Received valuable and thoughtful feedback from initial sharing of 1st part of step outline with crit group members.
Summary notes of some of main ideas drawn from the feedback comments:
On structrual from, JP reminded me Vogler's interpretation of Joseph Cambell's hero's journey, something I noted was close to my heart and definitely narrative is mapped to stay in dialogue with it. He also provided a useful suggestion re creating a visual narrative wall map from large butcher paper.
There were a few different work that members suggested I check out, including Donnie Darko, Melancholia, Bee Season, and some clips were provided from a VR segment and from Kirosawa's dreams ( which provided a compelling reminder about incorporating non-realistic spaces – – I continue to think about most practical way to do that when I enter production.)
Jacob's Ladder, which is an influential work for me, was also mentioned. I have noted that I need to be careful not to borrow to heavily from it as I am definitely borrowing much of the visual vocabulary from a particular scene in Jacob's Ladder for a portion of act one.
The process of sharing this portion of the outline has helped me be increasingly aware of audience experience. It was useful to get a sense of questions that popped up for readers and points that captured their attention. This was very helpful in both my gauging audience experience and my getting a sense of which narrative 'plants' are being recognized and are of general interest.
It also helped me gauge where some information that I wanted to 'plant' gently might have been overstated, giving me an opportunity to 'blur' its clarity and let it have a slower reveal, e.g., the first appearance of experience in the father's study.
There were on the other hands places where better clarity could be presented, e.g., about Arkin's relationship with magic, how he is perceived by others at school.
Overall, it was good to get a sense that the 'plants' and questions presented seem to create interest in viewer to carry on and learn more. In general, it seems I have been able to --at least from this feedback--achieve my desire of wanting to balance a bit of generating curiosity through disorienting the user with enough clarity to keep them engaged and moving forward.
There were also questions about how far the work will delve into the metaphysical. Regarding consideration of metaphysics and the psychic realm, I noted that am very interested right now in a movement in psychiatry and psychology that reconsiders the way that voices and hallucinations are considered, seeing them as important links to the inner life and hurt/trauma of person (and--at the very speculative edge of the discipline --a possible link realms we call psychic). At present the work is grounded in the realm of looking at the phenomenons presented as psychological response to early trauma, with some question left about other possibilities.
There was some mentions of members noting the visuality of the work and some recognition of the contrast/transition of scenes presented being effective.
There were also useful reminders of how aspects of the work will cue expectations in the audience associated with the horror genre and that I should be conscious of how to best leverage that.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!