Proposals – M21PA – Reflection 3

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Photography by Katie C Photography

At the end of the introductory module M18PA we were issued with a series of images offered up as stimulus to respond to and form a project proposal around. These proposals were reviewed by Frantic Assembly, who ultimately selected the most promising project to be taken forward and developed into a twenty minute piece of theatre at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith. I found almost immediately, that I had shared a fascination over one particular image by the artist Duane Michals with Merel Van’t Hooft a peer on the course. We decided to explore this connection over a series of Skype conversations and committed to submitting a joint proposal around our mutual interest around the themes attached to ‘Memory’.

The actual process of developing and generating the project proposal was a very collaborative one. Merel set up a Google Docs document, a platform, which I’d never used before and we were both able to add content and ideas to a ‘bibliography of inspiration’. We then reviewed these ideas and combined them to put formulate the final proposal itself. This process was a very organic one and worked because we recorded our meetings and conversations effectively, which enabled us draw on this information when actually writing the final proposal.

Personally, I think I was particularly effective at adding to our pool of research during the proposal generating process. I drew on a variety of source material that helped push forward the work and incite further conversations that led to the shaping of the final project proposal. Merel was excellent at extracting the key points of our discussions and scribing them down to form the skeletal structure of our proposal. My role was then to review the information and colour in finer details and flesh out the responses to the proposal questions.

Working in a partnership had an interesting impact on our line of enquiry. It kept our proposal very open, which ultimately strengthened our application I feel. Writing the proposal in collaboration prevented it from being steered into a place that felt closed down and too specific. We were still conscious however to be refined enough that our project felt focused enough for us to fully realise it.

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It’s fascinating reading back this proposal, especially in light of my previous blog post, which discussed my interest in creating immersive work as an artist. It’s clear that subconsciously the creation of work that is experiential is something that is very important to me as an theatre-maker. We referenced this consistently throughout the proposal and it was evident that there was a definite ambition to create something that provided an engulfing sensory experience for the audience.

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In reality, it was probably unrealistic to fully embrace and pursue this artistic interest. Although the parameters of the brief were fairly wide and open, there was defiant sense that the proposals that were focused towards creating a piece of work specifically for the Lyric studio space were the most successful. Finding a balance between being ambitious and realistic was incredibly important. Taking into account the resources available, but also being innovative and industrious with what you intend on doing with them is appealing for a commissioning body. I feel this was definately another key factor in why our proposal was selected.

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