Thursday, 25 September 2008

Comics Scripting

Well, it's been a while since I've last wrote a few lines in this here semi-diary of uncanny writings...

On the 13th I went home and added a acouple more scenes to THE SHIFT. That thing is really going to get to 100 pages, I tell ya...

The following day (a sunday spent mostly outdoors...) I started revising the whole thing and wrote a bit more on THE IMMORTALISTS (I keep getting weird scenes and characters...) and a bit more on THE REMNANTS OF LOST DAYS (a long short-story...)

On the Monday I quickly revised the theatre play DOUBLE SIDED and sent it out to that competition. There was also a lovely event at streatham library that I helped host and organise (as part of the Graphic Novels Reading Group) with Helen McCarthy, Alex Fitch and Paul Gravett. It was a delicious talk on Osamu Tezuka and the wonders of Manga.
I also wrote a synopsis and bits of a short script called MOTHER'S MILK.

Because tuesday is just that kind of day, here came another short script (synopsis and a few scenes) called THE DEEPEST WHISPER. Together with MOTHER'S MILK these two are now part of a kind of sub-series within MONO. The main theme of these stories is love and just how deep it can go.
Also did some more reviewing on THE SHIFT.

Wednesday was "classics" day because not only did I do some more reviewing on THE SHIFT but I also wrote a synopsis and a few scenes for a BATMAN story. I won't tell you the title but I can tell you that it's more about Bruce Wayne and a weird psychologist than throwing punches into criminals faces...

On the thursday I went to Portugal for a short holiday. I actually managed to finish reviewing the whole of THE SHIFT and I realised that I need to review the whole structure of the thing. At least I have a plan for it. I'm gonna separate the whole structure into the various acts. Then organise them chronologically. Then redo the changes that didn't really work for me. Hopefully it will be closer to a final structure after all this is done!

On Monday the 22nd, on my way to Sao Martinho do Porto, to my parents house, I had an idea for a short story called LAND OF FOG. This came to mind simply because, as I arrived inside the coach, I observed that a thick whitish fog covered the whole bay area and the town around, even though everywhere else in the region it was sunny and bright. Talk about micro-climate, huh? So that's the story. A guy arriving to a sunny town only to find that the fog therein has some very interesting properties...

On tuesday I finished revising THE SHIFT and had a meeting with my good friend at TEATRO DO FRIO (Theatre Of The Cold), a theatre company based in Porto.
We had some dinner at Agito in Bairro Alto and talked about our lives, meditation, theatre, the play I had sent him - DOUBLE SIDED (which everybody in the company read! wow! that was REALLY unexpected!!) - and the project I've been invited to participate - RETALHOS (Patchwork).
Basically they've been performing for people throughout the country, presenting some short performances around the object SUITCASE. Then, after the show, they sit down with the audience and gather some of their stories of living abroad and so forth. The whole thing is taped so that a documentary is created. Then 10 of these stories, all with the object SUITCASE, will be selected and sent to 10 writers in order for them to write creatively on them. These will then be illustrated and published later on in the year. TEATRO DO FRIO itself will work on these 10 stories and create a performative piece with them that will then be presented to the public.

The thing that I really like about this project is the very simple and yet quite profound idea of turning popular culture into high art - and then returning this high art back into the people. Not only popular culture is being acknowledged by its worth, as a foundation for a sort of cultural sublimation but, in fact, a powerful bridge is being established between two usually opposing ends in culture. TEATRO DO FRIO is demonstrating that everybody can share human experiences and that boundaries can be actuvely used to break cultural and social gaps. It is as important for the intellectual to realise the depth and meaning of a "simpler life" as it is for those with "less education" to become acquainted with contemporary performative pieces. A contemporary working of a real cultural experience might just do the tricks and open up new, unexpected and highly important avenues. After all, as people use to say, we're all on the same boat. It's about time we got to know each other.

So, I'm really happy that I'm one of the lucky participants! October will be dedicated to produce a comics script/short story based on one of the gathered tales. November will be the month for the artist to draw it and december its publication alongside all the others.
I'll try and keep you updated on my progress...

Yesterday was a crazy day. I spent most of the morning with RICARDO CABRAL talking about this project and A VIEW OF THE MOUNTAIN, his amazing artwork, his upcoming book (you can see some of the stuff in THE ISRAEL SKETCHBOOK) and other things. Here are his two blogs.

He also wants to do something for a competition that brings THE OBSERVER, RANDOM HOUSE PUBLISHING and COMICA FESTIVAL together.

He's gonna draw something for me.
And then I'll write something for it.
And I won't know anything until the artwork's done...

I've already had a few ideas for this of course.
(what makes a theme so important after all??)
Maybe create a story perpendicular to the artwork. That is, only a panel or two actually touch upon the theme of the story.
Create a story that dips in and out of the artwork but, for the most part, doesn't have much to do with the visual tale.
Create a story which is conflicts with what's being shown. Like two dissimilar versions of the same thing.
Create a story that actually relates to what is being shown...
And do this in a kind of poetic form.
Don't think about it until you see the artwork, so stop worrying about it and finish all the other stuff instead. Better yet, start reading those stories and select the one you'll be working on...

(I have to keep telling myself these things or else I don't know what my head will start to think and do next...)

Today my plan is simply to type the alterations I've done to THE SHIFT. If I can finish them (which I doubt... it's already 1pm and I've been trying to finish this post since early morning...) I'll print out the whole thing, go home, add the new scenes and redo the structure.
If I can do it, then tomorrow THE SHIFT should be ready to surface in these here bloglands...


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