Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Subjective Storytelling

The last Concept Development project that I completed was... interesting. We had to take a sort of different approach to how we told a story. Rather than the straightforward, linear fashion that we normally worked in, we were told to tell a story through metaphor and aesthetic shift. We had to pitch three story ideas and with the help of the class, choose one.

My first idea was one that I did not even have an idea for until I dreamt it up quite literally a couple days before the pitch. It was a strange dream that was nothing but color and had this sickly, man creature thing as the focus. To try to make sense of it, I drew up the character and gave him more of a consistent design than the vague one in my dream and sort of molded a very underdeveloped, pre-existing storyline around him and this dream. The long and short of it is that I created this alternate universe that is basically technicolor outer space. It's populated by various creatures called Sparks and each individual one represents an emotion or idea, etc. The story for my class focuses on the Prince Spark. For my own sake of this story that didn't need to be told for class, he is the Prince of this world. He is the embodiment of the child's disposition. He works through the seeing crystal pictured here and watches over the children of the world. He tries to make them happy, but that doesn't always happen. When a child is beyond his power, he becomes terribly sick. This piece is heavily based on emotion and showing them through color.

Idea two was based off of a theme from one of my original stories that I've been wanting to play around with for a while. It started with specifically Vin (from the thief project) and the audience experiencing delusions with him until ultimately, they drive him to kill himself. For the pitch, though, I made it a LITTLE less specific and just wanted to visualize insanity and the twisted belief that death is the only salvation from it. You can guess that no one really wanted to touch it when I told them about it.

My third idea was probably my least enthusiastic, but I pitched it because I was willing to see what kind of suggestions everyone would make to try to make it better. It was originally made to be an idea to pitch for my senior thesis, but I think I'm going to lean away from it. Anyway, the story is about a dollmaker's cat, Ollie (can anyone guess the reference?), and his want to be just as talented and versatile as any human is. Thinking that what they are is in their clothes, he tries on various doll's clothes and has fantasies of himself in each occupation depicted by the clothing. He eventually comes across a circus ringmaster's costume and goes into a more elaborate dream about being a ringleader.

The winner ended up being Prince and his story, though I was now faced with the challenge of explaining this universe I made up AND his particular story in a matter of 30 seconds. We had to do two variations of the same story, but both were still very difficult. Still, I had fun and doing this project helped me see exactly what my issue is when it comes to storytelling: I over complicate things. Still, by doing this, it's helping me figure out how to simplify not just this story, but all my other ones. If I can get this simple enough, a better version of Prince and his story will probably show up in my list of thesis pitches.

1st Variation:


2nd Variation with music from "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe":

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