JANUARY 18TH

JANUARY 18TH

Postby Barry » Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:25 pm

January 18th 2014
Oh crikey where has this month gone.......have I really not found ten minutes to catch up here. Well it seems so. All my fault of course. Yes work has been pretty intense, though I confess much of my effort has been spent in battling technology. Well it's not the technology's fault, as what we are working with is quite amazing, but probably more the adage about dogs and new tricks. I'm not sure this particularly dog has mastered the old tricks yet. still it's exciting when I learn a new technique.
Away from work I'm just back from a couple of exciting but rather intense days in Norwich working with lots of students. I hope all my rather honest ramblings about what is art and what is animation haven't bamboozled them. Some god ideas were presented and I hope they all manage to realise those ideas. It's a shame I can't spend more time with this group - Norwich is certainly a lovely city, and with the sunshine and good company and good food it almost felt like a holiday. But there was that journey, and it was pretty ghastly. Norwich is simply a difficult place to get to. The journey home last night was spent getting obsessed on the CD with two songs, that I kept just playing again and again, and trying to learn the complete words and wondering how I would stage or animate them. One of them was Maddy Prior and Steeley Span singing When I was on Horseback. I thought I knew that song very well but I listened to the words properly and started crying. A young soldier following his own coffin, saying 'I never done wrong'. Beautiful. And the second song I got stuck on has the be the Guardian readers karaoke equivalent of Bohemian Rhapsody - and that's Laurie Anderson's 80's O Superman. I can remember when I first heard it - I truly had never heard anything like it and something, however small, changed that night. It is a haunting disturbing, beautiful masterpiece, and so enigmatic as well. Such complicated and unexpected rhythms and fragmented sentence, but thirty years on it still upsets me. A great piece of storytelling.

I've been busy getting ready to direct Hitchcock Blonde and have enjoyed making the set model. It will be good to be rehearsing again. I saw the Garrick mainhouse production of Christie's And Then there Were none - a horrendously badly written piece with appalling characterisation, but Ros, directing for the first time, managed to make a full blooded evening out of it bring some theatricality to a terrible script. I'm sure there'll be those at the thatre who would not have liked it as it was not a literal approach thank goodness. There's be shouts o how Christie has to be done, and I'm so glad it was not done that way. I would have loved to have directed this piece. Of all the Christie stage pieces this is the best, but really that is not saying much. well done to Ros. Our critic was very patronising, writing little more than a cast list, her usual comment about lack of furniture or doyleys or something equally inane and then totally giving away the ending, which is Christie is the only interesting moment. I did get angry at this review as it was a waste of space, and made me question the whole purpose of reviews. This one was clearly and has never been fit for purpose. And it caused me to think long and hard about story telling, and what with my talk at Norwich, those sort of thoughts have been rattling round my head all year. I know I have finished one book, but there's a bigger book to be done about all this. I actually think in the Norwich talk I made some sense.
I also saw a Strauss concert that was interrupted by an unfortunate gentleman passing out quite spectacularly. I do hope he made it ok. And then there was one more panto that pleasantly surprised me as it was considered and had some rather good production values- though they missed a trick with Dick Whittington and his cat whose name was Duck. I would have run with Dick and Duck on the deck or on the dock - a lot of mileage there.
Phew, if this is an indication of the year to come, and I hope it is, then it won't be a bad one. I would just ask for just a little more room for me to contribute and to be creative.....thanks.
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Re: JANUARY 18TH

Postby Barry » Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:55 pm

February Ist 2014

Not a good start to these entries, but a lot of filming is going on, a lot of writing, a lot of planning and now a lot of rehearsing. On the top secret project we are getting some great footage. I'm not as close to the filming as I usually am which is a little frustrating, but it's great to watch the animators producing some stunning stuff. We are laughing much. Things can be bonkers in the studio. Away from the studio, things are pretty full on with various talks and trying to develop stuff, and an award do or two. And I've not made it easier by just starting to rehearse a play at the Garrick. I have had a year away from that place, and am still pretty sore about some aspects of it, but I can't down a nasty dark play about Hitchcock that I brought to the table. It's in the studio so hopefully won't be dragged down by too much politics from the main house. We will though have the indifference to cope with. The studio is very much an afterthought and inconvenience. Still I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into Hitchcock Blonde. If I don't get to make a film about him, this might be my won bite of the Hitchcock cherry. Shame as I have two lovely short films about him ready to go.
But it's a good busy year so far, if not personally terribly creative.
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