Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Warriors, Ho!

The thing is with doing a sort of 'weekly update' on this type of thing, is that I'm pretty sure that it presents me with a quasi-obligation to actually have something to update this blog with. Progress hasn't been slow per-say, but it isn't too apparent. Practically, our work is exactly where it was this time last week - but we have been discussing. Between watching Neil Hannon in Manchester last night (Fantastic, thanks for asking) and working bar jobs to fund ourselves, the work is slowly forming in to a cohesive idea.

Pushing on from Movies, we encountered a few foreign films that seemed noteworthy, and this got us talking about translations. And how fantastical they can be. Everyone has had that little 'miscommunication' between themselves and someone who doesn't quite speak the language, but where can we go from there? Like I said, it might not be a show in itself, but it's fuelling the fires. A Bout De Souffle was a great starting point for this, but it's also definitely worth checking out such classics as 'Star War: Backstroke Of The West'. Which according to translations (as far as I can figure out), is something to do with the Elephant Warriors of the Presbytarian Church.

How do people communicate then? Especially when people are so wrapped up in the on-screen personas which they seem to quote incessantly. Just, as a note people, stop quoting Family Guy - it's gone. I, on the other hand, only quote Arrested Development, which is way, way cooler. I'm sure you'll agree. We all do it. Even if we make an active effort not to.

It's hypocritical, but I just can't communicate anymore. Not ideas, anyway; which would explain the sub-par writing of this page. The others in the company regularly take the piss that all I do is drop my face in to one hand and then spend 20 minutes explaining an idea which can be summarised in 8 words. Maybe people just find it easier to cope with situations that someone else has already proved they can deal with better? Let's quote them!

We're currently very interested in how films are made. Wes, of Proto-type theater, once said to us of something which we'd made: 'Why do this on a stage?. As in, why aren't you making a film? Why aren't you writing this as a novel? It's something which has always stuck in my mind when making work. To be honest, I'm not even sure we ever gave him an answer which he was satisfied with, but since he said it, we've always tried to justify ourselves based around it. We are live art; We are in front of you; We have one chance to 'Sparkle, and not fuck up' - as he eloquently put it. But films have very unique distinctions over theatre in the way they're made (and vice-versa). Can we splice reels together? Can we remove frames of a shot? People have put film on stage, can we put stage on film? Can we genuinely destroy the continuity of a live piece? Even by definition it's impossible. If something isn't how it should be, it's because somebody on-stage changed it. Right in front of an audience. But that shouldn't stop us from trying. Our work, and I use the word 'our' lightly as we've generally made work with numerous other artists up until now, has always had an air of failure about it. I guess that it's just as interesting to see how things don't happen as seeing how they do.

I overheard on the bus this morning, a total stranger moaning that they 'had six minutes of material and Wes just told us to scrap it. The whole thing so now we're back to the start. This always happens to us!'. But it's true of us too, and I think we're finally used to it. Failure is part of the process, and we'll make better material for it. Sooner or later, it might well occur that we'll scrap everything i've been talking about so far and end up creating a show about the Elephant Warriors of the Presbytarian Church.

Hang on, that's not a bad idea.

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