JUNE 2011

JUNE 2011

Postby Barry » Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:11 pm

Sunday 6th June 2011

The end of a very long week, but a bit of a landmark week. Plume is finally finished, and on Tchaikovsky we have just turned eight minutes. Crikey the end is in sight, but have I thought everything through. It's certainly a big glossy looking film that belies its' tiny tiny budget. The bags under my eyes and the stress in my shoulders give the game away though.
I'm not sure when I'll get a DVD of Plume or when it will have its first screening, but here it comes.
A week without Cole Porter, though the songs are still in my head, in a big way, fighting with Tchaikovsky. The songs are also fighting with Elton John as it might be designing his Aida. I turned my nose up at it, and the script does have some simplicity to it but actually the tunes are already in my head. I wonder why it never made it across the Atlantic. I would of course be rather doing the Verdi opera. But before that there is possibly a Sherlock Holmes production - but who knows where I will be even next month.
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Re: JUNE 2011

Postby Barry » Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:49 pm

June 12th 2011

Ah one of those bizarre weeks with a stupefying wide range of experience. Yes I have been filming all week, and only one student, Tom, on monday. I was glad he was here to be part of what I think has turned out to be my favourite shot so far, and certainly the most complicated - where tchaikovsky races through eight images from his operas and ballets, whilst playing the russian Dance from nutcracker at a speed where even at 50 frames a second I couldn't get the fingers accurate - but hopefully I managed to give the impression he was playing. In the preparation of the shot we must have moved the projector as the all the images were slightly too low in shot, but crikey what a complicated shot, and it looks great, and this really was an instance where I was grateful for the company and help of an aimiable student. All the strands of the film are starting to come together and a friend who hadn't seen it for nine weeks was blown away by it. Yes I think it is beautiful and the experience of it will be unusual - I don't think I can define what it is but something is happening and will be felt.It's still hard work, but the end is in sight and I am thinking about credits and post production.

There's a lot publicity and footage being released of some big new stop motion films, features and shorts, which will be difficult for me to watch, as I applied for jobs on one or two of them, and i will be honest enough to say it's a bit of sour grapes, but also I just know how much I could have contibuted. Watching them will be hard.

It was Annecy this week but I haven't heard any reports from it. Hopefully I will be there next year with three films.

On Friday I went to Stoke to open the Degree Show. A great honour to open such an event, and the campus was almost unrecogniseable as it was all tidied up, as were the students, and all the messy process of the art was all complete and there is all was looking magnificent, and there really was some great stuff. Our own short film is practically finished and I will have to do a bit of tweaking. Some clips have worked so well, and fulfilled the brief and more, and some have been a bit vague. But it was a very useful exercise and some great material has come out of it. I would have liked to have been there a bit more.

Along with being the guest there, I seem to have featured very heavily in the twenty essays I have marked this week for another univesity. It's still an odd experience to have one's films so criticially dissected and hidden meanings found. some excellent essays and on a couple of occasions i read some ideas that were so well expressed and intelligent that I wished I had thought of them...actually I had as they were extracts from my books, that I had forgotten. Some very salient points made by the students, and some thoughts that made me really want to write another book to make some other aspects absolutely clear. I was amused by a student talking about Mr Toad as a melodramatic drama queen. Well I guess that did sum him up.
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Re: JUNE 2011

Postby Barry » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:11 pm

June 19th 2011

A week where I really did see the pressure get to me, but thankfully I have hopefully balanced that out by an indulgent weekend in Cork with Amanda and Peter. A Penguin Cafe concert will balance out of balance humours and last night they were simply better than I had ever seen them. And Cork was in the midst of a great arts festival with things happening everywhere, and clearly bouyed up by the recent visit from the Queen. This morning we unexpectedly enjoyed the spectacle of the Bounty - at least the ship used in the Marlon Brando film. This lead to a whole morning of Maratime history as we went on further down to Cobh were the immigrants left for America. A sensitively done exhibition hit home like a sledge hammer. Coupled with this was the significant connection to both the Titanic and Lusitania disaster - the was the last stop for the Titanic and the Lusitania was torpedoed a few miles away - and it was all rather sobering. A beautiful stunning place, but with some terrible shadows in its history.

But work saw me ready to explode with the sheer amount of things I have to think of now. The end is in sight and I'm starting to think of credits and post production and nervously waitign for changes that people will suggest - too late I fear. Also tchaikovsky was thinking of suicide and bravely I had him almost step out of the picture frame. Such a mood from him does rub off on me. As does sheer exhaustion and panic about how to juggle everything over the next few very busy weeks. Just animating the character would be enough for most people, and yes that is a full time well paid job normally, but directing, barsheeting, making props, organisation - well i was a little fragile this week.

However the Penguin Cafe and sheer artistry and skill of that orchestra have recharged my batteries.
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Re: JUNE 2011

Postby Barry » Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:37 pm

June 25th 2011

With me beign in Cork last weekend I had a day off on Monday - no I coorect myself. We did not film on monday as I needed the day to catch up and get ready for the weeks' filming. even the weekend away threw me so behind, and not filming for a day totally threw me off balance. Someone said that I should have a holiday - that would probably be the worst thing for me right now. This film is without a marathon for me, and in a marathon you don't really sit down and have a break or go and watch a movie. You are so focused and going at full speed. A break for me would be disastrous, and this week I was all out of kilter.

However Cork, seeing Amanda and Peter was great, and refreshing, and we crammed so much in, with the penguin cafe, the English Market, the Bounty and Cobh. The travelling not so great...the distance is unfortunately not proportionate to the hassle.

But yes we have done some splendid filming inspite of everything. We had a great student Eleri who did some excellent transitions from image to image that I just would not have had the time to do.....very effective. And we did produce one startling jaw dropping moment, as the full orchestra appeared on the back wall. It is huge and spectacular (and if you look closely some of the faces might be a little familiar, and I'm sure every orchestra needs an orchestra cat, and Bob has duly appeared. Bob is our visiting cat. No-one knows where he lives but he comes and stays. He is called Bob after tchaikovsky's friend, though a brief appearance of a collar suggested his name was Ash.). The orchestra does look amazing as an image, marrying a suitable explosion in the music, and I got really excited, especially when tchaikovsky conducted in front of it. The first two beats were spot on and clear and precise and dynamic, but then I got a little lost which upset me, but I think it still looks ok as a shot, especially with hundreds of rose petals falling - a combination fo CG and real ones we have been laboriously cutting out and putting on the set.

Two weeks to go and my head is a little messed up. So much to think of, but thinking time and space is just what I do not have just now. A few excited visitors, always welcome but at the moment a little distracting. And then all the post production to think of, and the big question of what happens next. Where will the next 50p come from and when will I get a car again, which will make life so much easier. I trouped off to a lovely wedding reception last night, but the vagaries of public transport getting me to warrington, not that far actually, left me drained and exhausted. Certainly not as the crow flies.

Again I keep hearing of exciting projects happening soon but most seem to be closed doors to me which is frustrating. It's confusing as I am filming and feeling like I am busy and active and doing something significant, but crikey the indifference out in the world of animation employment is annoying.
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