In response to the first class focus group session, I felt that each character required a detailed description as the students who looked over my scripts did not see the extremes in each of the characters. When classmates read through my scripts, I recall that they seemed unclear as to why the language was so over-theatrical. Without any background knowledge, Beecroft and Melanie, to new readers, could well have been ordinary and everyday folk. These group sessions definitely inspired the need for further explanation.
Subsequent group activities have also brought about Melanie’s name. In explaining to my peers of her malevolence, one classmate suggested that I call her Melanie… ‘Melanie the Malevolent’. From here, I began to think about villains that I could model her on further such as Ivan the Terrible. Though, I felt that Melanie would be closest to Shakespeare’s Lady McMeth (1606) for her greed and manipulation, accompanied by the brutishness of Charles Dickens’ Bill Sikes (1838). Spielberg’s Biff Tannen was the inspiration for her owning the police and the sadomasochism is attributed to James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s Saw (2014).
Scene 1 – Beecroft’s Exit Scene
This is the opening scene which is set up to be the catalyst for the rest of Beecroft’s story.
I have stayed fairly true to the script when producing the audio artefact however, the print at the head became a voice of God narration as I felt that these were essential details that an audio piece could not illuminate.
As it was initially written for a visual medium, there are still some minor textual remnants that would require a camera. For example,“A 30 year old tycoon dressed in Sass & Bide arranging plastic flowers. She is, slick, confident, beautiful though, she is as mad as a cut snake” (p. 1). This big print demands either vision or narration and despite using neither, I left them in there just in case I was to change my mind as to which form I would use at the eleventh hour.
I have purposely left the copyright © symbol in the script to emphasise how so much, of what constitutes as a human experience, has been privatised. The world’s artificiality is something that I feel comes across in this script as well as the audio artefact and I feel that it is here, at this tonal intersect, that the two texts speak to each other.
It was my hope that the words and the images that they symbolised, inflicted a dirty, painful, visceral sensation in the consumer. I wanted people to wince as many did when I played the class Anaal Nathrakh’s Pandemonic Hyperblast (2001) for my first class presentation. Though, having pushed this tactic of eliciting a reaction in the audience as far as what I regard to be a rich learning experience, I feel as though I can move on from the grotesque for now.
Scene 2 – Beecroft Meets Hailey
As Beecroft begins the process of escape and codependency recovery, he stumbles upon the Free-Thinker Hailey, a jovial 30 year old gardener who later introduces Beecroft to the Free-Thinking minority.
Regardless of the fact that this scene was the first I wrote for this world, I feel that it is less groomed than the other work for this focus. Since I passed it over to class mate Brydan to have a read over it in week 2, I have felt somewhat disconnected from it. Though it’s worth noting that, since week 2, I have engaged with new writing concepts and eschewed earlier writing habits, my knowledge of writing for world and place has advanced further than I could have imagine. So in a way, I have grown out of this scene so to speak but this needn’t be the case. In order to reconnect with this scene and Hailey moreover, I believe that further workshopping with peers could be the answer as this is an important sequence and I’d be loathed to discard it.
The synopsis underwent several manifestations until one night, I sat down for half an hour and smashed-it-out so to speak.
I was surprised how much I second-guessed the synopsis. On one hand, I wanted to deliver a nuanced description of the world, yet on the other, I was set on succinctly explaining the synopsis as though I was talking to a child. There were several variations though all shared the same goal of exposing Beecroft as a lying cheating fiend… which is an indirect comment on the dangers of gullibility.
In this writing process, a new character emerged, Gail whom I imagined as having a pivotal role in crystallising my premise of deception. As Gail is a last minute addition, I have withheld expanding on her character for now. My main focus was to have people sympathise with the protagonist but at the end, feel betrayed.
Overall, I have enjoyed being creative and have relished reading up on villains and tragedies. I drew inspiration from Macbeth (1606), Metropolis (1927), Oliver Twist (1838) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
Jean-Luc Godard’s film Bande à Part (1964) is a key inspiration for the stylised elements of my audio piece. Like with Godard’s production, I have attempted to blur the lines between diegetic and non-diegetic sound. This is to contribute to the item’s awareness of its artificiality. Ultimately through my production, I hope to highlight dishonesty in my work and in turn evoke an overall mistrust in the media as a whole.
Melanie – Anneliese Milk
Beecroft – Daniel Bowden
Music score ‘In Dust’ written and performed by Daniel Bowden
[For further reflective commentary, please see the below blog link posted May 2o, 2017]
– Anaal Nathrakh 2001, Pandemonic Hyperblast, CD, FETO, UK.
– The Daily Script, viewed 30th May 2017, <http://www.dailyscript.com>
– Demme, J 1901, The Silence of the Lambs, Orion Pictures, USA.
– Dickens, C 1838, Oliver Twist, Richard Bentle, UK.
– Godard, JL 1964, Bande à Part, Anouchka Films Orsay Films, France.
– Screen Australia 2009, What is a Synopsis? Screen Australia, Australia, viewed 25 May 2017, <https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/getmedia/ae5708a4-05d9-4db0-b5fb-4f999fdfed57/What-is-a-synopsis.pdf>
– Lang, F 1927, Metropolis, Erich Pommer, Germany.
– Shakespeare, W 1606, Macbeth, UK.
– Zemeckis, R 1985, Back to the Future, Amblin Entertainment, USA.
Greenblatt, S 2002, A special letter from Stephen Greenblatt, viewed 25th March 2010, <http://mla.org/scholarly_pub>
Declaration and statement of authorship