Saturday, March 9, 2013

Doing a remake? Do not be true to the original story or characters, here's why? A lesson I learned from Picasso.

Doing a remake? Do not be true to the original story or characters, here's why? A lesson I learned from Picasso.

As an opera composer, who has focused on pioneering "Video Opera," which I've meme'd as "VideOpera," I am always considering various collaborations, and or keyword, marketing realities. One concept is the idea that on occasion taking original ideas I have, and realizing that some form of public domain work or character may serve as a marketing advantage, causes me to dash the new original idea with a bit of the public domain.

Proudly, this results in a new work that is ideally untrue (in most cases) to the original source material, and in some cases may even oppose it. I once thought this was a problem, then there was this visit to an amazing art museum which just happened to have Picasso, and a host of other masters on loan the day of my visit. The exhibit contained works by Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, and the league of French Impressionist masters. Meanwhile, the rest of the museum's exhibits were all full of stellar, spectacular works of art in every room. It was the Palace of the Legion of Honor, after all, San Francisco.

So we were in this circling train of people. It was odd to come before a Van Gogh and feel the need to keep moving, at least slowly because there was so much other "fine art," to see. I mean there were some of the greatest works of art in human history and there was very little stopping. Slow moving, yes, but actually dead stops of admiring stares, largely no. However, there was one work, out of place with the other works which brought the most refined intellectuals to a dead stop that held them in a state of pondering for minutes on end, to the point where mature, pillars of the community had to be politely addressed by security to continue moving slowly, yet even then, there were pauses of rebellion from all, including myself.

"Why is this happening?" I thought to myself. The answer did not come to me entirely immediately but eventually I realized what I can demonstrate in this metaphorical examination of the phenomena.

Imagine you have asked me for piece of blank, white paper. I turn around towards my paper supply and hand you ... a blank piece of white paper. Done. It is over, all thought interaction is complete upon the moment that you receive exactly what you expect. The event, beyond the polite gesture, is forgotten and any significance of the piece of blank white paper is completely a failure.

Now, imagine you have asked me for a piece of blank, white paper. I turn around, towards my paper supply and hand you ... a sand colored, Sumerian writing tablet made of sandstone. It is half covered in Sumerian markings and laying at its center is a tiny hammer and chisel.

What has just happened. Obviously you have stopped your train of desire based thought. You have come to a pause of speculation, and then (marketers and creatives take note) audience interaction has occurred as the receiver becomes the grantor of the following question, "What is this? What am I supposed to do with this? Is this a joke? My God, this is Sumerian, I love this, is this real? My God, this is not what I was expecting, I hate this? Can this be real? Where is the expected? Now I'm looking at this and thinking about it and three months later I still recall the event. Especially when I see sand, or a story on ancient cultures, or reach out to grab even a plain piece of white paper from my printer paper's cache!"

No comments:

Post a Comment