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Dawlish Fairy Market - Promoting the Mordred stage show



What a mindblowing day! We had a great afternoon at the Dawlish Fairy Market, promoting Mordred: a film & stage show by The South Devon Players Theatre & Film Co. with the Battle of Camlann. Many thanks to all our lovely helpers and actors who were able to come over to participate, and the people who joined our team to have their photos. ! Don't forget if you want to see the full stage show in Paignton, Dartington (Totnes) or Dartmouth, book your tickets now http://www.southdevonplayers.com/box-office.html We did make a few compromises on attire; we allowed modern footwear in case ground was slippy from the rain. :) - Many thanks to Jem Payne for getting the Camlann photos, and to Rob Baldwin for running the event. :) And for people who asked about Ashleys re-enactment group, the page is Drengskept Hird


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Mordred - a heavily researched Arthurian drama film being made in Devon & Cornwall - please support us - great perks from just £1!

Please support this crowdfund for a groundbreaking local film!
I am directing in this amazing film and theatre project, and I would love to see this become the very best that it could be. It is an incredible piece of work already, with an amazing team!
This production aims to not only showcase very heavily researched Dark Ages (6th century) history of Devon and Cornwall, linked to some of the very earliest and less known Arthurian legends, but also equally to showcase the amazing skills by local actors, filmmakers, and other production creatives - a lot of film work happens in the southwest but very often local people are passed over for imported talent due to stereotypes of "local people being no-good". This production aims to prove exactly the opposite, with a large, attention-grabbing project that has already been featured in the press not just localy, but in New York and Hollywood itself, and with interest, subject to the finished product (we are unknowns of course) from global film distribution companies. Directed by an experienced female theatre/film director.
The group running it has a proven track record over 10 years of producing historical theatre and film, working from the early days of raising £80 from a carboot sale and using the backroom of a pub for rehearsals. The group (working age adults, historical subject matter) falls straight through the cracks for grants etc, and so everything we do is fundraised for. Alongside a dizzying run of burlesque shows, sponsored swims, a scifi/ fantasy convention, ebay sales, carboot sales, shop counter collection tins, etc, we are also running this crowdfund.
Every penny raised goes into costumes/ props, donations to locations for use, food and camping equipment for cast on location, travel to locations, and some extra equipment. Equipment, following this film, will then be used to make more projects by this group, and to train local people in making high-grade film and video - to help them find work!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mordred-arthurian-film-in-devon-cornwall--2/x/12578926#/story

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November Newss

Welcome to our latest newsletter,  We hope that you will find the newsletter of interest. If you need any more information on any of the news items covered, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
www.southdevonplayers.com
southdevonplayers@gmail.com
facebook/ instagram/twitter: @sdevonplayers

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Mordred, and the crowdfund!

"Mordred" is an Arthurian drama, the pet project of our founder, Laura. This dark, gritty drama is inspired by early legends of King Arthur, and set in the early 6th Century, a grim time after the Roman departure from Britain, and during the Saxon invasions. You will not see the types of setting that people expect when you say "King Arthur" here - there are no luxurious 13th/ 14th century castles, damsels in pseudo-Tudor velvet gowns, jousts and knights in plumed helmets. This is set a good 700 years or so earlier, when early Celtic writings point to whatever happened to inspire the legends, actually took place.

Being filmed across Devon and Cornwall in 2016,and performed as a stage show as well, Mordred tells the story from the point of view of King Arthurs son.

Some roles have already been cast, while others will be cast in Feburary. This is our first film to be shot on Red 4K.

A few weeks ago, some of our members, along with our Director of Photography, got together, and filmed a concept trailer.

This is also the first project that we are crowdfunding. We are not relying on the crowdfunding, and are also using ebay, exhibitions, talks and other sources of funding the film. However, if you would like to support the project, our Indiegogo crowdfunding link is here: http://igg.me/at/mordred1/x/12578926

A concept trailer can be viewed at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziKyC1GThGs

Les Miserables has been a bit on hold, but is going ahead. The director, Ric Vince, has been working himself to a frazzle on board the Golden Hind Museum Ship, six days a week, as the notorious "Cap'n Blackheart" , and without Ric, one of the originators of the project, the rest of the team have been waiting for the tourist season to finish, before further action can be taken on the series. It may be moving slower, but is most definitely still happening, so keep your eyes peeled for news coming up as soon as the team meetings begin again!

This list is of all events to which the public are invited, including shows, castings, talks, fundraisers and more.Looking for speakers for local organisations?

We are fundraising for our coming productions - and if this takes off, we will continue to do it - Laura is our main speaker, and depending on the request and availability, we may be able to bring other members in as well. This is family friendly, although because of the subject matter, we recommend that it is of more interest to teens and adults, than small children.

This is very much a case of "donate what you can", if you would like Laura to come and give a talk.

Upcoming Dates



All audition information can be accessed at http://www.southdevonplayers.com/auditions.html

Jan 2016 (dates TBC) - PERFORMANCES - Robin of Sherwood - family comedy (not pantomime) with medieval entertainment, in Brixham, Paignton and Torquay

Jan 2016 (date TBC) - PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION- themed on our coming Arthurian film, Mordred, at Millie & Me, in Brixham. Opening night, you can come and meet some of our team.

Feb 25th 2016 - TALK - A talk on adapting legends and history, for stage and screen, in aid of the Karing group in Paignton. More information and tickets from calling Karing on 01803 524799

Feb 28th 2016 - AUDITIONS, for the Arthurian feature film & Stage show, Mordred
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The release of our Les Miserables 20 hour series trailer, and video of our film & TV convention pan

The release of our Les Miserables 20 hour series trailer, and video of  our film & TV convention panel discussion

Over the past weekend we have been representing the series at the Optimus film and TV convention in Torquay, where we were honored to be given a half hour slot in between Game of Thrones, and Ghostbusters, which also marked the release of our promo test-footage trailer for the series!

Trailer:
https://youtu.be/wIWP98qlk8A

Panel discussion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KskD5vgkVWc

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The Hunger Games: The Fourth Quarter-Quell (fanfilm) TRAILER 2015



Hunger Games fanfilm trailer, filmed in Brixham & Paignton set in an alternate universe.

A practice project by some of our members and friends.

In this alternate universe, Katniss's rebellion failed, and this film tells the story of the brutal Fourth Quarter-Quell, where each district has had to offer 12 tributes, who fight in regional "Games", before the survivors are made to fight to the end in the "finals".

-Who will win?

-Who were these "finalists"

-And do the games unfold as the Gamemakers planned?

This has been a sideline project by some of our members, to create a half-hour Hunger Games fanfilm. While obviously money cannot be made from a fanfilm, it did allow for many important possibilities for our members. Many of them are signed to, or hoping to sign to, our casting agency, and wanted to expand their showreels beyond our usual norm of historical drama. It also allowed us to explore new techniques for filming and for our members to practice their film-making skills.

The trailer is complete, with the full film being edited now.

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DISCLAIMER:

We do not own anything related to the Hunger Games universe, and this fanfilm is made for enjoyment purposes only. No profit is being made, or intended, from this project. All Hunger Games copyrights belong to their respective owners. This video is not monetised.

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www.southdevonplayers.com

Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram @sdevonplayers

southdevonplayers@gmail.com

Join our email mailing list at http://www.southdevonplayers.com/join-mailing-list.html

We are always pleased to hear from new people dedicated to expanding their entertainment careers, who want to get involved with our film and theatre productions
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Look at this!

The South Devon Players Theatre & Film company - thats us - at a big film and TV convention alongside Game of Thrones and Ghostbusters stars, as the only local or "non-famous" team there! , with our Les Miserables film series.
That's got to be a compliment! As detailed in the local press:


http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Westcountry-theatre-film-group-convention/story-26685640-detail/story.html

(more on us at www.southdevonplayers.com)
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Filming for Les Miserables in Dartmouth & Plymouth

We had a fantastic weekend filming for the trailer in Dartmouth and Plymouth for scenes with Valjean, Javert, Fantine, Marius and Cosette. Despite the very early morning starts that come with filming, and the fact we were filming in two towns, we had a fantastic time, supported by amazing local actors, and crew members. It is so exciting to see the series trailer coming together bit by bit, supported by an amazing cast. :) The next shoot is next Saturday, in Brixham Museum, and in Stoke Fleming.

Meantime, our producer grabbed some photos behind the scenes!

More info on the series on www.southdevonplayers.com (hit the Les miserables tab)





















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Announcing Our New Casting Agency, And A New Charity Project!

Well, there is more than one thing to blog about today! This update includes a couple of new developments which we are delighted to announce. Do get in touch if you would seriously like to be involved.
1) Opening a formalised casting agency, intake day!

Intake, and photo/ showreel shoot, on Saturday May 23rd.
(Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/371166579743622/)

This finally formalises our careers service, which has run for 10 years. Our careers section started by accident, soon after we started SDP in 2005, we started being contacted for actors for all sorts of  film, theatre and other performance work.  Now we are getting around to making it a formal thing, and opening it up to more people than just our members. The feedback has been amazing, and there are companies which exclusively use our actors.

This is open (on this first session) strictly to our film and theatre cast members with zero "no-shows-without-communication" at our rehearsals, stage shows and film shoots, and to people with a proven track record as reliable performers (amateur or professional named credits) with a professional attitude of attendance, effort and excellent on-set behaviour, with known local casting directors. (please note that we may follow up references)

We will have other intakes, but this is the first.  If you do not have acting experience, please contact us as although we cannot immediately represent you, we may be able to assist in helping you get experience and credits, to then become represented.

At this intake, it will last all day. We will only represent people who have good headshot and full-length photos, plus a showreel. We will be working on your showreel and photos, at the intake. If you already have these, that is great, but please be aware that we cannot accept "selfies" or "phone pictures".
We will be working on a location in Brixham or Paignton.,

Applicants...
Must be experienced performers with at least one named, speaking, theatre or film role in the past 2 years. (High-quality amateur/ student or professional credits equally welcome)

Other notes:
- Professional photographs, showreels, and acting/ performer related references, will be required. We can supply showreels and photographs if required.
- No fee to join, or to have required photos / showreel supplied (if needed).
- Small 15% fee from any paid work that we find for you. (Completely fee-free for anyone who has performed with us in one of our internal stage shows / films in the past 12 months). Any profits made go into our local productions and opportunities for local performers.
- Non-exclusive contracts. (you are free to sign with other agencies if you wish)
- Opportunities to join in projects, workshops, photoshoots etc, to build portfolios.
- Please be aware that we are selective with those accepted, in order to provide the best possible service to other production companies.
- No guarantee of work is made or implied, simply that we will do our best to represent you, and that this formalises & expands a casting service which we have successfully run for several years for our members only.
- Please note that we will not represent people who have no-showed to any project of which we are aware. If you no-show while signed with us, you may be required to cover any costs incurred or wasted by your not-turning-up.
- Contracts will need to be signed by the agency and yourself.
2- Casting call: Ozzy The Cat Gets a New Home: Photoshoot for childrens book,
(Photoshoot: May 30th, F
acebook event at
https://www.facebook.com/events/444362252405720/

In aid of the Feline Network, a cat rescue charity based in Paignton. http://www.feline-network.co.uk/

PRODUCING AN EBOOK (AND POSSIBLY IN PRINT) FUNDRAISING FOR THE FELINE NETWORK CHARITY.

This children's picture book will tell the story of Ozzy, the Feline Networks mascot cat, how he was abandoned by a family moving away, and then lived wild, before being rescued by the Feline Network and getting a home with a new family, showing, in a child friendly way, what happens when a pet is abandoned, and how it is rehomed safely .

Photos will be on locations around the bay, and will constitute the majority of the book, with small amounts of simple text.

We need people to play both families, plus the people, nice and not nice, that Ozzy encounters in his adventures. Priority to South Devon Players Film & Theatre Company members, and those in our casting agency, but we will need quite a few people for all Ozzy's encounters.

These ebooks will then be sold for small amounts online to fundraise for the Feline Network, a cat rescue charity and rehoming service based in Paignton. There is also a chance that these books will go to print but that is yet to be decided.

Children under 16 at this photoshoot will need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
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(no subject)

Notes from a character workshop held for Survivors of the Titanic, in Feb 2015. Posted in case these are of use to anyone else. Please contact us first if you would like to reproduce this article.

LAURA’S NOTES
The whole plan for the workshop session was to show you, in a very general way, things about preparing as an actor. When acting, there is a big difference between pretending to be someone else (in which case the acting is wooden and lacks reality for the audience), and in “becoming” the character.
Now whether fictional or factual, character research and development is critical, as is warming up the body and voice. Because in live theatre, you do not have the luxury of turning the camera off, doing a re-take, then editing the performance, before the public see it, you have to remember that on the day, you cannot falter! (this is why Hayley was running the physical warmup and the improvisation exercise, which she will re-run at all rehearsals. They act as an icebreaker and develop skills at the same time).

IMPROVISATION
because of the live nature of theatre, in a performance, if someone misses a line, which does happen, the rest of the cast in that scene need to not be thrown by that change, and to remain in character, and continue the scene. This means being able to improvise a line or two, and guide the scene back on track. That is why these improvisation sessions are so important and we will keep running them as part of the session warmup.

CHARACTERISATION
If your character is factual, you already have a base of information to go on. If they are fictional, what information can you glean from your script about them? What can you find out about them.? Who were they? What did they like? What kind of culture did they live in, and what social or economic issues might have affected them? I have a research helpsheet below which you could print off, and which could help you organise character research.
Near the start of the workshop, I asked people who had already started this research process, to tell us about their character.
For now, this person is still external to you. This person is still someone else. What we need to start looking at, is how you can start to become that person.
We digressed from character research at this point, and started looking at becoming the character.
We started in the “safe, known zone” of our real lives.

VISUALISATION
Both of these were run as adaptations of Charades.
1) In the first part, cast were asked to re-enact a simple and common task from their daily life. It could be making a cup of tea, watching TV, walking the dog, etc. Using no props or words, but remembering what the things you handle feel like, and how they move, and what muscles your body uses, and how you feel, in all its nuances, each cast member showed us a daily household task.
2) The second adaptation of this was slightly harder. Now, instead of depicting a task, members showed a feeling or emotion, or a combination of feelings or emotions. Most selected something relating to part of their characters emotional journey in the script. How do you feel when you are proud? terrified? freezing cold? Freezing cold but having a laugh? etc? remember what your body does when you experience this feeling. Your muscles, face, etc. How you move. For example when freezing cold, I personally tense up but try to hide shivering.

REVIEW TIME
We then called a break, and then those people who had researched their characters were asked to describe similarities between themselves and their character. It could be as simple as the fact your character might have liked coffee, and so do you, through to one person who had been married to an American and moved to America at that time, was playing a character in the show who does the same.
Cast were asked came back to the first task, of introducing your character. but now, no longer as someone external, no longer in the Third Person, but as if you were the character. In the First Person. The difference was already fantastic, from when we had started.
This is all a process that you can continue at home in spare time. This session was to open the door to possible ways of exploring your character and performance. Specialist things will come up or you may want to look more deeply into acting theory as relating to a special part of your performance. Always feel free to ask for help, use the things that work for you personally, and discard the things that don’t work for you personally.


WORKSHEET:

It is important for an actor to be aware of his or her character, and to portray that character as a personable entity on stage. To this end, it is vital that you get to know your character..

First of all, read your script. Note what your character says about himself or herself.

Is your character — 

Bold or shy?

Caring, or careless?

Happy, sad or angry?

Rich or poor?

happy with their job / lifechoices?

Married or single?

If married, is he or she happy in that marriage? Why? Why not?

What is his/her profession?

happy with their job / lifechoices?

Married or single?

If married, is he or she happy in that marriage? Why? Why not?

Is anything mentioned about his or her past? How would you imagine that would relate to how he or she is feeling now?

Get as complete a picture of your character as you can — for example, a 17th century whore in a country town, would be played markedly differently from a 21st century call girl in Hollywood, or a Celtic chieftain from a modern day monarch, or a 16th century witch, would be a very different person to a modern day neo-pagan/witch.

This is now where you must take into account the society in which your character lives. Take into account the history of the time in which he or she lives, and the society that he or she will have grown up in. How will that affect the character? And their body language? The modern Hollywood call girl would wear high heels, the 17th century whore would not. Therefore they would walk differently..

The Celtic chieftain would be a lot more rough and ready than a later monarch, and the 16th century witch would be mortally aware that if caught she would be burned at the stake, whereas in the 21st century, she would have no such fear.

Even in the modern day, depending on the culture, your character will be affected. A hippie would be different from a business person, and a Japanese girl would behave differently from a British girl.


Now, based on the character as depicted in the script, and what you have found out about them, create a little story about them, and rather than considering them to be someone apart from you, you now must imagine yourself to be that person.

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How do you feel in certain situations? (This is where the method acting comes in, to draw upon your own past experiences and feelings, to understand how your character might be feeling). What are the differences between what your character is feeling, and what you are feeling? Why?

Take an hour each day or so, to walk around the house as your character. It’s hard at first and becomes easier, don’t worry.

As soon as your costume is available, you are welcome to wear it during rehearsals — very often people find that dressing as their character helps them invaluably.

Sometimes, when a character is far removed from how you are yourself, it can help to watch a movie or TV show with a similar setting, or similar character to yours. Watch that character. How does he or she act? This can give you some pointers to start with. If you are unfamiliar with the historical period, or culture, get a simple book from the library, even from the kiddies section (sometimes these are better as they are heavily illustrated!). It does not have to be anything complex, in order to give you a overview.
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