Humanities

The Scottish Play

I barley remember that we were even in school at one point anymore. Though things are clearing up, and things are beginning to go back to normal, I still cant believes that we’ve been learning from home for 3 months. Time travels fast when your not doing anything, I guess. Anyway Macbeth, thats what I’m here to talk about. So if anyone has ever told you about Macbeth, theres this curse that should also be mentioned. Now to preface this, I don’t know if I believe in curses personally, but there is definitely something I believe in about this play. The previous grade to attempt this jaw dropping stunt, that is recreating Macbeth but in a different era, incorporating history from the era into the play, was the now second year university students when they were in grade 11. Simpler to say 3 years a ago. As part of our class we watched their final product, and to be blatant, it grew our ego’s. It was a work in progress to put it nicely. Apparently they had lost the camera chip that everything had been filmed on, and I believed that more and more as the project went on. Here’s the backstage clip I could find of it.

Now after watching it we knew our grade, jam packed full of hard working individuals, could do better. And in the preliminary rounds, we did. But all of a sudden we weren’t doing so good. Our final product ended up looking like the previous attempt, just instead of the war, it was the dramatic and twisted 50’s. So this long and elaborate blog post will take you through the ups and downs to how we ended up with a video with blank title screens reading “In the classroom.” Too start I would like to let you guys watch the video, give it a good watch and realize our potential to make the movie great.

Now alike the group that attempted this feat before us, we failed, but due to something that was out of our control. Covid 19 hit, and it hit us hard. All of a sudden its a week before the end of school (for spring break) and everyone is sooooo excited to get some sun, or to escape the classroom, when word starts traveling about how so-and-so’s trip was just cancelled, and how you realize that that sucks, but it won’t happen to you, you think.

So the teachers were in Vietnam and Cambodia. Yup. Thats right. In the height of the pandemic, my teachers were in Asia. So we had a sub, and we were puttering along in our work, we hit a few bumps with certain actors/actresses not being able to attend certain filming days, but we got through that. We even had a plan to film a whole bunch of scenes after spring break because Macbeth got sick,(which in the lead up to a pandemic its a good idea to stay home.) So we banked on the week after spring break to shoot all the shots we were missing. Little did we know that there wouldn’t be a “week after spring break” that we could film in. That maybe there wouldn’t be a week like that for a long time. After spring break, and we all realized that we wouldn’t be able to finish the movie, we gave what we had to the editors and they crafted the video linked above up for everyones viewing, which I have to admit is pretty incredible. (Also check out this video that Luca Jacoe made because its awesome.)

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They took some very random shots, and turned it into something better. I felt like the whole story about Covid interrupting our filming is a good image of the Macbeth curse. The Macbeth curse was something felt by many members of theatre as well as people of the audience. Things like fires in theatres, or strange lighting incidents, more major (though I dont quite know if true) include deaths from actors attempting to act in Macbeth, and so I think its funny that the past 2 times a PLP group has tried to recreate Macbeth, we have failed.

Now enough chat about failure, lets talk about what happened before we torpedoed. Right from the beginning.

Too start this unit we were tasked with answering in our own way, “Why Shakespeare?”

I honestly did a lot of research for this question, and I remember my theory being ripped to shreds in class, so obviously I didn’t quite know why shakespeare. What I left with is that Shakespeare alone created 1700 words in the english dictionary. And his plays help us to figure out what life was like back in the 1500-1600’s. After we had a understanding about what Ms. Willemse wanted us to take from the book, we began to read the book/play. We read the book through this app that made it so we were reading the acts, but we could also watch a video depicting what the scene would look like in play form, which really helped to digest the information. While we were reading the play we were also learning about the 1950’s, and to prove that we were actually absorbing information we were tasked with writing TWIL’s. TWIL stands for This Week I Learned, and when writing your TWIL you had to connect Macbeth, with the 1950’s. Here are my 3 posts I made about my connections to both topics.

Post 1 – http://www.blog44.ca/adlihb/2020/01/25/this-week-i-learned/

Post 2 – http://www.blog44.ca/adlihb/2020/02/03/this-week-i-learned-week-2/

Post 3 – http://www.blog44.ca/adlihb/2020/02/10/1740/

As well as posts we also wrote quests, (quiz and test combined). Our quests sort of forced us to look deeper in the book and realize what other meaning lay hidden within all the most important quotes. So in our quests we were given 3 quotes from the text we had read following that quest, and we had to tell Ms. Willemse, who said the quote, where in the plot the quote happened, and connect it to a theme. It sounded simpler then it was, because the second I got in there, I personally forgot everything to do with theme which sucked a lot.   

After we had accomplished all the preliminary tasks, we began the actual film. The first task was to apply for a position in the film, which did not include acting. Roles like Editor, Production Manager, and Costume Design, all fell into line. In the end Alivia was the Producer, Jesse was the Screenwriter, and Giorgia was the Director. These roles were at the top of the pyramid, so I mentioned them here, but I think it goes without saying that everyone else who worked on the film was equally important. Once roles had been assigned (Ahm Ahm Line Producer) we began the actual journey to the film. My role in the film production was very background. I made call sheets, and a lot of them. This is an example of a call sheet.

Basically all a Line Producer does is remind people of what scenes are being filmed where, and what needs to be there, and who needs to be there. So I personally think I was a very boss line producer, making sure that everyone could be where they needed to be at all times. I even sent out email’s to everyone reminding them of their filming days, like this one.

 

After all of this, spring break arrived, and I already tried to sell you on the curse, so I think my work here is done. All in all this project was fun. I enjoyed the freedom of having the leaders for the project be students and I think we benefitted immensely from that. I know that the teachers will always nag us about how we never finished Macbeth, but I think personally that we did all the heavy lifting. We learned so much from that project, with or without the final product. 

Thanks for reading guys!

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