Time Not Wasted

downloadNot much done the last few days but all not lost. Yesterday spent a few hours on The Fairground Booth documentary. I have been working on semi computer generated sequence mostly made up of composited layers. I began it a few months ago and left it on one side. Came back  to it yesterday with fresh ideas and energy. Seems to be working better. Need to add some more layers and work them into the overall composition. The book about The Fairground Booth is going OK. Almost completed the Tempest section and as far as I can tell it is working out. Quite long but I feel like its good progress and I know where I am going. As part of this section I have been preparing a separate part about Musicality in FB and will publish it as a post and then incorporate it into the book itself maybe in a slightly expanded form. I always feel as if I am not getting enough done but it isn’t true I think. Also today worked on a documentary to be shot in Ireland and Russia. Preparing locations for Dublin and more ideas have occurred to me as a consequence. Had idea for filming at Dublin Harbour which will fit together with other footage already shot in Moscow. Continue reading

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Fairground Booth book news

fairground Booth


Fair Booths on Admiralty Square, St. Petersburg – Konstantin Makovsky, c.1869

A pause in the writing of the book about the play The Fairground Booth which was written by Alexander Blok and staged by Meyerhold as more time is spent on the script for the documentary film of the same subject. Finally put together a draft which still needs a great deal of work to distill it down into something manageable but at least the process has started. One of the characteristics of this project is that firstly I am writing a book, two scripts and editing (for the time being) a documentary film simultaneously. Plus The Fairground Booth project has to be integrated into the over all Russian Theatre Documentary Film Series which already has three films available and completed: “Meyerhold Theatre and the Russian Avant-garde”, “Stanislavsky and the Russian Theatre” and “Vakhtangov and the Russian Theatre“.
Continue reading

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Step by step

fairground BoothWell into the Fairground Booth project  by Copernicus Films and Michael Craig with meetings planned and book going ahead step by step. Excellent progress on this project. Going through the Shakespeare section which is a specific component of Blok’s play. With regard to this project there is a feeling that I have broken through a barrier which seemed to be holding up progress but in fact this was just my imagination. With each project one reaches a plateau. While traversing the level and horizontal path it feels like little progress is being made but this is self evidently an illusion and even talk of plateaus and peaks is misleading.

There probably is no right way of describing the process and the answers you seek and solutions you want do not come straight away. However you find that you are asking the same questions as other practitioners of theatre have asked. What is theatre and what is acting and who am I. Directors actors and theoreticians have asked these questions over and over and their answers and thoughts are illuminating and inspirational, so there is plenty of help out there for whatever you may be searching for. Next week will be a key meeting for the project. There are back ups but this meeting is important.

+Russian Theatre Documentary Series

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Moving on


Moscow late evening

After the last bit of writing here things have moved on. Got down to completing a whole section of The Fairground Booth book – the section detailing The Apocalypse and The Fairground Booth. Not a bad bit of progress and all ready to start the next section about Blok and Shakespeare. I wanted to move through things chronologically but instead I started again somewhere a bit further on. The in between sections I will deal with later.

Talked with an acquaintance who I met at the Irish Embassy. We are cooperating at a number of levels but it might be possible to cooperate on The Fairground Booth. Preparing a letter to send to him based on the discussion we have had earlier

A few weeks ago filmed at the Vvedensky cemetery where Field is buried. Cold snowy weather perfect for what I wanted. Tried out the new slider which I have. Worked OK and got some very evocative footage. May come in handy in the future.

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fairground BoothHaving a difficult time with The Fairground Booth book for the Russian Theatre film project. Every time I make a new start I seem to run into a brick wall. Unable to move forward at all or find any kind of rhythm with the writing. has been going on for some time now and I’m not sure what the problem is. A complete lack of flow or even a desire to write or work on the project. The desire is there in fact but there seems no will or it may be the other way round. Even that I cant determine.  Its almost like I don’t want to complete the book and yet I know that I do. Very strange sensation or set of circumstances. Don’t know what to do. Maybe its a question of simply doing more work. Need to find a way into it to enjoy it again like I did at the beginning. Maybe I am starting at the wrong place. Maybe I should start with the Tempest part and work backwards.

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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.

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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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