April 2009

April 2009

Postby Barry » Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:48 pm

April 5th 2009
Well I'm just packing to head off again, to Paris this time, on a very different quest. no festival or film watching or workshops, but the serious task of developing an existing storyboard of mine on the very slim chance that it might get made. It will be good to sit down and be creative, but as usual there will be that shadow of not being paid. And that is what this week has been about. I have been so busy writing for other people, talking about stuff and future projects, but I've not earnt anything. I've certainly seen a lot of bipolar culture - biploar becuase it lifts me up to extarodinary heights and then I crash to depths because I am not part of it. I didn't really get involved with Man For all Seasons as much as usual this week, but I think the cast had a good week.
This good be an interesting week ahead........
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Re: April 2009

Postby Peter » Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:48 pm

Pics of Barry's recent stage design for A Man For All Seasons are HERE
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Re: April 2009

Postby Barry » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:53 pm

April 9th 2009

Just back from nearly four days in Paris, on a most enjoyable task. A french company have shown interest in one of my films, and we have been developing the existing storyboard ready to present it to a possible source of funding. It might have been a bit deceptive as we were working hard, analysing every camera angle, every drawing, every continuity aspect, making sure the theme was coming across. It was almost like working for real, and exciting for that, but this is only for a submission, still let's keep our fingers crossed. Even so it will be many many months away and who knows what may happen before then. I am going to have to get some work , that's for certain.
So nearly four days in Paris, and so how did I manage not even to glimpse the Eiffel Tower. we were based near the Pompidou centre, and it was fun watching artistic people rushing round lookign creative and important, sometimes just a tad too contrived. And some of the busking was extrarodinary. A man in front of the Centre had a horse, or was it a camel, on several strings - I fear to call it a marionette, and he was simply swinging it around, sometimes round his head, whilst he barked! The poster of the Kandinsky exhibition looked down with confused concern. I did find some great puppets in a shop that sold everything from film posters to masks to puppets - there was a huge poster for the french version of Mars Attacks, looking like a real poster. Jaques Tati everywhere - I wanted to buy so many books and artifacts. In fact being in Paris was too frustrating - I had to resist doing anything as there simply is no cash, but darn there were the opera houses waiting for me to come in, the DVD shops, the art shops, the book shops, the galleries, and I couldn't succumb. Thank heavens for crepes.
I was stayign in Le Marais which I was expecting to be buzzing and colourful - I was alone in the hotel, up in the attic with not even Mimi or Rudolpho for company. A gloriously eccentric hotel though, with a winding narrow staricase up six flights. A Good view but still no Eiffel Tower.
All the time I was away I was expecting a mail or a text from a company in the UK - I had applied for a job with them, and frankly this job had my name on it, utilising all the skills I have in one neat job. I really could have done this, but not a single piece of contact. The interviews would have been today, and I'm sorry, this is just not good enough. Why the hell do established respectable companies of a considerable size not have the grace to say 'sorry, job's taken, or delayed, or just thank you'. This really is despicable unprofessional manners. It stinks, and if it didn't jeopardise any future work, I'd name names, as it really is not good enough, especially after the amount of effort they require in their applications.
So that's me back home with a disappointing bump.
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Re: April 2009

Postby Barry » Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:46 pm

Thursday 16th April 2009

Well I did rather giggle all the way up to Scotland, at the spring lambs just bounding around acrobatically. What does make them jump up and down so athletically? Acre upon acre of these woolly visions leaping about…..beautiful. And it was a stunning drive from Manchester to Edinburgh where I am just about to do some talks at a puppet festival. I haven’t quite done my homework so I don’t know what else is happening but the lovely guest house is full of puppeteers. This could make for an interesting experience at breakfast. I’m certainly thinking more material for the book, though I’m finding it more easy to get photos of marionettes and glove puppets than stop motion puppets.
So a good end, and it is a joy being up in Scotland, to a tricky week. The job I was so concerned about last week didn’t happen. Not even an interview, just a bog standard rejection, late. And that is a shame as I could have done this job and really brought something different to it.

I’ve had a busy week just trying to keep up with all the different projects; all mostly speculative, but all the same they need a lot of work doing, and I am breathless. The book is nearly there, but it’s the ordering of it all that may take time. I’ve written the book I want to write and this may not quite fit in with the template of the publishers….it will but that will take some time.

Not much connection with the Garrick this week. Part of the next season has been announced – it’s a safe season, and only one play of any interest to me but where will I be. I can’t rely on getting a job in Manchester now, certainly not in animation, so I’m going to have to head off, and have been chasing up jobs elsewhere.
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Re: April 2009

Postby Barry » Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:43 pm

April 23rd 2009

And happy birthday to you mr Shakespeare, though I fear that you may not approve of what is happening in Stratford. Yes the huge new theatre is beign assembled, but oh dear, what have they done to those magnificent lawns. all gone, along with the trees that have been there so many decades.

Anyway an exhilerating and exhausting week with a bit of everything, shadowed by the fact of never quite having been in such dire financial straits. I'm not alone there. But a few days up in Edinburgh was fun. The journey up with those spectacular hills was breathtaking. I had a good time at the Filmhouse, and the audiences seemed to enjoy the film. The city had am artistic buzz I certainly don't feel in Manchester. I managed to cram in a lot before heading down and then spending a couple of days with Amanda, catching up on our very colourful family history that she is uncovering. No major shocks but a few surprises. A trip to Crosy beach to see the Gormley statues moved us and certainly blew the cobwebs away. The tide was so far out, I wondered what speed it must race in each day, well twice a day. We went on to Southport that plays some part in our history. Again the tide was out, and the yellow sand almost looked like a desert, but what city council in their right mind thought a huge bland shopping centre right on the prom was a good idea. Matalan sur le mer! Ghastly. Nice beach but they have right royally cocked up the front.

The book and the other projects struggled for my attention and got it as best I could. I did a short talk for some decent students and caught up with the Garrick. Yep a bit of everything, and sadly a death in the house. It was expected any day, but how odd that having seen someone every day for as long as i have lived here, only when they have gone do you struggle to actually recall what they looked and sounded like, the experience of them. We do take so much for granted. Suddenly I feel sad, with all manner of issues raised.
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Re: April 2009

Postby Barry » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:33 pm

April 29th 2009

I did the 500 mile round trip yesterday down to Farnham, and I have to say that as I drove I was restning this amount of effort for such eentual small fee, but you know what, I had a darn good day. As the students came into the lecture room they were chatting excitedly, and some had seen me there before, last year - and yet they came back! As usual I started with Kong, and only one student had not seen it - actually a stop motion animator, but that is still quite an achievement. They were a very lively audience, clearly showing what they enjoyed, and being very easy to get chatting after the films. This came as something of a relief after some of the places I have been to recently. I showed about eight films and each of them got a great response, especially Max Winston's I Live in the Woods - there was a real buzz after that, some not quite sure what they had seen, but it certainly provoked a healthy response. I very much enjoyed this group, and not just because some of them came quietly up to me brandishing my book. I spent the afternoon looking at some of their films, and enjoying them. Some very good ideas, thought through and interesting visuals. All of them though are using After Effects as a vital part of the film - I'm not sure whether I should be worried about this. it's great for adding stuff but most of them are using it to clean up after some laziness on set. I still the set shoot should be as clean as possible. Anyway, I'm not sure I can expend so much effort too often for such financial rewards with all the travelling and such but the students did make it worth while this time. I shall watch their progress with interest and wish that I was in a position to be able to help them or employ them. A nice group.

The rest of the week, apart from spending saturday watching His Dark Materials, has been spent with my head down over the book. I think I have done the writing but the photos are taking all my time. I'm still waiting of many promised ones, which I find awkward to keep chasing up, but suddenly some really corking ones have appeared from some unlikely and very cooperative sources. Thanks indeed. Funny how some people are just so helpful and have bent over backwards to help me, and some see this as some sort of intrusion and are very difficult. I know my small book won't buy them much in terms of publicity, but it is still something to be included in a book. Most interestingly it's the people outside of stop motion who have been the most helpful. This book could easily turn into a hymn of praise for puppets in the wider frame of things, so I'll have to be careful there, but it does help to see how other techniques adapt and overcome the problems with their techniques.

Still not sign of any real long term employment, and I am just not sure what to do about this. It's probably going back into a shop or something for the time being, but even that may not work as i have still the odd few days and festivals to juggle. But I have to be honest, and admit that things have never been quite this bleak before, jobwise. There are sniffs of things but nothing definite. It is very very worrying.
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