Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Hero's Journey

“wrap around” to the beginning of the next. (That sentence was continued from my last blog entry, used to signify the essentially cyclic nature of reality.) But enuff with the metaphysical gris-gris. Here’s the scoop on my new short film, The Ballad of Sinister.

I decided to go the road more traveled on this one, milking the old hero’s journey paradigm for all its worth. Sinister is a cloaked freak out to prove himself in a landscape of pain and terror. Ay, aren’t we all? With or without the cloak? The jury’s still out on if it’s a hood and cloak he wears or if his strange accoutrements are parts of his deformity, what with his ambiguous character design. You can check out how our protagonist looks, and see other previsualization art, at the vanity site for the project, www.balladofsinister.com. Don’t mind the broken links when you get there: it’s a work in progress. In fact, I just threw it up a couple days ago. But my intention is to get the framework there, so that, as production ramps up, I can update it with new and even more exciting content, thus building anticipation toward the release date.
Ah, release dates. Let’s talk about that for a minute. Anything I promise in terms of a release date is bound to be wishful thinking at this point. Here’s a very preliminary summary of the task ahead:
50+ unique characters
22 unique sets
28 sequences
122 shots
---and these numbers only stand to grow as production unfolds. So you see, it is an ambitious project, for a short. At a runtime of fifteen minutes, it is rather long for a short as well, but considering it is an “epic,” fifteen minutes is amazingly fast to tell a complex four-act story. I’ve been told to shorten it, by everybody (including myself), but there are two problems there: 1) it’s an epic. Epics are concerned with changes over long periods of time. Hard to give a sense of time passing and give justice to a subtle evolution in three minutes or less. 2) I’m bored with short shorts. In my spare time, I paint. And I can’t be bothered with small paintings either. I need to paint big paintings (5 ft at least). If it’s small, it doesn’t seem to justify the effort. So here’s my ironic justification for such a long short: even a short short would be tedious and difficult to make, so if you’re going to go that far, why not go one step beyond and create an epic? At least you’ll have something substantial to show when you’re done.

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