Samuel Beckett’s What Where

A few years ago I shot and edited this version of What Where by Samuel Beckett. I’m writing this post now because the work has just been made available for free online viewing.

What Where is very minimal and for that reason was exacting and quite involved from a technical point of view.

What Where was originally written for the stage and was adapted by Beckett for German television. Walter D. Asmus, who was assistant director to Beckett in adapting the work, directed this new production. Walter brought an intimate understanding of the process that Beckett went through in adapting the work and did a lot to make this the first English language version that is faithful to Beckett’s original vision.

The original production was shot in 1985, on an unknown video format. While the original is still compelling, perhaps because of the low-fi video, cameras have come a long way since 1985.  This is the first version of Samuel Beckett’s What Where in HD. The extra resolution had its pluses and minuses. Walter was ambalent about having the extra detail. I tried to bring back some of the analogue charm by adding a significant amount of noise to the image. There are subtleties and dimensions to the work that were not achievable with the technology that was available when What Where was first adapted for the screen.

As you’ll see from Walter’s comments in the documentary that follows What Where Beckett wanted to the figures to be as dark as possible. For this reason its much better to watch the film in a darkened space.

It was a pleasure working with someone as attentive and fastidious as Walter in creating this work. I hope you appreciate our efforts and those of everyone else involved in this production.