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Sinead Animation

Stop Motion/ Model Maker Freelancer

– Why am I blogging?

I first decided to make a blog for my third year project. I hadn’t kept a blog since my first year at UCA Farnham, so I treated this as more of an informal yet organised way to keep track of my workload rather than a formal upload.

After Gradating I decided to keep my blog as I really enjoyed blogging about animation. Now I blog about my job(s) – freelancing is full of them!

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Physical Theatre: Exploring the Slap Week 1 (Part 2)

An Introduction into the études:

The Etudes were created after the revolution, however before then there were 3 classes taught parallel to each other to which Meyerhold built upon. These were Musicality (taught by Gnesin) Movement (taught by Meyerhold) and Commedia dell’arte (taught by Soloviev). After the Revolution however, Meyerhold formalised these three classes into the Biometrical Etudes, combining the past influences with modern techniques.

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There where many different types of etudes, Meyerhold tended to work in specific genres, the list below can be very visual and ‘active’ in their performance, maybe even comical or emotional. These etudes were taught and practiced by many and although Meyerhold was imprisoned and his name stripped from all theatre records, a student of his Nikolai Kustov, taught the Etudes on to his students and two followed on to teach theirs. And so the Biometrical Etudes lives on today.

Task: Answer these Questions

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  • What kinds of images come to mind when you look at these?

    very visual and care free, like a child playing. The movement can be exaggerated and full of emotion. The actor would do more than feel the performance they would LIVE the performance.

  • What sort of theatre was Meyerhold devising with this kind of training?

    a very visual performance full of hand movements, by creating physical theatre,  audiences sitting in the back row could see clear as day what was happening on stage.

  • If you were to break down one of the études into separate actions, what would those actions look like?

    Blow on the Nose:

    – Person going about their day,
    – pause mid action, dazed look on their face,
    – head tilts back, mouth open,
    – throws body forward with loud sneeze (throw in a jump!)
    – based face as they recover,
    – embarrassed, quickly grabs handkerchief
    – covers face, blows a wet noisy sound,
    – looks into handkerchief, disgusted, puts it back into pocket,
    – continues about their day.

The Slap étude: 

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So now that I’ve understood the basics its time to begin the main part of this course. The Slap. I am delighted to see that there is actually a little animation demonstrating the whole part of the action! But it is not nearly just a slap, there seems to be an entire dance around this action, one where the Passive actor in the process also becomes the Active actor and vice versa.

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This etude seems to be more of a dance than I expected, I really thought it was simply going to be a comical ‘slapstick’ kind of piece, as apposed to this eloquent sequence. I am also really pleased that this has been animated too, and flawlessly too!

If an actor from todays generation was to look back to the route of physical theatre, the could revisit what was once considered a revolutionary acting performance and compare it with the likes of todays techniques. See how an exaggerated ‘full body’ performance compares in comparison to the more subtle approach of todays acting.

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And that’s it for week 1!

Physical Theatre: Exploring the Slap Week 1 (Part 1)

Yep, you guest it onto another free course on Future Learn. I finish one, think okay that’s enough for me for a while and then I spot a course out the corner of my eye and I think “Hey that looks like fun!” So I’m going to give this course a try, I’ve no clue how ‘physical theatre’ and ‘online course’ will work exactly as to me theatre needs to be experienced by more than one person for it to be a course, but we shall see, perhaps they will make me do a video blog or something to submit my work?

In the first chapter we are introduced to the course leader: Jonathan Pitches, The Professor of Theatre and Performance at the University of Leeds. Week one focuses on the study of Vsevolod Meyerhold in 1917 and acting in Russia around the time of the revolution when Meyerhold invented biomechanics. This course focuses mainly on his biomechanical training exercise called études, ‘the Slap’. The Russian Revolution and the events surrounding it where vital for the development of Russian Theatre.

We where then given this rather interesting timeline to follow, I’m not too sure if this link can help show you what I mean but it was very fascinating.

1874 (Jan 28th) Vsevolod Meyerhold was born Karl Kasimir Theodor Meerholz
1895 Karl Kasimir Theodor Meerholz changes name to Vsevolod
1896 Joins Moscow Philharmonic Dramatic School (marries first wife)
1898 Becomes founding member of Moscow Art Theatre
1902 Meyerhold leaves MAT and Founds the Russian Dramatic Artists
1905 Works experimentally at Moscow Art Studio Theatre
1906 Invited to join Vera Komissarzhevskaya’s Theatre (leaves after 1 year)
1917 Bolshevik Revolution
1918 Meyerhold joins the Bolshevik Party
1922 Meyerhold Marries again and starts Meyerhold Theatre and begins Biomechanics
1926 The Government Inspector – a Grotesque theatrical masterpiece
1930 Social Realism
1938 Meyerhold State Theatre Closes
1939 Meyerhold is arrested  (his wife is murdered after protests of theatre closure)
1940 Meyerhold is tortured and executed
1955 Artist Rehabilitation

An introduction to Biomechanics

The birth of Biomechanics has two origins the formal one and the practical one:

  • Formal – after the revolution 1922, where there is evidence in ‘the program of biomechanics’ in archives.
  • Practical – Meyerhold was drawing on influences from popular theatre from as early as 1913 from Commedia dell’arte and Oriental Theatre.

Biomechanics seemed to be the answer to the problem of theatre for Mayerhold: The Theatre of Naturalism. He wrote essays on why he felt this was a problem and even developed The Theatre of Stylisation (1906) but biomechanics was the driving vehicle behind this principle.

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And through this Meyerhold developed his training on Biomechanics, a training based on physicality and not on psychology. Before the revolution Meyerhold did not call this new physical theatre technique Biomechanics, instead he called it Scenic Movment, but the name changed in 1927.

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Knitting Challenge Complete!

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Look What I Made!

I set myself a challenge on World Knit Day to start and finish a jumper within a month. And, 31 days later, I have completed my first ever knitted jumper.

I love it! It’s bright, in your face and damn creative in my opinion. I am so proud of myself and cannot wait to begin my next jumper – a christmassy one! (but there will be no photos until christmas as it’s a surprise for someone special.)

 

 

Business of Film OU Course: Week 6 (part3)

Better Business leads to Better Films 

The world of Film and Business is changing, for a film to do the best it can it needs to be organised from the very beginning. Begin by getting the Distribution and Intellectual Property right, this will help to make the right decisions along the way. Then pitch a clear and clean presentation of your film project to potential finances and distributors and secure your key talent.

The image demonstrates the overall economic impact of the core UK film sector, the total value chain impact and the direct impactsTotal economic impact of the core UK film sector (Olsberg SPI and Nordicity, 2015)
© The Open University (2015)
  • In 2013 the core UK film sector supported 39,800 full-time equivalents (FTEs) of direct employment and contributed £1.4 billion in direct gross value added (GVA).
  • The UK film sector generated nearly £1.4 billion in exports in 2013, yielding a trade surplus of £916 million.
  • The UK film sector displayed the highest export intensity of any UK service sector in 2013.
  • The UK film sector has made private sector capital investments in the UK of more than £425 million since 2007.
  • Of the £21 billion of tourism spend by overseas visitors to the UK in 2013, an estimated £840 million can be attributed to film-induced tourism.

For a film to be a success it nor only needs to be about the quality of what is on the screen but the managing of the production, attaining the right funding, its Intellectual Property, getting the right distribution and attaching the talent for each section of the Value Chain.

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And that is me done on this 6 week course!

Business of Film OU Course: Week 6 (part2)

The Future of Feature Film Making: 

The cost of Independent Production is limiting. The days of ‘cheap’ (less than $5million) independent film making is dwindling, and without a big budget behind them, high listing stars aren’t attracted by them and the thought of making money back on an independent film is dim. Unless the actor(s) have a branch to the independent film cast, be it the writer, producer, director, they are unlikely to make a point being part of that film production as it would mean a significant pay reduction on their part. UNLESS, there have been independent films which have skyrocketed such as Marigold Hotel, where big celebrity names attached themselves to the indie film and investors flooded towards the production.

Who Holds the Power? 

Triangle of Power from Week One. The 3 points being Distribution, Money and Talent

© Richard Miller

So who really has the power here? This is a question that was previously answered earlier on in the course, now with further knowledge my answer has changed.
Through this course Ive come to realise a lot of things are different as the age of cinema and film watching has evolved. This power triangle needs balance for it to work, or rather the other two sides needs to feel like they in some way have control when one spear heads the lead. With talent the ‘creative’ can take power to demand a higher payment, royalties or rights. But anyone is replacable, yes having that ‘A-list’ name attached to the film can make it go far, but not so far as to take the lead. The Distributors could demand more rights and power due to the way our latest generation of film  watchers decide to watch films, through digital downloads and streaming to cinema and nights out. They are seeing a lead which they hadn’t anticipated before. And yet I truly believe the Power lies with the Money. With money comes control, don’t like a chosen scene done? change it, that actor kicking up a fuss? drop them. Like we saw in the previous chapter with Dr. No, as soon as the ‘Creative Talent’ had a problem with the budget, the Film Finances came in and ‘fixed’ the problem. With Money comes Power and Film is a Business at the end of the day.

What’s the Tipping point for Independent Production? 

In this chapter Charles Moore believes that the Industry is going to experience real change soon. He believes that it will become quite difficult for independent producers to have a future. This being because indie projects can be just as expensive as larger studio based film projects, yet the indie ones are less likely to make a profit, as mentioned before, unless an actor has ties with the independent studio working on the film, they are unlikely to join. Its not cheap producing or distributing these films and this will eat into their small budget, making money is difficult meaning finance is limited. Yes distribution has changed now with Digital Distribution – opening it up to wider audiences with channels such as Netflix and Amazon, this could bring digital audiences out into cinemas to see independent films. But it is hard to market these films for cinema distribution when big seller studio films are guaranteed to bring in the audience and sell seats.

The Future of Distribution: 

I feel that soon in the next 5 years or so the world of Film will change, most likely due to a shift in Distribution since online streaming is becoming a large part of film watching in newer generations. With companies such as Netflix and Amazon becoming producers in their own rights for smaller productions and independent films (that can still be fairly large) I don’t feel like we will lose independent films,  maybe there will be a new branch on the film production level as Distribution produced film takes off and we need another ‘thing’ to take its place. With the world constantly adapting especially in the digital side of things, we may be watching films in a completely new way soon and maybe that will be the new indie film.

Is Independent Feature Film Making Sustainable? 

Film makers need to respond to what audiences are doing, now in the digital age we can’t sit still. We are constantly watching more than one screen, never giving ourselves the pleasure of concentration on one story line for longer than 10 minutes before we are on Facebook or twitter. How are films responding to keep our engagement.

With the inclusion of Digital Streamers like Netflix Independent Feature Film had a new way into production studios, although at first it seemed like the new FOX or Paramount Studios with limiting access to them. Yet within the 2 or 3 years these Digital Distribution Studios have become a disruptive force to the film industry – for the good? – they have laid havoc to the ‘window system’ demanding earlier release dates and shorter dvd release time.

How will this effect the future for independent films? Audiences will always want to have that ‘movie experience’ and with some films (Like the Greatest Showman for me) you just can’t experience that at home, it has to be in the dark enclosed space of the cinema where the sounds are stronger the screen is bigger and the action has greater impact.

The bigger and harder question to ask is how will this future effect the Value Chain in which we grade films by? Although people will still be paying to watch films on one way or another the cost in which we view films has been suggested that:
“the basic economics of the film industry may not be substantially altered by these changes.”

The Cosy Cat Cafe Herne Bay!

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Have I mentioned that I love working at Hoobynoo?

Yesterday Chiara and I went and had afternoon tea at the #CosyCatCafe in Herne Bay! We did a couple of live videos, took loads of photos, had a few interviews with the staff, ate cake and of course got to see and play with cats!

Who ever said working the weekend would be dull 😂 can’t wait to get editing the footage on Tuesday for our #instagramtv episode and our Vlog series!

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Crayola for Adults!

Soooo I might have gone and bought some crayola make up from ASOS after sharing the amazing find on my Facebook page a few weeks ago… I regret nothing! My excuse is I’m creative and have loved crayola since I was a kid and knew I wanted to be an artist

Business of Film OU Course: Week 6 (part1)

What is a Completion Guarantee in Film? 

A Completion Guarantee or also known as a Completion Bond is designed so that a film producer can go to an investor and give them the reassurance that they won’t be returning for more money because the project was more expensive than they expected and there will be a payout at the end of the film production. A Completion Guarantor is a specialist who keeps on top of the project money, keeping track of the cash flows. Payments have to be approved and spending is made harder for the producer this way.

For a fee (based on the film’s budget %) a Completion  Guarantor Film Finances offers a guarantee to potential investors that the film will be completed at an agreed pricing budget agreed to the time the Distributor required. This step persuades banks to support independent film making.

But What if things go Wrong? 

In this chapter we are given extracts from letters between the Directors (Saltzsman and Broccoli) of the James Bond Film Dr. No and Film Finances. It seems that the Director and Producer let themselves get carried away with their budgeting spending over $20,000 ion Jamaica due to overstay and filming a week longer in the studio and further overspending of $7,000 on extensive props that would exceed their budget. The Film Finance team took control and tried to reign the project back on track rather than cut the film completely feeling like they could still make their money back in the end.

This take over of budget happened within a week of Saltzman admitting that they had gone over budget. Soon the Film Finance brings the film out of its drowning waters and Eon Productions is much happier with the production. By January 21st 1964 Film Finances receive their money relayed in full that they had to advance in production to cover the overcosts. And thus the first James Bond Film in the Franchise was born.

 

Do you watch Hoobynoo Lunchtime Lives?

Whilst Chiara is away in London, it’s time for our weekly Lunchtime Live at Hoobynoo and David and I have a lot of important stuff to tell you to keep your Furbaby safe this summer!

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