Ferment Fortnight: A PLACE IN THE SUN – Tom Marshman

A Place In The Sun

Whilst developing my new show, A Place in the Sun I have been experimenting with creating a whole new kind of collaborator.

The show, that I started making in January follows my experiences when I went on an all-inclusive holiday to Lanzorte.  The content I have been working with are the sound recordings of the people I met on the holiday and the photographs the landscape, the resort, the people and me.

I wanted to develop the idea that the camera, which I took everywhere with me during the trip, was making conscious decisions about what ‘she’ wanted to look at and take pictures of. I wanted to allow the camera to make judgments about what it witnessed, like the all seeing eye.

So I started to think about the things the camera might say when looking at the events of the holiday. Was it bitchy? Was it undercover? Was it a philosopher? Was is a news reporter? Or a frustrated forensic camera?

I thought it could be interesting to play with these roles and develop texts that these kind of different cameras might say when on a holiday resort.

I have started trying to animate the camera, with the help of two long-term (real life) collaborators Ivan Thorley and Karen Christopher.

Ivan and me have been working out ways that the camera can move and point its lens, its gaze into a photographs and moving images projected or traverse across the stage or even catch someone’s eye in the audience. We have tried all sorts of pieces of kit: professional filming animated motors that use a remote control to move the tripod head and thus moving the camera view, a robot vacuum cleaner that moves with a remote control… It’s been trial and error, but it feels like it’s important to animate the camera itself and not just the tripod. At this stage, no solution has yet been found…none of these options work quite as I need them to… on Thursday 10 July, at Ferment, I will show a work in progress of the piece and the camera may or may or may not be animated. You’ll have to see!

Many of the other elements came to together more effortlessly and did not need so much attention.  And I hope that in showing the ideas in this state, I can propel it forward into what needs to happen next for its next showing of the previews at the Chelsea Theatre on the 26 and 27 July.

A Place In The Sun
Tom Marshman
Bristol Old Vic Studio
Thur 10 Jul, 8.15pm

tommarshman.com | @TommyMarshman | Tom on Facebook

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