Okay, so it’s now January (Happy New Year and all that), but I’ve finally put together some more Underwater Realm backstory.
So, Dave sold me on five short scripts and we had a brainmelting session on possible ideas for the stories. I lost track of the project for a bit (my day job unfortunately takes a lot of my attention) while Dave and Jon developed the scripts for the shorts from those five initial ideas.
The next milestone in the project was the Production Meeting at the end of April 2011. This brought together the core Realm Pictures team with the talented heads of department needed to make these films a reality. Oh, and I was there. Mostly to drink wine.
Alongside the practical business of how to build a Spanish galleon, we spent a great deal of time working through what makes Atlantean culture and how it could fit in with the actual history and mythology of the Mediterranean. A large potion of this was figured out in the pitch black of a Devon night, while I tried to blindly write it down.
Some of the key notes from that meeting that have lasted through the development process thusfar include:
Pre-Fall: “They lead the world – teachers + philosophers. Like Elves, like Star Trek.”; “Giving culture through missionary – to Crete and Egypt.”
The Fall: Ideology shift – “By conquering, we can enforce our ideals to make the world a better place”; “physical disaster to parallel their idealogical cataclysm”
Post-Fall: “Gondor. Decrepit. Memories of grandeur.”; “decaying situation of a golden past”
There were also three questions key to our further development of this mythology:
1) When do they Fall?
2) What mythology do they tell themselves?
3) What’s the most interesting story?
However, I’ve also written things like “Atlantis is in the Atlantic”. They can’t all be pearls.
I also wrote a couple of audition sides for the short films on that weekend. The most challenging thing about those was that none of the characters speak in the shorts. It’s easier to audition people with lines and the scripts themselves don’t lend themselves to auditioning anyway.
Here’s part of an audition side I wrote for 1208, trying to bring out the emotional range we wanted in a monologue style:
In the next instalment, I’ll talk about the development of the feature script through the use of script retreats.