, but I'm at home, and things are one degree less manic. Though I do find it hard not to think about the panto happening now I am 160 miles away from it. I feel i should be there watching it every performance, just in case. I watched the 12th performance last night with Amanda and Peter, and it was a crackign show, some 45 minutes shorter than the first performance and so much better for that. In the audience participation scene with Postman Pat last night, a man came up on stage and proposed to his girlfriend. Happily she said yes.......that could have been tricky. But that's my involvement with the show officially done I think, and I'm happy with it. I certainly learnt a lot and know how to do things better next time. The animation needs to be bolder, and a lot worked here, but I think i deconstructed the genie just too much, and some of the sightlines don't work for the front row, but Postman Pat arriving by gyrocopter still makes me smile, as do the ghosties flying round the stage. Abanazar's lightning is effective too. For the set, I'm worried it might have looked threadbare, but then the space allows no flying or no trucking on of anything as there are no wings, so everythign has to be done on stage, and with that in mind, I think we were very creative, and managed to make lots of different visual images. I could perhaps have made it more overtly persian, but there were some strikign images I hope. The book certainly worked, and I owe a huge debt to the guys at the liverpool Scenic Workshop who painted it so beautifully.
So I'm home and rather numb and overwhelmed with everything, and don't quite knwo what to do next. I've got masses of work on the book, and boring stuff like tax to do, and plenty of talks around Europe, but no sign of a proper job. And, like so many, I certainly need one.
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Re: December 2008

Postby Barry » Sat Dec 20, 2008 1:13 pm

December 20th 2008

An odd week, and it is strange not being involved with the panto, though I am reading the daily show reports, and for them it's certainly been a week full of incident and changes. I can't really help sadly.
I've been trying to move forward to whatever next and seem to be alright until april with a combination of a bit more Bob the builder, festivals, the book, writing treatments for possibly interesitng stage projects and such, but nothing really substantial and not really much to do with film any more.
i've been juggling trying to be a two film festivals/retrospectives that asked me over, then went quiet for a few months, and now of course they clash, so I've had to let one down, which I simply hate, especially as it was in Greece.
And Christmas is just getting in the way. I apologize for losing my Christmas gene. If anyone finds it, do return it please.
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Re: December 2008

Postby Barry » Wed Dec 31, 2008 3:14 pm

31st December 2008

A tough year for absolutely everyone, and a year of ridiculous ironies for me. I had some tremendous honours, such as being Jury president in Annecy and other festivals, but the fact is that the phone hasn't rung, and I've simply not worked enough to pay the bills. The jobs I applied for either never had a response, or I was rejected. I was most upset not to be involved with either Fantastic Mr Fox or Coraline. This year was that rainy day and the savings have gone, so lord knows what will happen next year. I've been responsible for scarcely five minutes of animation, which is pathetic and embarrassing, and does make me disappointed and angry, and feel something of a fraud. It would have been financially more profitable to have sat at home and collected the dole. I'm not sure how 2009 will change any of that, especially with the likes of Cosgrove Hall not in production. I dipped my toe into professional theatre, but there are no repercussions of that yet. Apart from the disastrous financial implications, I just hate not being creative. The flame still burns bloddy brightly, but in truth, I'm no nearer doing anythign than I was this time last year. The Garrick has satisfied some creativity, and the production of Quartet is probably the most satisfying production, in either theatre or film, I have done. It worked and had a great impact. I've little lined up there this next year, and in fact there's little lined up at all. I have the second book, a few festivals and workshops, and then, well, like for so many, it's a bleak year. More strings to the bow will have to be found, out of necessity.
The cultural highlight of the year was without a doubt, War Horse, the best event Annecy, and the best animated piece for me was Schizwein.
A simply terribly year.
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