Working with a Camera:
I have been intending to explore the ways and means of incorporating a camera & digital media into a live production, and also how to go about capturing a live production within the frame of a camera & digital media. This production, The Presence, is giving me an initial introduction into some of these processes.
It is our first time working with digital media, that is to say it is our first time making what is essentially a short film. So far, practically speaking, I've found that the benefits of this include being able control the viewers' perspective much more than a live production. The camera can become, essentially, the ideal audience member - one that catches every nuance, every mannerism that you intended during the rehearsal / creation process. It also allows you to play with time, condensing set up's to a minimum, elongating pauses, holding perspectives or moving from one to another in quick succession. Likewise, it's exposure allows you to play with lighting effects.
It does, however, condense what is the multi-sensory experience of a live production into something that appeals to two senses only, and in this regard you have to do a lot more to insinuate mood and the feelings that an actors breath & intention that might be picked up on in a live format.
Will Flanagan is the artistic director of Alchemy Arts.