War Horse on Broadway

The making of War Horse – projection and animation from 59 Productions on Vimeo.

Tenacious readers will recall that I had some small involvement in War Horse, the preposterously successful National Theatre production that transferred to the West End, and now Broadway. Fifty Nine Productions has just published a short film on the video design element of the show.

In the Guardian, Patrick Kinsley has a round-up of the New York reviews, including some emotional blogging:

“I wept silently yet uncontrollably,” writes blogger Lisa Lindblad. “I am not capable of emotional distance in the face of an animal’s pain nor an animal’s love. I was distraught. And, so, I made it through until intermission and then left. Reluctantly, sadly, but self-protectively.”

Here are the puppeteers behing the show, Adrian Kohler and Basil Jones, speaking (and performing) at a TED talk.  I worked with them in the early workshops for War Horse, and it was fascinating to see how they developed the subtle movements that made the wooden contraptions so lifelike.

For full geek points, you might like to look at this experimental stop-motion animation I made in 2007, one evening after work at the National. In one shot you can see the horse puppets in the background, swaying in the air-conditioning and looking not unlike a real animal resting after a hard day in the field. It was odd yet brilliant that even the most rudimentary rehearsal models seemed to have that life to them.

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