can film and theatre share ideas in terms of production and distribution    

Convener(s): lisa gornick 

Participants: a cosy crew: Richard cauldry, angela clerkin, alan cox, zoe gilmour, martin Sutherland, john spooner

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

Conclusion: Yes it can, it should, hope it will. This is a future potential. Here’s how:

Making work – there are ways to use theatre’s more open ended, longer process and exploration time in film too.

Take a script and not be alone as the writer but play with actors more than keen to play and look at new words.

To do that perhaps in theatre buildings. Where actors may already be, waiting, not doing, ready to create.

Allow for more devising and playing with words and images before the film is made or as the film is made. To not be stifled by the need always to have the script complete and rigid but let it be a process that learns what it is as the film is made.

These same theatres are more and more beginning to be places where film is shown.

There is a dream, a hope in this group, that theatre and film can come under one roof. That not only will you have an artistic director of a theatre but also a cinema programmer under the same roof, as theatres, more and more become cinemas too.

There can be overall curatorial type activity in these places – not necessarily at the hands of one person. Hopefully not. But an idea of daring audiences to see new work, not only in terms of theatre but also in terms of film. And not only short film stuffed between the cracks of activity, but feature films – for example, those many UK features which are desirous of a home, a place to be seen beyond or in conjunction with the internet.

Theatres often unlike cinemas are very used to showing raw work. Work in progress – or work that audiences are given the power to investigate – without the fear of the audience disapproval – whatever that is. So the theatre is perhaps more akin to the film festival where more daring work is often shown than the usual fare of cinemas.

Theatre can teach Film and vice versa. These two medium should be brought closer together.

Also sometimes the audience of each are separated – ‘I’m a theatre person or a film person kind of thing’ – by using theatres when they are not being used for stage work to be a repertory cinema – they might also encourage new audiences for theatre. And of course vice versa.

Keep theatre buildings alive by letting cinema screen there -  especially digital cinema – digibeta, dvd, betasp formats for example – formats which are not expensive to produce (compared to the format required by certain digital cinematic systems which are prohibitive to many because of expense) SO allowing for more voice, more experience, more varied work in cinema to be seen.

This is a positive approach to the problems of cinematic distribution that are around right now – with too many small independent cinema closing and the rise of the multiplex PLUS with the decrease in funding for theatre – here is a new avenue of revenue potential.

That’s the money side. The creative side is the really big plus. Both these media are so informed by each other – so it’s great to start relishing that and not separating them anymore.