JUNE 2010

JUNE 2010

Postby Barry » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:57 am

June 5h 2010

It's been hard to ignore some simply terrible things going on in the news, and yesterday, very early in the morning, I was at Stockport station waiting for the london train, when I found a normal lady just crying. She'd jsut arrived back in the coutnry after a few days and had read about the horrific and extraordinary shootings int he Lake District and had been overcome with emotion at the thought of it all. We sat until the train arrived trying to talk it through. At the end, she took my hand and said 'thank you for talking to me'. That certainly set me up for the day.

It's been quite a week. A huge lump of the music is done for the film. The puppets are all finished and approved and are now being packed up for their trip across the Channel.....they will go with me, and i just hope the customs don't prove awkward. There's still so much to do before I go. I've only got a few barsheets but am getting my head round the choreography and fine detail now. It's going to be an amazing few months ahead. And I do believe the next film is lined up, and the one after. And yes I am still struggling financially. The damage done by the last few years of not enough consistent work since Rupert Bear will take a long time to fully recover from. (That is a terrible sentence! Call myself a writer!). If only the financial pressure could be relieved, things would be good, very good. But not beign able to pay the bills is a constant worry, and part of being an animator I guess.

So everyone is gathering for Annecy. Not for me this year, but I do seem to be lining up a few trips ahead. To Canada, to Australia, Cardiff and a few other places. Various festivals are already eager for the film, and the select friends I have quickly shown photos to have give hugely positive feedback. The puppets seem to work. Now it is up to me.

A couple of moments of unexpected pleasure - an evening with a couple of chums on the roof garden as the sun set made me a bit hesitant about going, and then a brilliant and necessary massage after a long day to london and back was almost upstaged by a great chat to the masseur about writing books, paganism, feathers and anthropomorhistic tendencies!
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Re: JUNE 2010

Postby Barry » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:41 pm

June 12th 2010

Well my head has been down over the music for most of the week, making sense of the structure and surges and releases., and getting my head roudn the choreography. This is going to be a challenging film to animate. The boys have had their flight cases made and I'm not sure even Joan Collins travels with better luggage. I had hoped to take them with me on the plane but the cases are too big, so like royalty, we are travelling separately. I'm itching to get going.

But away from the film there has been masses going on. Organising myself - cancelling membership to the gym for example, was fine. I will save some money except they charge you to cancel, so that cancels that out.Still, a friendly membership manager who is wanting me to read his film script has done me a good deal when I come back. I love being given scripts, and there seems to be a bit of a deluge at the moment, maybe because people know I won't be around for a bit. Suddenly I'm being asked to do a lot, which I can't sadly. I'm glad someone is house sitting for me. Some concerns alleviated.

I went to the opening of the Spencer Tunick exhibition of the nude photos i was part of last month. Some are really beautiful and rely on interesting compositions, and some are simple effective because there is so much flesh rather than anything he has done. But an interesting evening, though if anyone said ' I didn't recognise you with your clothes on' one more time I would have screamed. I don't know if I am disappointed or relieved that I wasn't right at the front of the pcitures with everything on display. Mind you in the accompanying video there's way too much of me wobblign about.

Packed my favourite DVD's to keep me going for four months.

Shame not to be at Annecy this year, though Achilles was shown in the section where they misjudged films first time around. I can't actually remember if it got rejected or not.

An exciting mail from an Italian opera house, and i will be at the Verdi Festival again this year. One year I will be there with a production.
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Re: JUNE 2010

Postby Barry » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:28 pm

June 19th 2010 France.

And it doesn't get easier, packing up the house and leaving all the creature comforts and chums. And rather bizarrely I seem to have met lots of new chums recently through work or otherwise, and it is sad to leave them. But i am releived the house will not be empty or dark. The roof will see much activity.

So I packed my suitcase, with Derren Brown and Spencer Tunick still in my head, and headed to France - and whatever adventure the next four months hold. Part of me will be worried about what bills i have paid or have I remembered everything, but it was exciting to get to Chateau Renault. To be fair, it's not the most active of towns, though today did appear tp have a baton twirling demonstration. Still the quality of the boulangeries make up for a lot, and there's a good park and chateau. And I am here to work. The first few days were spent getting the space into a working studio, and with me getting a little apprehensive that even a fraction of what is in my head will get transferred to film. I hope so. The apartment is comfortable and couldn't be nearer, and we had lunch sat out in the garden both working days. All's well so far.

I sought out the local pool, an open air one, but I nearly misinterpreted a sign that said 'no shorts' in the very wrong way. Why shorts should be banned and speedos compulsory I don't know.

What will my French be like at the end of this....some dreadful mangled Franglais.
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Re: JUNE 2010

Postby Barry » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:51 pm

June 26th 2010

I haven't been home-sick until today when I put on the CD of War Horse. Maybe it was the surge of emotion indelibly linked with the music that made me a bit teary. very teary actually. Animals, culture, home, family, all that.

However, this is the end of the first full week on the new film and in France, and I'm enjoying both. Chateau Renault is a small town, and rather remote, but how much more do I need than a good job with a good crew(Justin, Gilles, Nadia, Stephane and Wendy), a brilliant boulangerie or four, a swimming pool, a cinema, and a front door that opens out to a spectacle of lavendar? Even the newsagent has a surprisingly up to date collection of DVD's. There's not much not to like about all this. This studio is more spacious that I have sometimes been accustomed, and the crew are fantastic; working above and beyond the call. Their excitement for the film is most gratifying, and though we finished yesterday with just, no not 'just', and though we finsihed yesterday with a triumphant 25 seconds (not bad for two days), we have cut it together and works as a good beginning for the film, setting up the story nicely, and without being obscure, something clearly has just happened. To my eyes, as ever, the animation was a bit basic, but I was coping with all manner of rigs, and there was not much acting going on just yet. We were delayed a bit by Stop Motion pro not being able to do what was asked of it on this film, but with a quick download of Dragon and we are up and running and everyone is happy, though I wish Climpex had designed more finger friendly knobs on their equipment. Oh - that wasn't meant to sound dirty. It is exciting to be back filming, but it doesn't get any easier, but there is still the satisfaction of something being created, however small, especially when it fits with the great music score. The classy puppet looks even classier under Justin's atmospheric lighting. If anyone in the audience is in love with wings as much as I am, they will love this film. I've had qualms about how simple this film is, but that is what it is, and I must not, I simply must not, over complicate it. It is about simplicity. A puppet, a light, a space and a story. No more. This is not about tricks, but about a beautiful puppet telling a story. Each day we have been able to sit out as a team in the rather ramshackle garden, surrounded by poppies and discovering new pastries and learning new words from each other's language. The language hasn't really been much of a problem yet. This is going to be a tough film for me, but as long as I can keep my focus, and remember what it is about and not get distracted, or be distracted, then I think something special might be about to happen.

Chateau Renault, for all it's remoteness and smallness, has offered us a surprisingly amount. I have a walk I do, and I enjoyed swimming alone in the outdoor lido. The extremeties of my anatomy did not though. So cold, but so beautiful. A lovely well kept pool inside, but the complex outside is probably the location for any glue that needs to be sniffed. Last night the chateau played host to a live music event, and the atmosphere was fantastic, all lit by a gorgeous full moon. And today, Justin and I sat in an almost deserted cinema, run by one very versatile man, watching a film that Tati never got to make - the film could almost have been happening outside. Many parallels. We ventured to one restaurant. If I have to work hard, as indeed I do, then there are much worse places to work hard in, and I have certainly done so.

As I write, some 500 miles away in London, Ray Harryhausen is being toasted by the great and the good of the animation world at BFI on the southbank. I was asked, but a combination of simply awkward travel arrangements, the lack of any money, and work needing to be done on the film, I just could not get there, inspite of being invited. A private jet and a London apartment would have helped, and I am sad, so sad not to be there at an event that acknowledges someone without whom, really without whom, we would not be doing this. I wonder who leapt into my seat, or who I might have been sitting next to.

So quite a week really. And I love my job - now if only I can stop fretting about money, and things back home and all the other projects. I have to focus so hard on this film and get out, as near as possible, the film that has been in my head for fifteen years. There's a lot riding on this film. Watch this space.
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