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Despite myself, I am not writing a story.

Tuesday, 13 December, 2011

The Christmas thing which exists as notes I can’t work on: I’m not writing it now, either.

The cusp of the thing was a dramatic device in which the protagonist, or “Stan” discovers a variety of cookie you cannot buy in the stores. To bake these cookies is his stand against the vacant emotionalism of Christmas. Then the neighbor with whom he chooses to share immediately produces a store-bought variety of the same cookies. I was going to make a prop box of store-bought snickerdoodles.

However, since the Autumn you may now buy snickerdoodles in the stores. Maybe I should just invent a cookie and use that instead, or lie and claim this invented cookie is something Chrismassy from the home country. Bourbon balls?

I can no longer edit video. I don’t have that kind of machine anymore. I was going to write it up as a radio audio play, but I don’t know how to handle, or rather “shorthand”, some of the visual implications. I don’t have a good mic anyway. Instead of a scene where he walks down to the liquor store on Christmas Eve with narration, I would write a five-minute scene condensing some of the points with the proprietor of the liquor store. Instead of a character that acts out in an essentially sexual manner which makes everyone around uncomfortable, the character becomes a hick and is less madcap and less Austiny. If you can change the key of a voice it becomes a different person. Knowing what I know about the radio shows of old, this might involve more deliberate ethnicity than keeps me comfortable.

The protagonist whines about his isolation when he is surrounded by people who are fond of him, and is practically pestered with folks from far away wanting to video chat with him over the internet. I like the idea, but no longer like the “techy” implementation. I don’t even have an appropriate computer for that essential prop (turn down the screen, turn up the lights and shoot it like day-for-night), or even the apartment as my “new” place is much less homey. My real apartment looks like a pathetic attempt at set design.

The conclusion is not satisfying. That is, he loses the girl and nothing really happens by design. I also have a running joke about media, and I am hopeful certain contacts might put me in touch with the voice of this locality’s Grand Pere of media for VO. However, I would have to pay him. Casting is now a problem as three essential civilians have no interest in doing a movie if it will take time out of their schedule. Despite my crude methods, it would take non-trivial amounts of time.

A gag was to have a true hippie type and neighbor, incidentally named Linus, recreate the recitation scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Part of the joke is the rhythm of “Charlie Brown” and “angrystan” are the same. As a radio play I could do the thing with two voices and filters, but my primary female conspirator is an experienced actress who doesn’t do accents. Also, I have no SFX, and do not anticipate finding any.

Yet, I must persevere.


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