It took me just about a year to write my pre- Yael Farber Crucible post, and just 30 minutes to post something after viewing. There’s much to say about the production, ( my take on most of the play was not changed, but rather affirmed, in many cases and I found the production and Armitage powerful and gripping- it was worthwhile, and it will be better next time. I have some criticism. I have to acknowledge the limit of even a well-edited film over what was the live production – for example, Proctor off screen when I wanted him on screen – for valid reasons). I will write about it. But first, I’ll share “the viewing experience,” which may only exceed someone watching on a cell phone while walking.
Read this in the mood in which it was written. Eventually, it turned quite humorous – but not exactly what I was looking for when watching The Crucible for the first time. It was more like A Comedy of Errors. I’ve had only about three dreams in which Richard Armitage appeared, and in the latest, it was one of those dreams where I couldn’t get where I wanted to go, and he was in that place. It was prescient.
Digital Theatre at home is the only way I’ll be seeing the Crucible on Screen.
I’m going through this part fast, because it’s boring. It took 6 hours to download the HD version, and then, the box under the download box said ” verifying.” Verifying, for a very long time. And then it said, ” 0 of 3 HD.” Huh? Nothing I could do would change this. I was directed to again download. ( What – another 6 hours?) I located The Crucible file in my computer – it was an MPsomething. VLC said it was 4 – SD- 3hrs. 19 mins. It wouldn’t appear in the DT Desktop Viewer and no other program I had would open it. ( I know sometimes there are issues with HD vs. SD and whether HD will play or not, but I assumed DT had that covered. I feel a credit coming.)
Meanwhile, I’d had the laptop hooked up to the TV for hours. No problem.
I quickly shot off a few emails and tweets to Jonathan Ware at DT Support, together with screen shots, and decided to stream the play over the internet and look for a response and solution later. I stream a lot here, and I only get buffering sometimes.
This was one of the those times. For the first hour of the play, it buffered for very short spurts about every ten minutes. I saw some weird screenshots.
Then the connection from laptop to TV became a little wonky and I had to fiddle with it to get the picture back on.
Then, the weed whacker next door started up.
The buffering stopped.
Then weed whacker shut up.
The screen went dead.
I checked every connection until I realized that there was no electricity.( This is Mexico). Just before I called the landlord, it came back on.
Now, I’m somewhere in Part II.
When the electricity returned and I was hooked up again, the DT screen would not allow me to play. I had to log out on line and log back in, and then start over, fast-forwarding to my lost place.
It’s been raining here for 3 days, which made watching in the afternoon a lot easier.
So of course, the sun came out.
Then the sun went away and a rooster starting crowing.
The doorbell rang and it was a worker who was coming to take away the furniture on which my TV sits, because I want it freshly lacquered or varnished. I sent him away.
Then a no-rooster bird started cawing – most unpleasant.
Then my landlord and her own worker came to check out some leaks. I begged them to return later.
Acts III and IV went quite smoothly. all things considered.
Digital Theatre will be up in a few hours and I’ll straighten out the download problem. Meanwhile, I’m going to stream it again, in bed, under the covers, with my electric blanket and a heater on, right through the laptop, and maybe, with something on the side, liquid and amber to warm me up.
21 thoughts on “No Charity for Perry Watching The Crucible.”
It seems you are not the only one having difficulties, although losing power and interruptions seem to be unique problems. I can’t watch until the weekend (too much work!), so maybe there will be less demand on the site by then.
LOL! Reminds me of the time I tried to cook a 4-course Mexican dinner for 16 in Africa with the electricity crashing every 20 minutes. Except the ultimate goal wasn’t so sweet. 😉
I’m watching tomorrow night.
Hello Delusional! A Mexican dinner in Africa sounds intriguing and challenging. I want to know more.
If you get an answer to the download problem, I’d love if you would share it, because I have the same problem. I did a “test run” in January by purchasing an HD download of “Private Lives”. I first downloaded the DT Player, then I downloaded the file, as per the instructions. I thought the DL would automatically go to the DT Player. It didn’t; instead it showed up as a VLC file, which is my default player. I could not change it, no matter what I tried. I emailed DT, and after about a week, I heard from Jonathan Ware, who told me what to do — except his instructions were the same ones that are on the website. I have uninstalled and reinstalled the player five times; I downloaded the file again — nothing was different. I purchased The Crucible this evening, and paid strict attention as I downloaded it — same result. It is a VLC file. I can only stream the downloads — they buffer and the HD also fades in and out. Also, I have to do it through the website, as clicking on the player icon brings it up in the middle of my computer screen, with no way to expand to full screen. JW told me to go to the icon on the bottom right, except none of the playback control stuff is there — only on the website. So frustrating!! I want that download in the DT Player, so I can watch it offline. I told JW that it showed up as a VLC file, but he didn’t address that in his response. I now have two downloads on my computer that are useless because they cannot be opened. If you get an answer to this issue, I’d be ever grateful if you would pass it along. I can’t believe we are the only two having these problems. Many thanks. Oh, and my DT viewer shows “Downloaded 1 of 3”, whatever that means. I guess it’s better than “0 of 3”. 🙂
Doggedly plowing through all those hassles to see Mr. A. is the sign of a true fan. I know from similar experiences of my own. But I’m looking forward to your discussion of the differences between live and screen. There must be some potential advantages to screen other than simply being able to watch it again. Such as viewing from different angles or having closeups. But were those advantages realized in the direction of the screen version, or is it a static recording from one viewpoint?
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not at all the static recording from one viewpoint 🙂 There are angles and close ups plenty but i’m interested to see how it feels it feels to first time viewers 🙂 Especially where they felt maybe they would have wanted to see a different image in screen..
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Yes, a filmed version is the creation of the director and there are many choices to make!
I did not have the opportunity to see it live, but from mountains of reviews and reactions that I’ve read, and clips that I’ve seen, my main disappointment ( though expected) was that the use of close-ups on screen prevented me from seeing how other characters were reacting to what was happening and to the characters speaking. So for example, if character A, say Rev. Hale is speaking, I can’t see how or whether Proctor and Elizabeth are looking at each other, giving signals, worried, or how they’re reacting to what Hale is saying. Whether in the round or not, live theater lets you see everyone at once, or at least choose where to look.
Yes, that is a good point. In my experience, theater too is limited by one’s choice of where to look (and where one is seated), but you have the ability to go back for multiple shows, in order to observe different viewpoints and actors. It’s very satisfying, if one can afford the time and money. For those who cannot, I wish every major play was video recorded as a document of the event, even if only in static mode.
I agree. I’d rather see a video version than nothing, or in addition to the live experience. It’s just that in this case, I’m more invested and I know that a wider camera angle at times might have given me more ability to read the characterizations.
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Saw the film at Cinema Nouveau in Pretoria, South Africa on Sunday, and loved it- but having seen it at the Old Vic, once again appreciated the value of live theatre.
o dear lord… what a story of obstacles and frustrations :-S I do hope you can sort out the download itself soon, hopefully by today the server will be less busy than yesterday… I’d say if you can better to wait 2,3 more days until you can sit through it completely uninterrupted, it will be worth it i promise 🙂
Man, you are really suffering for your art… or obsession 😉 (meant without any offense – I am *right* there with you). Hope it’ll all complete downloading and stabilizing today so you will get an uninterrupted viewing of TC. (I won’t even download yet – no dosh.)
Still waiting to hear from tech support. This is the longest they have ever taken. Meanwhile, I did watch it again last night through streaming, so all is not a total loss.
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Both angles covered. I like it.
You seemed to have experienced more aggravation than most that I’ve read about!
I decided to leave it for a day before trying but couldn’t even download the DT Player. Tried at least 6 times but kept getting an error message there was a file fault, so emailed the support people and am still waiting on a reply.
I know I sound like a luddite but how much simpler it would be just to be able to buy a DVD!
Another small gripe – the prices advertised in £ do not include VAT (value added tax) so in reality the final price is another 20%, as I discovered at the check out which is a bit naughty. Normally UK prices for retail products always include the VAT. Whinge over!
Here’s hoping for a more positive download session tomorrow!
And P.S. – I can hardly blame DT for the crowing cock, the loss of power or my wonky cable to TV connection – or even the buffering.
No, VAT is showed in the recepit they sent me but the price is VAT included, at least for me in euros. I paid the advertized prize. How much did you pay?
I finally had success today/ I reinstalled the player and then did the download, which took only 2 hours compared to 6 – it worked fine. Not sure what the problem is downloading the player. DT support silence ( never heard from the – or not yet – and they usually so good about it) makes me think DT got a whopping great response to the release.
They were very quick yesterday in replying and fixing the subs issue. The CC weren’t in synch, they sent me a fixed file to replace the wrong one. Quick, kind and efficient. I suppose the very first day they were a bit crowded with supporting requests 😉
Weed wackers, roosters, cawing crows… LOL. I couldn’t help but giggle. After all this time waiting, then a comedy of errors. =) Seeing it live was occasionally frustrating in the way that you mention, though… at times, other actor’s were in the way, blocking my view of Proctor, or he might be turned in a different direction. Yes, that can be overcome by attending multiple times and sitting in multiple locations, but then you know that there are sure to be different facial expressions as the actors play off each other and the audience from performance to performance. All in all, I felt that most of MY most memorable of Proctor’s moments were included in the DT version. Like Hariclea, I’m really eager to hear what first time viewers emotional or visceral response was…
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