DECEMBER 2009

DECEMBER 2009

Postby Barry » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:32 pm

December 4th 2009

What's one to do when there is no work and the rejection letters come thick and fast (todays rejection was for a job for assessors to go and watch various arts and write about them - i'd like to see who they thought was more appropriate. That just sickens me that I can't even get an interview for that job.)? Well I have not been idle at all. I've tried chasing up various leads but they are all dead ends, so I have thrown myself into the Garrick pantomime that i have designed and I've loved the routine and working hard and produtively, problem solving, getting covered in glitter in the process - and it is has felt as if I have been working, but how cruelly deceptive (oh, hallo, has Mr Coward popped in). I love the Garrick and i put so many hours into it in so many ways and it does feel like a job, but.........I wish it was a job actually. That would suit me, to run a theatre like that. Though I was a bit grumpy about the production I saw this week. A little limp.
Away from the theatre I've thrown myself into writing a feature treatment for someone, and guess what, that's for free as well. I'd been a bit overwhelmed by having too many very loose ideas thrown at me, and I couldn't find my way in, until midweek and the maguffin suddenly fell into place, and what was meant to be a few pages is pouring out of me. But I'm panicking as I've not been able to devote any time to another similar project that the guys are champing at the bit for.....and yes again, you've guessed it, it is for free. Bloody hell this is hard. I feel like I am working myself stupid, but perhaps I am just being stupid. All this work and not a single penny earned for ages. I feel sick with this. But what a contradiction as my brain is being rampant, but every second the bank balance goes further and further into what must now be a florescent red.
How will this end. When will one of those mails actually say 'yes, do come for an interview' at least.
And christmas, don't go there.
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Re: DECEMBER 2009

Postby Barry » Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:38 am

...and all the above in a week where a student had discovered 'Achilles' and was literally thinking it was one of the best films he had ever seen, and another student asking me questions to see if my technique has any resonances with Stanislavski.
All a bit confusing.
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Re: DECEMBER 2009

Postby Barry » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:35 pm

Friday 11th 2009

Just back from a week down at the National Film and Television School, and then racing up the motorway and straight into the Garrick to paint some of the set for Snow White. It's a bit of a panic as the first show is on thursday. Everyone is doing a great job but the over complicated set of the previous show has put us way behind, and me being away has not helped. Still it is going to look splendid I think and very rich, and uncluttered, letting the amazing costumes do most of the work.
So that's my weekend ahead - more painting and glitter, and then off again. But this was a good week in Beaconsfield, though I was frustrated by all the different aspects that make up a students life these days. Most have to work at some point during the day, and then they have so many other projects on which necessitate them disappearing for long chunks. Trying to maintain any continuity and progress is hard, but that is part of what makes up a student is these days. Though there were many distractions, the show and tell of our project we had been working on all week was actually rather impressive. Impressive especially for the amount of photoshop work and nicely presented storyboards they had managed. I'm easily impressed there as photoshop is another language to me, and I wish I was able to afford the time to learn that skill. They really did produce some beautiful concept art. As with any group of students you can see some who are sufficiently driven and those who are not sufficiently driven. But maybe this is what such courses are for - to see if such things are right for them, or whether their interest and enthusiasm lies elsewhere. I'd like to spend longer with them and just crank them up a few gears in so many respects. That's all it needs. A lot of talent there, and i did see a very striking and accomplished graduation film, but they do need to start the adrenalin flowing as the industry is an especially tough one at the moment and any sign of half heartedness and people will get left behind. Should schools and colleges accurately suggest the pressures of the actual industry at this stage? I'm inclined to think they should, else it will come as a shock.
Having said that, and to any of the students reading this, I would be thrilled if you were able to put some of your artwork on here as I did love the finished results. So we got there in the end, so that's what matters. I just want to liberate your ideas and get you much more driven and communicative. It was a good week though.
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Re: DECEMBER 2009

Postby Barry » Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:20 am

December 18h 2009

Ha, Mars Attacks is playing on TV as I write this bringing back all manner of memories. Oh what fun to have done more of those martians. And as it happened there was a lot of talk about the martians today, or rather a lot of me avoiding talking about them as I was being filmed for a BBC programme. We filmed some of this at Mackinnon Saunders and some on stage at the Garrick, with me trying to link theatre and animation. Not a tenuous link. I hope I said something interesting - I wasn't sure whether the programme was Look North or the South Bank Show in style, but I did find myself getting a little touchy every time the puppet (of Toad) in my hand was referred to as a cartoon, so perhaps that answered my question. I also found myself directing and suggesting shots. Dear lordie, I need to get behind a camera again, preferably one that I'm entitled to get behind. And funnily enough I was hurrying things along when it all got a bit slack. Even on someone else's shoot I was mindful of schedules and such. Oh dear.

I started the week in a 12th century supposedly haunted priory in Wales - no ghosts but a lot of atmosphere. I had a meal with a chum and much chat about writing another project - for free. I can't do this, but the project is interesting. As was the meal - a fresh cornucopia of abundance. I was in wales doing some practical workshops, just for two days, which really is not enough, but I think we did some good stuff. Quite an interesting exercise, as usual with the silhouette puppets. I must investigate some magnetic rubber which may be easier all round. But the good animation was very good, and I hope the students felt so too.

The rest of the week went to the other extreme of working our butts off getting the pantomime, and tonight it had its second performance. I think it is a fine looking show. The powers that be being more receptive about spenidng might have given us more spectacle, but as it is we are struglling with stage crew and build time. For all that, with Mike's costumes and colourful lighting, it all looks great. Not sure it sounds too great yet as the singing is a little timid. Let it go guys, and enjoy it. Of course now the set is up, it perhaps isn't as bold or as innovative as I thought it might be, but it is different to the usual Garrick panto, for better or for worse. Talking of letting it go, I still struggle with that but now I can see how I good have gone even more abstract and surreal, but hey, it's very colourful and works.

I'm typing out endless versions of another panto, an old RSC one, compliling the different productions, and it is making me laugh and wanting to direct it.

Christmas is escaping me and I apologise that I simply cannot afford to send cards or presents. That I am counting pennies is ridiculous, but I'm not sure how to get through these next few weeks. The bills just won't get paid. The life of an animator today.
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Re: DECEMBER 2009

Postby Barry » Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:05 pm

December 28th 2009

These last ten days have been all about fitting in with the cold and the snow, as that has dictated and curtailed everything. I lost my only day of work through not being able to cross the pennines to mentor another student. Snow really just stops this country. It nearly stopped christmas but I did make it over to Ireland and had a wonderful time with Amanda and the boys. I feel a bit awkward as my role as generous uncle has been reduced through circumstances and i just can't do what I enjoy doing. However we did have some splendid walks along the beach, and as always we joked about how good it would be to see a seal, and sure enough, on both occasions, seals duly obliged and popped up and swam towards us. That part of Ireland is so beautiful, and we all chilled out to an extreme degree, with a bronchial cough that rattled my ribcage not making things ideal. A huge christmas meal and some suitably wild games.....some new ones to me that will be used in the next class i give.
Of course any work developments have withered away at this time of year, and it will be a while before anything is likely to happen, just as it will be a while before the colleges are in gear enough to get round to paying me.
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