Tuesday, 20 January 2015

@Phil, Gathering Stories

After a more than inspiring dialogue I reallly like this idea Phil.
The setting is indeed a travelling/gypsy circus of animals in Victorian times. The witchdoctor is using his camera (maybe part of it created by amber/crystals, traditionally used to trap spirits) to trap the souls of his audience and turn them into animals which he either consumes or leaves for his young daughter, being a lion tamer, to train and use for their shows. It is really important that she doesn't know about this scheme and after her mother oposed her husband, she disappeared mysteriously. The catalyst in the story is that the soul-trapping camera actually captures photos of the people halfway through transformation into animals. She finds the pictures and realises that the lion she tames is indeed her mother. The resolution is set in the restaurant tent where the fat witch doctor expects his dinner but actually finds himself with the camera pointed at him by his daughter. She clicks and in a flash of light he turns into a pig, surrounded by the angry predators, hungry for revenge.

Oooh the drama! I think all three essential parts of the brief are a big part of the story and it is inspiring. Feedback please :)


  1. Indeed! But I wonder - isn't it a bit TOO grim, having the daughter have her father eaten in this way? And isn't it a bit complex to set-up in the time remaining - all that family stuff: go simpler - because the real achievement here is the idea of the guy being turned into a pig, so he can be eaten by his own performers - that's a great resolution - and the lion-tamer lets it happen; so...

    You have the Circus Ring-Master with his enchanted camera, who turns people into performing animals. He is evil. The lion-tamer is a good, gentle man, who respects and loves the animals, but doesn't know how they're created. The lion tamer is in love with one of the trapeze artists at the circus. The Circus Ring Master wants to have his wicked way with same trapeze artist. She resists, so the Circus Ring Master turns her into a performing seal (or whatever). The photos produced by the camera reveal the moment of transformation: lion tamer finds photos, figures everything out, and then, he assist the animals in taking their revenge, by turning the Ring-Master into a pig and letting loose the animals...

    There's a big related Victorian concept that is just shimmering with relevance here, Vlad; in the late 1800s there was a huge trend in the pseudo-science of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physiognomy - the belief that a person's appearance reflected their personalities, and more specifically, if they looked like an animal, they had that animal's traits; so, just check out these images by Charles Le Brun:


    Maybe your Circus is 'Le Cirque De Physionomie'?

    Getting pretty close now.... :)

  2. Yes it is too coplex, i wrote it all down, it is clear that the viewers will not be able to invest any emotions into such a complex story that only lasts a minute.
    But we do agree on the main points, so to simplify, and with your ideas on board (which are really logical and inspiring) how about... The idea of a circus should be festive? They are travelling and bringing joy to the towns they visit. What if the witchdoctor is actually "healing" sick children, by turning them into animals, their illnesses are gone, but the liontamer suspects him and finds out where all these circus animals are coming from turning the camera in the restaurant towards the witchdoctor. That way the baddy was actually good all along but the typically nice liontamer becomes bad? I think this gives it a nice twist!
    So a "healing" camera, a liontamer who justs butts in and thinks he is doing good and a dramatic resolution in the restaurant where the good guy is being eaten by the very people he was helping???
    Oooh I'm getting excited

  3. ... argh! Go back, Vlad - honestly - you've pretty much got it - but now this latest idea is more complex, because everyone's motivations are more ambiguous now... you want to be stripping things back, not adding stuff in! Go back................ that's an order ;)

  4. Oh dear!
    Ok, really basic.. The witchdoctor traps people's souls for his circus and turns them into animals. The lion tamer finds out and turns the witchdoctor into a pig? The ending is the same, revenge in the restaurant?

  5. yes! But the proviso is that eating/consumption is a theme throughout (the camera consuming souls/the witch doctor 'getting fat' by exploiting people) - so the restaurant should be a recurrent environment - not just a setting that crops up at the end; use the restaurant as a metaphor for the food chain - the strong devouring the weak - and therefore the perfect place for this moment of revenge: I gave you this reference before: The Cook, the Thief, his Wife & Her Lover - check it out in terms of art direction too: