NOVEMBER 2009

NOVEMBER 2009

Postby Barry » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:15 pm

November 7th 2009

Now this has been a week that would tax even an Olympic athlete, and though I think I have survived OK, my brain is certainly numb. That is the only way to keep going. I confess that my pyshical carbon footprint is as spectacular as my mental footprint. Too much has gone on.

I did have a few days at home to unpack from my Italy trip, but those were taking up with thank you notes and follow up mails, also with trying to get a live action project sent off. I am unlikely to get it as I simply did not have the time to do a detailed enough file, but I would have shouted at myself if i had just sat back and done nothing. I've also tried to keep up with the pantomime I am meant to be designing, as well as small things to tidy up with the book, and generally getting ready for a truly epic five days.

off to Dublin on tuesday to see Amanda and Peter. dublin has certainly changed in the last few years - a very traditional city full of characternow overshadowed by a very modern complex. Anyway we were there to see the Gate's production of The Birds. A long way to go to see a show, and I was certainly not disappointed, but regret that i had not got there first. I am still haunted by the show several days on. After this we stayed in a hotel that used to be George Bernard Shaw's house - not a playwright I would get excited about, and small fry after Verdi last week but still an interesting experience.

I left Dublin early on Wednesday and headed to Paris, and then on to a town a couple of hours away to stay with my would be producers, and ready for a meeting the next day. This was even further into the countryside and it was certainly spectacular countryside with remarkably empty roads, and widescreen landscapes. At Tours we had 45 minutes to convince a panel of five ladies that our project was the right project to recieve their funding. It has been ages since I was this side of such a panel, and my heart was racing. I was prepared I think, but some of the stern humourless questions took me by surprise. It was hard work indeed, and a very different experience from the days of Channel Four. Trying to make this film as a whole is very different. We left for lunch, trying to decipher what every pause had meant, and though there sat in front of me a delicious crepe with baked apple and caramel, a rising tide of disappointment overwhelmed me. A familair sensation. We drove a distance to the centre where if this happened I would become director in residence - we were in silence, all feeling the same anguish. But it seems that the project went down well, in the majority, and we look like having a large lump of funding. A good lump but certainly not the whole budget. The reality of this means having to be away from home for a long period, filming without the usual creature comforts. It will be a full on filming experience in a somewhat out of the way location. How this will affect things I don't know, but I am excited and grateful that the chance of a new film is just there. A lot to think about, but the recent weeks of travelling and the panel had exhausted me.

Friday morning, and wow what a day. I reached the airport after four trains and several hours, and flew back to Manchester and then straight in to do the press launch of the commercial. I'm glad there is a buzz about the commercial, but wary of anyone thinking that we have reinvented the wheel. It's a good commercial, but I'm scared that too much talk and exposure and it might fall to pieces. I had to do a talk which I rather winged, as usual, and talked about how good it was to film in Manchester, but was sad that the animation activity of Manchester is so reduced. A taxi home, and then I swapped one tired suitcase for a fresh one, and then began the long arduous train journey down to Canterbury. Four more trains and many many sweaty people. I was enormously glad to get to the hotel and hugely appreciative of a bed soft and comforting. I'd actually read a short story of Daphne du Maurier's on the train, prompted by seeing it mentioned in the programme of the Birds, and got way too excited. This has got my name on, and whilst I can why it has not been filmed or staged so far, it can't be long. I must try to get the rights.

I collapsed into bed with sheer exhaustion, wondering how I have managed so much this week, and sadly wondering also about how little i have earnt.

This period of about six weeks of travelling around the world is winding down, and i have to restore my very low batteries....and try and make sense of the mavellous place I have been and people i have met. A very strange world.
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Re: NOVEMBER 2009

Postby Barry » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:48 pm

November 13th 2009

After all that frantic activity, I have of course, slumped, and big time. I have been exhausted this week, and very low - low on energy and low in spirits, and decidely low on cash, having just had the car fixed. There are a few projects all speculatively milling around requiring much work, on the off chance, but you have to grab that off chance.
The commercial launched this week, and for me it seems an anticlimax.
I'll be in better spirits next week. I just need a breather. Actually what I need is one main high profile project that I can concetrate on rather than so many vague possibilities.
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Re: NOVEMBER 2009

Postby Barry » Fri Nov 20, 2009 7:29 pm

Friday November 20th 2009

It never goes away you know, that feeling of insecurity and of feeling second rate. if there's ever a day without work or there's a project I can't get involved with then that beast called mediocrity rears up and confronts me, pointing at me, jabbing at me mercilessly, and probably with good reason.I've gone from a good high of presenting the awards at BAF last week to a real slump ( an inadequate word but not too melodramatic) caused by hearng about too many other projects and activities I'm not involved with, and caused also by the good intentions of celebrating Shakey's twentieth birthday, which led me to look at the subsequent twenty years and come to the conclusion there is simply not enough, and what there is is mere glints, not the dazzlign stuff I know I could do. I good have done so much more given the chance, and been part of many more projects, and been right up there. I'm not. I'm bogged down at the moment with writing too many projects for no money - good projects but it is hard to be totally motivated and spend every minute of the day on them when they are purely speculative - especially with a letter in the Telegraph signed by many prestigious producers pleading with the government not to let the animation industry die in the UK.
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Re: NOVEMBER 2009

Postby Barry » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:41 pm

Thursday 26th November 2009

If one can have a bi-polar career, then I have an extreme case of one. From the highs of presenting the key note speech at the Leeds College of Art Graduation ceremony to the lows of today where I had two rejections for jobs I had applied for. One was for funding, and such small funding, for a local film scheme. My film had it all, important local interest and minority representation, but I didn't even get an interview. The letter said the showreel was amazing. The second was for a scheme for directors to direct a play at a provincial theatre. Standard negative reply to that, and again no interview and no chance to show my work. This is ridiculous, but at least I got a reply unlike the animation companies these days. To submit proposals for these scheme needs so much time invested, and money, and then not even a chance to meet in person. Very very frustrating, and this is sending me even further down the spiral at greater speed.
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