Making the story board was a collaborative effort with Bernard and to a lesser degree Liz. The process was quite contentious at times because we were all quite passionate about how to transmit the ideas. It was very important to produce a coherent story that would carry the messages we wanted to get across. We were discussing and negotiating the story as we made the board.
The themes we were interested in transmitting through our retelling of the Icarus story were:
- The fantasy of technological Utopias.
- Icarus’ over arching ambition-representing a notion of technological over-extension.
- The finiteness of the world
- The oppression and fascism of utopian ideas
- Escapism- Flight towards idealised version of reality
- Fantasy as flight from reality
- The idea of paying for the crimes of the father
- The Fall
- Redemption of human touch
We speculated about the condition of the environment and ecology in our future world. The story contains references to these themes e.g. The hero, Teleman, (from the Greek tele- meaning far away) is imprisoned in an fusion reactor plant This represents technological fantasy solution to the world’s ecological finiteness, an impossible dream. Teleman is held in this dust-free, idealised closed environment, a prisoner in someone else’s utopian fantasy. His only company is Hologram programmed to be reasonable and kind but fundamentally coercive and fascistic.She is a close simualtion of a person. She represents a distant maternal authority and she is the interface with the technology that regulates his world.
The garden is an enclosed parkland that functions to produce oxygen for the fusion reactor. The prisoner is allowed to spend time there as reward for cooperation. It is a beautiful, but it is contained and isolated place. The only interjection from reality are the birds that have stolen in through the high vents.
We called the main character Teleman- referring to the Greek for far away. This relates to the escapist theme
It was good having the different perspectives and priorities of different people on this task. My main concern was getting the symbolics across, whereas Bernard was fairly obsessed with making a coherent believable world. Liz’s priorities were more about the emotional impact on the audience. Together we came up with a powerful story.
The short format meant that we should try and tell as much of the story as possible with the visuals. We thought about the transmission of meaning in pictorial narrative techniques in painting and mime, we also looked at a number of short films. And analysed successful story telling. There is very little speech in the genre except for a few like creature comforts with is all about the character contained in voice. We choose to have very little dialogue and to paint the story with the characters’ visual impact, icons and symbols. All very primary forms of communication. We thought that this would also make the potential audience less limited geographically and in terms of language spoken.