I created Tonks Big ride for one main reason. I fell in love but we were forced apart after only a few months; she returned to America and I returned to London England. The story was intended to communicate one thing; to remind her of the kind of magic that exists in love and its relationship to our shared obsession with the single crystal ball. The process of creating the video was simple… it just ‘says’ what I felt. Looking back though, there was another reason why I had made the piece. I had many questions about how manipulation techniques could be used to tell a story; how one could communicate more than just ‘to impress and amaze.’ I beleive that in circus, like in any theatrical discipline, if there is no story for an audience to hold on to, then there is nothing.
The video was storyboarded, shot and edited over a 48 hour period during Ryan’ stay at his parents house during the 2004 winter in Vancouver, Canada. He created it with an Olympus Digital Photo Camera which had a ‘video’ feature which allowed it to record 10 seconds of low-resolution 15 frames-per-second video. Desperate to get a message out, he locked himself in his room (the very room he had grown up in as a teenager,) covered a corner of the room in black sheets, set up desk-lamps as ‘studio lighting’ and set to work. 2 days later he emerged from his room, uploaded the video to contactjuggling.org and soon the girl in question had seen it (along with nearly 20,000 other people.)
Tonks Big Ride has been screened at several circus festivals in England and Canada as part of live performances.
The tree featured in the last scene was found and carried home by Ryan when he was 15. It has lived in his room for a decade and he never knew what to do with it until this video.
Plans for a sequel were made. Early video tests for new creatures were done and the storyboard was created, but due to laptop crash the data was lost
The ‘girl’ hand-puppet has been nicknamed ‘Tink’ by members of ContactJuggling.org
Inspiration for the puppetry was taken from Lunatique Fantastiques online video collection
Ryan shot the video by himself. When there were 2 hands in the shot, the camera was either sat on a stand inbetween his arms or attached to a special base which he held in his mouth.