Sunday, 17 January 2016

Script to screen: Thoughts on story, the blue box words and beyond.

So, my initial ideas coming from these words were quite literal. Things that lacked an emotional through-line with which to draw the viewer through with. I was thinking about earth astronauts crashing into an off-world wax museum, An invasion force of aliens coming down to Madame Tussaud and being horrified - so much so that they would leave earth in a hurry. But to me, these things would almost seem easy, they would play out from A-B-C, end nicely and wouldn't fully explore these words in a satisfying way. It was almost pulpy, something that would be easily viewed but also easily forgot.

My mind flitted to Sci-Fi, perhaps Horror. But I think I knew that I didn't really want to go down that route, I wanted to go against what instinct/overexposure told me to do. Obviously there's a difference between wanting something to be endearing and actually achieving it, but my intent is definitely there.

Astronaut, was perhaps the easiest word of the three for me to work with. I can do that, its something that I have an interest in, Always I have these evocations about grand adventure, almost in a romanticized way. I think the grappling hook could well be as literal as I want it to be, perhaps not in design but in usage, for it is something which can either save a persons life, or help them attain an item or something, that otherwise eludes them by conventional attempts. So the only word that I had a problem in slotting with the others was the Waxworks.

Thankfully, after speaking to Phil, some form of story started slotting into...space. I discussed that I didn't want the astronaut to necessarily be human, or even humanoid for that matter. I mentioned the story of Laika, a Russian cosmonaut who happened to be a dog. She was used to test the impact of a launch and micro-gravity on a living body, this was to pave the way for human space flight. The sad fact is that they had no way to bring her back down, and indeed factored her death into things. That story has always stuck with me and in some ways I'd like to honor Laika.

In response to this Phil had a brilliant idea about involving a space dog being this 'unsung hero' of a mission. "This was it!" I thought.

I had my emotional through-line.

Now, The idea of the waxworks being the framing device for the whole scene came up, and this led me or Phil - I'm not sure at this point - along to the idea of a boy and his parents viewing a kind of "The evolution of space" displays wherein we see a suspicious display of a rather proud astronaut, and by his side an absence, a space where something was.

My story will center on that absence.

(I've also just worked out the name for the Dog, I thought I'd also honor another of my heroes, David Bowie, by calling him Ziggy, it just seemed so natural that I cannot seem to un-think this)

Currently I'm writing up a basic draft of the things we discussed after this, but I'm aware that this is a long post. I'll update tomorrow on further machinations.



1 comment:

  1. looking forward to seeing this develop, Joe :)