THE STORY BEHIND THE EVENT OF FINDING THIS FILM
In 1964, I had already been working with Roy for over a year, when a friend of mine, Dennis Miller, discovered what I had been doing during the time. Dennis was a freelance cineaste; documentaries were his main line of work. He immediately asked me "Could I make a documentary of the work you are doing, Paul?". I then asked Roy, who was delighted with the idea.
We started shooting straight away. Dennis called in his friend Leslie Shepard, as the sound technician. Leslie installed himself at the end of a microphone cable in Dorothy's kitchen, next to the studio! We had just moved into our new studio at 49 The Ridgeway.This studio was a little bigger that the one at 133 Northend Road but it was still only 20 sq. metres!
We filmed for about two weeks and the editing took a couple of months more to complete. Dennis was sure that he would be able to sell the film to one of the new independant TV companies in England at that time. We would thereby get some airing on television time and a little of the money recouped from the sale. Unfortunately this never happened and the film was put into its tin and forgotten about for twenty years!
It was found in one of the storage rooms at Malérargues and nobody, including me could imagine what could be on it! Carol Mendelsohn proposed that it be transferred onto video. Clara and I were, at that time, working at our Centre in Geneva. Carol brought two spools of film with her when she came to visit us there (the other one was a BBC documentary film). She and I went on 44 bus to a little Company I knew of that would be able to transfer the 16mm films onto VHS video tape. Two copies of the two films were made. Carol and I covered the costs of this process between us. Only then did I re-register that it was Dennis's film of all those years ago!
It has been shown from time to time in the ten years since then, sometimes to the participants of workshops, to give them some idea of the early working principles behind the Roy Hart Theatre researches at that time. The two still photos that I have been able to use in the packaging of the video were the only two images that I had left from the time of shooting..
This film, as you will see, was directed by Roy Hart live on camera.The film was later edited by it's producer and cameraman Dennis Miller assisted by Roy Hart. It was during this process that Roy added his commentary to the film. The resulting documentary represents one of the very few documents (and the only piece of film) that Roy felt was a fair representation of his work at that time.
Paul Silber 2009
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