Sunday, 27 April 2014

Acting & Performing

I also involve myself in acting & performance groups across the North East. I attend a local Film Making Club when I can because I am interested in film production and cinematography.
I would like to thank, Laura Degnan & James Harris of Writersblock North East for providing creative workshops and promoting talent. Writersblock NE have provided me with the comfidence, opportunity and encouragement to develop my ideas, and the ability to network with other creative people in Teesside.

I would like to thank the Arc Arts Centre in providing performance space and granted permission to advertise and put on Writersblock Sketch Shows in the past.

I do miss being involved in writing & performing sketches for this group and I still would like to be involved in other acting groups in the near future.

Picture from very last sketch show (from right, John Louis Higgins, Sylvian Greumach, Myself, James Piatt, Lynn Lawson, Chris Stewart, Abigail Sharkey, Mark Lund, Mark Harrison, Masimba Musodza, Amy Cromack, Mark Tindle, Tracy Hyman, Fiona Rankin, Jane Elwell, Dani Boucher, Lori York, Tim Marshell, Laura Degnan, Sarah Jane Rooney and James Harris.)

See below for Screenshots of a short film I was recently involved in for Writer and Director Graham Williamson. (Title: Hungry Ghost)

If you are interested in joining the Arc Film Making Club please pop along to one of the sessions run on Saturday mornings at the Arc, Stockton. (Sessions are co-ordinated by Mick Snowden.)
Arc Film Making Club

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Special Efffects Makeup!

Rick Baker - 'An American Werewolf in London' (1981)

Rick Baker 'American Werewolf in London' (1981)

Ve Neill - Beetlejuice (1988)

Rob Bottin 'Robocop' (1987)

Rob Bottin ' John Caperter's The Thing (1982)

Tom Savini 

Rob Bottin 'Robocop' (1987)

Lon Chaney Sr - 'Phantom of the Opera (1925) 

Ray Harryhausen 

Monday, 21 April 2014

Referencing Career Opportunities & Useful Websites

Lighting Courses & Masters Degree
Mcs Light & Lighting – The Bartlett School of Graduates (London)
Short Course Price Range £370 +
‘Scenehouse’ - Short Summer Courses
The Edinburgh Lighting & Sound School – One Year Production Technology Course

Masters in Set Design
Theatre Design – Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (London)
-          Professional Theatre Design MA – (Bristol Old Vic Theatre School)
-          Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) Scenic Art/ Stage Electrics & Lighting Design (Recommends Foundation Degree if no experience)

Voluntary Experience
-          The Arc – Technical Support  for Lighting Experience
-          Stockton Riverside International Festival

Graduate Experience
BBC Design Internship (12 months)

Royal Shakespeare Company – Work Placements 

Useful Websites for Future Membership
British Film Designers Guild -
Society of British Theatre Designers

How many does it take to change a light bulb?

I have an interest in Lighting Design so I care to inform you .

These notes have been collected from a handy book called 'Stage Lighting Design - A Practical Guide' by Neil Fraser.  I must buy this for the next semester.

A lighting designer must be able to describe the effect of the light source, where it is coming from and what impact it has upon a performance and scene. It is important to explain why you like the light in a particular way.

Questions you should ask yourself when observing a light source upon an object;

  • How many light sources are there?
  • What part of the object is the most brightly lit
  • Where does the shadows fall?
  • Does the light on any object help it to blend in or stand out from the things around it? 
  • Do you like way the light looks and why?
  • Could you move the photographer's viewpoint and feel the light would be more effective?

Lighting designers carry 'real life references in their heads to create a scene to appear more realistic, they have looked and understood in which way light works to illuminate different situations.  This sells dramatic messages using the light within a performance.

In reference to lighting the face, the questions that you have to ask are;
  • What colour is the light?, describe it 
  • Can you draw an arrow from outside the picture indicating the light source(s)?
  • Is there more than one light source? indicate the brightest light
  • Does the Light create any interesting effect? 
  • Is the background to the face important? - is it lit darker or lighter?
  • Does it help the figure to stand out or blend in?
Lighting designers need an understanding of colour to create a mood that goes with setting the scene.

When I grow up I want to be...

Predominately a Set Designer or Production Designer...

I have been looking at Set designers for Theatre and film though my collection of research. 

Tom Piper - Associate Designer for RSC and Patron of Scenehouse courses in Edinburgh, which are specialist short courses in set, prop and design for the Entertainment Industry. 

Tom Piper studied Art History as an Undergraduate, and then applied himself onto a postgraduate Theatre Design course at Slade School of Art. He did not complete the course due to an opportunity working with Chloe Obolensky on Peter Brook’s production of the Tempest in 1990. He was made Associate Designer at the RSC Stratford in 2004. 

Tom runs the trainee design scheme placement for young designers at the Royal Shakespeare Company.  I would be interested in gaining some work experience there when the opportunity arises. 

There is an interesting interview which tells of Tom's experience with Theatre Director Michael Boyd and his work for theatre productions such as 'Hamlet' and 'King Lear'  - Tom explains how he likes to experiment with artistic forms which is what I like to do with Set Design 

The interview mentions that Tom Piper designs for plays and actors, not himself. This is an important thing to consider when designing for a director, is to clearly fulfill the design brief and not design things that do not adhere to your directors vision, although it is very tempting.

Jon Bausor - Set Designer for RSC - Design the set for 2013 Hamlet production which I personally went to see.  

Jon talks about his work in the production of Lord of the Files (2011) and also explains what the job of a Theatre Designer entails.

He mentions that he reads a script for a play very quickly and then usually carries a sketchbook around with him to jot down initial ideas for the set. he then presents this to the director to discuss and form new ideas or develop the initial ones. He constructs a model box to create and idea of space and to play around with his ideas within that space. This is presented to the director and the design process continues until there is an agreement for a final design.

You can read more here - Backstage - The London Theatre with Jon Bausor

I will format my professional studies report as follows:

  • An introduction to what I want to do
  • Discuss RSC Set Designers & Production Designers 
  • Discuss about what I have been involved in and how that has benefited my skills.
  • Identify what opportunities for further development are out there. (Courses, Placement Schemes) 
  • Lighting Design Information 
  • How to get involved in community art and other considered career paths. (Outside involvement with amateur theatre groups) 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Changeover | RSC in 60 Seconds | Royal Shakespeare Company

RSC in 60 Seconds: Painting the Backdrop | Royal Shakespeare Company

RSC in 60 Seconds: Scenic Art | Royal Shakespeare Company

Just because it is Easter break, does not mean I have no work to do.

I have been looking at what area of work I would like to apply myself in, and I came across useful videos for set design and production design from the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company).

I am having trouble putting all these videos together into one blog post!