Tag Archive: African cinema

T.O.M. pg 052

One advantage of storyboarding an entire film script (especially if the filmmaker does the drawing) is you get to share your vision with potential producers. 
A disadvantage is they might hold you to that vision, not realising how flexible it can be.
For instance, this relatively-expensive set drawn here, could easily be reduced to one person behind a computer. That wouldn’t be as much fun, so have drawn the ideal version, but nothing’s set in stone. Telling the main story is more important than peripheral details. (p.s. No longer sure about the word ‘wowzer’, though I wanted to have a bit of fun with the keen military official…)

T.O.M. pg 042

I think it’s important for a director to have a philosophy that’s driving their project forward – in this case my interest in the meanings and utility of dreams (and of A.I.).
It’s also great for audiences to be challenged and provoked into thinking deeper. They appreciate it. Not too much though, as that would be tiring. So after dropping a ‘knowledge-bomb’ or two, it’ll be back to the action shortly… 

Enough speculating on AI futures, it’s back to the main storyline!

(The viewing audience has new knowledge now, even if the class didn’t get it all – so we as audience now share a bond of ‘secret knowledge’ with Scot the protagonist. Because storytelling is all about who knows what, when. Sometimes the characters know more than the audience, and sometimes not…)

For me, this is a very important page, from an AI philosophy perspective. It introduces the idea of ‘Symbiotic AI’. We hear so much about the likelihood, or not, of machines getting as smart as humans, but perhaps we forget to see us and the internet as one new system.
And, if an AI-Internet effectively aggregates the minds of all us users (by aggregating our input), it might not be conscious as we currently understand the term, BUT can we still claim it is ‘mindless’? We’ll soon find out…
The idea of the Singularity is also explained nicely, but from a film script/story-telling perspective, once those points have been made, let’s get out of there quickly! So the bell is interrupting us all, and moving us on.
I feel strongly that with so many films today, audiences are being ‘dumbed down’, so I’m certain many would appreciate being offered new ideas and being made to think a little. 
It reminds me of one of my favourite films – Jean Luc Godard’s ‘A bout de souffle’ (Breathless) – where right in the middle of the film, we have a philosophical interlude. So in that regard, let this be a tribute to Godard.

The character Thabang speaking for the general audience here.

T.O.M. pg 031

Yes, there’s a lot of info to digest here, but again, I’d rather have too much in the script, than too little material at the end of the shoot. I think it’s always important to imagine interest levels of viewers at all times!
So what would keep interest here too, would be cool images in the slide show, and the storyline – the (hopefully) building-intrigue as the talk is interrupted by something coming up… 
Also worth mentioning that viewers always want to feel like their time staring at a screen is meaningful – so if they’re learning stuff, and the info you’re giving them is true, relevant and interesting, and/or you’re making them think, then I believe audiences do appreciate that.
And slides part-projected on people also makes for great cinematographic opportunities. And yes, I like the idea of using ‘old tech’ like video projectors. This is Africa. Plenty of old tech mixed in with new tech here.

This is my example of ‘over-writing’ – where a character says more than needed (when he goes on about gut bacteria). 
It’s a risky strategy, because you may create a tedious script. 
And whilst other filmmakers may disagree with my approach, I’d much rather have more material to cut away in the editing room, than be scrambling around with too little material at the end.
It’s also an example of calling-out the audience – if anyone starts falling asleep here, the protagonist is saying, ‘hey wake up, this is important, I’m talking to you’.

T.O.M. pg 026

This was one of the first pages I drew.
Yes, it is a homage to a shot in ‘The Beach’, where the ceiling fan turns into helicopter blades, and yes, even though I much preferred the book, the film was fun too.
The drawing style in the graphic novel jumps around a bit, because it took me about 2 years to complete it, and was drawn with pencil and pen on paper.
Which means what you see is what you get, and correcting ‘mistakes’ is hard. But it gives it a more ‘natural’ feel too, and now I have 150 x A3 inked pages to hang on my walls…