New Story or Filmmaking Mode 12/01/15
For ********* and *********** By Darrell Winfrey
Hey guys. I hope that you both had a most enjoyable Thanksgiving with your families. I actually had to work on Thanksgiving, so I didn’t go out of town with my wife and the girls. I definitely won’t be doing the same for Christmas.
I tried to keep this from growing too lengthy, but it is something that I am extremely excited about. What I am about to share with you has only been shared with 4 other people. This journey into interactive cinema has been long and quite challenging over the years. My goal has been to create something truly unique, and at this point, I am 100% certain that I have done just that. It represents the ultimate concept in experimental storytelling inspired by work done by two of my favorite filmmakers. That would be Alfred Hitchcock and Christopher Nolan (though I disagree with his stance on digital formats). I mentioned Memento in a previous memo, but it was probably just as important to mention Rear Window because of its similarities to my new storytelling mode. This mode can also be applied to just about any genre.
My desire to create something entirely new is driven by the fact that much of what we read or see on the screen is the result of rehashing or remaking prior art that found success. My new concept lets you actively change the character perspective from which the story is experienced at various points throughout the story. Mind you, the plots (yes plots) remain unchanged, but parts of the plot streams are revealed or hidden based on the decisions made. The result is one of the most dynamic storytelling modes ever created. The next part is what I have only shared with a select few.
One of my stories is partially published. It starts off as a conventional hero verses villain story. In its pure form (without enhancements) we witness an epic battle between immortals. As one might expect, the hero manages to eliminate the villain with the help of some brilliant and innovative humans. After ten years of living in a world policed by the hero, the human race is endangered because he has criminalized nearly everything. His morality has become more deadly than the villain ever could have been. The humans eventually find out that the beings are remnants of a world that was unintentionally destroyed by the “hero” long ago. The villain has been following him and creating enough turmoil to keep him busy so he does not destroy any other worlds. The humans realize that in order to save themselves, they must bring back their deadly enemy. As long as the hero is occupied fighting the villain, he is unable to turn his moral wrath on them. It is almost like the idea of a vicious predator. No matter how revolted by his actions you might be, the predator’s existence is necessary to maintain balance within an ecosystem.
That is, of course, result of one combination of perspective shifts. It is possible to make decisions that result in any one of the 3 major players in the story becoming the protagonist. In order to accomplish this, I am writing 3 intertwining stories. One is mostly finished and the others will be complete soon. The greatest challenge is how they are intertwined and determining what parts to hide or reveal when the perspective changes.
In a world where fresh ideas are lacking, I’m trying to do my little part. What I find troubling is the dearth of black science fiction writers. I am not necessarily looking to appear unique because I am one of only a few black artists writing science fiction. We are a very diverse group of people, and there many of us who enjoy science fiction and horror stories. The problem is that so few of us are producing films or literature in these areas. I know that a big part of this comes from the film and publishing industries. They believe that black people can only tell stories about “the struggle”, a comedic rendition of the black experience, or some other random urban theme. Don’t get me wrong, those uplifting voices are important, but those seem to be the only voices making it to the forefront. I simply would like to publish a really good and innovative story that many people can enjoy. It may not have a powerful message that uplifts my people, but my cultural background and experiences will naturally flavor such a story for those who feel that black artists are only capable limited points of view. All I know is that I have a voice that was birthed from the love of science and the paranormal, and that voice will definitely be heard in the years to come.