Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Saturday, 28 July 2012
Flickering Olympic Flame
I haven't watched the London Olympic opening ceremony yet (no T.V. so will try to legally watch it on iPlayer), but from the photos and accounts I have seen and heard, it looks like a good laugh with some great pyrotechnics.
The general effect on me - so far - is to make Britain a little smaller - in a positive way - by concentrating on stereotypical details, using real queens and real actors, with real children playing real NHS patients, and cramming them all in to a little stadium. I have a feeling I am going to enjoy it, despite the efforts of the second most popular surviving Beatle.
I have surprised myself by discovering that I really like pastiche and fantasy in every day life, at the same time as not being able to tolerate fakes which purport or pretend to be real. Those glasses and candlesticks just have to be real unless they are being used on a film set or theatre stage, but I really quite like those fake flickering lightbulbs that you can put into hall lamps - they are so good these days.
The success of an event like last night is highly dependant on the lighting no matter how good the props are, or how real the sheep, so the choice of a film-director to get it all together was the best one. For about £3000, you can buy a digital SLR camera capable of producing a perfectly broadcastable, full-length feature film, but without a lighting expert to go with it, you might as well stick to the Super 8 for your holiday video.
I have just talked someone into letting me make them an object for a public space (which I can't say too much about right now) which will be 100% faux, and will turn into something different at night at the flick of a switch. I seem to be going back to my sculptural art-school roots in my work these days, and I have to say that it makes a nice change from bashing stone all day. This sort of work is more of a challenge than a fight, which is the single word which most accurately sums up the process of stone carving. When you have been doing that for 35 years, you look forward to a nice, quiet challenge.
I'll tell you more about this latest project when it is almost complete (you will be delighted to hear), but suffice to say that it is the perfect combination of traditional and modern techniques, and the 'modern' part of it would not have been possible without recent magical inventions. All the Harry Potter films were made using a mixture of traditional pyrotechnics and CGI, so J.K. wrote those books just at the right time to catch a whole generation in the process of growing up, and quite a few old people like me who never did.
This thing I am making would look good in Diagon Alley - so long as I rise to the technical challenge. Watch this space...