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October 15 Posting

Test footage and Process

1. Universe. Screenshot. Digital Video. Greenscreen.

2. Dream. Test footage. :28 seconds. Digital Video. Mixed Media.

3. Dreamface. (white background). Digital Image. Processed with Google Deep Dream.

4. Dreamface. (green background). Digital Image. Processed with Google Deep Dream.

5. Dreamface. (with background). Digital Image. Processed with Google Deep Dream.

6. Testing 1 split. Digital Image. Digitally processed to emulate analog film.

7. Testing 2 whole.

Digital Image. Digitally processed to emulate analog film.

8. Empress. Raw unedited test footage. Greenscreen. 1:59 minutes.


Project Notes

Narrative form

A central focus of my immediate work has been researching narrative form. I am certain that if I want to experiment formally with the project, it will be essential that there is a tight, cohesive narrative structure to guide the viewer and to act as magnetic glue for the content. The goto work I have been using is the late Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat Goes to the Movies, the sequel to his Save the Cat. I have spent a lot of time with narrative previously and I am finding it a good repository to scaffold these thoughts together. The work lays out certain basic narrative forms, e.g., ‘rites of passage,’ ‘golden fleece’ adventures, etc. and charts out their basic narrative structure, illustrating the form through examples in popular film. I have been studying these in dialog with viewings of some of the examples. While not generally thematically related to my project, the accompanying viewings (ranging from Three Days of The Condor, Freaky Friday (1973) to Forty Year Old Virgin ) have been valuable as I chart out narrative. I have also had some screening more related to my project, including the Italian Fantasy Tale of Tales at the Athens International Film Festival, the Experiment, Babadook, the Snake Pit (1948), and Love and Mercy (about Brian Wilson [of the Beach Boys addressing his experience as diagnosed --perhaps incorrectly—as schizophrenic).

The Save the Cat paradigm helped me recognize the basic narrative of my project as a ‘rite of passage’. While it has elements of many of the other forms, this basic frame will provide some guidance as I structure the work.

I am sticking pretty close to my initial planning schedule which allows significant time for research and pre-writing. Next is completion of script outline.

Some basic elements that I wish to incorporate are the bardos as a basic device as we move through his (magical/psychotic) episodes. The bardos have a basic built in narrative of struggling with illusion and eventual return to wholeness which will work well for the piece as it mirrors the basic story as I have framed it. The author’s work places much greater emphasis on Tarot cards as narrative spaces—I hope to keep the spirit of this but am leaning to placing the emphasis on the journey in and out of the bardos.

Production agreements

Have been spending a good deal of time connecting with the author to work out the details of option agreement. His central concern is being able to have assurances that work is being done (to get to see something in a shorter time than initial draft agreement stated: 18 months rather than 3 years.

Upcoming research

From the consideration of form, I plan to move towards content, examining research about schizoid disorder cases studies and patient-created artifacts. While I do not plan to do extensive research sufficient to provide a realistic depiction of one diagnosed with the disorder, I do want to have a general sense of the ‘typical’ experience and will also be keeping an eye out for narrative elements that might feel good to add.

Other distractions

Have been doing publicity for the Let’s Get Social Book, including interview for article, writing a couple of short blog essays. Also, doing some work on the Transnational Horror book now under contract, and some other educational tech writings, along with professional responsibilities as tech faculty and associate editor duties at journal Research in Disability Studies. A key focus next month is creating a schedule of inviolate work time for developing my practice.

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