This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

26 Nov 2012

Blog Banter 41 - Making the cut with the director

The universe of EVE is not without its drama and epic stories, both in and out of game. Imagine a publisher, movie studio or television network asked you to prepare a pitch for a new brand of EVE-flavoured entertainment. This could be your big break, what would be your synopsis to bring New Eden to the wider audience?

I took the approach of making this a fictionalized RL conversation where I am the CCP person who has to sell this to an imaginary director as a concept for a TVseries. So you could say it's an in-character RP piece where I play a different version of myself.  

Normally something like this would call for dressing up, but after thinking about it, I decided not to. To begin with, where would I get a three piece business outfit from, and stockings, and high heels. I can not even walk with those things.

No, I decided I would look like wearing a bad disguise and I need to be convincing.

In the end, I did go for the ladie's cut working trousers and a shirt with a narrow waistline rather than cargo pants and a hoody. It should work well enough, after all I am here to sell a gritty sci-fi scenario, not a romantic comedy.

So I close my eyes, breathe in deep and exhale slowly before opening the door. I am immediately relieved when I see that the director is not wearing anything too formal either. A pair of jeans and a flannel shirt which is not even tucked into his trousers. He didn't shave for a few days either.

'Welcome miss. Please have a seat.' He pulls up a chair for me at his desk which is laden with what must be half the desktop gadgets you can order at thinkgeek.

Good, he's into geeky stuff. That should work in my favour.

'So, tell me about this project of yours.' He cuts to the chase immediately and leans back in his chair with his hands folded behind the back of his head.

'Well I guess you read the introduction material.' I begin and open the satchel I brought. 'I have some storyboard drawings, costume designs and other artwork with me that should give you an impression about how we envisioned the look and feel of things.'

'Sure.' he seems disinterested. 'But give me your personal version. Why should I work on this?'

'Well.' I have to stop starting sentences with that word. 'In a nutshell, it's like crossing wild-west with game of thrones with classical greek mythology ... demigod heroes and all that.' I can't help but smile at before saying 'In space' I feel very clever dropping that meme, but it doesn't quite work.

He just nods.

'There are all the classic archetypes available, and some modern ones. You have the imperialistic and unyielding theocracy, proud warrior tribes, an idealistic democracy and a nation of supercapitalists that Ayn Rand would be proud of.'

I wait for a reaction but none comes so I just go on. I forget how nervous I am and just let it carry me away. 'It is a backdrop for epic stories, but there is a lot of grittyness and darkness in it too. There are themes of flawed ideals, the hubris and dehumanization that comes with effective immortality. How a person is changed by becoming one with a powerful machine in which other people are just components. Political intrigue. Devastating wars. High ideals that become perverted by cynicism. It is a world - as they say - of Black and Gray Morality.'

Again he nods, and finally he says something. 'I understand that the whole thing needs a lot of special effects and CGI to work.'

'We ...' I barely catch myself this time. 'That is true, but on the up side, you don't need to do a lot of on-location filming which involves a lot of cost. I mean of course for atmosphere there would be some - it shouldn't be like the StarWars prequels.' He smirks and I smile like sharing a mutual peeve with him. 'But a lot can be done with sets and rendering machines.'

'Still, the costs would be pretty high. I already hear my producer screaming about them.' he insists. 'I am just a bit worried that it's too much of a niche product to get enough viewers.'

'I am confident that the subject material will attract a wide audience.' I reply.

He bobs his head in consideration. 'Are you? I have read that the game you are basing this on is played almost exclusively by men of a certain age bracket and lifestyle. With an investment that significant we want to be sure that we will maximise our exposure.'

I do my best to stay calm and not get all defensive. 'You are of course right, but that has to do more with the game mechanics than the theme.' I was sort-of prepared for that one. After all, I have been thinking about the issue a lot myself.

'Science fiction programs like Firefly and Battlestar Galactica have been very popular with female viewers, and the all-around success of Game of Thrones has also demonstrated that women these days are not detracted by hard subject matter. Despite the game's mostly male playerbase, the narrative has many very strong female characters. The Empress of the Amarr, the director of one of the Gallente Federation's largest corporations, the leader of a large Freestate - the Syndicate. Also the fact that capsuleers are more defined by their skill to pilot a ship than by physical attributes makes gender differences less of an issue. There is definitely enough room for the female viewing population to find characters they can identify with.'

He looks at me with a raised eyebrow.

It looks like I'm getting somewhere, no reason to stop though. 'Of course many segments of the male viewers will find the theme and setting attractive too. Despite all the inherent darkness, there is heroism in the most classical sense. Of course the whole final frontier narrative will appeal to many men, and there is a lot of action, spaceships and shiny technology.'

He chuckles. 'Is that how you view men?' he wonders with a slight smile lingering on his stubbled face.

'It's how I think they like their entertainment.' I reply rather spontaneously. 'Don't get me wrong though. The material contains many deep philosophical concepts too. Reflections about what makes us human. How we would act when given the possibility to be reborn indefinitely. Also there is a lot of potential for links with current social affairs, like there is in all good science fiction. The major powers offer enough parallels with existing human societies that this will work.'

'The whole thing is not really suited for family viewing though.' he brings up.

Time for some subtle flattery. 'True, but that is the reason why I came with it to you rather than the Disney Studios or Lucasfilm. They wouldn't dare touching this.'

'Ok' he leans forward. 'You make a few good points, but I'm not sold.' he says 'What I want you to do is give me a story arc and a character development trajectory for at least twelve episodes. Together with the pilot screenplay you already submitted I will run this by my producer and see what he thinks about it.'

I can't hold the satisfied smile back.

'Don't get me wrong.' he cautions me 'I am not promising anything except that.'

I nod in understanding. 'Of course. What you ask for will be on your desk within the week.'

No comments:

Post a Comment