MAY 2011

MAY 2011

Postby Barry » Sat May 07, 2011 2:09 pm

May 7th 2011

A generally prodcutive week but oh crikey I am worn down - worn down by continually trying to attain certain standards that budgets and circumstances prevent me from reaching. With both the play and the film, well everything I do, including teaching, I do my homework and approach each project, with huge amounts of detail, and a thoroughly intellectual approach, making sure every convention and innovation works, but when push come to shove, either people just don't make enough rehearsals, or there simply is not enough budget or crew or time, or students simply don't do enough work or don't have the facilities, and you do end up having to compromise, and all your artistic ambitions crumble and it becomes about just 'putting in on', whatever it is. I've even had to think about whether we can afford to have some photocopying done for the film this week. A shame, as with the right budgets and conditions I know I could do some breathtaking stuff - at the moment I feel I am producing the best I can do under the circumstances but to me that is not good enough, and the audience don't know about the circumstances. I sort of want a subtitle under everything asking my films not to be compared to soemthing like Coraline, or that my musical coming up has only a small amount of dance because no-one came to enough rehearsals and so on.

However, moan, moan, moan, but we did some good stuff of Tchaikovsky. Some I would like to reshoot and refine or to have tested, but that just can't happen. We are nearly at five minutes now, and this week the mood in the film was very reflective, with his mother's funeral. The mood picks up with him now off to the Conservatory. With High Society we have stage the whole show, but all the detail is missing, and the style and character and slickness that I want. I was also back at Manchester University for a session of drama students presenting their five minute film pitches, and i was very very impressed at the amount of work done. One guy had loosely animated the whole film, and brillinat it was too. I'm still laughing. I also did a session in Stoke, filming our naked model for the last scene of the Benjamin Britten. That all went well. Lot's of things going on, and made more complicated by having now car now as I just could not afford to keep it going.

Right, off to learn a short section of Tchaikovsky's No1 piano concerto.
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Re: MAY 2011

Postby Barry » Sat May 21, 2011 3:59 pm

MAY 21st 2011

A week of long fourteen hour days on both Tchaikovsky and Cole Porter, but at least the Cole Porter will be done soon. The set is up on stage and looks rather grand and striking. It's still very theatrical and non literal - and a few of the cast have asked rather literal questions. But oh me and my symmetry. Every show I have done at the Garrick is resolutely symmetrical and involves some sort of box shape with something central. The only asymmetrical element in this production is a huge fantstic moon, and it does look great, but here's the dilemma and the answer as to why everything is symmetrical for me. There are a few seats in theatre, at the sides that are way outside the proscenium arch and have a limited view of the stage, and I would absolutely hate for anything I design to be viewed incompletely be even one audience member. I want everyone to see everything - something I wish some big designers would remember. So it always ends up with a strong V shape. I think the show will be good - it needs some energy and confidence and sheer attack. We did the lighting on thursday, and yes it is a musical, but this is more a play with songs, and there are no huge numbers that take it into another realm or have big internal monologues. It's quite an untheatrical piece actually, and with the lighting I have kept it quite straightforward. There is one theatrical moment that jars in the context - and that's True Love. It's sung with Dexter in tracy's memory. It's not working at the moment - mainly because we don't have time to play. But here we go on monday.

As for Tchaikovsky, well he's going through the gamut of everything. I've done some rather enjoyable slow wide shots where the movements works very well, and looks balletic. There was one shot keeping me awake the night before wondering how I was going to do it. I'd left the boy kneeling on the floor. He only has simple joints in his knee and he can't tuck his lower leg right under his thigh - no haunching which does limit the movement a bit, and getting up from kneeling needs this enormously flexibility. But as it happens the shot went amazing well. I sort of distracted the attention away from the legs by doing something very smooth with the arms, and there he was up, and rather touchingly he just brushed the dust off his knees - an unexpected moment. A puppet worried about the state of his trousers? But it made him rather vulnerable. I was most pleased and relieved by this shot then went and did a rather clumsy shot. Ah well, you can't win them all. I was watching a very impressive showreel this week of some drawn animation, and on the disc was included masses of preparatory sketches and line tests - with puppets we can't do that. We get one shot, and even then the puppet leads you in odd directions. And that's both exciting and frustrating.

But oh crikey I am tired. And worried about what happens next. Nothing at the moment. I'm envious of all those signing up for big features and such.
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