Monday, July 18, 2016


This version of Hamlet is built around the line “Denmark’s a prison.” Every character in Hamlet lives in some kind of prison: the past, trauma, ambition, desire, a need to be loved. The bigger sense of prison is mortality.  Images of death and fate abound in Hamlet. The image of the prison will be reinforced by several means throughout the film. The sets and costumes will often have elements of imprisonment.

I don't think this is a radical or necessarily new take on Hamlet. My main interest is just to shift the focus to certain elements at the expense of others. Cutting the story to 90 minutes will necessarily force me to lose some lines and ideas that I absolutely love. However, I just don't see any value in making a longer and subsequently more confusing and difficult film. By focusing on a fairly strict idea of what the film is about, I think I can translate Hamlet into a visual feast and still keep the power of the story.

The cutting (and adding of visual scenes) also forces both the creators and the audience to follow new elements. Hopefully, this will have the effect of making parts of the story seem new without diminishing the things that always bring people back to Hamlet.

Actors won't be able to say that they "know" the character because the added and missing elements will necessarily create the need to do work on finding something that fits into this version.

Hamlet has lost the most lines. (Not counting Horatio who has been excised completely). This version is not especially Hamlet-centric. I'm not really trying to make some point by doing this. I just think that a film version allows us to expand the stories of some of the other characters and to put the focus on them more than we can on a stage. On stage, Hamlet's energy will inevitably dominate a good production of the play. This broader story is more interesting to me at this point in my life. I also think that some people will enjoy this as an opportunity to explore certain elements of the story more deeply.

I hope you will enjoy this re-imagined version of Hamlet and find it a project you want to be part of. With some new scenes and new elements, we have an opportunity to discover new things together and bring freshness to the work. I've written some scenes that I think are essential but within these scenes, within these images, within this little prison of structure and plot points, I hope there is lots of room for actors to roam and create and make the characters their own.

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