Archive | TKTKM RSS feed for this section

A new creative phase #shifthappens

17 Feb


Shift Happens – funnily enough, I know all about that, and also I know that it is a good thing that it does. I have some exciting news, and I am really looking forward to the next creative phase of my work and life. I have just pressed ‘send’ on the final delivery of Graeae’s ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ edit of the Live to Digital Capture that I produced for The Space whilst at Theatre Royal Stratford East. This will be going into cinemas  via the Cinegi distribution network later this year, and I am delighted to have been able to deliver this as part of my last project at Stratford East.

I am stepping down after nearly two years as Stratford East’s Digital Associate Artist to take up a new position as one of the directors of a new National Theatre Wales piece for their #NHS70 celebration project in July this year. I have already started on this and I am really looking forward to working with all the team in Cardiff and on the project in Newport. More info on this will follow in due course on the next stage of their launch for this project. As someone who used to work in the NHS many moons ago it seems like my creative paths have aligned for this project and I am really looking forward to it.

I will be sorry to leave TRSE, it has been an amazing family of creative practitioners over the time I was there, and the building and the people will always hold special memories for me as a director. The fact that I directed Antigone there as my last show before leaving Pilot as Artistic Director was a really great experience, and this led to the opportunities to develop my live to digital practice with the livestreams of shows into hospitals, hospices and Adult social care homes. Speaking about these initiatives across conferences in Europe led me to develop this work for Ramps on the Moon with their production of ‘Tommy’ and also for the more recent Graeae production of ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’

Since making  ‘The Knife That Killed Me’ – the feature film for Universal Pictures –  I have continued to develop this practice into working across the theatre, film and digital distribution space for audiences, and I know this is where my passion lies. So I am delighted to be able to be working on a new project, not only for National Theatre Wales, but also to be developing two new projects with Collusion, the Cambridge based company that works on the interface between Arts and Technology.

With Collusion I am working with new teams of artists across to develop two new public facing arts/tech engagement projects. These build on an R&D project that I was the lead artist on in King’s Lynn during last year. Again there will be more to let you know about these projects in the coming months. But in the meantime a lot of creative preparation is underway to deliver some new performance projects that will be totally brand new in every respect!

Also my work in Yorkshire was clearly not finished, as I will also be picking up on some work I did at the end of last year and as a result of this I will be returning to Harrogate Theatre as an Associate Artist, where we will be building some new large scale project ideas together, as well as developing some new live to digital opportunities for audiences across Yorkshire. I am looking forward to this too immensely. I have really enjoyed being back up North again, catching up with old mates and colleagues, and generally keeping in creative mischief.

So new doors and new opportunities are always exciting and positive, and I look forward  to being able to keep you posted about how the new creative projects are shaping up and developing.

The photo? I took it in Madrid this January when I was visiting my son who now lives there. It reminds me that wherever you are in the world – you have to keep moving the trash out of the way to make shift happen…


The opening 4 minutes of The Knife That Killed Me movie #TKTKM

29 Sep

Here is the opening 4 minutes of our new movie – written and directed by Marcus Romer and Kit Monkman – for Greenscreen productions in association with Pilot Theatre and  Premiere – with UK distribution by Universal Pictures

The Knife That Killed Me – based on the novel by Anthony McGowan

Trailer for The Knife That Killed Me #THISISWHATDEADLOOKSLIKE

19 Apr


The Knife That Killed Me is the new feature film made for Universal Pictures by Green Screen Productions in association with Pilot Theatre and Palace Pictures.

It is based on the novel by Anthony McGowan, and was adapted and directed by Marcus Romer (Pilot Theatre) and Kit Monkman (KMA).

The visual effects and post production was delivered by the University of York TFTV department

The film was produced by Alan Latham and Thomas Mattinson.

With support and help from Universal Pictures

More information on imdb here

Looking back / Going forward 13/14 #blogpost

30 Dec

This year was full of stuff – some great things and some less so. I don’t want to dwell on the crap bits or over expound the positives. I want to rather put a list together, with some pictures of things that have been important to me over the year. I am looking forward to 2014 with a renewed vigour and I am looking forward to creating interesting work with interesting people, and to spending more time with my family and friends who are so important to me. At times it felt as if several things were pulling me in different directions – but not quite as hard as the dog walker I managed to get a picture of in Buenos Aires…


So, in no particular order

1. Blood + Chocolate – was the most extraordinary project ever. It was the culmination of two years of planning and an intense nine months of preparation and pre-production, resulting in a truly great project – my thanks go to all the people of York who came on the journey with us and to the hard work of all the teams who made this possible – so a big up to Pilot and SlungLow for making it happen.


The full webcast video of the whole production is available on demand here to watch again Blood + Chocolate webcast

2. The Knife That Killed Me – This year we finalised the edit and did the test screenings at Universal Pictures and I am very much looking forward to this being in cinemas in 2014 as we move towards the release date. This has been the culmination of 5 years work since I first pressed ‘send’ on the first draft of the screenplay to the producers. I am incredibly proud of the work that the whole team put into this, to make this completely new feature film happen


The quality of each of the frames is amazing – considering that there are 137,000 of them – and each has been hand finished and has hand drawn artwork on each one…


Great hand drawn artwork from Stu Ord on all these frames and screengrabs


3. TED Conference 2013 – I had an amazing time in Los Angeles in February at the annual TED conference. Some standout talks and great moments and new friends made…Like here ‘California Dreaming’ in front of the Hollywood sign


One of the talks by Spoken Word Poet Shane Kocyzan is well worth a moment of your time.

4. Our house – the sale fell through after 6 months of messing about. Shift Happens, I know… I have now moved back in. I love this house. We may sell it this year, we may not. Either way I am not going to stress about it as we realise how fortunate and lucky we are.


5. Shift Happens V – again we ran this in York and a big thanks to the fantastic line up of speakers – a couple of stand out moments for me were the fabulous Jenny Sealey from Graeae…

and to Matt Mason VP of  BitTorrent who came over from San Francisco to join us in York

the brilliant Julia Unwin, CEO of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

and of course Elliot Barnes-Worrell

6. Twitter stuff – now whilst this is not really a big deal it has been one of the stranger moments this year – I read a post by a facebook friend which I adapted, thanked and tweeted. Turns out someone had done this earlier in the year too and I hadn’t seen it or was even aware of it. By that time it was too late – it went viral. I thanked all parties and then sat back and tried to fend off the 30k email notifications of each RT or favourite. I now know how to turn of those notifications btw…


7. A proud dad moment as our son Christy Romer graduated with a 2:1 from LSE.


8. And a finger selfie from Porto in Portugal as we crossed over the bridge to the old town was part of a great summer break too

photo 2

9. Where both Christy and Mills agreed to pose for their one annual picture for us, which was offley good of them…

photo 4

10. As proud moments go – this one of Susie on the BBC news – which was the first of her many live TV interviews in the course of her high profile job made me a very proud husband indeed

photo 3

11. So as I head towards our next programme of work which includes the No Boundaries Conference in February and then Pilot’s co-production with the Theatre Royal Stratford East, Derby Theatre and York Theatre Royal of a new version of Antigone adapted by Roy Williams, I feel very excited and privileged to be making this work…so watch this space for more updates and…


12. Onwards and Upwards my friends…

TKTKM – google number 1 hit

11 Aug

So here is the number one Google hit for The Knife That Killed Me….


This much I know…about making new stuff happen

25 Jul


1 Sometimes it feels like there is going to be a fight

2 Sometimes there is a fight

3 Sometimes there isn’t

4 Sometimes it relates to my thoughts from a previous blogpost

5 Sometimes it doesn’t

6 I often think of Channel 4’s tagline ‘Be First, Make Trouble, Inspire Change’

7 I love this. It is what we like to do too. What I aim to do all the time

8 Being first is making new stuff happen

9 This invariably makes trouble

10 It sometimes inspires change

11 This is good

12 But sometimes it makes numbers 1 and 2 happen

13 But mostly number 3 is the outcome

14 In doing so people on the sidelines like to shout and make a fuss

15 They like to tell you what you are doing, have done and will continue to do, wrong

16 They like to be vocal about these things

17 They like to make themselves feel better, because pointing out the things they think are wrong means that they feel right

18 Sitting on the sidelines is easy

19 Shouting and pointing out where you went wrong is the easiest job in the world

20 This is why they do it

21 It makes them feel important

22 It makes them feel like they imagine what it feels like to make new stuff

23 They are wrong. It doesn’t

24 They are often the ones who don’t make new stuff happen.

25 They are the ones who don’t put their heads over the parapet

26 The view is better from over the parapet

27 The air is clearer and fresher, and you get the full force of life in your face

28 It can be a lonely space to inhabit sometimes

29 You need to be up there with the people who are on your side – looking forwards

30 The view is way better and more exhilarating

31 From here you can’t really hear those on the sidelines , their voices become distant

32 From here you can see the next step and the route forward.

33 That’s what keeps you going

34 Make new stuff happen

35 You have nothing to lose. At all…

The image is taken from the opening of the feature film ‘The Knife That Killed Me’ a new movie for Universal Pictures by Marcus Romer, Kit Monkman and Thomas Mattinson

So what does a multi-platform theatre company actually do?

20 Jun

2013-06-18 10.51.55

As Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre, I can really see the evolution of the company and track its DNA right back its early roots and incarnation. Whilst, not being an original founder member I did work with Pilot as an actor back in the mid 80’s and it is where I got my Equity card, and where my career was started.

This has always been the ethos of the company, providing the opportunities for emerging artists and practice – where projects can be ‘piloted’ and tried out. So, contrary to some of our recent airplane-spotter followers on twitter, we are actually nothing to do with air travel at all…Rather the organisation that creates the ‘pilot episode’ or ‘pilot project’ where something is made or developed for the first time.

So what’s new? well that’s the question the team asks itself all the time. Not that we endlessly pursue the new and shiny stuff just because it is new and shiny, but with a real creative and artistic approach to innovation we are constantly asking ‘what is out there that we can work with to help us tell our stories more effectively’

So, in the next few weeks the range and diversity of our multi-platform work will become more apparent than ever before…

We open a new piece of theatre at York Cocoa House, called ‘Clocking In’ – this is a site specific and verbatim piece that tells the stories of the workers in the chocolate factories of York. It opens on June 24th and we perform it twice each evening, where you will also get a cup of hot chocolate…

This is part of our Blood + Chocolate project which we are working alongside SlungLow and York Theatre Royal. This is now in rehearsal and will be a citywide headphone adventure piece – utilising the skills of SlungLow and their technology. In October 2013 an audience of 300 each evening will move through the City of York whilst the community cast of 200 will uncover the stories of life, love and death in York at the start of the first World War…So our theatre storytelling across the city, working with a voluntary team of over 500 people who are working already on this amazing project – here is the Flickr group from the team of 31 photographers and their 600 photos of the project thus far.

The following week on July 3rd we screen The Knife That Killed Me for the cast and crew. This is the film that was made by Green Screen Pictures in association with Pilot Theatre and Premiere Pictures, Matador and with support from Universal Pictures. It was adapted and written and directed by Marcus Romer and Kit Monkman – with Producer Thomas Mattinson. We shot this on a greenscreen studio set in East Yorkshire in April / May 2012 and the post production and compositing has taken another 12 months to complete. We deliver the film at the end of June, and this is the first time that any of the cast, crew and Pilot Team will have seen the movie in a cinema. This is exciting stuff indeed.

The week after that on July 8th we launch or 5th Shift Happens conference – which is our version of TED for the Creative and Cultural sector – where International Speakers share their inspiring visions and thoughts for the audience – alongside great food and the best coffee in York. The speaker list and schedule is here – there are a couple of tickets left and you can book online on the links on here

So innovation and making shift happen has been at the core of our work here at Pilot – we are currently also working with the City of York Council – delivering the livestreams of their council meetings as part of their open democracy initiative. This is a key element for us. Where we recognise our civic role within the community in which we are based. We want to increase the engagement of all our audiences and create the opportunities to ‘pilot’ new ideas and projects. So, all our work from our theatre and performance, through to the innovation of the new movie and online projects, sit hand in hand with our ability to share thinking and ideas across the whole sector with our conferences and training.

You can also catch up every week with our #PilotLive livestream broadcasts via our Pilot-Theatre.TV channel on this and all our work.

So we look forward to working with you too very soon…