Hamlet Design Process Update

In regards to the Hamlet, “To Be or Not To Be” design process, we are still very much in the planning stages.

So far, I know a few things to be true.

  1. Action during the speech, (Or lack thereof) needs to be highly intentional.

Within each rendition of the speech that I viewed, there seemed to be a wide range of action happening throughout. In one, Hamlet was brandishing a sword, in another, he was walking aimlessly through a video store, and in yet another, he was standing almost completely still. It was evident that in the version where all of the action was portrayed through facial expressions, the lack of movement was intentional, and added to the graveness of the scene. However, the version where Hamlet speaks to himself in front of a mirror has carefully planned and executed movements, slight shifts of the body or gestures that seem conducted. I like both of these methods, and whatever I choose to Hamlet doing has to have intention.

2.   Context is everything

I want this project to not only represent the entirety of Hamlet, but also stand on its own as something that can be viewed and appreciated by someone who’s never read the text before. As much as I love wild reimaginings of Shakespeare, they are difficult to understand if not viewed in their whole. The short snippet of video from the Ethan Hawke version of Hamlet was entertaining, though not fully comprehendible.

3. We need flexibility

What I have just come to realize, is that our version of the speech may very well be performed by a female. Because all of the renditions I have previously seen have been delivered by a man, this twist could add originality and a new perspective to the speech. This is a great opportunity for our project, and will leave us to think about how a woman can change the definition of Hamlet.

I want this project to be appreciated as something beautiful, thought-provoking, and original; a stand alone that is as much for consciousness of the text as it is for education. I think in particular we have some challenges to consider, but also some exciting opportunities. Later this week I’m hoping to draw out some story boards to share with Nicole, and for now the next step is shooting ideas off of each other. By early next week we hope to be filming, leaving us enough time for polishes and edits on our finished project by next Friday.