My co-designer of Dreamplay, Joshua Gadsby has written an excellent blog post opening up about our interrogative and playful process with the director, Sarah Bedi, and company, please do have a read here: http://www.joshuagadsby.com/thinking/2016/9/17/the-visual-world-of-dreamplay
To support the post I wanted to show some of our visual process. We enjoyed a rich collaboration during which we all researched the philosophy and dreams, love, and human suffering. From this research we created tools with which to interrogate each scene, giving us a really strong base understanding of it which we could take into rehearsals when we would devise around the script. Some of these tools included a mental status exam that is usually used to scientifically analyse dreams, and image association games, which stemmed from David Hartley's dream form theory of Associationism: Associationism asserts that memory is organised according to categorical similarities among objects, people, ideas, and so on, to every category of content. (from Dreaming, by J. Allan Hobson. Oxford Press). Other research included looking at different psychological and emotional theories for journeys, such as the threshold of adventure, and the cycle of desire.
Our visual process also included looking at a lot of documentary photography for feel and aesthetic, particularly Gregory Crewdson, Tom Hunter, Todd Hido, Alec Soth, and Martin Parr, as well as visually listening to the spaces at The Vaults.
I always enjoy how the medium of the research can influence the needs and feel of the production, so photography felt especially appropriate for its feeling of recalled and framed memories, hazy snapshots and particular perspectives.
Below are extracts from that process, starting with initial response images, into image association and deep analysis, into the creating of photoshop visuals, which acted as another flexible and open process tool for use in discussion later in the process.