WestminsterResearch

Macbeth

Wyver, John and Grant, Sebastien (2001) Macbeth. [Moving Image]

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Abstract

120 minute film reworking of the Royal Shakespeare Company stage production of Macbeth, co-produced by Wyver and commissioned by Channel Four. Macbeth aimed to produce a vivid and dynamic translation to screen of an existing RSC stage production. It built on Wyver’s previous stage-to-screen translations of theatrical productions, including “Richard II” and “Gloriana”, to develop new production methods and a single-camera film language. The original stage production was acknowledged as one of the best of its generation. The screen version involved imaginative re-thinking of this for a different media form, whilst retaining the core concerns and qualities of the stage production. The screen production is one of fewer than a half dozen Shakespeare productions produced within British television in the past decade. Its success led to Channel 4 commissioning a film opera of The Eternity Man, with Wyver as co-producer. Almost all translations of theatrical productions created for television have employed multiple-camera live recording strategies. While such productions have an important archival value, they rarely capture the excitement and interest of the original stage presentation. Macbeth explored how filming a stage production with a single camera and collaborating closely with the stage cast and production team (including employing the stage director as the screen director) can produce a screen version for an extensive broadcast audience (800,000 on C4) and for other viewers, including within education, via DVD distribution. Another key component was bringing the stage production into a single environment, in this case London’s Roundhouse, for the filming. Wyver conceived this process during extensive collaborative work with the RSC and other theatre professionals. Co-producer Sebastian Grant line-produced shoot and post-production. The screen translation retained all of the play’s text and was produced to the highest broadcast production values. It was filmed with a full professional team and achieved, without compromising the drama, on an unusually fast production schedule.

Item Type:Moving Image
Research Community:University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design, School of
ID Code:4805
Deposited On:07 May 2008 14:57
Last Modified:13 May 2008 11:54

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