Down & Out in Edinburgh

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I love George Orwell.  I say that – I don’t know a huge amount about him as a human being, because I’m always a bit scared of finding out too much about your heroes just in case – but Homage to Catalonia was and remains one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read, and 1984 is genius, and Animal Farm is savage and true and incredible and his essays are often that rare combination of both powerful and beautiful to read and basically… one of my heroes. Also: Down and Out in London and Paris, a book written after …

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Stop! The Play

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I’m lighting a play at the moment!  Actually, I’ve been working on it for a while, but tomorrow we go into fit-up for it at Trafalgar Studios and I’ve printed off the plans and the colour call and put my folder in order and done a pre-plot on the ETC offline-editor (because that never goes wrong) and all things considered…. … I am one prepped lighting designer.  Basically. The play in question is called Stop! The Play.  It’s a play in two parts.  In the first half, we see actors rehearsing for a play.  A play that I think I …

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Reasons Why

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I will never be asked to give a graduation speech at my old colleges.  I’m not academic enough for LSE, nor actory enough for RADA, and thus the distilled wisdom of the last few years (i.e. there’s no such thing as ‘lending’ a sharpie, or always run your data cable UNDER the hook clamp etc.) are unlikely to be shared. However, at the end of last week – another one where I pulled straight 13 hour days without a pause to eat, stop or breathe, I found myself in the unlikely position of wanting to sit myself down and ask …

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Making Bad

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You have to be really good, sometimes, to make bad. Take words on the page.  It’s hard enough writing ‘natural’ dialogue.  ‘Natural’ dialogue, on the page, sounds utterly unnatural.  It’s very kinda yeah um so… and yeah like after that it was so like, wow, just, like and yeah so then yeah yeah I know it’s just anyway… you know. Worse: not just the style, but the content of much of natural conversation is really dull. ‘So, you okay?’ ‘Yeah, good, good, you?’ ‘Yeah.  Good.’ ‘So.  Uh.  Work…?’ ‘You know.’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Yeah.  Got rained on coming here but you know.’ …

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Things Actors Can Say

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… that technicians can’t.  This could also extend to musicians, dancers, any artisty type really that the director doesn’t want to upset.  I hasten to add that 99% of all actors and artists I’ve ever lit have been awesome amazing professionals who can lift a text and elevate a character to incredible effect.  Let this not change, however, the fact that there’s a bit of a gap between what actors have sometimes been known to say in all sincerity, and what techies would get away with…. 1.  But what’s my thought? As an LD I would pay to be allowed …

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