MAY 2010

MAY 2010

Postby Barry » Sat May 08, 2010 7:47 pm

May 8th 2010

So I began this month standing with no clothes on, freezing under the wing of Concorde with hundreds of other naked people - a long story but needless to say that Spencer Tunick was in town, and I volunteered for one of his shoots. Great bizarre fun, though I might regret it when I see the huge blown up prints on display at the Lowry and I realise just how near the front I was.
I also had a morning mentoring a student, who had done some very impressive work developing some ideas we talked about a while ago. Beautifully thought through. We had our meeting in the coffee room in Victoria Station, and my jaw kept dropping at the architecture there. Definitely faded glory but what glory days it must have seen.
Then back down to the NFTS for a week of animation exercises. I think the students were initially disappointed to be given basic blocks of colours but there is method in my madness. a great bunch of students, but all so different. It was exciting to see some shape emerge out of the initially scattershot animation. In some of the exercises they were wonderfully controlled and clear, and yes, they did let it read! Mission accomplished. The week was building up to each student replacing a 'play' in my film Next. I was fretting whether six seconds would keep them busy for the day and whether I should have given them two plays. One proved more than enough. I tried to impress some sort of realistic discipline and schedule but students are students and facebook and mobile phones can get in the way, and concentration and focus and preparation are arts yet to be learnt. They will be. They will have to be. Such an essential part of animation. But they all did some great exercises, some great walks and swimming scenes. As for Next, I think working with the regimented needs of the music was a bit of a shock, but there were some suitably creative results, and cutting them into the film made me smile. Jack tackled the Seven Ages from As you like it. A very nice idea but perhaps we overcomplicated it by acting out a scene - perhaps we should have found one pose for each age, but he finished on time and it was well thought through. Anna had swishing arras, poison bottles and a wonderful ghost sweeping round the scene for Hamlet. Tim's Romeo poisoned himself with excellently choreographed glugs. Alistairs Shakespeare/Titania was suitably adrogynous in an equally suitable flowery trippy bower. Gervaise's Antony got a bit lost but by the end met a very clear and bloody death on his sword.....great pyramid and sphinx! Iria's black and white Prospero had a whole bag of tricks, and appeared in a musical puff of smoke. John's Titus frantically and very animatedly picked off his many victims like lumps of meat on a skewer. Great fun. Maybe I should do the whole film with plays done from animators from around the world.
In the middle of the week, Andy Serkis paid us a visit. Great to see him again, and the students were on a high. Not many colleges would have such artists just popping in. With him was an ex student - I hope we paid her attention too.
Back home totally exhausted and worried about a few things, real and otherwise, that were lost this week. There was a bit of an underlying current of melancholy, but oh I was glad to be home for a few weeks, and not to have to pack a suitcase for a while. My own bed and no pervading smell of Macdonalds - oh bliss. But I do like working at the NFTS. I feel at home there, and am flattered by the students responses. I would like to spend longer there working in great detail.
Now to catch up with all the other projects, and i heard the first bit of music for Plume, and darn exciting it is too. What a great start to the film it will be.
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