DECEMBER 2011

DECEMBER 2011

Postby Barry » Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:09 pm

December 3rd 2011

Well a pretty full on week, packed with a variety of emotions. I started the week unpacking from the short trip to Poland, and looking at the various business cards. Then on monday straight into an intense, noisy three days doing dialogue fine cuts. One day, the day of the union strikes, nearly proved too much for me. One of the characters in the series is particularly noisy and shrill, and several hours of this was taking it's toll, but makign things worse was the Union march outside the window, with loud chanting and horns and general deafining madness. And literally outside the window were a group of rampant kids who seem to have been abandoned whilst Mum went marching. I was glad for a very quiet swim that night. But I did enjoy constructing the stories through the dialogue, and adding all the coughs and breaths and laughter that brings it all too life. I can't wait to start filming. Storyboarding next though.

Things are ramping up at the Garrick as I start rehearsing Sherlock Holmes next monday. I had a production meeting one evening, and got excited, but as always everything clashes, but somehow i manage to make it work with no compromises anywhere. I did see the production on stage this week of 'See How they Run', a play I only saw a few years in a hysterical production at the Royal Exchange. The Garrick did it well, but some of the performances were a bit hesitant, which is rather lethal in a farce. Actually, though I enjoyed it, they seemed to be playing it as a comedy and not a farce. A good solid set, but two doors had been replaced by corridors so people could run on. In my opinion, and this did lead to a healthy discussion, this was a mistake as it altered the timing completely. A door opening and shutting has a great comedy value, and a great sound, and also it is instant, and all the audience can see it at the same time. With a corridor some of the audience see a character run on before others, and it does not give the piece the precision a farce needs. Farce I'm afriad is all about entrances and exits, and doors help this...doors have so much subtext, especially with their potential for hiding - a major element of farce. But I think one of the main elements missing in this production was a gathering momentum of chaos. But I did enjoy it, and 'don't bicker, vicar' is such a great line.

The whole week was shadowed by the funeral of Mark Hall. It was both a harrowing and joyous experience, as so many of us sat there remembering so much shared history. It's an odd thing, but there were three families there. Mark's own family, the extended animation family, and then, unseen but very much present, was the family of characters that Mark was integral in creating. They will be around much longer than us. But what a gathering, so full of love, respect and gratitude to a truly good man. I do literally owe my whole career to him, and have felt his loss very deeply this week. this morning I went to visit the remains of the studio building in Chorlton (as in Chorlton and the wheelies). It is an unrecogniseable wreck. It is sad that a new purpose built building had just thirty years of life, but what life. The space is to become retirement homes, so I home the rooms are named after 'Toad Hall', 'Brambely Hedge', 'Cockleshell Bay', 'Greendale', 'Nutwood' and so forth, and that the residents enjoy the prescence of the characters roaming round at night. The only joy to rise out of all this is that out of the ashes of the industry that Mark created in manchester, is rising a new industry. There does seem to be quite a lot suddenly happening, and I am grateful to be part of it, and especially grateful to have been part of Cosgrove Hall.
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Re: DECEMBER 2011

Postby Barry » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:39 pm

December 17th 2011

Hallo, and that I have missed a week is somewhat indicative of the pace of the two weeks. I am trying not to be swamped by the tV series, and trying to focus on one thing at a time. At the moment I have twelve episodes in my head to think about - I've a bit of a jelly brain at the moment. On thursday I think I did 100 storyboard sketches, and my fingers were worn out - and cold. But it's all rather exciting, especially with practical things appearing and looking great. It's so good that suddenly there are things happening in Manchester. This last week before Christmas is hardly winding down, with voice records, animatics, dialogue cuts....and christmas.

And yes of course I have gone and complicated things by doing Sherlock Holmes most evenings, but I think the cast are enjoying it. The play has hopefully benifited from a substantial dose of 'barrification', as it was a thin play to say the least. The cast seem to have leapt on to what I am doing with it, though we did hit a little hiccup, now resolved. I'm hoping it will look fantastic if we can pull all the lighting and sound cues together......this usually has to happen in one evening, and much of the show depends on them. Yikes!

And ther are festivals still to deal with, and talks. I did do an after school talk this week, but to an audience of three which was a little dispiriting - still those three had a good time.

And corporation tax - aaargh! Never have your own company. So much work and wasted money.

And computers - aaargh! I'm getting so many scripts, dialogue cuts, that I've had to delete and download stuff off my laptop.....steam was almost rising out of it as it struggled to catch up.

I'm afraid I really can't find the time to do Christmas, and I have my head down over paper work watching others get rather squiffy. Suits me. time was I used to produce hundreds of hand made and hand coloured cards starting back in September. I've spectacularly failed to send cards this year....again. I'd like to think that perhaps the TV series and Sherlock might be a gift to the those watching.....?

Yep a busy but exciting time........

And I'm not sure if this wet sleety weather is heading to repeat last years dramas, but darn I have squelchy holes in all my shoes. Next pay day and shoes will be bought!
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Re: DECEMBER 2011

Postby Barry » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:58 pm

Christmas Eve 2011

Just put the storyboards aside for a few days, only a few mind you. But a good busy week - actually that's an understatement. A week crammed full of storyboards, voice recordings, animatics, camera scripts, a lot of Conan Doyle, and some acknowledgement of Christmas....all that leaves me a little breathless, but a few days by the sea with the family, and much eating and that can't be bad.
Hae a great few days guys.
See you shortly.
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Re: DECEMBER 2011

Postby Barry » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:12 pm

December 30th 2011

I'm taking a chance that perhaps nothing remarkable may happen tomorrow, and so will sum up this rather odd year. Of all the things I can complain about, I cannot complain about not being busy. I've run an animation course at two univerisities; recieved a Doctorate from one of them; taught at many other schools and colleges for shorter periods; made a film about Tchaikovsky; saw my film from last year, Plume, finished; directed and designed a huge musical High Society; have started a new TV series; talked at some very presitigious events; been to a few festivals abroad; only seen a few live events which is not enough in my book; recieved a great honour from a Polish festival and a festival in Stoke - well that's the year in a nutshell. It's great to have a couple of films floating out there as it will probably be a while before there's another. Financially, it has been pretty much of a disaster, but hopefully that cloud has passed. For next year, whilst I am occupied with the tV series, I would love to be sowing the seeds for something big.
I've made some great new friends in the animation world, and lost some very dear and significant ones. let's hope more of the former next year.
I'm not sure I'll be doing much travelling next year, but it looks to be a productive one.
Hopefully it will be for you all....busy, creative, and healthy.
See you on the other side.
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