THE SPACE

A few of us have our Shakespeare animations on the BBC/Art Council website THE SPACE. We also did interviews that you can see on the website too. Nice to revisit that project it was such a great collaboration. Thanks a lot to The Space, The RSC, Jo Morrison, Darryl, Steve and Birgitta!Picture 2

 

http://thespace.org/items/e0001k02?t=ccj5g

Music by the talented Laura Stevens: http://laurastevenscomposes.blogspot.co.uk/The Space interview

LIVE JAZZ

Yesterday evening was the live recording of the soundtrack. Richard Ford had composed a theme for Parties which was the starting point for the music then he led the other musicians through to make the music a free jazz experiment all the way to the end with a great finish! I was so pleased to be able to watch them record it. I really enjoyed soaking up the music, and it gave me confidence about the finished product. i think with this soundtrack the whole animation will come together and be more entertaining! I’m really excited about the finished product now.

They were a really talented bunch of musicians and really nice guys. So great to meet some musicians I’m so grateful that Richard could get them all together. I just listened to it with the animation, it sounds so cool!

Chema Banuls  –  Tenor sax

Enzo Bellomo – piano

Mateus Alves – Bass

Matt Thurtell –  drums

 

(live at the Royal College of Music. Thanks guys!)

ROUGH CUT

Yesterday we had the rough cut crit. We included some experiments for the second half that we are still working out in TVPaint. This is what we showed:

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The bar scene appears to be working now it’s cut together. It’s really good to see our characters on screen, because we’ve mostly been animating them separately it’s hard to tell if it all communicates when they are together. There are some necessary changes to make before the music is recorded new Friday. I’m glad we will have the sound track before all the animation is complete, it will allow us to make certain changes according to the music. Especially for the outside scene that is quite fluid, will take form with the soundtrack. So far so good, nice to show all the hard work from the rest of the group!

Music

This week swell as cracking on with the animation we had a meeting with Richard Ford from the Royal College of Music. He’s going to be collaborating with us on this film, which is really exciting! He immediately picked up the sort of mood we want to capture for in the film. I think with him on board the film will really take shape!

(visual development for the jazz meltdown when the cats go out on the town!)

Prospero & Ariel

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I chose the scene in The Tempest where Ariel transforms into a harpy as the starting point for my animation. I based the method of transformation as a hikinuki, the art of the instant costume change, characteristic of Japanese Kabuki theatre. I researched Kabuki, the acting and stage conventions, the stories and the many significant parallels it has with and Shakespeare.

I created a stop-motion puppet animation as an attempt to emulate a theatrical atmosphere in miniature. I felt that this would be appropriate in response to a collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The two characters in the animation are based on Ariel and Prospero, they wear Kabuki inspired costumes and handmade wigs.

The animation also explores a relationship between Ariel and Prospero. My version of Prospero plays multiple roles, that of musician and as a koken stagehand, but also as the magician as he miraculously reveals Ariel’s other form. Ariel plays the part of the onnagata the female-role specialist and dancer. The costume changes in Kabuki are symbolic of complete transfiguration and the dramatic colour contrast from one kimono to another can represent an actor’s change from one form to another. I hoped to maintain the integrity of this method of spectacle in the animation.

Special Thanks

Now it’s done I’d like to sing a few people’s praises of all the people who were really helpful. Even though it was a micro short so many people offered me advice that was indispensable:

Shelley Page for setting a brief that I could really get excited about, and for recommending I look at Barry Purves’ Screenplay right at the beginning as well as the other great short animations she showed us!

Steve was a huge help at every stage, from the first storyboard to the last few days when he said “it’s finished, move on to the next project.”

Birgitta for her encouragement of the idea at the beginning and for setting the essay that made me take the time to properly research Kabuki and Bunraku.

Laura Stevens for the music she composed especially for this film. She was a dream to collaborate with!

Carlos (my mentor) encouraged me to take a risk and try out stop-motion. I was still wondering if I should animate it in Flash, but after he said that I had the confidence to go with the puppets.

Darryl’s advice was so brilliant, and he made time to talk to me about stop-motion. He was so passionate on the subject and gave me so much valuable information each time we spoke.

Amber for giving advice and encouragement and inspiration on everything from technical details to making the Arial puppet more beautiful.

My sister who watched and critiqued every version of my animation that I sent to her in New York, and my parents who listened to me go on about Kabuki for three months.

Ioli who engaged with my idea from the pre-production stage and gave me some great advice on the choreography and on the puppets themselves.

Maki Utsunomiya who gave me all the beautiful Japanese fabrics that I made the costumes out of.

Mahra for the wire and mesh.

Steve in the film and video department was so accommodating and put up with me and my puppets day after day.

Bea Hendry at the RSC for her reminder to focus on the characters not get to wrapped up in the set-design.

The Bard, for all his verse and prose.

And finally the stranger in the lift of Covent Garden tube station who I overheard talking about an exhibition on Kabuki that subsequently inspired my film. Thank you!

Royal College of Music

Yesterday the students from the Royal College of Music came and played us some really brilliant music that they composed for films. I’ve been in touch with the gifted Laura Stevens and she’s working on a piece for my animation. I’m really excited to see what she comes up with. It’s so great to have some original music composed for our films!

Here’s a link to Laura’s website: http://www.laurastevenscomposes.blogspot.co.uk/

She has composed some really beautiful music, I’m so glad she agreed to do some for me too!