Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Animation Videos

The animated sequences from our initial Prototype performance are now all online. Check them out here at our You Tube account or through the link on the right: 'Cutting Room Animations'.


Friday, 4 December 2009

The Interrogation

Photographs of Johanus & Pedah for use in an animated sequence during the Interrogation scene (Prototype performance).

Johanus' Dream

When Johanus finally sleeps he mutters to himself. He’s done it for years. Very rarely Pedah will wake with a cold start in the night and catch odd phrases mumbled through Johanus’ heavy breath. Sometimes Isabel would hear them as she came back to bed from feeding the baby, Johnus deeply asleep already. Occasionally there are short arguments, refusals to comply, but always, eventually, the name Anya. He says it as though he is searching for her. He keeps calling for her even though she is lost. Isabel doesn’t know who this Anya is. Johanus has never spoken of her. She assumes it may be his sister or cousin, part of the family she has never met. When Pedah hears the name he can tell that there is a want in Johanus’ voice, a plea not directed at a sibling or family. There is a lust, a desperation to reach this Anya.

Nobody recognises that the film Johanus made is for Anya. Once the censors had approved the final cut the film seemed to be about the city. Nevertheless all those shots over a man’s shoulder, walking, running down corridors and stairways are looking for something, or someone, always heading towards a tense inevitability. As the protagonist bursts through the last door at the top of an endless staircase onto the building’s roof the camera pans out and the entire labyrinth of a city is revealed. It is a breathtaking shot, as the later-edited score soars, and the audience marvel at the city they are a part of, a fraction within.

What they don’t see lies in the editing room, carefully sealed up and stored away, the final shots of Johnaus’ film: The man glimpses one last look of Anya, the girl he kissed and has been dreaming of. She returns his stare and then steps off the concrete edge into the abyss. As she falls the film flickers backwards. We see the man running back through corridors, and fleeting shots of a cornfield hover between the doorways and lift-shafts, corridors and windows. There are another man’s legs in the field moving through the corn. And from the opposite direction a woman’s: Anya’s. They come close to each other and stop still. The pair breathes. The man in the film stops running and opens a door to see the edge of this same cornfield. Two figures hold each other, their top halves visible above the corn. A close-up from their waists tracks downwards towards the soil, and then deeper until consumed by the darkness.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Rehearsals and Performance

A big thank you to all who came to see the scratch performance and support the work. Your feedback was valuable. If you have any further feedback, comments or questions please feel free to contact us at cuttingroominfo@googlemail.com

Friday, 2 October 2009


The animation process.
Design, storyboard, image manipulation, creating characters,
building props, lighting, shooting, editing and sound.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Choosing characters

Options for image of a minor character to appear in the scratch performance.
The Cutting Room @ Prototype
Tobacco Factory Theatre, Bristol
Sunday 4th October
8pm . £3

Friday, 4 September 2009

Process Photographs

Story session at the Old Vic.

Making models and sets for stop motion animation.

R&D sessions, rehearsals, shoots etc.

Some of the frames from 1 animated sequence

Visual References/Inspirations

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Initial artwork by Joseph Wallace

Pedah & Johanus.

Initial character sketch.

Project Outline

Information about the project from the original Live Performance Commissions proposal:

Two men are being held by an authoritarian state for an unspecified reason. Locked in a projectionist’s box with reels of film they have been told they must piece together, they set to work arranging the events into a narrative. However, it soon becomes apparent that the film mirrors their own predicament. As they struggle to find a conclusion that will satisfy their captors, they become acutely aware that they are not only making a film, but determining their own destinies.

We want to explore the potential of animation within live performance. By ‘animation’ we mean it in its broadest sense; from drawn-image to stop-motion, collage to constructed sets and puppets. We are not talking about ‘cartoons’; this is not for children. Nor do we want to just project onto a flat screen – we’re interested in exploring how animation, drawing, puppetry and moving images can be fused within a live performance. These visuals will always be intrinsic to the piece, not superfluous visual ‘tricks’; they will support the narrative and progress the story.
Possibilities: A man sprouts wings and flies away; puppets from stop-motion projections enter the performance space and interact with characters; gauze screens obscure the ‘real’ world and reveal animated imaginings; shadow puppetry on a huge scale to create epic monsters; manipulation of performers as puppets – as the two men argue they take to forcibly animating each other to get their own way; drawing on stage to create forms/shadows; sparklers used to create fleeting moments of drawn imagery: a door, a bar, the moon; projections across the floor depicting maps which are then animated – a needle weaves across the space sewing two countries together, a performer picks up the needle, it becomes a gun, he is protecting himself…


Welcome to the official blog for 'The Cutting Room', a new piece of animated theatre currently being developed by Adam Peck, Chris Gylee and Joseph Wallace.

This work is being supported by Theatre Bristol, Bristol Old Vic and Tobacco Factory.

The first stage of 'The Cutting Room' will be shared at Prototype on October 4th at the Tobacco Factory. Please join us for this evening of newly scratched works, and help provide some valuable feedback on the results of the first 6 months of the project.

Adam, Chris & Joe