Filming Lenin’s Lunch

GaryDirecting, Film, Performing, The New Factory

Lenins Lunch Main

I love filming, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I love working. Working with people who want to produce something (however difficult the circumstances of production, or the paucity of practical resources) is always a pleasure.

I blogged a couple of weeks ago about my feelings on the filming of staged performances, but have always wanted to capture a little of what The New Factory does on film. Lenin’s Lunch (the film) is a collaboration between Hungarian artist and film maker Agnes Hay and The New Factory of The Eccentric actor.

The film was always viewed by us all as an experiment, a learning exercise, perhaps the start of a process leading to the making of a film with a script written specifically for the screen (as opposed to the stage, as Lenin’s Lunch was originally).

To the casual observer I directed and Agnes simply shot the footage. We were using a single lo-fi camera, and eschewing editing we had agreed on single continuous takes. We did 5 takes in the end (about all we could in a single afternoon), mostly by my design with Agnes taking a back seat. The final take however saw Agnes take a much more active role in the process (I suspect that she had rightly viewed the first 4 takes as simply rehearsal), and with her filmic sensibilities it was this final take that proved to work the best when viewed as a film. No surprise really, given that she is the experienced film maker. But more importantly, the whole point of the exercise was to collaborate (not simply stage a play and point a camera at it), and at the point where we were really collaborating we found a way to make the whole thing work. Collaboration is fundamental to the success of the performing arts.

I’ll say that again, collaboration is fundamental to the success of the performing arts. This is a collective art form.

We are going to have to do a little post-production on the sound, but hope to have the film online soon. It is not a masterpiece, it may not be much more than mediocre, but was a pleasure to work on.

We are already talking with Agnes about possible future projects.

ps despite my wish that it would, we saw no rain.