Finding stories from life and borrowing from theatre

Today's session was led by Jörg Bochow who is head dramaturg at Staatstheater Stuttgart. His background is in collaborative theatre and literature also having taught in Germany and Canada and published books on German and Russian theatre. So today was of particular interest to me as someone who's own practice is informed by and often involves live performance. Bochow took us through a process he had recently used to create a piece of theatre where he used interviews with real people to translate into a fictional piece of performance. He took us on a rapid tour of the history of theatre from Aristotle to Stanislavsky - taking us through various approaches to performance and storytelling and highlighted the way these methods have been appropriated in film and animation.

He explained techniques of interviewing and ways to deal with, and be sensitive to the interviewee, whilst at the same time asking questions that should get the desired response. Towards the end of the day the conversation turned to politics and the role of the artist in relation to their political context and how the artist is not dissimiliar to, or rather, is arguably in danger of becoming a politician, or a dictator. The ideas raised were useful to think about for motion picture artists and certainly reaffirmed my belief of the blurring of approaches to different mediums.

I spoke to him briefly about my theories regarding theatre and animation, more specifically puppet animation and we exchanged contact details as he is definitely someone I'd like to question about this relationship between animation and theatre for some of my writings.

He gave me a book which they made for the show which shows some transcriptions of the interviews made and also acts as a sort of socio-political scrapbook.

All of us participants made a big meal last night and today we had to interview each other as one of the tasks so the group are inevitably bonding - it's a really great group of people and a pleasure to be spending time with such enthused, creative filmmakers.