Project Brief 4
I found the approach of the studio rather different to my previous screenwriting experiences. Instead of finding a voice and personality for characters and working primarily from narrative or dialogue, this studio was about creating a world then bringing characters to life through the limitations and internal logic of that world.
I found the concept a little disconcerting as I primarily work from an understanding of character, their backstory, motivations and the ethics and belief systems that drive them.
I found I intuitively constructed the rules and logic for my ‘worlds’ or environments without overtly considering the parameters and the effects the rules and limitations of a ‘world’ may have on a character.
I found this novel approach useful in my own project . A mind mapping exercise was useful in expanding the potential different places I could tell my stories. I could break down each episode into smaller bite-size tales, and the telling of a long history of the Vietnam war became a series of manageable short interconnected human experiences.
I began with a bar as a location for a short tale when a journalist comes back from combat to the safety of Saigon and tells his friends of an incident which unsettled and shocked him.
I had heard a sound recording from the field and wondered how to tell it while maintaining authenticity, keeping focus on the reportage methods of the journalist, and taking the telling of the tale out of the field of combat. I wanted the series to have a human focus, and of course action. Realistic budget considerations precluded a lot of expensive combat action. I always wanted the photographs and archival footage to be an important component or the base around which the episodes revolve.
These smaller worlds would tell a great deal about the journalists relationship to locals, express their views of the war, reveal their characters and their relationships with the military and the authorities.
I thought of many small worlds where stories could be told. Tales of subterfuge, exciting tales full of danger, of love, of friendship, of loss, of friendship and camaraderie.
In temples, in homes, in laneways, in fields, on the road, in homes, drinking, fighting, loving. In schools, in taverns, in the darkroom, in the edit suite, in the news agencies, in military briefings, in trucks…the possibilities were endless, manageable and exciting.
The nature of this project requires far more development than is possible in a semester but I am excited by the possibilities and potential this studio has opened for me. Feedback from my fellow students has been of great value to me and I look forward to pursuing some ideas their collaboration has engendered. I look forward to constructing many other little worlds to tell the exciting tales of an exciting era. Tales waiting and needing to be told.
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