Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Some things to consider

New introduction based on Andy's suggestions that will hopefully simplify the beginning a bit:


Open with a pan across a beautiful illustrative star chart, showing all of the animal constellations with fancy portraits of the animals around them. As it pans across, it stops on a piece of paper hastily taped in place with a crudely-drawn connect-the-dots styled ox on it. We pan out to show the ox sitting on his bunk, staring at the star chart and day dreaming.

An alert sound of some sort goes off, and the ox jumps to his feet and runs into a large auditorium filled with rows of celestial animals that were pictured in the star chart. There is no space left, so he has to take a seat somewhere near the back in obscurity. Up at the front, the Emperor is standing in front of a large screen showing the news that worship levels are down and the people are in danger of straying to worship other dieties. He tells them that he needs someone to deliver his message to earth that he will give the people food once every three days if they continue to worship him, and upon hearing this the ox jumps to attention and tries his best to make the others notice him.

The other animals look angry or exhasperated and make remarks like "No, not the ox!" and "He's already screwed up his LAST five messages." Near the front of the room, one of the more honoured animals like a dragon or something will be feeling bad for the ox and convince the Emperor that he should just let him take the mission, saying that there's really no harm he could do. The emperor concedes and calls the ox up to the front. He tells the ox that he is to go down to earth and tell the people that they will get food once every three days. The ox nods enthusiastically. The Emperor repeats, once every three days, and the ox nods again. The emperor asks if the ox is absolutely sure that he understands, and he nods and moves to walk away. The Emperor calls him back one last time to caution him that whatever he declares to the people will become an immutable law, so it's very important that he doesn't change any part of the message. The ox nods again and goes to make his trip down to Earth.


Another thing we want to consider is that when you decide to make a silly, modern adaptation of any culture's religion, there is no way you'll be able to make an entertaining film out of it without bastardizing the source material and verging on offensive. Andy and I were thinking that we should try to downplay the Chinese aspect of this story and just make up our own ambiguous fictional culture based on the stylistic aspects of many different worldwide cultures like Chinese, Greek, Middle Eastern, Central American, ect. Myths like this end up floating around between several cultures all the time so we won't need to worry about changing our story at all, but we won't be shamelessly raping Chinese culture anymore either.

It was also pointed out that this is meant to be a creation-style story, explaining why people have food. Before the story takes place the people do not have food because they do not need it, it's just something they'd really like to have. We don't need to focus so much on making the people starving and pathetic, maybe just have them discontent.

Just a couple points that have been brought up over the past day that I thought I should post. I know Becka wasn't too happy with the new story, so maybe if anyone else is in the same boat as her they can get together and figure out what exactly the problem is and how we can rework the story sometime before our next big group meeting. I don't want anyone to have to work on a story that they really dislike, so as long as we have time to mess around we should keep aiming for that middle ground that makes everyone happy! :)

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