Busy weekend. On Staurday morning a small group of us went over to Ham where we were given the opportunity to have a look round the builds and sets for Pixar/Disney's John Carter of Mars, the earth bound scenes of which are is being filmed there over the next few weeks. It's the biggest project the house has ever taken on. Andrew Stanton who was the creative force behind Wall*E last year, is directing. It'll be both Pixar and his first live action feature. The release date is 2012.
The attention to detail is breathtaking, especially in the set dressing, where every tiny detail had been considered and created. The pay off for the National Trust of all this disruption is of course major income generation. It also strangely enables refurbishment to happen. Gary gets part of the grounds re turfed in exchange for allowing the crane and trucks to churn up the lawn.
In the afternoon I worked with first years Emma, Matt, Andy and Katie, to begin putting together a short forum play which we've commissioned to do for a community safety day at Twickenham stadium in February. It was a fun afternoon of devising, improvising and complicating.
The police, who are organising the event, want to draw attention to the link between alcohol abuse, criminal damage and the new stop and search powers they have - which means if you're caught underage with alcohol on you, you can be taken home and your parents given an on the spot £80 fine.
Towards the end of the session we were beginning to find the nuances to the story which will make it work. The easiest and worst thing we could do is turn it into a reactionary or self righteous morality play. Far better to encourage responsibility than abstinence. By the end of rehearsal we'd found something.