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Here's A How de do Diary: November

The last installment of Barry Purves' productiondiary as he chronicles producing a series of animated shorts for Channel4. An Animation World Magazine exclusive.

Barry Purves.

Editor's Note: Lumps, warts and all, for eight months Barry Purves has shared his personal production diary with us for his current project with Channel 4, titled Gilbert and Sullivan - The Very Models. This film takes a look at three men: Gilbert, Sullivan and Richard D'Oyly Carte. D'Oyly Carte brought Gilbert and Sullivan together and formed the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, which performed Gilbert and Sullivan operas for 100 years. While the trio worked together for roughly 25 years, their relationship was strained at best. How will the production of their story end? Barry explains...

November 1st

A quite thorough press conference this morning. Our films have clearly touched people, especially Achilles. Maybe, that is something to do with the Italians themselves. Certainly Italian men have a physicality between themselves that would shock most British men. I did a TV interview and as I came out Amanda was being interviewed as well. I think they were all glad we got there -- as I was. A wonderful place -- very enriching. Though seeing the films on the big screen last night was a bit of a shock. I know I have good ideas, but I worry that my animation is just not up to it, nor is my technical expertise. The G & S film looked particularly shaky but all right -- but then it was on a projected VHS. Oh for the luxury of a few reshoots. Much travelling through the glorious landscape -- a pleasure, in spite of the hassle. But, oh the pleasure of coming back with a head full of culture and the joy of art! November 2nd An early start with Wyn, mixing the singing and music. As always, it is a joy to work with Wyn, discussing the finer details of the music. Through the mixing we've managed to make the music even more dynamic, and we've been able to make every voice very clear and distinct. Sadly, I'm not sure that my lip-synch can match the brilliant singing -- however, since the puppets have neither teeth nor tongues, I'm not sure the lip-synch would ever be perfect. There's no doubt that this film is exhilarating. Now that everything is getting polished there is a lot I'd like to do -- so many reshoots -- but in the context of everything, it's all pretty slick. We were all lifted up by it today. Saw Velvet Goldmine tonight -- not an era that I'd like to live through again. Some great visuals, but not my sort of music at all. My poor brain is addled with everything. I thought that by this stage, there'd be room in my head now for other things. No such luck. November 3rd Well, that's the sound done, and I enjoyed this dubbing session. All the sound effects added enormously to the film, and none interfered at all with the music. Of course, small details could have been played with until the cows came home (from where are these hypothetical cows coming?), but I think we have reason to be pleased with ourselves. Incredible to think that after all the months of work, writing the music, the recording, the barsheets, and at the end of it, all we get is a tape the size of a large matchbox -- but what an expensive matchbox. I contacted Opera Now about possibly doing a feature. They were initially somewhat snooty about Gilbert and Sullivan, but the word `animation' got them interested. Unfortunately they have just gone to press with an article about animated opera, including the Operavox series (of which, Rigoletto was mine). I fear that they won't be too kind about it, and possibly that series was not a great success -- we were asked to be too straight and literal. I do wish I could do Rigoletto again now. Even five years on I keep thinking of startling images that could have made that a better film. I wish I'd been freer. Music schools, too, are very snotty about G & S, but singers could do far worse than learn these songs. With their difficult breathing, and the necessary clarity of words at such speed, as well as the acting needed, the songs are not easy. Interestingly, there's just been a magazine article in Japan about model animation around the world. I'm glad to be included, but my work is criticised for being too realistic. I never know what people mean by that. Shakespeare may have looked reasonably realistic, but his gestures were certainly very florid and stylised. Achilles was of natural proportions, but he was a statue and moved only in poses suggestive of Greek art. The Screen Play puppets were obviously puppets, and Rigoletto and his chums were taken from paintings. None of these characters can really be said to move realistically as they are all either singing or moving to music, and their gestures are closer to mime than everyday realistic gestures. There's certainly nothing realistic about the settings (except possibly Rigoletto), or the narrative, or the spatial geography. G & S have been hopefully pushed into some very stylised choreography. I shouldn't have to apologise for my animation, but it does upset me when I'm criticised for being realistic. The puppets behave credibly in incredible situations, but never realistically. Besides, animation timing, especially when music is involved, is so very different to live-action. There I've talked my way out of all that.

D'Oyly Carte. © 1998 Bare Boards Productions/Channel 4.

November 4th

Little for me to do on the film today, but a lot of catching up in the office. At the moment the negative of the film is being put together and we should see a print by the end of the week. There is some confusion about whether the film should be 24 frames a second or 25. I am confused, as I had always assumed it was 25 in England. I hope any interfering that is done does not do any harm to the voices. So that's Gilbert and Sullivan out of my system, along with Shakespeare, Japanese Kabuki, Opera and Greek Tragedy (I sound like some sort of National Theatre!). There are still a few theatrical genres that I'd like to rampage through in my own way. There's ballet, medieval mystery plays, Commedia d'el arte, Restoration comedy, and of course, Sondheim. If programme makers ever wanted, as they often do, a volunteer for someone to try a different career briefly, there are two things I would kill to do -- I would like to, as I mentioned a few days ago, be part of the line up for the `One' number in A Chorus Line, and I would love to play Bobby in Sondheim's Company. Of course, since I can hardly sing a note, these will have to remain pipe dreams, but... November 5th Not sure that everything is going quite as smoothly as it could with post-production -- maybe that's me just worrying, as I can't see what's going on exactly. We've been trying to organise a little screening for the cast and crew with drinks afterwards. It's a shame I won't be able to give everyone the party they deserve. A glass of wine is rather inadequate thanks for all their work. Odd to have a day without hearing or seeing my old friends, Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan. Now I don't tend to get outraged by many things in the real world, but my sister and I received our inheritance money today. It is, of course, highly emotional to see that cheque, but the amount the government takes off in inheritance tax, from money that has already been taxed, can only be described as immoral and scandalous. And being so emotional and sensitive an issue, who complains and what can be done about it? The percentage is shocking. November 6th Over at the graders to see the first answer print and it looks glorious. It's like a fog has been lifted and I can see everything clearly -- rather too clearly in some shots. The twitching necks are rather cruelly exposed, but it does all look great and rich. Spent the afternoon tweaking it a bit more. There's a computer to log all the changes, but it's still down to the basic "a bit more red" or "less blue." Still a little hit and miss, as we can't see the changes, but it will have that precious element of human error. Can't open a magazine without reading about Antz, A Bug's Life or The Prince of Egypt and see all the English talent involved. What a shame more feature films like these are not being made in England. I would love to be involved with something so creative and groundbreaking on such a scale. But I fear studios look at me as someone rather quaintly doing everything by hand on far too small a scale. In their eyes, and I can see this, I hardly look like feature material. How I'd like to prove myself. November 9th I've felt a little small today. For the moment, the buzz and energy has gone with the film, though the labs are still working on it in London. In my head it was starting to fall to pieces a bit, as being rather pedestrian and unimaginative. This was not helped by getting the invites for our Manchester screening (and what a marathon of organisation and expense this gesture of gratitude is turning out to be). The image on the front, of Carte lying on his Union Jack, is quite striking, but we are not going to break any grounds for typographical innovation -- but then this is not about that. I'm not sure that I could have come up with anything startling. As I've said before, my imagination is sometimes tempered by my holding back. Still, the invites will look very fetching on people's mantelpieces. This evening, I went to see Elizabeth, and came away totally humbled. What a magnificent film. Ravishing in every visual and aural detail; so ravishing that I was squirming in pleasure. I was astonished to find myself caught up with politics and intrigue. The film had so much energy and passion, and even without actually seeing the populace, it still had a feeling of epic events. Without doubt, the sort of filmmaking I aspire to. But how? My tiny little Gilbert and Sullivan film and my aspirations whither away, compared to films like this. But, the real tragedy of this, is that there were three people in the audience, whilst they were queuing next door for Small Soldiers. Seeing the qualities of Elizabeth -- its sumptuousness, its use of music, its breathtaking beauty -- those are the qualities I desperately try to bring to animation, but at my scale of things, it's impossible. Moreover, with a future made up of cute furry animals and blandness, maybe animation is not for me. I fear most of the budget goes on the day to day mechanics of just getting something onto film and not into the real talent. I fear I'm probably never even going to see half my potential if I stay in animation. I've said it so many times, and so many times will I be called "elitist" and "snobbish," but with all the possibilities animation can offer, it is still such a culturally castrated medium. Too often the technology gets in the way of the film itself. I know people will say after Gilbert and Sullivan, "How do you do that?" but bugger that. Did you enjoy the film as a story of Gilbert and Sullivan?

Sorry. Can you tell? There's a bit of a creative crisis going on inside today. So much frustration. The usual thing of having so many ideas, and not being able to do anything about them and worse still, seeing others use your ideas before you can get them to fruition. I've just read that there is a film out soon about Percy Grainger -- how many times have I thought his life would make a wonderfully bizarre film. Too late. November 10th Got myself into a right state tonight. Over a second that has gone missing from the film, and it's too late to do anything about it. When the film was with the neg cutters, they managed to lose the start of an important shot. Now I know that to Joe Public, twenty-five frames are not a lot, but to me, it is enormously important. At the end of Episode Three, Carte slumps back on the bed in a strong pose, still dressed as a fairy. Episode Four starts with him in exactly the same pose, but now dressed in his night clothes. Suddenly, he hears a noise off and sits up as Sullivan comes in. Well, that is how I planned it. Now Episode Four starts with Carte bolt upright, and the nice link of the pose between episodes is gone. No one will notice anything, and I suppose it's alright, but that is hardly the point. Received an e-mail from a studio in America, where suddenly things have a synchronicity to them. Names are cropping up again and again with one project linking them all. Watch this space. We were trying to cut the film down to the five-episode structure. It doesn't work as well, but they are all powerful little chunks of song and dance. I'm just going to bed listening to a CD of Argentine tangos. No one can accuse me of not doing my homework. For my trip to Buenos Aires in three weeks, I'm having a few tango lessons. I'll never master it, but I hope not to look a total fool. It's so wonderfully sleazy as a dance -- except when I'll be doing it.

Gilbert. © 1998 Bare Boards Productions/Channel 4.

November 11th and 12th

Down to London to see the married print, and well, guess what: that's it. I don't know what to think at all. I was nervous as I sat in the darkened preview theatre, as it really was too late to change anything. Happily, nothing needed changing, such as I could see with only one screening. Of course, I could nit-pick, but the sound blared out beautifully, with every instrument and every voice clearly heard. Now the picture looks crisp and consistent too. Rather too crisp as I can see things I thought would be hidden in shadow. Funnily enough, I do think it's my animation that is the weakest element. My animation is different from other people's, but I don't know quite why. With this film I have been trying to push the animation in terms of the size of the moves; on the big screen some of it is pushed too far. I don't suppose I'll ever be totally happy. There is, however, a lot of good energetic and lively stuff, and I'm pleased that when they do dance, it does look like dancing rather than clumsy jerking around, as I have seen in some films (mine probably). A few of the camera moves are also a little rough on the big screen -- little surprising considering the lack of sophistication we had. But, but, but, the film does work. I can't see it fresh, but the construction is clear, the idea is solid, and the characters come across. Above all, it tells a story, however superficially, about Gilbert, Sullivan and Carte and I think I should be proud. I want to show it to an audience now. What happens to the film now, I don't know. It will not go out at Christmas as scheduled, because the general thinking is to try to get a cinema release. A television screening might jeopardise that, but I don't know how to get a distributor interested. The Mike Leigh film of Gilbert and Sullivan won't be out until at least the summer. I hate to think of our film just sitting on a shelf. I think really, this is the hardest film I have ever done, but it does not look like that on screen. Somehow all that hard work seems justified if the film turns out to have a dramatic impact, or it's a tragic story like Rigoletto, but all this hard work for something so light and frivolous as this, I don't know... November 13th We finally cut together the five three-minute episodes. The body of each film is the same, but the introductory titles and credits are there and gone a bit sharpish. I watched it all through again today, and tried to ponder whether the film is entertaining, then got myself into a deep hole wondering what is entertainment. Certainly this film has a lot of humour. There is a story, a lot of colour and movement, some progression, great music, and clear characters. Hopefully that is a recipe for entertainment. It may not be the funniest film ever made, but it does draw you in, and keeps your attention. I suppose the general impression is that something has to be a laugh a minute to be fun, but then I'm one of those people who finds King Lear wildly entertaining. I'm not sure what I'm talking about actually, but I did have some serious thoughts about the nature of film itself. I looked at it, remembered all the blood, sweat and tears, and then thought, "And is that it?" We sent the film off to be shown in L.A. for the Academy qualification. What a supreme act of arrogance that is. I don't think we'll get anywhere as the film is too limited in its appeal, and so old fashioned (no new technology!). I was advised though, to hold back the film for a year, and flood various people with publicity and brilliant reviews, as though that might make it a better film. I really do not know how this film will do in festivals -- it is SO British.

My head is so full of nonsense, and so drained of everything. I can't add two and two. I need to clear my head and have such a good rest. Going `round the world, is not going to provide that, but what an amazing experience it will be. November 14th I picked up the first real print, and I have to say it gave me a real thrill to see it in the film can, all neatly labelled and packaged. There, my fifth film. That's not bad really. They may not be very long films, or very big films, but to have written and filmed five films must be some sort of achievement. To see it in the can...the film did look rather small. To think of all the work, the love of G & S, all the endless research, the stress and sleepless nights -- all encapsulated in a length of celluloid. Rather bizarre. I don't know what the next film will be. I have so many ideas, and ideas that I know would really make an impact, but I don't have the business sense to let them see the light. I've often had ideas for films and subjects only to be beaten to them by more business-minded people, or by those with better contacts, or those who are just plain pushy. November 15th Today gets a mention only because of my tango lesson. What a hoot, and quite a surreal scene. In the vast dance studio, there was me, my partner and an instructor -- and all that glorious music. Much to my surprise I did amazingly well (so long as I was with my partner), but back home, dancing around the house by myself or with the reluctant cat, I got a little lost. But then they do say, "It takes two to tango," and I can vouch for that. It is a lovely dance to dance. I hope I get a chance to dance it in Buenos Aires. That is going to be quite a week, with me alone, leading all the seminars. I'm sure they will be looking forward to hearing about what's new in animation -- well, I'm afraid they don't come more old fashioned than me, but then how many other animators can tango (well, the basic step and all of three variations). Perhaps I could teach them the medieval and Renaissance dances I used to do. November 16th A bit of a quiet day on the film front. Hopefully tomorrow we will get the video down to Channel 4. Mark, the production manager, has moved onto another film, and with all the technical stuff of different masters needed for the tapes, I'm way out of my depth, and the film looks like running out of steam before it finally crosses the finishing line. We are so close. The film print is now hopefully in LA. I wonder what it is showing with. My mind is now turning into, "What next?" and there are so many ideas floating around. I had lunch with some top people from a distribution company who were at Cosgrove Hall -- as I regaled them with endless ideas, I could hear them clattering very heavily on barren soil. I could see them looking rather sadly at me, wondering if I had any stories about little furry animals. No wonder I'm so out of step with what is being made and sold. It's alarming how totally out on a limb I am. November 17th A day away from the office, but hardly a holiday. The 400-mile round trip down to Cambridge, to visit my Ma and Pa's grave. In the middle of all this G & S frivolity, this struck me quite hard. The journey was done in perpetual bright fog, with a spire breaking through every so often, giving the impression I was driving through a painting someone had just started. This and Michael Nyman's soundtrack to the Draughtsman's Contract on the CD combined to give a very elegiac mood to the day, not unnaturally. Standing by the grave, the lengthy shoot seemed not to have happened. I was quite drained by the time I got back, but was cheered up by a call from Paul Berry. We hooted, rather cynically together, over a chapter in a recent book, suggesting that there is not much difference between shooting in single frame and shooting in double frame (us animators are so easily amused!). Not much difference, huh. I'd like at least forty frames a second. To use only twelve frames is a bit like using only half the alphabet. You can still spell reasonably, but it certainly cuts down your vocabulary. As I write this, the film is having its first screening in L.A. Be gentle with it. Sit back and enjoy it, as a film. November 18th I've started to worry about everything to do with the film now, as it all looks very fragile. The post-production process has been so fragmented that things have gone wrong, and only now do I start to see them. I think the film print is all right, but getting the videos (including the transmission copies, which is worrying) done is proving a nightmare. Suddenly, I see that Episode One is weaving all over the place, and that somehow at the end of one shot, the frame freezes for a few frames in the middle of the move. I did not notice this in the cinema the other day, but now it stands out, and seems to throw the synch a bit. As I say, it's all crumbling to pieces. The problem is that we have never had all the finished elements together to be able to study them. It's all been a rather disjointed hurry. I'm not happy tonight. It's probably my fault in that I am trying to do too big a film, when I do not have the resources, support or time to do what I want. Maybe I've overreached myself on this one. Ironically, I was sent a piece of junk mail this morning, with a caption that read, `Dare to believe that what you have already accomplished is but a minute percentage of what you can do.' I believe that says it all. I should have seen all these errors at the screening at the labs last week, but that one screening was mainly to check the colours. I sort of assumed the film would be as it was as we edited it. Now I see frames have gone, frames have been added and it wobbles. Damn.

November 19th

A day where I've really questioned is all this worth it. The film print has been shown in L.A., but technology and schedules have beaten us -- we've still not been able to do the digibeta videos to give to Channel Four, which is actually what all this is about. We have found what went wrong with the shot in Episode One. It has been cut some 11 frames out of synch, but this must have happened in the neg cutting stage. It's too late of course, but thankfully the shot was filmed from behind so the lip synch can't be seen. All the same, it's not as we shot it. As well as this there has been friction behind the scenes that echo Gilbert and Sullivan rather uncannily. They, though, were very wealthy and worked together for twenty-five years... I have just watched Coronation Street, which featured Gilbert and Sullivan very heavily: played alongside was a big death scene. Not for the first time either as Derek Wilton died to the strains of "Tit Willow." Perhaps there's a warning to soap opera characters. Be careful when listening to Gilbert and Sullivan. Derek Wilton's "widow" will be with us at our screening on Monday. A tough emotional day, and I've lost sight of the film now. The effort does not seem worth it, but all the calls from people saying how much they are looking forward to seeing it next week gives me a buzz. This is one of the kicks I get from making my sort of film. Sometimes people come away having shared a passion of mine, and even better, enjoyed it. I showed the film to Mark Hall this morning, and he was raving about it, and did not notice anything that I have been fretting about. Maybe, I'm worrying about these things unnecessarily. November 20th I'll finish the diary on Monday -- I shall miss writing it, as it has been a good way of reflecting on the day and how the film was going. It served to focus things for me. I don't know what it has been like to read, as there has probably been a lot of grumbling and not so much of the good things. But it has been a difficult shoot, with our small crew under so much pressure. Hopefully, the diaries have shown, however, that I really do love this job and have such a passion for animation. Maybe too much passion really, as I have such visions that I can't always visualise under these conditions. This leads me to think that rather than being perpetually frustrated by not being able to do what I know I am capable of in this field, I should try to do something else. I feel there are big changes ahead. I know a film must inevitably have compromises, but it is harder and harder for me to accept them, especially when these compromises are due to inefficiency or penny pinching. I don't really claim to be a perfectionist, as I have to let so many things get through just to get the film made, but I do try to get the best film made with what I have available. I will fight, and no doubt be very difficult, to get the best I can on film. If people get hurt on the way, or egos get bruised, I'm sorry, but the film has to come first. I'm actually dreading screening the film to the crew and cast on Monday. I feel I have so much responsibility in not letting them all down. They've done all their bits wonderfully, but it was up to me to pull it all together and to make sense of it.

Sullivan. © 1998 Bare Boards Productions/Channel 4.

November 21st

Went to the ballet of Cinderella, but I'm afraid the audience totally ruined it for me, and I had to leave. What has happened to audiences? Telly has killed the ability for audiences to concentrate and focus on what is going on in front of them. So much talking, so much fidgeting, so much toing and froing. I couldn't cope. Sadly, the ballet was not too hot. I know Prokofiev's score is not quite as dynamic as the breathtaking Romeo and Juliet, but this production had so little plot, and only briefly introduced the family and the setting before dispensing with all the magical stagecraft. Then Cinderella found herself in a wood surrounded by dancing seasons. Great! It was so magical that she had to go off stage and change into her ball gown. Isn't that one of the highlights we look forward to? Not very magical if it's off stage. Instead of sitting through any more, I went to see The Exorcist. Somewhat different, but great to see again. It holds up well. But no one would be able to make a film like that today. It took its time with the characters, carefully developing them. What a marvellous soundtrack. Very little music; today there would be ghastly rock songs at every opportunity, not for the film so much as for the soundtrack album. There was very little music, only a few snatches of Tubular Bells. Very effective.

November 23rd Well this is the last entry, and I'm sure that as soon as I close down the computer I will think of a million things to write. Things were a bit manic in the office trying to get organised for tonight's cast and crew screening at The Cornerhouse. It was due to start at 5:00, but at 4:15 the building was still in total darkness. Eventually it was opened, but even with a near capacity audience, at 4:55, there was no sign of a projectionist. Of course, I was worried. The print screening was a duplicate from the print I saw last week, but I still had not seen this actual print. It was still in its wrapping. It's not impossible that it could have been a dud.

We'd organised a reception in one of the galleries, which was showing an exhibition of Peter Greenaway paintings. This was wonderfully atmospheric, very dark with pools of light everywhere. Good food and everyone was bubbling away. Walking into such a crowd after such an event still fills me with nerves. Anyway, everyone seemed to love the film. I sat with my chum Joe, looking magnificent in a suit. A lot of people had made an effort and turned up dressed very smartly. I'd given some of my friends a rose buttonhole in my mother's favourite colour. Most of the audience wanted to see it again straight away. Everyone also came away saying that they hadn't realised such and such about the characters. There's still a bit of confusion as to why Gilbert and Sullivan are in black and white and Carte is in colour, but it is there if you concentrate a bit (and there's nothing wrong with that!). Certainly everyone loved the puppets, and their characters, with some people identifying me with Gilbert. I didn't have time to talk to everyone, but several people from the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, having initially expressed some reservations about the project, were bowled over by it. So I guess it has worked, and I came home on a bit of a high. I did realise though, that that was probably the last thing I shall animate. I just can't animate and direct again; it does take too much effort. Just a few facts to finish with: This film has taken 21 months of my time since Clare Kitson and I first seriously discussed the idea of such a film. (And, just stating facts, an assistant animator who I trained last year, would have earned over twice as much at Cosgrove Hall as I did over the same period). We first produced a piano demo with Wyn and I singing (no you don't want to hear that!), then we did a properly recorded piano demo with five singers. Since then some songs have gone and some new ones appeared, but it basically hasn't changed too much over the months. It took 85 days, more or less, to shoot on 35mm. We worked from 9:00 in the morning until at least 8:00 at night, with me doing two or three hours preparation at home for the next day. Involved with the actual shooting were just Jean Marc and I, with Karen and Mark popping back and forth between the office and studio, keeping things going as smoothly as they could. Ignoring a few false starts on some shots, I think there were only about five reshoots, though a few other shots were treated in post-production for light flares. Since May 31st, I have probably listened to our soundtrack at least 500 times. Since I first saw The Mikado when I was eight, I have probably seen about 300 productions of the various operas, and I still enjoy them. In the 15 minutes of the film, there are probably about 250 different shots, with little more than a dozen camera moves. There are roughly about 22,500 frames of animation. The script is made up of extracts from over 30 songs from 10 of the operas, though there is a visual reference to all 14 operas. (I consumed half a ton of chocolate biscuits during the making of the film -- well, almost!)

Here are the people who have been involved for some or all of the production:

GILBERT AND SULLIVAN - THE VERY MODELS Written by BARRY J C PURVES with WYN DAVIES from the works of Gilbert , Sullivan and D'Oyly Carte musical director WYN DAVIES orchestrations DAVID FIRMAN singers SANDRA DUGDALE - soprano ANNA BURFORD - alto CHRISTOPHER GILLETT - tenor STEVEN PIMLOTT - baritone ROLAND WOOD - bass And the voices of DAPHNE OXENFORD - DAVID HOLT with THE NORTHERN CHAMBER ORCHESTRA Barbara Grunthal, Nichola Hunter, Timothy Jackson, James Manson, Joy Powdrill, Chris Swann, Kevin Thraves, Alexander Walker, Nicholas Ward, Ken Heggie art director NICK BARNES lighting camera JEAN MARC FERRIERE puppets MACKINNON SAUNDERS sculptor JOE HOLMAN costumes CLARE ELLIOTT - GERALDINE CORRIGAN KAREN BETTY - GIAN GRAINGER set and props RICHARD SYKES - JEFF SPAIN RICK KENT - SUE ROSS post production NIBS SENIOR Mark Wharton dubbing mixer SIMON HALL With thanks to; Jo Cameron Brown, Helen Stroud, Christian Holland, Jane Davies, Men in White Coats, Alasdair Saunders, Trevor Batt at Metrocolour, Peter Dodd, Andrew Westerman, Darren Woodhouse, Paul Reardon, Phil Grimbleby, Oral Phillips, Stewart Ash, Andreas Trauthwain, Lucie Hourahine, Ellen Evans, Rye Hannah, Steve Eggington, Andrew Sidorczuk, William Swchenck Gilbert, Arthur Seymour Sullivan, Richard D'Oyly Carte. directors assistant KAREN CAIN production manager MARK WRIGHT producer CHRISTOPHER O'HARE director and animator BARRY J.C. PURVES A BARE BOARDS film for Channel Four © 1998 BARE BOARDS PRODUCTIONS, 8 ALBANY ROAD, CHORLTON CUM HARDY, MANCHESTER, M21 OAW, 0161 860 5660

--and to all those people, I give my thanks. It has been a privelage to work with them,

especially those not usually associated with animation, such as the singers and musicians.

Hopefully, we can work together again -- soon.

The final credit in the film should also be the final credit for this diary:

For my parents,

Ann and David.

Read Barry's previous monthly diaries in Animation World Magazine, starting with the June, 1998 issue. Barry Purves is a Manchester-based filmmaker. Through his production company, Bare Boards Productions, he has directed several stop-motion animated films and commercials, including Next, Screen Play, Rigoletto and Achilles.