Learning On The Go
With my new time scheduling in place things continue to progress very well. I am however finding a tonne of issues relating to characters including their overall roles as well as realising that I wasn’t warming to anyone in particular. All of this would need to be looked at once I complete the first draft as it may involve adding scenes to further develop a connection with the characters of the story.
Dee and I joined some work colleagues in a London adventure where we visited Regent Street Cinema and attended a surf film festival. We’d been surfing once before so we were by no means subscribed surfers, however we decided it would be good fun never the less.
It turned out to be very educational for myself at least. It involved a series of short films (some seemed more like adverts to be honest) that were surf related.
There was one in particular that seemed to completely ruin Dee’s day. It was a long colourful trippy experience made by combining live by DJing video clips (loaded with visual effects) with live music. It was called Chasing Zero and I’ll be honest, although the music was cool, that show didn’t exactly get my juices flowing or make me want to go anywhere near a surfboard. Dee was more into suicide by the end of that one.
Of the other films though there was 3 that took my attention. One was a short film (advert) about an old man (Bruce Gold) who was homeless his entire life living off oysters from the ocean (which he’d sell and eat) and showering under waterfalls. He was so chilled out and clearly born to ride even in his exceptional age. Although this film was short it captivated me – I was engaged and wanted to know more. When it finished I was there thinking about how I wanted to know more about this guy. There should be 9 seasons of this detailing every aspect of his life. This is what I need for my novel. The ability to sell a charcater before you get to know anything about them. I’ll be looking into this video and working out both how they introduce the man and why I felt so engaged with him. So i’ll be watching that again a few times : https://vimeo.com/171306520
Next was another short film which I could describe as a perfect advert for surf. It combined epic slow shots of tumbling waves with legendary boarders performing exceptional tricks with an example of a young boy trying it out for the first time and riding his first wave by the end of the film. No crazy special effects, just great music with well positioned explanations all merged together to make anyone wanna get up and go surfing. The moment that boy stands and rides his first wave was the moment that it got me. Infact many from the audience yelled out their respects at this point. Again, lots to learn from this.
The final film was called forbidden trim. It was (in my opinion) the greatest film ever created. It covered all the bases that i’d been practicing which together build the framework of a film. It had a storyline that was easy to follow and had a superb mix of comedy and truly epic boarding. The special effects were exceptionally ropey (with the use of model helicopters and terrible green screening) to the point that it didn’t just make me want to go surf in some forgotten beach but it also made me want to get an ancient super 8 camera and film! Needless to say, Dee hated this film. Maybe it was a miss spent youth watching CKY pumping this film with nostalgia for me? Who knows. What I do know though is that it covered everything you needed to know about surfing and even detailed the transition from a non-surfer into a surfer, making friends and being sad to see them leave at the end.
Dee would argue it but I’m taking a lot from this film also.
Interestingly during the interval we met a few of the filmmakers. There was valuable lessons to be learned here too. I asked whether they made the films for themselves or for the viewers (which for some reason seemed to be a hard question for them to answer), and I also noted the difference between people and how some were great for promoting what they’d been working on whilst others seemed to not care. I feel it’s important to care.
All of this information will help me diagnose what’s wrong with my characters and make it right so that all characters can be loved, remembered and in death, missed. It’s also a lesson in how to be, when the novel is completed and i’m confronted by those who wish to ask questions. It’s all useful intake.