I’ve just begun watching Pan’s Labyrinth, the fairytale set in post-Civil War Spain, that tells the story of a girl named Ophelia who is given three tasks by a mysterious faun. Meanwhile, her stepfather, the fascist Captain Vidal, viciously hunts for rebels in the region, and her pregnant mother grows ill. After hearing so many wonderful things about the film, I was both excited and apprehensive about popping it into my player. You know the drill: better than average film receives ridiculous hype and sets expectations wildly off scale. Well, I can say I’m both heartened and encouraged by what I’ve seen so far.
Not only am I finding it spectacular looking and refreshingly entertaining, I’m thrilled about its multi-genred approach to storytelling and its fearless ability to slip from delicate innocence into sudden and graphic violence. My story, The Collection, is also set against the backdrop of war, only one in a fictional future where the draft has been reinstated, and conflicts over a new fuel can erupt anywhere at anytime. I think the pervasive tone of paranoia and violence calibrates an audience to any number of horrible things, and it’s okay if large portions of the narrative want to escape into a tone of dark fantasy. It must be noted that this is a foreign import marshalled by Guillermo del Toro, and I’m sure Warner Brother’s didn’t have any problem distributing it due to his pedigree after laying eyes on the final cut. In starkly contrasting circumstances, my story will be in written form and my name will not be such that would instill the confidence required to answer an email. Yet.
Still, there is the chance that the success of such a film will see my pitches received with a bit more focused attention. Similarly, my logline and synopsis may pique the interest of a few more industry players as well, due to some similar tones, genre play and plot elements. Hollywood loves a bandwagon, and perhaps they’ll find it in their financial interest to begin to collect violent fantasy properties with troubled, yet sympathetic characters who, despite one’s political leanings, are simply victims of our inability as human beings to share common goals thereby forcing us to kill one another. Ahh…can’t you feel the magic?
Anyway, The Collection rolls along and, despite some interruptions of the real life variety, I still believe in it and I’m pleased with my progress. At this point in the tale, my main character, Patrick, has begun a domestic downward spiral into what he can only describe as “hell…for hell”. He’s also had a frightening incident where he’s been locked in a dark shed by…something. Later today, if I’m lucky and the phone stops ringing, he’ll find out what that something is when it gives him some unsolicited assistance against his violent, bullying step-father. In a flash, Patrick will go from hopelessly powerless, to infused with a power so fierce that he can only begin to understand it.
Yeah…back to it.