Short post this week, though I could write a lot about what we've gone over and worked through, some of that would spoil the show, and we wouldn't want to do that. So anyway, we're now two weeks into our rehearsal process. So far we've just been working through the script via table reads. Its a longer set of table reads than I normally would do, but with 40+ characters played by only 4 actors, I wanted to really take the time to focus on finding the voices of all these characters. And at this point we're pretty close to being "there" and its been a fun ride so far.
I wanted to start the week by narrowing down our focus, so this past Monday we focused on Act I and ran through Act II a couple times on Tuesday. As we worked through those acts and scenes I found moments that we would revisit that night and some notes I just set aside for another day. We'd get through the act, then I'd stop and give notes and we'd go through it again. The latter half of this week I spent working with the cast on their characters.
Wednesday I focused on Hannay, Annabella, Pamela and Margaret. The really fun thing was that when you did a little deeper in to the Hannay character, he has a lot of backstory to play with, even though very little of that shows up in the script, I can tell that the conversation I had with the actor really filled in some of the gaps he and I were struggling with in the character, and he and I are both really excited to see these choices play out on stage once we get into the space.
We also dug into the background of the "female leads" (Pamela, Annablla and Margaret) focusing primarily on Pamela, as she's the main love interest - and interestingly enough, the only main character completely invented for the film, instead of being adapted from someone in the original book. You see Hitchcock and his writer wanted to snag more of the female audience for the 1935 film, so they added in this comedy/love story element on top of the spy film, that arguably had an impact on the genre as we know it today. Back to my production - the actress and I had some fun sorting out just what Pamela's background might be and how she'd be reacting to these events as they play out.
Thursday last week we focused on the "clowns" characters - many of their characters are background, so instead of working on character backstory for them, I wanted to focus on just keeping in mind where the character is coming from and where they're going, so we have continuity for them. The handful of main characters that they do play, we of course dug into the background on and had some fun playing with those options.
All in all, I'm really happy with where all the characters are landing and can't wait to see them moving around on the stage.
Anyway, that'll do it for this week's post. As I mentioned last week, I'll be out at NAB show in Las Vegas this week, so it'll probably be a week or two before I get back to the production blog, but keep an eye out for more great behind the scenes snippits on my Twitter and Instagram: @tomameek
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.
Until next time.
Thomas Meek is an independent filmmaker living and working in Houston, TX