Meta-ish

Jul. 3rd, 2007 08:01 am
jamie_dakin: (dw - ten_neckpr0n)
[personal profile] jamie_dakin
Cut for [livejournal.com profile] miarr, because she hasn't seen Last of the Time Lords yet. Oh just you wait for this weekend my pretty... Our LoM weekend of debauchery was nothing compared to this.



I can't stop watching one bit of the Last of the Time Lords confidential. It's only a few short seconds of footage from after the Master dies, the director yells cut and David Tennant immediately disentangles himself from John Simm (not even stopping to help him into sitting position). He then quietly stands up, turns his back to the crew and walks over to the opposing wall.

Why do I find that almost as emotionally stirring as the scene itself?

And I say only a few short seconds because I literally cannot bring myself to watch the full behind-the-scenes footage of that part, where he's just wailing in this horrible, soul-skewering sort of way and it's even worse than what made it to the final cut.

But on the other hand I'm dying to watch it, I need to watch it. Like Tennant's video diary of filming Doomsday, where the both of them are still terribly emotional even when the set is already being wrapped up.

I don't know really. Is it because I understand acting in principle but not in practice? Is it that level of submersion in a fictional being, that I know I could never emulate, why I'm just so utterly fascinated by the thought of the Doctor lingering on for a few brief moments after the cameras stop rolling?

And then they cut to Tennant who's... not embarrassed, but sort of still affected by that performance when he has to talk about it.

Maybe I'm moved because it's an affirmation of sorts that it's being taken seriously, so marvelously seriously, by the people creating it. Because it's like when I say to anyone in RL that I cried during the Who finale they look at me all... it's the same look I imagine I'd get if I told them I read fic.

Date: 2007-07-03 07:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miarr.livejournal.com
I haven't read anything of the cut, just wanted to say, thank you for being precious and thinking of me. ♥ I can hardly wait; oh, weekend, why art thou so far away? *g*

Date: 2007-07-03 07:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamie-dakin.livejournal.com
Well I wouldn't be a very good pimp if I just gave it all away... ;)

BTW, I've been meaning to suggest, unless everyone has other plans, that we all go see Order of the Phoenix together? It's been a while since we all got together to squeal over something.

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Date: 2007-07-03 08:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stars-fell.livejournal.com
*here via [livejournal.com profile] doctorwho*

Oh, Jesus. I couldn't look at my screen during that part of the Confidential. I felt like a damn intruder.

Date: 2007-07-03 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamie-dakin.livejournal.com
I felt like a damn intruder.

*nods*

Exactly.
The thing is that during the ep itself they used one of the tamer cries and so when they showed the harsher takes during Confidential I was just so completely unprepared for it.

I just wanted to cover my eyes and ears and cover those of everyone else as well. Just... just give them their moment. And yet obviously, it was the one scene I was waiting for.

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Date: 2007-07-03 09:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shadowsyra.livejournal.com
I followed you over from [livejournal.com profile] doctorwho as well because I felt very similar feelings to those you described.

I was ...not exactly embarrassed but not really comfortable with that Confidental scene either. After that scene was over I realized that I was actually wincing and I had to go through the process of relaxing my face.

I had a really hard time with it because I kept imagining what John Simm must have been feeling so close to such raw emotion. David is practically screaming in his ear and dripping tears all over him. And when I think about what it must have felt like to be so close to that...it's more than I can handle thinking about.

That being said, I thought David was brilliant.

Date: 2007-07-03 09:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamie-dakin.livejournal.com
Oh god, he was beyond brilliant. I mean he just went for it; spit and tears and unattractive snorting... the man sold it for more than it was worth.

And I was so disappointed that all John said (or all they showed John saying) was that all he could remember was that he "got eye-stubble from Tennant." I mean come on man, say he was intense, say he nailed it. Just "it was a good scene?"

But then I think I sort of convinced myself that he doesn't want to talk about it. I know I couldn't wouldn't.

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Date: 2007-07-03 09:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aristaea.livejournal.com
I agree with most of what you said. I don't really feel weird watching it, maybe because I did theatre as a kid and so I like watching actors work, but I do have it playing over and over it my head. It was a beautiful scene, and so incredibly real and raw. I can't imagine how they did it over and over and over again to get all the right shots; I'm fairly good at calling up emotions on demand, and just imagining what the Doctor must have felt like at losing the Master drains all the energy out of me.

At the same time, it's kind of a rush. All that emotion is accompanied by adrenaline, and from a neuropsych perspective I'd say it's probably the old fight-or-flight response getting my body ready to do something. So I like watching it, because it feels bad, but also really good.

As [livejournal.com profile] shadowsyra mentioned, I had trouble with it the first time I watched it because I watched from a fairly analytical POV, and I kept thinking about what John Simm the actor must have been feeling with David Tennant grasping him and yelling like the world was going to end. Damn, see, even writing this, I'm getting that fluttery adrenaline feeling in my stomach.

I dunno, I'm in psychology because I'm nosy and I love to hear people talk about their feelings. Watching people feel things is even more fun for me. But I think the reason it's such a moving scene is because the actors are so good, and you can feel the emotion pouring out of the screen. It's hard not to tap into that on some level.

Date: 2007-07-03 09:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamie-dakin.livejournal.com
I'm in psychology because I'm nosy

Hee. My mom asked me why I was considering psychology for uni and I said - Er, I like to pry and excuse it with science?

See, that's what I can't seem to be able to wrap my little brain around. What is it like to be in John's position in a scene like that? I don't think I'll ever be able to understand it.

So I like watching it, because it feels bad, but also really good.
Yes, that's exactly it. It's a horrible feeling but I actively pursue it.

Fight-or-flight. Feels nice to have it articulated properly.

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Date: 2007-07-03 10:33 am (UTC)
ext_10830: Jewellrey (Ten/Jack/Martha FTW)
From: [identity profile] glitterfairy25.livejournal.com
I'm afraid I just thought it was entirely cringe-inducing. My exact thoughts were "I bet John is not happy with David yelling in his ear so much..."

Date: 2007-07-03 11:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missjade29.livejournal.com
I think that David Tennant is just a powerful actor and if you have to play real greif you have to throw yourself into it and actually make yourself sad. That can take it's toll on you as an actor and leave you as a bit of an emotional wreck for the day.

As someone who would dearly love to go into acting I find it fascinating ans useful watching performances like that but I do know what you mean, it also breaks my heart!

Date: 2007-07-03 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamie-dakin.livejournal.com
Sigh.. I have a lifelong love affair with actors. Their honesty and vulnerability terrify me but nothing, absolutely nothing inspires me like a good performance.

Date: 2007-07-03 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alysscarlet.livejournal.com
I was fascinated by that scene in Confidential too - the way David got up and walked away after that intense scene. I'm always amazed how actors can be so unself-conscious and open themselves up. It must take a toll.

DT was fantastic, as ever.

Date: 2007-07-03 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bistokids.livejournal.com
I was so incredibly moved, both by the scene itself (which did much to rescue the entire ep from disappearing up its own behind in terms of metaphors and such) and, especially, by the Confidential.

And I have to say - in a whisper, mind - that I would throw myself on my own sword for John Simm, but he disappointed me with his eye-stubble fatuousness. I don't care what he personally thought of the whole thing (well I do, but in this context I don't), he's had to do enough deep emoting, and rely on the support of the actors around him, to know what it's like.

I'm comforting myself by assuming that either a) he said more, but it was cut, or b) he doesn't feel it's appropriate to talk about the deeper aspects to an audience of children.

Either way, Tennant rocks. (Oh, and I'm enjoying your icons!)

Date: 2007-07-03 02:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamie-dakin.livejournal.com
The thing is that after all that self-convincing about why that was all he said, I was sort of stupidly offended for Tennant. Come on, Who is the kumbaya of television, just, you know, be a generous actor or whatever. Sorry but the only thing you remember is his manly Doctor chin? I'm thinking having another man bawl and clutch you would stick in a person's memory for a while there.

Eh, but you're right, it was all probably cut. Or maybe he just misses his Gene Genie… After all Glenister did say that he's been left for Tennant. ;)

Oh luverly pretteh icons… I've found that after LoM, Who is the most icon-able show currently on the air.

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Date: 2007-07-03 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladysarahii.livejournal.com
I haven't seen the Confidential yet, but I remember thinking the exact same thing when I saw David's video diaries in Doomsday, as you've already mentioned. The scene officially ends, and so Billie is going on until the Director yells, "Cut." The part where she's standing there with her hand over her stomach, practically doubled over by grief, got to me. And I think one of the camera ladies felt the same way. You can see her looking back towards David's camera with an impressed look on her face. And then how Billie walks over and David hugs her for awhile afterwards. It was like, "Yikes!"

Date: 2007-07-03 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamie-dakin.livejournal.com
Somehow the memory of them being so sweet and supportive really made this one a lot worse to watch because he just looks so desperately… alone. Not in an overly-dramatic oh-woe-is-Tennant way. But it just must be that much harder an emotional process to go through without a co-star who's going through the same thing.

Date: 2007-07-03 05:20 pm (UTC)
sea_thoughts: (Happyness - royaldawn_uk)
From: [personal profile] sea_thoughts
I once read a book which compared acting to peeling off every layer of your skin so people could see your veins and muscles and heart. It was fictional, but I always thought it was a good simile. Then it went on to say that the best actors are like onions: they have multiple layers that they can peel off or put on as the part requires.

I feel for poor John, actually. Here he is, having to deal with all that raw emotion and then he's asked to deliver a soundbite for the camera. Being British, of course, he sidesteps the issue and jokes about getting eye-stubble. But I'm pretty sure that he was thinking all sorts of things.

Date: 2007-07-03 05:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamie-dakin.livejournal.com
Oh, acting meta, how you do make my heart ache so deliciously…

You're right, there was a degree is visible discomfort. Yes sir, if you would be so kind as to relive what would be an affecting experience for anyone just a few moments after it ended?

That's an excellent point that it was just humor to deflect an invasion of professional (or personal) privacy. Especially with the knowledge that all us emotional vultures would be circling above that soundbite…

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Date: 2007-07-03 06:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] willa-writes.livejournal.com
Hi... quick question if that's OK. :-) I'm new to Who, myself, and I've never seen any of the behind-the-scenes footage or any confidentials. Where does one find this sort of thing -- extra features on a DVD, maybe? (I live in the United States, so I'm doubly clueless.)

Thanks!

Date: 2007-07-03 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamie-dakin.livejournal.com
Well, at the risk of incriminating myself, I get my Confidential fix thanks to the lovely people of the UK - who always have a torrent file up within an hour of the original broadcast…

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Date: 2007-07-03 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamieofavalon.livejournal.com
I followed over from doctor who. I wish I could see that episode of confidential I have to admit. But the scene in the episode was just.. I broke down and cried.

Date: 2007-07-04 08:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] subaruke.livejournal.com
http://tv-links.co.uk/
All the confidentials are available here, for those who are too impatient to download :)!

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Sorry for the longness.

Date: 2007-07-04 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mysticzahn.livejournal.com
Clicked over from [livejournal.com profile] doctorwho.

I was sobbing hysterically the first time I saw the episode. It was so bad my mom kept making fun of me. She quoted George Lopez! "Why you cryin'?" So you're not the only one there.

I keep trying to watch the full episode, but I keep finding myself fast skipping to the Master’s dance scene and his death. Which are two completely contrasting scenes, but they’re great!

It was harder to match the Confidential episode because of a lot of factors. The Linkin Park song in the background (which sounds like the score for the scene in the episode), the explanation from all the actors, the extended soul-shattering sobs (I could just picture him like a little kid with the snot bubble, but not.)

I also noticed David in the background trying to like shake it off because he’s totally engulfed in the character. You can see when his eyes gloss over with tears.

My first enjoyable (but completely sad) Ten! Experience was Army of Ghosts and Doomsday. I didn’t know TimeLords could regenerate, way back when. I got used to Nine, and I really liked him! And then I stopped watching the show (US viewer) for a bit and then there’s this skinny kid running around rambling about something or other and calling himself The Doctor and I was sooo mad because I had no clue where the heck Chris Eccleston went. And I was ranting and raving to my friend who explained it. Then the season finale came around and, I had nothing better to do that Friday night, so I decided to watch it. By the end I was bawling my eyes out. I didn’t know why, but I could feel his pain, loneliness, heartache. I could get him. Now, I gave him a chance to be my Doctor because he had earned it.

I think it’s so painful to watch because David Tennant doesn’t have to do a lot to seem/look happy. You know? And it really hits a bad place when he goes the sad route because (I think I’ll keep the traveling metaphor) he takes you with him ALL THE WAY! (Seriously, don’t watch Recovery with David…trust me.) I would well up when he’d have that “Don’t look at me because I might cry!” face when he’d talk about Gallifrey or Rose or something really sad.

Nine had his moments too. The too painful to watch, but you can’t look away ones. The one that stands out the most is in Rose when he’s talking to the nesting consciousness and he’s all like “I couldn’t save them! Any of them!”

Anyways *hugs you* It’s okay, you’re not the only one crying!

And to quote another episode: "Sad is happy for deep people." ;)

Date: 2007-07-09 02:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fruitbat813.livejournal.com
Hi, also here from doctorwho and a bit late with a comment but after reading this with great interest a few days ago I just rewatched that scene in the confidential and noticed something else interesting.

If you look at the upper left corner of the screen you can just about see John Barrowman´s feet up there. Now if you keep your eyes on him you see that the moment the director yells "cut", he takes a step towards David Tennant and John Simm but when David Tennant walks over to the side, obviously needing a moment to himself, he stops, turns around and stands with his back towards him, like he wants to give him some privacy in that room full of people.

Could be of course that I´m reading too much into it and they do cut away immediatly so maybe John Barrowman just wanted to chat to the actress playing Lucy but I don´t know, I don´t quite think so.

Date: 2007-10-01 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] snowgrouse.livejournal.com
Stalking you now a bit, hope you won't mind. Probably have to friend you...

That Confidential breaks my heart. I vastly prefer the scenes in there to the broadcast version, just because... god. Tennant. Amazing. It's really harrowing viewing. I didn't actually cry at the finale (because I was dreading they would make the Master die totally without that ring bit, since Rusty keeps doing stupid shit to Time Lords I Love), but fuck, the Confi... I was shaking.

And I'm going to be a defensive bitch/devil's advocate here and insist they used that eye stubble thing--and what John probably meant it as, too--as something to lighten up the mood. Because it was heavy, heavy stuff. I probably wouldn't want to talk about the angsty stuff either. I'm not one to defend actors being arses no matter how much I like their work (and yeah, Simm is one grumpy and private guy, although I don't usually hold that against people anyway), but... he strikes me as the sort of actor who just slips into a completely different mode of existence when performing, so remembering and/or being serious about it would be difficult and complicated anyway, hence the being flippant and/or even amnesiac about it. Just because the performance is so deep and intense in itself. That level of depth and dedication is... getting too rare these days.

But then I only liked a few bits of the final eps, there was so much crap there that I was screaming WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU DONE TO MY SHOW at the screen, something I hadn't done in years. Shoddy writing, making my favourite Who baddie into a fucking annoying kid I just wanted to smack (like Rusty did with the Doctor) and not enough serious charater depth (it's not like you can't joke without bringing menace and characterisation, FFS), explaining the plot, wince-worthy dialogue, fuckloads of recaps because the audience is too thick to get stuff otherwise, apparently, Martha just becoming an evangelist for Tinkerbell!Jesus Doctor... I could go on. I don't even watch most of the Confidentials any more just because of the unbelieveable amounts of "let's all brown-nose Rusty, he's the best thing ever" crap. In a way, watching the last ones made me sad because there was that huge glimpse of Fucking Good Acting And Depth, all the stuff they *could* have more of in NewWho but don't. Even if it could use some.

Gah, sorry, just turned into a bitching machine. But what I meant to say was that yes, that was some fuckin' harrowing stuff there.

Date: 2007-10-01 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jamie-dakin.livejournal.com
Hee, stalkers make me feel cozy... ;)

I never even knew an actor could inspire me like John does. Oh I'd appreciated actors before, certainly I've always been in awe of the craft itself. But the sheer fucking intensity of his acting is unbelievable. Honestly, there were times in LoM (and in Crime and Punishment) where it was almost too much, like I literally needed to catch my breath after a particularly emotional scene. His acting is like a rush sometimes, makes your heart pump a little faster and may cause your brain to short-circuit.

In retrospect I absolutely agree with your take on the Confidential bit. I think that at the time the experience was still so raw, so rattling - and again, because I'm a voyeur so thoroughly fascinated by acting I felt sort of ... I dunno, cheated I suppose.

I wanted to hear him talk about it, need to hear him acknowledge that it was as amazing in real life as it was to us even after all the glossy editing and effects and whatnot.

And a resolute yes to everything about the finale - I just don't understand how things deteriorated so fast between Utopia and LotTL. He should have just let them improv the ending, it would have been spec-fucking-tacular.

But then that may just be my my rps-while-in-character kink talking.

*Shudder* - Just the thought of John and David improving... And it's because of Simm's reverence to the craft, because he allows himself to be so completely and utterly vulnerable while in character. And because I think that while there are heaploads of actors in the industry, and even quite a few good actors - John's one of the few artists.

And because he always wanted to do the in-character thing with Glenister and sort of tried once but it collapsed halfway through and he's so fucking scared to suggest it again, not when he remembers how it felt like ice water being poured on him while he was at his most vulnerable. But he can't stop thinking about it, can't stop needing it. Because as painful as it is to trust and have that crushed and belittled, the opposite is that much more rewarding. But David... Oh David just gets it...

I think I need help.

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