Last night I went to a reading of "Wall" by David Hare. I've enjoyed several of his plays, and there was a £5 offer on, so I went along.
"Wall" is about Hare's own experiences with the Middle Eastern conflict between Israel and Palestine, and is being presented as a companion piece to "Berlin". I think it may be a testament to the fact that I'll never be a true theatre-type that when people start talking about the walls we build around ourselves, I'm more likely to think about Pink Floyd than the Pyramus and Thisbe reference that followed last night.
Nonetheless, amongst several astounding pieces of commentary last night from both the subjective and objective viewpoint, I feel compelled to share the following paragraph - a quote from the reading last night:
I don't entirely understand this. People always ask: how do you choose the subjects you write about? I have a glib answer. Why did Bacon paint popes? Meaning: the artist doesn't choose the subject, the subject chooses the artist. 'Go to Rwanda,' said my American agent, when ten years ago I first proposed a play about Israel/Palestine. 'Better still, go to Kashmir. Now there's a dispute nobody understands. Throw some light on Kashmir.' But unfortunately it doesn't work like that. Recently, I found myself writing about Berlin because I don't understand it. Now I want to write about Israel/Palestine because I do. No, hold on, let me rephrase, that's a preposterous claim, nobody understands the Middle East - but put it this way: I recognise it. It answers to something in me.
I found editing whilst on a degree course which had absolutely nothing to do with media at all. I joined the student television station and tried all sorts of roles - camera, floor managing, sound mixing, vision mixing, co-producing... but when I got my first chance to creatively put something together at my first year - a trailer out of an evening's recorded event at the university - something was answered in me. From that point on, I knew I never wanted to do anything else. And with each project that I look at - some will inevitably stir more passion than others, and those are the ones which will really work.
Editing can often be seen as a technical vocation by the people who don't understand it - but it's truly anything but.