Saturday, 31 October 2015

Notes on a project structure 1

Japanese no theatre.

I have been trying to write this up for a long time. These ideas are based on a book I took out of the library on the day I submitted my PhD proposal. I was waiting around for something dramatic to happen as a result, but it didn't. So I went to the library to find something to take home with me. I liked the idea of facing east, but mainly chose this book because I liked the look and feel of it, and the front cover.

My intention had been to read a section about looking inwards and facing outwards, but ended up reading a different chapter, about the structure of the Japanese No drama.

The tradition is that these plays are created in sections. A series of shorter plays, each based on a different character, for example the warrior, god, madwoman etc. In between each character play there is a short lighter play, that I imagine to be something like an interval, or more specifically, an interstitial.

These stings are used on TV as a way to remind viewers what channel, or TV show they are watching. A branding device to bring the audience back to the product, back to the product, back to the product...

I had been thinking about the use of wipes in this way, since working on the year 2 info graphics projects, and some BBC Sport branding work in 2013. What is a wipe, why they are used etc.

Typically the wipes used on TV in general, and on BBC Sport in particular are very short. In football and rugby they are usually between 12 and 25 frames long. The purpose of the generic BBC Sport wipe seemed partly to be about navigating the viewer backwards and forwards in time. Called 'replay wipes', they indicate when and where the replays and the live action are in the live coverage.

BBC Sport Replay wipe

I like the idea of using a wipe or branding device in this way in the film. To go backwards and forwards in time from Ukraine in the 1930's to the present day. And as a way to link the individual pieces together.

The Japanese no theatre plays typically have five sections, five characters. This seems like a good number and has stuck. I like the idea of a prelude too, see notes on Beckett for details.