Wednesday, 24 November 2010

... And a Carling Martini for the lady.

This is just an amazing cup of tea. I mean, I'm still tired, so it's not as if my exuses aren't 'valid', but, god, I'm enjoying this. As the only Northern member of Sticky-Tape currently working on this project (Jon Armstrong isn't involved in this piece as of yet) I feel the need to keep it real and moan about working down the mines, my bath of coal and the importance of tea. They just don't seem to get it.

This week in our studio, tucked in the corner of a flat-pack building shipped from Scandinavia, we've been exceptionally busy - on our piece, our research and our voyage in to the world of film. I've noticed before that people seem to comment on how beautiful the movie stars of years gone by are compared to those of today. The women have an extinct natural beauty and the men have an aura of sophistication that just doesn't exist any more. Vermouth has been replaced by Fosters. And, in a way, I think it's all true. But I also think it's the medium which creates this feeling. Everything looks classier in monochrome. Just like in photography, everything looks more interesting in Sepia ink. There's something about out-dated mediums that almost seems exotic and 'out-of-reach' - probabaly because the mainstream doesn't use them any more. So, in true 'done-before' style, we have been looking at techs like this. This week has been the world of shadow, silhouette, and the high-school science favourite, the OHP. It's really interesting to play with actually, and even though it's possibly the most low-tech form of live media around, it feels exciting to revisit it. There's been no sign of any acetate yet, but we have been at it with a pair of scissors making some custom shapes to tell our story. The most intruiging part about it is how easy it is to see through what is happening. You can see our hands moving the shapes, you can see what we're doing to create our images as we go along, and you can see the shapes themselves sitting on the light casting their shadow. Not only that, I love the grain on the image. The specks of dirt and the contours of the lens just grubby up theimage like an old cinema reel projected far larger than it should be. Since my science teachers in secondary school all those years ago, I don't think I've seen an OHP used outside of a theatre and I can see why. Early days, but the images we created really made that 'youthful' feeling of being amazed by something really simple come flooding back.

With absolutely no inspiration taken from the recent buddy comedy starring Will Ferrell and Marky Mark, we've also been looking at the B-Characters from movies or The Other Guys (Trust me, as far as I know, none of us have even seen that film. Honest). It ties in a bit with an idea we discussed on our last show, 'What happens to the characters off stage', but we decided to think of the story as seen by the minor characters and their perspective. The whole story is there, just from a different view point, including the things we don't see. We wrote some text on this individually and decided not to share with each other what films they were inspired by to see how obvious their origins were. A couple stuck out because of the facts, but one which we've sort of stuck with for now just told a great story without giving too much away - something where its quite easy to make what you will of it without being force fed what's going on. This seems to be the direction we're taking this though, we want our film based work happening on stage making allusions and hints at whats going on from a far off perspective, whilst the true narrative occurs way underneath the rest, probably through totally different mediums. I hope anyone who sees it can tweak a few details of what we're creating out for themselves, and that the blanks they don't find get filled in anyway.

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