DECEMBER 2014

DECEMBER 2014

Postby Barry » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:36 pm

December 13th 2014

And a pretty full on and wonderfully bizarre two weeks. Work is gently winding down for me on the series, but I am working like crazy pushing new projects. Many fingers in many pies. I've gone through the big film script with a first pass of dialogue and some of it works very well. But I need some decisions being made that I can't make, just so I can plan things. Very frustrating.

But some great culture.....a joyous Merry Widow at the Royal Northern College of Music, given a wonderful snowy twist for the second half. My chum Wyn conducted it and in some moments the music insinuated itself out of the silence, and in others it exploded, plastering my hair against the wall. I love this operetta and this was a superb, inventive production, and one that was hard to believe was performed by students. Then the night after I saw the Birmingham royal ballet's monumental and lavish The nutcracker, full of wonderful extravagant moments, but they still haven't solved the problem of the Sugar plum fairy. Just who is she and why does she hijack the ballet.

And then this week I joined my chums at Aardman to celebrate 25 years of the Lip synch series. I think I was guilt of rather selfishly wanting my film not to fade away, and in the scheme of all the subsequent features and amazing technical developments, I wondered if the films wouldn't amount to much. but actually seeing them on the screen they are still all very interesting films, from a time where individual creativity was encouraged, and before so many rules and such got in the way. It was good to spend the time with the Aards and with all the crews....sadly some are missing. My family assembled for this event too. The boys were only about 6 when we made Next. The following day I was part of a panel discussing the profile of puppets and puppeteers - I am not sure I could contribute anything when every other word was 'sector' or 'core audience'. it was a very dry and precise meeting for a craft that is neither dry nor precise. And animation did not seem to fit in with the discussions at all.
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Re: DECEMBER 2014

Postby Barry » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:43 pm

December 20th 2014

Well a significant week by any standard. a long, busy four year period has just come to an end. I've finished on the Twirlies. There was fifty episode of those, and straight before that were fifty two episodes of Toby's travelling Circus, then Tchaikovsky before that, and Plume in France before that. Throw in a lot of teaching, workshops around the world, two books, half a dozen or more plays, and I call that a pretty full four years. I'm technically out of work now, but a quick breather would be welcome, before hopefully a lot of new projects get finalised, and we are off again at full speed. But it was sad leaving the studio yesterday, though I seemed to be possessed with the spirit of Santa and found myself sitting in his grotto being generous.

Away from work, it's been a hugely cultural week, maybe too much, but I went to the halle on sunday, where they played the glorious nutcracker score, complete with the lady violinists being the choir of snowflakes. Then on Tuesday I went to see the royal Ballet again, doing the Alice ballet. I loved every second of it. And then Wednesday was the brilliantly reinvented Little Shop of Horrors at the Royal Exchange, with a wonderfully new concept for Audrey II, though a big part of me wished we had designed and operated it. A new concept certainly but war Horse has a lot to answer for, in a good way.

We lost another animator this week, very close to home. Young Kevin Walton, only 44. He had been working on Clangers. There's been much celebration of his colourful life on facebook, and someone included his showreel. It is packed with amazing work. And another animator has been sectioned. We are such fragile people. cram as much as you can in a day.
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