Relaxing Sunday afternoon spent in front of the TV unwinding and enjoying doing nothing. Watched two films, Percy Jackson : Sea of Monsters and Night at the Museum : Secret of the Tomb. Classic Sunday afternoon fare really, fantasy action, thrills and spills.
Now the relative merits of these films could be debated for an age, as all films could be, but they both start with a similar ideas. Taking characters from history and playing about with them.
Greek Gods or magically re-animated dinosaurs, the pages of the history of planet Earth can lend all kinds of new fuel for writing.
Now a couple of weeks ago, I spoke about the power of putting things together that wouldn’t normally interact and figures and events from history can be a good way to do this but it’s so very much more than that.
All kinds of characters and locations are there to be explored in ways of understanding and deciphering the human condition. Having modern day characters have to try and relate to ones from centuries ago can make it easier to hold ourselves up to the light.
But just by using the characters from history or mythology, we can see that maybe, humanity has always had to deal with the same issues. Talking dinosaurs can allow us to discuss painful ideas without the risk of being too real. We can examine ideas and work through problems which can be too uncomfortable but for talking animals.
Now the fun doesn’t stop there.
What could happen if we start to look at people or events from any and all points in the past from the opposite standpoint from what we all know?
The classic of ‘What if the Nazi’s had won WW2?’ is a well known place to start. What if the USSR had won the race to the moon? What if the extinction level event which did for the dinosaurs had never happened? Dr. Horrible is the classic villain yet he’s the focus of the story.
By shuffling the deck, we story tellers get the chance to re-write history in whatever way we can dream up and that can mean we can hold up to the light any and all possibilities that cross our minds.
Everyone strap in and enjoy the ride.