Editing the DVD

I have been up to my ears over the last few days and must apologise to my readers for the delay in writing this chapter of the blog.  There may be those who have be expecting the next episode in the life and times of a boarder at Christ’s Hospital, trying to make sense of the world in the early nineteen sixties.  I am sorry but that episode will have to wait for a while. No real excuse but I have been helping Rhys Edwards with the editing of the DVD and talking to the manufacturers about the design of the cover and booklet.  All of which I am very pleased to report has been progressing excellently.  Rhys has finished the short version of his film which he is to enter for the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival (https://sheffdocfest.com) which is in June.  It’s eight minutes long and is magical.  Of course yes it is about Mr Alexander, but that’s not why his film is magical.  Rhys has managed to capture exactly what I do and my life on the road.  Quite simply it is the nicest compliment and complement to the show. I am so pleased with the film and, even though it is about me, it is also a great little film.

I am hoping that once the film has entered the competition it will be available for everyone to see via the internet.

The longer version for the DVD is also shaping up very nicely.  It has been fascinating to sit next to Rhys at his editing suite watching the skills of a film maker.  I love watching any skilled artist creating their work.  There is a fluency and ease about the practical skills that they use and watching Rhys create the moments of the film, deleting microseconds, fitting music to the shots and allowing the whole to emerge was exactly that; fluent and easy.  Maff’s wonderful Mr Alexander suite of ragtime music fits at least as well as Scott Joplin’s and in some ways even better because it is personal and completely unknown.  I love The Entertainer, but it is almost a cliché and therefore has to be treated with care, whereas Maff’s music has all the wistful pathos of Joplin, say in his almost sad tune Solace, but of course it’s original which makes it more special.  The final tune of the documentary is perfectly suited to the theme and the content at that point in the ‘story’ and I am so happy with it.

I have also been talking to the artist who is designing the DVD cover and booklet inside.  This is planned to look like a period theatre programme complete with mock adverts and all the usual articles that might be in such a thing. 

So it’s been very busy and as well as all that I’m starting a four week, every day, tour with Cat’s Paw Theatre, including a newly devised piece for 16 plus year olds, still on the same subject (rape and sexual consent) but with a new cast and a new story which is more appropriate for that age.  It seems that the North Wales police are finding that (hopefully as a result of our visiting every school with the version for Year 9, 14 year old children) that the demographic of reported rape crime has shifted away from under 16s to the older ones; the college students and sixth formers.  Of course we can’t claim that this shift is as a direct result of the work we have done raising awareness, but we know that over five thousand 14 year olds every year have seen the production and leave the hall after our show knowing what rape is and the clear definition of the complexities of sexual consent.

I won’t promise to continue the story about my own childhood education in Christ’s Hospital next time, particularly as it requires some very careful and slightly painful thought, but I will try to do it.  Various people have told me they find it a fascinating insight into boarding school life in the nineteen sixties so I think it’s worth continuing.

In the meantime, all the best from a road near you,

Mr Alexander

Mr Alexander