"A blank canvas for you to play with" - National Theatre Wales

“A blank canvas for you to play with”

October 22, 2021

We caught up with Bear Thompson, Possible filmmaker, to talk about the visuals she created for the show and give you some ideas on how you could try using some of her techniques and filmmaking at home… 

Possible is an honest and personal (yet universal) piece of theatre so we hoped for the visuals to support the handmade and raw themes that the music and storytelling bring.

The creative team worked together closely to make an immersive experience for a livestream audience in June. Making something for a livestream opened up new possibilities: we experimented with overlaying some visuals to to delve deeper into Shôn’s mind and words and we are super excited to be able to bring this new layer of theatre to the live tour this November.

To represent the eclectic mix of thoughts and feelings throughout the show, we are using a range of filmmaking styles, including Shôn’s home movies, abstract film, textures, patterns, animation and archive footage. The use of projectors add a lovely nostalgic element to play with and the beautiful lighting design allows the videos to seamlessly become one with the set.

When creating the films, it was important to consider things like the shape of the set and how the imagery could be laid out, whether Shôn would be reacting to the videos and what style would best suit each moment. We had a lot of fun making this show and a lot of the video design was having a play and seeing what works. With that in mind, we invite you to have a go for yourself. The snippet below doesn’t have any background visuals and the set is a blank canvas for you to play with…

 

  • Grab a video recording device (your phone, a camera, your webcam).
  • Watch the clip and pay attention to what visuals appear in your mind – they could be related to the words, but they might be more abstract.
  • Next, with your camera, visually annotate what Shôn is talking about. You could use the entire monologue as one narrative, or think of each sentence as an individual clip. For example, the sentence “the future stands in front of us smiling confidently” could be interpreted in lots of different ways – think about what what that looks like to you.
  • It’s up to you whether you make a continuous 52 second video, or compile a series of small clips. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just embrace whatever you’re drawn to.

There’s no right or wrong, just have fun! If you need some inspiration, have a look at the production photos from the show. – Bear

 
We’d love to see the results – tag us on socials @NTWTweets on Twitter or @NationalTheatreWales on Facebook and Instagram. Experience Bear’s brilliant film and animations in Possible for yourself. Catch the show on stage at a venue near you.

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