Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Critical Studies Lecture Notes

DATE: 20/03/13

  • Te Po – pakeha/ Maori theatre company
  • Awhi Tapu – a theatre group
  • For a show in Serbia we needed to explain the treaty of Waitangi to a European audience. The concentration was on the bringing of two cultures
  • Time considerations for talking and performing while on the stage – How much exposition is too much?
  • A film audience is passive.  A theatrical audience can’t be – even when they are sitting very still you know that they are there.

  • It is important to keep these as uncomplicated as possible in order to allow for speed in their manufacturing, changing and budgeting.  Every dollar you spend ultimately comes out of the bottom line!
  • Locations: the golden rule is to keep your eyes open for possibilities
  • Backgrounds are very important in theatre.  Something that would be very ordinary in everyday life will take on a whole new symbolism in the theatre.  For example the fragment of a saw blade that caused a nearly fatal accident was used as a Rarotongan talking stick by the actor.
  • Drawings (concept sketches) > Models > Drawings (technical) – this is the process used for set construction
  • Costumes need to be researched along with everything else.  Poor research shows all too easily
  • Speed taken between costume changes is paramount.  The comfort of the players is very far down the list of priorities.
  • The scale of the sets needs to be taken into consideration.  All need to be large enough to show to the theatrical audience.  Thus thin pin striping on a suit would be lost in the detail as all the audience would be able to see the intricate detail.

  • Maori culture and buildings heavily influence work [this is true of any culture that an artist works in]
  • Moko instantly calls to mind a warrior.  The half face moko suggest someone who stands in two worlds.  This could be mundane, such as the pre and post-colonial or fantastic, such as the physical and spiritual. [These two worlds may exist in an uneasy alliance with each other and such people are the pivot on which everything turns]

  • Take language into consideration – humor doesn’t always translate.
  • Labelling things as your favourite is bad because it narrows the scope of what you experience.  The important thing is to watch everything, participate!  Turn nothing down!

| ART:
  • Concept sketches – early images can look nothing like the final produict
  • How were Maori represented in Aotearoa? (the exotic – noble savage and the real – poor second class citizens except for a lucky few)
  • Abstract images taken from historical photographs or other sources.
  • Think about colours that are being used.  They can stand as symbols all by themselves
  • Protests and conflict create action which leads to a story or a plot.  Remember that people speak without thinking in a fight.
  • Drawings and sketches should be the first step on the road to creativity.  It gives you somewhere to go and frames your thoughts.  Later on when you have done more research you can refine the first concepts.
  • Politics are always going to be good fodder for artists of any discipline.  This is because politics are an aspect of everything that happens.  There are politics of the country, the company, personal and all of these can be applied or called into question as the creator wills it.  What does it all lead to?  Conflict beautiful conflict!

  • Mark Sweeny: The film archive is “about collecting and protecting NZ’s film footages the oldest film in the archive is from 1900 – it is a valuable resource”
  • The turn of the century was a difficult time for everyone.  Immigrants to new lands perhaps had it worst of all.

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