Friday, July 30, 2010

The Cast for SEVEN SNAKES!

The Man - Roy Gonzalez
The Daughter - Erin Orr
The Mother - Don Hall
The Colonel - Matt Kahler
Ringo - Adam Dodds
Cheese Grits - Vincent Lacey
Toadsuck - Shane Michael Murphy
Archibald - Sean Ewert
Radar - Ian Brown
Segundo - Riso Straley
Chupa Fuerte - Bert Matias
Cuchillo - Miguel Nunez
Angel - Fernando Albiar
Seis - Warwick Johnson
Agent V - Jim Hicks

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Seven Snakes Inspiration - 7


Less style than Leone. More Grand Guignol.

More vivil depictions of violence to the protagonist.

A figure as cool or good looking as Eastwood, but no where nearly as stylishly shot. Eastwood plays a cool headed character than many would want emulate, but there is more story and therefore more to emotionally connect to with Django.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Leone's use of the frame as theatrical legs

There are all kinds of moments in a Leone film where he uses the frame of the image to hide something from the audience, but also from the characters within the frame. From a naturalistic point of view, it is incredulous. Image 2 men committing a robbery in a graveyard and a third man with a shovel sneaks up on them in broad daylight. Sir Christopher Frayling mentions that Leone's movies almost work better as 'theatre' and in this way he is right. Hey but it makes for great set up especially if you can buy it, and the truth is that if you've enjoyed the story up until this point, you either buy it or decide to surrender to it so that you can see the promised conflict.

In this scene, Eastwood sneaks up on Wallach in the same fashion that Van Cleef does both of them. Then later Leone askes us to believe that Eastwood sets up a noose only a few feet from Wallach, but again since Eastwood is out of frame, we don't see him, so neither does Wallach.

Convenient. But what the hell! Hey you work with what you got. There are lessons to be learned here for those of us with limited resource and space!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Seven Snakes Inspiration - 5

Most of us know all about Sergio Leone, but what about Sergio Corbucci? Not nearly the stylist that Leone was, Corbucci took his dark cowboy tales to even more powerful heights of violence than Leone had. Remember that when the Spaghetti West begun, Americans were getting their western fix from TV and rarely saw a gun fired and the wound it made within the same frame.

The violent images being used by the Italians, and Corbucci specifically, had an effect on audiences that would be hard to replicate in cinema. But we aren't doing cinema. We are telling stories for the stage and that gives us an opportunity to impact people the same way those inventive and provocative Italians once did. The embed above is just a few still images with the theme song. It seems to me after listening to this that they had to be going for an elvis sort of sound, but... the tune is kind of catchy and It grows on you quickly (me at least).

The character of Django is actually more compelling and endearing than any of the variations of the "Man with no Name". Whereas Eastwood makes for a cooler more stylized anti-hero, the motivations and pathos of Django matter more emotionally. There is real catharsis to Franco Nero's character that never really occurs to Eastwood in the Dollars Trilogy.

Seven Snakes Inspiration - 6

OK, this is like heart stopping exciting for me! I have a huge art man crush on Paul Pope, and when I saw that he actually put pen to paper and drew the character Harmonica from Once Upon A Time in West... well lets just say I would spend everything in pockets to get this on my wall.

Music has power in the Westerns of Sergio Leone. The use of the harmonica in Once Upon a Time in the West, and the use of the musical time piece in For A Few Dollars More. I'm hoping to capture something similar in Seven Snakes with the use of the Flute. Reminder to myself - Talk to the awesome David Lykins about this ASAP.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Everything you might want to know about SEVEN SNAKES auditions on July 17th

Seven Snakes Synopsis - Part Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Part The Searchers, Part Naked Lunch, Part Romeo and Juliet, Part Beauty and Beast. SEVEN SNAKES is an apocalyptic western set 30 years from now in the remains of what was once The Arizona desert. A Young Woman must choose sides as a Group of Octogenarian Veterans of Foreign Desert Wars engage in a mythic battle with a team of mysterious masked gunslingers known as the Seven Snakes.

Important Production Dates -

Rehearsals start August 1st
Previews start Sept 18th
The Show Runs Fridays and Saturdays thru November 13th

Auditions are 1-6pm on July 17th at Zoo Studios, located at 4001 N. Ravenswood Ave Suite b-1

Cast of Characters - Click here for Character descriptions

What about the Mammals? Who are they?
- The Mammals Mission: The Mammals explore performance works embracing themes of history, mythology, and destiny through the genres of science fiction, horror, and phantasmagoria.

If you have further questions, please email us at themammals at gmail dot com.

Please no agents. This is a non-equity audition call.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Seven Snakes Production Journal #2

Saturday I get to hear the latest version of Seven Snakes out loud. It has been quite a while since I've heard actors speak these lines. It was the very first Mammal artistic activity when we moved into our recent digs, the Zoo Studio. In order to beat the heat (we are waiting out summer before we start production again), my good friend, Don Hall, has offered to let me have the reading at his place.

I was hoping to have an ending tagged on by now. I'm very close, but as of Saturday, there will be various endings in my head, but none yet on he final page of the script. Some might wonder what is the good of having this reading without having a fully finished draft. For me, most of the scripts I write have been generated in this sort of fashion.

I kind of like doing it this way. I like hearing folks opinions of the direction a script is going in before they know how I'll end it. It is a great way to see how the first half or two thirds of a story is setting up expectation. It is also a great way to shape language and style. Sometimes hearing a scene out loud helps me discover a necessary adjustment that has to happen before I can even conceive of a subsequent scene.

I like to think of it as sculpting a script. When do you decide it's time to hear your words out loud?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Seven Snakes Production Journal #1

The script is coming along. There are some incredibly wild moments in it that I can't wait to see onstage. This Saturday we will have a read thru of the working script. Next Saturday we will have auditions. Then August 1st we begin rehearsals. I am excited, but also I am anxious. I should find comfort in that the feelings like butterflies don't seem to go away. It means that it still matters to me. This play represents brand me territory for the Mammals. We are having our way with the mythology of the West. Right now, we are sort in a Lewis and Clark frame of mind filled with adrenaline due to the thrill of the adventure, but also just a short distance from throwing up from all the excitement.