General notes re meeting w Caroline Feb 21, 2017 -
I had a very valuable meeting with my studio adviser today. We spoke a great deal both about the content of the story and about some practical matters.
Story notes Regarding the story, I was eager to get her input on her experience of the first draft of the screenplay. In general, she appeared to find it ‘dynamic’ and compelling.
One thing that she noticed was the effectiveness of the recursive nature of the wheatfield scene, lending itself to a place to add further dimension and as an effective interruption of the linearity of the story.
She also noted the deemphasis of the tarot cards in the work. I noted some of the practical challenges of addressing the tarot cards in the work.
I got the sense from her impression of the work that the basic movement of the character from a position of distress to being out of distress doesn’t yet convey the sense that the central character has a clear gain/gift from the process (let alone one that might be ‘giving’ to others, to larger culture (in the trans-cultural shamanistic tradition).
Also we spoke about the possibility to evidence more loving playful relationship between mother and son characters. I noted how I have already expanded slightly one scene to do so.
We talked a bit about the attention given to sound (and recurrent sound), as elements to que reader/ audience to different altered experiences of the central character and to help create sense of space. Caroline suggested I listen to recent NPR segment that had altered bat sounds.
We also spoke about some of the character name use in the screenplay and echoes she saw in this of the non-realism of German expressionism as far as the linking of certain characters, specifically Paine and Caine.
I mentioned in passing the planned importance of structuring of the ending of Felini’s 8 1/2 as an inspirational object.
Logisitics/research threads I updated her on casting possibilities: I was recently referred to a talented actor that, from discussion with colleague, I think could be positive addition to cast: I have also thought —encouraged by the discussion—to think about perhaps using in multiple roles ala Peter Sellers in Lolita.
In this regard, my resent research on the medicine wheel as a way to map narrative/map and its addressing the linking of masculine and feminine energies associated with the shamanistic tradition invite certain interesting casting possibilities to consider, i.e., on-realistic use of characters in multiple roles with an eye toward the ‘linking’ or commonality of certain expressed energies (e.g., dark mascquline [ the archetype being Darth Vader , one who had attained mastery but has not ‘learned’ love and attempts to compensate for it through absolute control ] . That particular energy is represented in the story by both Principal Paine (who appears in just one opening scene) and the more important/recurrent character, Dr. Caine.) This linkage perhaps could be exploited with having same actor in each role.
We spoke about a colleague who has some colleague who has worked with the area film fund that I am hoping may be a potential source of funding assistance as the work is being filmed in Guatemala.
On the more general research front: we also spoke about research of Robert Salopsky ––who makes connections between parallels between the meta-magical thinking of dominant religions and the schizotypal experience. His work stresses the importance of context, i.e., see a bush on fire that speaks to you in the wrong context and one is deemed insane; see it in another context and one gets a holiday on your birthday. He also talks about the apparent evolutionary benefit of schizotypal disorder in that, we as a species,-counterintuitively—appear to select for it, rather than ridding ourselves of the genetic propensity towards it. He suggests this has perhaps some connection to the physiological benefits associated with the comfort both psychologically and perhaps socially religion gives one. Aspects of this will be added in revision to script: made more explicit in the exposition given to ‘the good doctor’ in his initial tutoring of the main character about his condition.
Regarding my research towards getting a sense of the cross cultural elements that appear consistent to all known shaman tradition, I mentioned the work : Power Path Training by Jose Luis Stevens and Lena Stevens, which I have food valuable in this respect.
Caroline mentioned artist whose work may be valuable to add as contribution. I noted that these works (inspired by mathematical expression) might be useful as accompanying images accompanying credits and/or as artifacts embedded in the narrative, artifacts created by main character. On this note, we spoke about my previous hesitation about providing the main character a form of artistic expression within the narrative: 1. this might cause ‘dramatic leak’, in that audience might dismiss some of the nonrealistic elements as simply the artist diegetic expressions of main character; 2. having a clear artistic ‘outlet’ would alleviate some of the narrative / psychological tension that the main character presently shoulders in the narrative.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!