Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Prismatic Perspective, and other things

Building on last nights madness, Tim and I talked about what happens at the scene of an accident: everyone who sees it has a different view. Same if you have the same overall story, but tell it from the perspective of a different character or characters, or, tell it in a different genre where different elements are emphasized. We talked about Star Wars, Episode IV, and V as an example. If you told IV from Han Solo’s perspective, it might come off as a noir action story of damnation and redemption. Kind of like the washed up detective takes one last job and is converted and renewed in the process. If you told it from the Stormtroopers, you’d get the fan film “Troops” (heh!). If you told it from Leia’s perspective, you’d have a political thriller. I started imagining Star Wars IV, done from Solo’s first person point of view, prior to running into Luke and Obi Wan. He’s sitting in the Cantina thinking: Crap, double Crap, I owe Jabba fat loot, there’s a bounty on my head, I’m stuck on a planet that farms the arid air for moisture, in a bar that serves blue milk. I am so totally screwed. And then, in walks Obi Wan and Luke, where shortly thereafter, the bar patrons are treated to a sign of Jedi Hospitality (read Death and Dismemberment), and then said Jedi hires out the Falcon. I think if you went all first person Solo it would be a riot. It would be the Star Wars equivalent of After Hours, or A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. In music, arrangements and transposition of standard pieces is the norm. Tim told me about this Japanese Film: Rashemon (I ‘m sure I spelled this wrong). It’s a police procedural set in Feudal Japan, and it’s about the same event, told from multiple viewpoints. I’m going to have to get my hands on a copy and watch it, sounds like just the ticket right about now.

I think many of the locked room mysteries, and the Hercule Poirot (I know I butchered that one) stories have elements of many views of the same event, that require convergence to find truth. Deb Dixon, in her workshops, talks about the dual protagonist romance and making sure that the author knows “Who’s story” it is that they are writing. “You can’t love all your babies equally” she continues. Then I think of movies, of McKee, of what message you’re trying to get across. And I think of the difference between a written, spoken, sung, signed message, and that your story could be arranged in many different structural formats – so you pick the one that suits the message the best. Makes it most clear. But like Picasso, it’s fun to play with perspective.

I watch these strange parodies of movies done by a character called Greg The Bunny. He is a plush puppet. Seth Green, the guy who played Oz in Buffy, is Greg’s human roommate. There were some shows about Greg the Bunny, now they just do these movie shorts. Which are amazing. Again, strange point of view, strange arrangement. I’m getting the same when I listen to folks sing on SuperNova, with inventive and often times disturbing cover arrangements.
So I still wonder, what it might be like to take the same macro-story concept, same characters, and mix it up.

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