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Jan 14

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The Hows! A Textual Commentary

Good day to all, Max here with my first installment of textual commentary of the works of Supraliminal Films. In this first installment I wanna talk about the beginnings of the first episode of the “Memoirs of the Macabre” web-series. The first episode is entitled “Collections” and was written and directed by Paul Hackett.

When we decided to start an anthology horror web-series, the four of us (myself, Paul, Jayrod and Dan) decided to all throw in any ideas we had to put together this series. Paul submitted his idea, in the form of rough story-boards to give us all the idea and plot of his piece. He presented it very well, going through a very simple idea, using the visuals to tell the story, considering it has no dialouge.

We decided that the idea captured the horror and black humor needed to come to life on the screen. It really struck me as a strong piece because of the very stark and strong visuals. It has strong gore, creatures and minatures. These are the reasons I love making movies, so I was totally on board for this piece.!

The thing I was most apprehensive about with “Collections” was the impact of the ending. Most short stories are written in a two act structure. The first act is basically the set-up and the the second is the punchline, just like a simple joke. This short however is quite different. “Collections” is a minature 3 act sturcture. Act I the main character steals the soul of a man by collectioning it from his eyes (the window to the soul). In act 2 the cloaked figure uses the soul to summon a demon. He then subdues the demon and collects its soul. Finally act III is the use of demon’s soul to summon a bigger demon, ending with the figure about to incapacitate the bigger demon.  So, the joke is simply the lack of closure. As Paul phrased it during the pitch “How far does it go?”

This is a tough sell for some people. The story is VERY avante garde for a short film, especially in respect to the story construction. The punchline is only as funny as you make it, the further you read into it, the funnier it gets. Why does this guy need to keep summoning bigger and bigger demons? What is his endgame? How is he going to fit that enourmous demon onto that table with the soul-taking device? All of these questions I felt are what makes the tone of “Collections” so compelling.  Also, the means of dispatching the terrible demons from hell made me laugh quite a bit. The main character simply bops them about the head with a hard object. Simple as that.

The other question I had was “is the cloaked figure our protagonist? Or is he the antagonist?” This is not really critical to the story. It much like its creator, “Collections” a cold, straightforeward look into the actions of a person. There is no emotion, there is no good or bad, it is simply a linear set of actions.

That is why I call it avante garde, it is not the intention of the story to grip anyone’s emotions or humanity. It can leave a bitter taste in your mouth at the end. But, I truly feel “Collections” has accomplished telling the tale it was meant to tell. That is what “Memoirs of the Macabre” was meant to be, tales of darkness and gloom. This is not a hollywood project. It is a web-series meant to push the bounds of horror and black humor. A “Tales From the Crypt” style of humor in horror. So I am a true supporter of “Collections”. I have yet to see anything like it in my viewing of shorts, and that is what we are trying to bring to the table with these tales.  So we hope you enjoy them, or at least intrigue you enough to keep coming back to see what we cook up with each episode of this web-series.

Next time: The production process of “Collections”!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.supraliminalfilms.com/archives/155

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