SEPTEMBER 09

SEPTEMBER 09

Postby Barry » Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:12 am

September 4th 09

September, and christmas stuff is appearing in stores, people are eating soup, wearing coats, and putting the heating on. I guess that is our summer gone without any chance of being indian.

I'm definitely going to need a bigger plate as there is too much on this one, far too much, but that is not a complaint. The musical finished in Edinburgh this week and i will have to sort out the costumes some time. The book is still demanding my attention especially in regards photos, and each day I get new ones that coudl be appropriate.
There seems to be a glut on people wanting advice and questions answered at the moment. I really don't mind at all - it's just trying to fit them in that is problematic. From helping sons to prepare for drama school auditions to student theses. I'm tryign to write a million projects of my own, but at knee deep in rehearsals for the play. It may be a light hearted farce, but oh my it is demanding and the cast are clearly struggling at the moment. The dialogue is so complex, not in meaning but in rhythm and repition. I'm also struggling with designing the panto.....struggling to find the time actually. I've gone away from the slightly traditional method of panto with flats and cloths and hopefully have come up with something interesting.And then I am doing a commercial which has just kicked in, and today neil and I were in Manchester sourcing christmas type props. The taking of a few snaps resulted in us pretty much being thrown ut of Kendals by security guards with no sense of humour or artistic sensibilities. Actually, contary to what I wrote above finding decent christmas stuff is hard at this time of year.
And i'm storyboarding the short film in the hope that it will happen. I'm nervous about what we will hear this next week.
A tiring week, but that's ok.
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Re: SEPTEMBER 09

Postby Barry » Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:30 pm

September 12th 2009
Happy birthday Amanda, and a shame not to be over in Ireland.

But an alarming week really so full of a few highs and a lot of lows. Just around Woodleigh one of the guys in the house had an awful accident, but is recovering ok. It was one of those dreadful scenarios where you stumble across an accident and wonder who is at the centre fo it, and then find it is someone you know. A little further down the road a body was found in a van that had been parked for two days in the same spot. Apparently everyone walked by and tutted at the dog barkign away inside - for two days. Very sad story there.

I crammed a terrifying amount into one day on monday, down in london, with two big meetings, then a show at the London college of Fashion, which was fun, but again I was only given an hour which is simply not enough time to do anythign other than talk quickly and get excited. I raced back to Manchester for the rehearsals of the play and wnet at that full tilt, probably over compensating for being a few minutes late. I got home about 15 hours after I had left, and suddenly realised that I had literally not had time to go to the loo - that must be some sort of record, but as soon as I realised that, stand back!

The play is going well but the cast are still struggling with the complexities of the language, the logic and the speed of delivery Anyone who thinks farce is a lot of running about is so wrong. It is so precise. We have a lot riding on this production. I would have liked to have filled it with more physical and sight gags but there is not time, and it is not easy when the cast are still thinking of their words. But it has had moments where it has just taken off. One lady put on her show shoes and she was well away. The set is coming along nicely too.

The commercial is taking a lot of effort, but I am not going to grumble about this as it is a real job, and will be fun to shoot. Everyone involved is easy to work with, but I am going to have to drive it along at great speed, not dithering for decisions.

The low point of the week though, and it is a low point, is the funding we had hubristically almost assumed was hours for the short film has gone elsewhere. This is an enormous blow in so many ways. I so wanted to make this film, not just because I believe in it, but that it would have put me back on the loop I have been out of for too long. Various comments from the funding body about the film not being innovative and too similar to my previous work actually took my breath away, as it is an extremely innovative film and hasno resemblance to any previous work. If they mean that I was not using multilayered technology then that is fair but the point of the film was to tell a complex emotional story with the most economic means, by pure movement alone, and maybe that did not come across on paper. But it has taken the wind out of my very big sails and I don't know what to do. It has raised too many uncomfortable questions about perhaps the film was not good, and I'm not good, and maybe I just contemplate the reality that I may not get to make another film again. The funding body suggested rewriting the film and applying again. I can but this film has been with me for fourteen years, and revisiting it seriously this year, the film works - as simple as that. To change it would be changing it because we have been asked to, not because it would improve it. And being so finely honed and structured, any change would necessarily change the film's heart. Am very depressed about that. The film was dangled within my reach and then taken away. I have a feelign that was my one chance to get back into animaion proper. I really don't want to carry on being this old fogey pontificating about animation not being what it was and all that. I want to be a vital practioner.

I know, and this is trying not to sound arrogant, that I can be up there with the best, producing animation, characters and stories that break new ground, that set new standards, and that makes jaws drop, but whether I've not made my oppurtunities, or whether I haven't seen them, or whether I simply have not had them, I'm not where I know I can be. It is hard to do it by oneself. It takes a lot of support and money and time to move an idea from a good treatment of a fully worked up, budgeted, and developed screenplay - that's not always possible sat at home. Having doors shut on me by studios saying that such and such an idea is great but needs more funny characters or such is fine, but let's work to but those characters. Don't slam the door so early. It's called development, and many people get paid thousands for sitting in the comfort of a studio developing ideas that may never get made. Sorry, on a real rant today but I'm submerged with a wealth of ideas but but really have the outlet for them. And by switching that, because I'm nto beign as productive as I would like people see that as me not having ideas. How painful that is.
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Re: SEPTEMBER 09

Postby Barry » Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:43 pm

September 19th 2009

A week covering everything really. Most of it has involved getting ready for the commercial. These things are always difficult when so many different groups are involved and so many different people have to make decisions, but we are getting there. It's a bit of the seat of your pants job, but should be fun and the ad itself should be interesting. Our original music was discarded and we now have a very funky track. Hopefully I can visualise the rhythms very clearly.
With the play, well the set has gone up and looks darn good. One of the crew said that I really did think outside the box. Thank goodness I don't think about architecture and function, but more about theatre and the play. It is a great looking show with Mike's costumes adding so much. The cast are ready for an audience and we are all quite excited really.
The proofs have come back to me to read. Not quite sure how i will fit that in but it's exciting to read the book. It is very different from the last one. This is more of a guide in to the art but hopefully still interesting. My own voice isn't quite so present.
And then I went to see a college about some teaching and for the first time I have been very impressed with the facilites and the attitude, especially with stop motion being treated very seriously, not just an inconvenience.
And then today I have been workign with a would be drama student on two audtion pieces - one from Six Degrees of separation and then Oh for a Muse of Fire - which is such a great piece of writing. I love it, and it was fun working on it in the garden with the wildlife as an audience. I so enjoy unlocking the workings of Shakespeare.
This week was mildly busy compared to what is in store next week.
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Re: SEPTEMBER 09

Postby Barry » Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:00 pm

Sunday 27th 2009
one of the three themes this week would have been enough but t have was certainly overdoing it. I'm trying to go through the proofs of my book when I have a moment. It is going to be a more direct and less flowery book than the other, and it has been streamlined, probably for the better, since I wrote it. I can see the editor making it more down to earth, and there are words I certainly would not use creeping in, but they serve the purpose.

Then the commercial, well it seems to be gong very well. There are certainly a lot of people to please, and a lot of people involved for whom the vagaries of stop motion are new, and trying to keep them happy has seen my voice rise an octave, but hopefully we have kept them happy, and it is looking good. I do like working on the multiplane though on setting up the objects on monday, there was a terrible cold crack and one sheet of glass just shattered onto my hands underneath it. I had visions of standing up and my hands still being trapped under the glass. I don't remember it hurting, just the sight of a million chards of glass, and beign greatful that the clients had not seen that. Using up to eight sheets is causing me to kneel on the floor every frame, and I'm afraid these knees certainly are not what they used to be, but I'm glad that the memory still seems to be working enough for this job with with upwards of 40 objects to move in some frames. I'm most definitely enjoying working with a crew again.

And then the play, Don't Dress for Dinner. On top of long days of shooting this has been excessive, but it has gone so well. The two dress rehearsals flowed smoothly, and really the only small hiccups during the run was a door nearly beign flung off its hinges, and the phone mistiming a couple of times - small fry in the scheme of things. the audiences loved it and laughed at most of the things we had planned, and in some surprising places. But this production simply worked, and though most people tend to apologize for farces, myself included probably, I have come away with huge admiration for this play. It is superbly well written and crafted with no fat on it at all. It is excitign for me for the audiences here to enjoy the design so much, as sometimes at the garrick they do get shortchanged.

Quite a week.
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