If you read this blog regularly, you probably already know that my next significant project is that I’ve volunteered to direct The 39 Steps at Clear Creek Community Theatre. With my auditions coming up in the next week or so, I’m really starting to get ready for this show. Its a fantastic blend of cinema and theatre and I can't wait to dive in.
Something I've wanted to play with for a while now is writing a behind the scenes "Production Blog" as I work through a project. So what better place to play with that than my own blog? I'm going to try to get back into posting regularly again in general, and while most of my new posts will be BTS on 39 Steps, I will still write about other smaller projects as I work through them, and other film/TV related things. (If nothing else I'll have a pile to write about from NAB when I go in just under a month!)
Even though I haven't even held auditions yet, I'm really excited to be working on a project of this scale again. The last project I directed was the short film Behind the Door for Houston's 48 Hour Film Project in summer 2017, and the last stage show I directed was No Sex Please, We're British also at CCCT in spring 2016, (which I did while still working on the last season of Stop The Threat!). But anyway back to this...
That on its own creates some of the comedy, and then you throw in a few extra jokes and gags, and references to multiple other Hitchcock films, and you've got a hysterical farce/thriller that any classic film lover will enjoy.
There's just so much going on with this show and I can't wait to dive in with the cast and work through it all. Everyone brings something different to the table, so I'm sure that the cast and I will discover some different ways of looking at these characters and scenes than I've got on paper now, but at least we've got a solid starting point.
Speaking of starting points, after I got a lot of my own thoughts on paper I decided to watch the original 1935 film, (as a director, there is some value in knowing the material that the show is parodying) and one of the things that I discovered was that (without doing a line by line comparison) easily 90% of the stageplay I'm working from was basically copy-pasted from the screenplay they shot the film from. As I said, there's a few jokes added here and there, but overall - its the same material. And that's one of the things I really love about this show - you can focus on the insane technical challenges, or the slapstick jokes, etc, but there's a Hitchcock pre-WWII spy thriller buried not too deeply there, and working in that space is really exciting.
By the way, some of those technical challenges that I'm excited to play with include: a chase scene through (and outside of) a moving train, a scene where 5 characters are on stage the whole time but there's only 4 actors, and a plane crash.
As I've already said, I'm really excited to dive into this show, and I can't wait to share it with you all along the way.
If you're in the Houston/Clear Lake area and want to come out to audition, auditions are March 17 and 18 at 7pm - more information can be found here.
And that will do it for this week. As always thank you for reading, and feel free to drop a comment below if you'd like to know more about anything I write about in this blog.
Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @tomameek, as I'll be posting behind the scenes pictures and tidbits as we go through the show.
Everybody hang on - this one is gonna be a helluva ride, I'm sure.
Until next time.
Thomas Meek is an independent filmmaker living and working in Houston, TX