Russian Theatre documentary series

fairground Booth collage 2As I finish the book about the Russian Theatre film series +Russian Theatre Documentary Series work already gathering pace on the whole Fairground Booth side of the series. Possible locations being lined up in March for a film version of  the a play itself. The Fairground Booth and editing going ahead with the documentary film about The Fairground Booth project which will be an integral part of the Russian Theatre Documentary series.

The book about the Fairground Booth is also taking shape almost simultaneously. Its too early to make any predictions but two years ago when I was working on the film Vakhtangov and the Russian Theatre I could not have predicted that this work would be moving along. It just seemed much to far into the future. Now that Vakhtangov and the Russian Theatre is released a path has cleared to make progress on this part of the project.

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New books on Russian theatre in the pipeline

BiomechanicsAfter the successful launch of Encounters with the Russian avant-garde two more books are in the pipeline. Both of them will be about Russian theatre and connected with the Russian Theatre documentary series. The first book is already two thirds into the first draft and should be ready for publication in the early spring. It will chronicle the making of the series, the vagaries and joys of filming in Moscow and Russia, how the series  was conceived, came together, was filmed and where it is going.

Three films are complete and hopefully another two will add to the series. Shooting and some preliminary post production already underway. Script for one film already complete as well. The second book is a much more ambitious project about one of the seminal plays of the early twentieth century. The scope will be broad and speculative but I hope will be a start in explaining some of the themes of Russian theatre in the early twentieth century.

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Encounters with the book itself

Proof copies of the book Encounters with the Russian Avant-garde arrived and now have all been corrected. Nothing like seeing your own book in print. The results are not bad and now I can continue with marketing the book along side the film series The Russian Avant-garde

I am looking at marketing the book as a component part of the series of six films about the Russian Avant-garde. The next step will be to try and put together a promotional video which can be uploaded to vimeo and You tube as part of the promotional material for the book. There were one or two corrections here and there throughout the book but that is nothing surprising. As someone advised you can never proof read your book enough times.

Russian Avant-garde columnes

Working on a third and fourth book. The first should be ready around early spring and will tie in with the Russian Theatre Documentary Film Series This project is a continuing film series plus two books and maybe other material. Editing on a documentary film associated with the Fairground booth underway as well. Should be shooting material tomorrow in Moscow weather permitting. This will probably be the next project that I will be concentrating on.


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“Encounters with the Russian Avant-garde” – Published

Encounters plus thumbnails








Finally we can announce the publication of Encounters with the Russian Avant-garde which is now available on Amazon for purchase or download. Encounters with the Russian Avant-garde compliments the series of six films made by Michael Craig and Copernicus Films about the Russian Avant-garde of the 1920s and 30s. It is not only an account or explanation but also an introduction or to be more specific an “encounter” with this exciting phenomenon. The title reflects an active relationship: firstly through the experience of living in Moscow for many years, plus a direct encounter with the buildings, the architecture and the very territory in which much of the avant-garde arose and to some extent still exists. Encounter suggests something more casual, unexpected and unstructured but also a sense of living in the avant-garde and being part of it. After all it was the intention of the Russian Avant-garde to connect with the real lived world and to ‘take art out of the galleries and onto the streets and squares of Moscow’

As always when a large project gets finished there is the inevitable feeling of disappointment and wanting to fill that vacuum with another book or project or a film. There is plenty to do and plenty to be getting on with and really I should not rest on my laurels. However it will take a bit of time to change gears and shift into another project.

Posted in Copernicus Films, Decadence, Encounters with the Russian Avant-garde - Book, Michael Craig, Russia, Russian art | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Encounters with the Russian Avant-garde

Cover finalFinal tweaking of the book Encounters with the Russian Avant-garde Small irritating problems to be solved after first proof submission but its all to the good. The proofing stage is arduous and long partly because there are a great many photographs and diagrams and this makes the composing part of the book very tricky. However it has to be done to make the project worthwhile and for it to dovetail nicely with the 6 films which make up the series The Russian Avant-garde.

The picture on the left is the front cover which I hope will look attractive on bookshop shelves and grab peoples attention. Hopefully withing a week to ten days it will be past the proofing stage and on to the final stage before publication. Things are looking good and I am already working on two new books connected with Russian theatre. One I think will be ready by spring 2016. the other is a slightly more complex book and will take extra time and research. I will be updating information here and on other platforms (Facebook and Twitter) and the release date will be announced here soon as well.

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The Fairground Booth and Blok

fairground Booth


As I work on The Fairground Booth project it is becoming clearer and clearer how important Alexander Blok was to the transition between Symbolism and The Russian avant-garde even though he did not directly participate in what we understand as the Russian avant-garde or Futurism. However the play The Fairground Booth was one of the major steps which broke down the dominance of Symbolism in Russian literature or at least highlighted its shortcomings and opened up a artistic and theatrical space where new forms could be explored and developed. As one digs deep down into the layers and substrata of the play more and more possibilities emerge.

The book I am writing as part of The Fairground Booth project which in itself is part of the +Russian Theatre Documentary Series is becoming an indispensable input and incubator for the film and the documentary film. Whole new lines of development opening up.
#russiantheatre   #alexanderblok   #theatre

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Critical moments for new projects

fairground Booth

Russian-Avant-garde-columnes.jpgA critical time for the project The Fairground Booth. The writing of the material, book and two film scripts is going well. However some the visuals have been somehow left behind and this requires some considerable work. yesterday when I checked the computer graphic work I have been doing it left a lot be desired and as I am not a computer graphics specialist and more or less a beginner I was quite worried by how I would overcome this problem Feeling a bit better after sleeping on the matter. One solution is that I might hire someone to complete and update the work I have done, someone who is proficient in Blender. However I would wish to avoid this and so for the time being I will carry on with my work in this field. After reviewing the material and where I want to go with it I will have to persevere with building my skills however slow that might be. There are no deadlines so I should really stay grounded and gradually get more familiar with this programme because no matter what computer graphics is going to be part of my visual and digital work no matter what. Its a question of one step at a time

Going through some the search material for Copernicus Films and Michael Craig I was gratified to find the film Meyerhold Theatre and the Russian Avant-garde referenced in two books about acting. The first is a book by John Lutterbie and his book  Toward a General Theory of Acting: Cognitive Science and Performance also El arte del actor en el siglo XX : un recorrido teórico y práctico por las vanguardias by Borja Ruiz Osante – very gratifying when ones work is helpful to other.

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Update – The Fairground Booth

fairground Booth

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Chekhov Country – Visit to Kolomna

Изображение54A few days out in Chekhov Country has upset my routine but was still welcome nonetheless. Spent a few days at a dacha some 90 kilometeres outside Moscow not far from a city called Kolomna an ancient city of Moscow Oblast, Russia, situated at the confluence of the Moskva and Oka Rivers. It has its own kremlin fortress and a beautiful monastery complex and numerous churches within the kremlin territory. There is a good article in the Moscow times which describes its history and various attractions ranging from old churches to pre revolutionary architecture and a sense of peace and quiet which a small town imparts to its visitors and guests. I got badly sun-burnt but nothing that some cream couldn’t fix. Earlier that morning we drove out to a nearby Holy Well. Something I have to say that was an amazing sight. Fresh pure water literally bubbling up from the ground through the sandy bottom of a small pond about three meters in diameter and a metre and half deep. At first you think it is boiling water like those hot  volcanic springs: but no its the pressure of the water rising up though the ground combined with the soft beige/grey  coloured sand which gives this effect. When you step bare foot down into the water its icy cold, around 5 degrees. I drank a few handfuls,  fresh, sweet and soft, while our friends filled water bottles from a nearby special outlet for use at home. The well is administered and maintained by the Orthodox Church but is free for anybody to use.

Изображение10Largely the visit interrupted my writing schedule which I had hoped to carry on after a considerably fair run that I have been having over the last month or so. Seems to be getting back to normal. However late nights drinking wine and eating good country food under the Russian stars is not conducive to a strict working regime. The clear night air gave a fantastic view of the milky way and even  a short meteor shower which was an added treat to the brief stay with our friends. Still I was able to sit in the shade of an old apple tree for several hours each day and read some background material for The Fairground Booth project. Kaufman” ‘Hegel a Reinterpretation” , Gadamar’s “Truth and Method” and some Edgar Allen Poe for “light” contrast.

The weekend was back in Moscow and trying to get back into the swing of things. its always difficult after such a lazy few days but today seems to be working better. However yesterday I did manage to get some preliminary editing of ideas for The Fairground Booth play itself working with material that I already have shot and thinking about ways of presenting the play. Also fleshed out some further chapters for the book which I will follow up with today in more detail giving some substance to what I have got so far. All in all The Fairground Booth project is developing steadily.

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The Fairground Booth – One Less Hurdle

fairground Booth collage 2

The Fairground Booth project is beginning to develop further with much progress on various levels. As has been explained before this project is part of the overall film series The Russian Theatre Documentary Film Series by Michael Craig and Copernicus Films. The next stage will be made up of a feature type production of the play itself simply called “The Fairground Booth” which will be an interpretation of Blok’s play. There will also be a documentary film outlining in documentary form the history of this play by Meyerhold and Blok which was a seminal production in the history of Russian and world theatre. In addition I am planning a book which will give s slightly deeper explanation of the play in the context of Russian theatrical culture and Russian culture itself. This writing is extremely valuable to me and I hope it will serve as the backbone to the whole project

One of the difficulties of filming “The Fairground Booth” is that some of the carnival/ball/masquerade scenes are quite extensive and requires costumes and extras which would cost more money than is available. However I believe I have managed to solve this problem and it will fill a considerable gap in the film production process. Not only does it fill a gap but it cuts through many of the problems and is a significant step forward. There are many problems remaining but one less major problem is something. By concentrating on the masquerade element of these scenes I will manage to portray the essence of these sequences and how they relate to the play overall without compromising the film.
+Michael Craig and Copernicus Films +Russian Theatre Documentary Series
#theatre   #russiantheatre   #Thefairgroundbooth

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