How to make a trailer. The Echo Chamber. The Llanarth Group.

Poster for The Echo Chamber, The Llanarth Group, 2012.

Poster for The Echo Chamber, The Llanarth Group, 2012.

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We know that live performance is ephemeral. We know that much of the energy and impact of a theatre production relies on the relationship between the spectacle and the spectator. It is famously tricky to document, especially with moving images as opposed to, say, a stark mood shot in grainy black and white. A video of a show often comes across as empty and hollow, lacking the dynamic and life of the original performance.

It is also immensely difficult to condense and translate material from one medium into another, whilst staying true to the integrity and tone of the work.

Owing to this, I have great respect for film makers and editors who can take footage from a performance and transform it into a trailer, retaining a sense of the mood, aesthetic, and content of the original. It seems to me to require very particular skills – a deep understanding of the concept, content, and any visual metaphors or symbolism the performance uses, the ability to transpose this from one form to another, a good eye and strong editing skills combined with a mastery of montage. I feel a good trailer should suggest and intrigue. Like a good appetiser, it should prepare the palate for more.

Given all this, I was delighted to receive the trailer made by Paul Whittaker of ‘The Echo Chamber’ by The Llanarth Group. We previewed the show earlier this year in Cardiff, working with Peader Kirk, Ian Morgan, Ace McCarron, and Phillip Zarrilli.

I see the piece as very grown up, dark, and concerned with existence and the wider universe. See how terrible that sounds, and I was the writer/dramaturg of the piece! What chance would Paul have in communicating something of the tone and atmosphere, when a co-creator flounders?

Please have a look yourselves and make your own conclusions. I include the link, below, to the trailer on youtube. It’s best watched full screen, volume high, in the dark. And if you feel like it, please come back here and tell me what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpSoq-qPvnI

5 responses to “How to make a trailer. The Echo Chamber. The Llanarth Group.

  1. Brilliant. Absolutely. Congratulations all around. Now I want to see the play when it comes to the USA . . .

    • Thanks so much, Jim. We toured ‘Told by the Wind’ to Chicago last year and hope to take that and ‘The Echo Chamber’ out on tour in 2013/4…
      I thought Paul Whittaker did an incredible job in making the trailer and it’s great to hear it ‘works’ in its own right, without a knowledge of the original performance. Thanks so much for viewing and then commenting – it’s really appreciated (and lovely to have some dialogue!).
      kaite x

  2. It sure peaked my interest . . . as a play and possibly as a dance performance.

  3. An extremely good trailer which is a work of art in itself whilst providing a marketing tool for the project, and a perfect example of my regular rant that marketing for a creative project should be embedded within the creative project itself and the creative project should be embedded within the marketing.

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