Dead Wait: A documentary film
Block Stop recently received Funding from Arts Council England. It was our first application and thanks to the right support and advice we were successful. They gave us the full amount we asked for and we went ahead with the project, Dead Wait.
It seems important to point out that before we submitted our application to the Arts Council, we had arranged as much as we could so that being successful with the grant wasn’t “vital” to the project going ahead. We had decided that we would make Dead Wait happen with or without the money from ACE but the funding was important because it would mean we could buy better equipment (thus making the show higher quality) but most importantly, we could pay everyone who worked on the show, including ourselves.
Before the submission to ACE, we had also already decided that we would document the process of making Dead Wait. We wanted to ensure there would be something that would exist beyond the time the project was happening, something that could help us reflect, learn and grow from the experience (which we knew would pass in a blur of exhaustion, tears, sweat and fake blood). This would take the form of a documentary film.
The documentary was originally made just for us and for our own development but we recently decided to share it here on this blog. If you watch it you will see it is a personal account of our process, and was not intended to inspire or teach others. With that said, we wonder if it may be of interest to people outside of the four of us as it reveals a lot about the nature of making creative work and the difficulties commonly faced.
The visual footage is, on the most part, factual and practical (capturing rehearsals, building stuff, testing tech equipment etc) while the audio material is a collection of raw, honest, emotional sharings. There were no rules as to when or how we responded to the task of capturing visual and audio footage for documentation. We did not share our recordings until the end of the process, when I had the task of piecing it all together.
Things are changing for Block Stop in 2015. A lot of important decisions have been made since finishing Dead Wait, many of them thanks to our discoveries from this documentary. The four of us watched it independently, but it sparked in each of us an empathy and a love for one another, which (soppy as it sounds) led to being able to have difficult, deep, ideological and emotional conversations. We are now moving towards making Block Stop work better for us.
If our future interests you, please visit our website and get in touch. If you’re interested in our past, make a cup of tea and watch the film. Hey, go all out and get an edible treat ready too, you deserve it for being interested in our work.
Post by Melanie Grossenbacher