Author: dbareford

#39 Seeing With the Audience’s Eye

#39 Seeing With the Audience’s Eye

Sometimes as violence designers we think the fights we’ve designed are fantastic, but they seem much less amazing in performance. Why does that happen? In this week’s episode we talk about watching fights from the audience’s perspective, why it can be artistically dangerous to see your fights only from the “first-person-shooter” perspective, and how we can develop our internal “audience eye” to monitor our design.

#38 Comedy vs. Drama in Stage Combat

#38 Comedy vs. Drama in Stage Combat

While we all agree that comedy should be funny and dramatic scenes should be serious, how does the tone of the scene change your design? Does your stage combat technique change for a comic scene? Should it? And why do more actors hurt themselves in comic violence than the serious stuff? All this more, on episode #38!

#37 Designing to Music

#37 Designing to Music

In Episode #37 of the Violence Design Lab podcast, we’re talking about designing fights that coordinate with musical underscoring. Whether you are literally choreographing beat by beat to the score or you need to fill a musical interlude with a fight of a specific duration, we’ll discuss some design challenges and solutions to make your violence play along in harmony.

Contents:

2:55   The Challenges of Designing Fights to Match the Music

8:57   Managing Directorial Expectations

12:03  Tips to Successfully Design to Music

#36 Working With Blood

#36 Working With Blood

As Halloween approaches, stage blood makes its brief annual appearance into the general public consciousness. On Episode #36 of the Violence Design Lab podcast, we’ll go beyond zombie wounds and vampire fangs and talk about the right ways to work with stage blood to place you a cut above the trick-or-treat amateur.

#35 How to Write a Fight Scene

#35 How to Write a Fight Scene

Episode #35 of the Violence Design Lab podcast is aimed squarely at playwrights and screenwriters. How do you write a good fight scene? How do you make sure that your vision of the fight is the one that gets put on stage? Who controls the choreography?

Do you want to win that fight? Stay tuned!

Contents:

2:42    Purpose of the Violence (Playwright’s perspective)

10:39  Purpose of the Violence (Character’s perspective)

19:38  Stage directions vs. Fight choreography

25:12   How to Get the Fight You Want

#34 Designing for Non-Proscenium Spaces

#34 Designing for Non-Proscenium Spaces

On Episode #34 of the Violence Design Lab podcast, we’re talking about working on stages that aren’t a traditional proscenium. What happens when the audience is on two sides of the stage? Or three? Or they have you surrounded? Let’s talk about which stage combat illusions work, which ones don’t, and which ones can be tweaked to still be effective. Plus, we’ll go beyond just technique and talk about how the shape of the stage can help shape your design.

#33 Portraying Honorable vs Dishonorable Characters

#33 Portraying Honorable vs Dishonorable Characters

“Noble” heroes…Dastardly “villains”…

Today I examine the difference between honorable and dishonorable characters. What defines them? What are the rules that society uses to decide if a fight is “fair” or “honorable?” How do you implement that in your design?

Listen in to find out…

Contents:

3:27     What is Honor?

8:35     The Rules of Engagement:

What Triggers allow violence to be used?

Who are acceptable Targets of violence?

What Types of violence are permissible?

What Tactics are not an option?

24:01     Basic Truisms about honorable characters

27:51     The situational nature of honor during fighting

#32 Style Seminar: Historical Drama

#32 Style Seminar: Historical Drama

Historical Drama: doesn’t every Shakespeare play with fights fall into that category? Or everything set before 1980? What about Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings? Aren’t they in that style too? Let’s talk about this common–and commonly mischoreographed–style, and figure out what to include, what to steer clear of…and how to know when you’re in a historical drama in the first place!

 

This week’s episode is the second in a series on style: designing fights in particular ways to match a specific genre or to evoke a certain tone. Each iteration in the series will break down the specific elements that define the style and give you concrete, actionable ways to incorporate these elements into your choreography. I will also discuss the reasons that make the style challenging and how using it can affect the logistics of your production process, and finally, I’ll wrap up with a discussion of the general “feel” or tone that the style evokes in performance.

Contents

0:58   Define “Historical Drama”

4:52   The Elements of the Style

15:34 Why Is This Style Challenging?

26:49 What Tone Does This Style Create?

27:53 Takeaways

#31 Portraying Trained vs. Untrained Characters

#31 Portraying Trained vs. Untrained Characters

This week, we examine how to customize the way a character fights to match the level of weapon/fight training or martial experience appropriate to their background in the world of the play. That meek biochemist shouldn’t fight the same way that Rambo does, and you need to adapt your choreography to remain true to their character story and demonstrate their relative skill to the audience.

Here are some tips for creating untrained fighters, normal or “realistically” trained fighters, and superheroic, legendary, or “super-trained fighters!

Contents

2:15  Introduction

4:19  The Problem with Standardized Moves

6:26  Creating Untrained Characters

13:54 Creating Realistically Trained Characters

19:08 Creating “Super-trained” Characters

#30 Style Seminar: Hollywood Swashbuckling

#30 Style Seminar: Hollywood Swashbuckling

This week’s episode is the first in a series on style: designing fights in particular ways to match a specific genre or to evoke a certain tone. Each iteration in the series will break down the specific elements that define the style and give you concrete, actionable ways to incorporate these elements into your choreography. I will also discuss the reasons that make the style challenging and how using it can affect the logistics of your production process, and finally, I’ll wrap up with a discussion of the general “feel” or tone that the style evokes in performance.

This week. I’m examining classic Hollywood Swashbuckling: the flashy, dashing swordplay of the likes of Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. What makes swash tick? What are some of the classic tropes?

And wait…don’t I HATE swash??

Contents
3:24 Define “Swashbuckling”
4:11 The Elements of the Swash Style
15:30 Why Is This Style Challenging?
18:45 What Tone Does This Style Create?