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About the creative process, the frustration, till games (!?)

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  • About the creative process, the frustration, till games (!?)

    Greetings.

    I don't know if this is an appropriate place to babble about this (probably an appropriate place doesn't exist). It's just about a dream, a desire about working on a big project and fulfill many, childish desires all at once. The Stormbringer/Elric setting always fascinated me, it's one of those things that don't just entertain me, but it stimulates me. It's simply more than a book, it's a world that perhaps isn't comparable in complexity with Tolkien's work but it holds an incredible charm. It's seducing. The world has an infinite potential by its own, a solid strenght that could really produce more than just a book. The fact that a movie is in the work is exactly the starting point, but I have a fear here. It's not easy to transpose the potential in the book to other forms, like a movie. Copying things and adapt them isn't a straight process that can easily produce something that holds the same value. You need again another "artist" that is able to "learn" the original inspiration (the book, for example) and "live again" the experience to transpose it in a completely different context. It could be a book transposed to a movie or the opposite, but this type of translation needs always to have a depth and a soul. The risk to fail is high, higher than a product that doesn't start from a well known licence. Peter Jackson with Lord of the Rings has gone through that. The movie isn't comparable to the books but that difference also represent the real value of the movies themselves. Those movie have their own charm because they are born *from* Peter Jackson and Peter Jackson had something to say, he is exactly the medium of the movies. We live the feelings and the moods of the books through Peter Jackson himself. It's a reinterpretation, and valuable for this basic difference from the "truth" of the movies. If it was simply a "translation" to another medium the result would have been awful. Terrible. You would have felt a sense of emptiness everywhere.

    With that I want simply to say how these books hold "worlds" behind them. These worlds have an incredible strenght and potential. Unimaginable. Far, far beyond the purpose and the aim of the original creators (in this case Tolkien and Moorcock himself). And all that feels extremely fashinating and stimulating. Stimulating because the "dream" is about letting the potential develop, about letting the world become really something else than just a limited entertainment. It's an expansion of the creativity behind. An opening.

    I wrote here about the movies because in general what happens isn't the expansion of the creativity that I explained here. In general the development of these "worlds" is simply a tie based on marketing ideas. Plans about money, running after an easy aim. The simple exploitation of something valuable to squeeze the real, artistic value and transform it in as much money as possible. A good book becomes a movie, a game, a series of toys, an animation and so on. Not because someone follows an artistic and natural development, just because you need to squeeze the money from every prespective possible. That kills the value. That kills the creativity and it's exactly the opposite of realizing the potential that these worlds have.

    It's fun this point because it's about the "assigment", in italian the proper word is "committenza", I don't know exactly how it translated in english. The fact is that the art, good art, is surely valuable, also considering the money. But if you suffocate the potential you are simply narrow-minded. You killed not only this aleatory and vague artistic value but you also kill the concrete money that you could draw from all this. The "success", the "trends" have nothing wrong or negative. Making something successful and popular isn't horrible. But something successful and popular in general has a deep value. A development that has been silent, solitary. Then it becomes popular and also produces money. But here the mechanism breaks. Whatever value you have produced is taken and denaturalized. It looses its soul, the passion that someone has poured into that. It becomes money and money not anymore as a consequence. But as a cause. When the money becomes the cause of "art", the art dies. You have the history *filled* with artists that have lost their talent and their creativity. Because what breaks is the origin of that value. Not anymore the money and the success as consequence. But as a cause. And we all know that the money has no soul and cannot produce anything valuable by itself. So the trends and the general popularity die. They are transitory because they eat and exploit the value, the value at that point vanishes and you need to move on something else. It's a destructive process, notthing about the creativity.

    The example about the huge success of the Lord of the Rings movies is important because it shows that Peter Jackson has poured his own value into that work. It's not just a translated Tolkien in the cinematographic language, it's Peter Jackson. It's the art of Peter Jackson showed in the movies. And that art has its own value. A soul. Something that you could like or not, but surely something with a personality.

    So there are two paths possible. These worlds are "influences". The art has a concrete meaning as "communication". The wider definition of art I know is: "something that shows an hidden face of the world". So the art is both tied to something original (because the part it reveals is still hidden till that precise moment), and it is about something that must be shared. The "world" here becomes the common language that we all share. It doesn't matter where you are born, your culture, your religion or whatever. We share a lot of things and the art is the fastest and strongest way to communicate (the philosophic concept about this is called "lebenswelt").

    The process here changes again, it arrives to a new level. The author gives the life to a form of art. This life is taken directly from the author, it's a loss for him. When the art communicates its value the author disappears, it becomes something completely new, hidden in whoever has been part of this process. The "public" holds a new part of the original soul. What the art is at this stage could be completely different from the original purpose of the author. The "private propriety", here, is a value that doesn't exist. It isn't possible. Nothing about the art is private. It's the most concrete and healthy manifestation of "communism".

    All this raving to explain that is never wrong to use the money, but the money needs a source to be produced, in a way or another. This source must have NOTHING to do with something again about money. You need to involve something concrete, where, for example, concrete is the creativity. Real emotions. A movie is able to produce money because it's based on something else from money. The money is a medium. It's just a "possibility". If you don't have anything to put on this possibility the result will be empty and the void, as a consequence, doesn't produce anything at all, even less the money. The money is a result of a process where you transform something. If you have nothing to transform the money won't be produced.

    So we have a movie to be produced and pushed on the market. The money is important because it gives you the possibility to do something. It's an "ambition". But at this point we are still on the ground level. Even if we have an incredible setting behind, where I recognize an incredible potential still to develop, the resulting movie can still be awful. It doesn't matter the licence. You need a new value and without another artist the whole project will crumble. My fear is that the movie could ruin the potential, not express it. The fact that an Elric movie is in development isn't an interesting news. It adds nothing to the expectation of a good movie. I want to know who is in charge of this, what is about the value that will be poured into the movie. Or you have just empty hands and at best you'll destroy every purpose and aim. The resulting money will also be a big disappointment.

    Here the potential will die. It's a frustrating process because the possibilities aren't actualized. They vanish. The same value of the whole thing will shrink. It's something terribly sad.

    Everyone talks about this Elric movie. Noone talks about what's important. Who is planning it? With what ideas? The fact that Moorcock seems not involved means that the project will be a disappointment for sure. And it's a damn lost occasion.

    My dream is similar to what I wrote above. When I read the books the process started to stimulate my creativity. Yes, I think that you could really produce a wonderful movie, if done right and with someone with talent involved in the process, even better than what Peter Jackson did. Moorcock and his world don't seem known as they should. The potential here must be let grow. That's my biggest dream. If I could express a desire, an impossible desire, it will be to be able to design and work on a "mmorpg" based on this setting. For me it's like an hybridization between so many interests and strong passions. The world that Moorcock created is simply *perfect* to be transposed in a MMOG. The best to date. Just to explain, MMOG stands for Massive Multiplayer Online Game. It's not just a limitated game, it's the recreation and realization of the whole potential that this setting holds already. It's a challenge to the creativity and it's the most interesting and "lively" process you can dream about. It could build the biggest and strongest community you can imagine and at that point you could be able to use what has been produced to let this creativity grow and grow, at its own pace. Letting the same community express and be part of what you are creating. That is the potential. And it's both something fantastic like a dream but also so concrete. Because it can really produce a lot of money.

    To explain, the ambition here is way more than simply "high". It's a complete disclosure of potential and creativity. It's something completely new and the biggest dream possible. We are far beyond a simple movie, even done right. I'm really speaking of the realization of so many dreams that could then become dreams of everyone else. I would love if Moorcock himself could be involved in all this. Nothing valuable is possible without a continue learning process. It could be for him something completely new and stimulating. And I don't absolutely care about the money. The money here is again the way to realize something a lot, a lot more important. The guys that could have the possibility to start all this should open their eyes. I don't know if who is behind the Universal could belive in a foolish project like this but the money could be the very last problem. If done right it could break every possible prevision of success, in particular in a moment when these games are just trapped in old, clueless ideas that are being copied over and over and over by marketers. Failing miserably one after the other because they lack the creative process and the opening toward the communities they produce. They are just chasing the money.

    Obviously to write all this I'm noone. I just followed a strong, fancy passion that I don't believe I will be ever allowed to fulfill, but this doesn't hold me. In a world ruled by money I wonder why these fancy dreams cannot be given just a single possibility. I'm more than sure of the result but I have nothing to guarantee it. I'm just a fool living in Italy and babbling all the time about all that wasted potential. I would love to stop to preach for once and really start to deliver and demonstrate something. Something that can produce money because the money is the expression of the value in this word. "You can keep the money, I just want the possibility to go on".

    Despite the fancy dream, I always feared that someone else could take the idea and really start to develop a mmorpg besed on Stormbringer/Elric setting. Now I found this place and I'm writing here about my dream. I can manage to tolerate the frustration of not being able to reach these kinds of dreams but I cannot tolerate the fact that someone else could take the idea to produce another horrible result, killing even more the real potential. I *fear* the Elric movie, it could really hurt more than help.

    Perhaps on another reality I could really be able to work and reach my dream and that makes me smile, I've always been a dreaming fool.

    To conclude, this is really a question to Moorcock, I wrote that because I'd really like to know what he and others think about all that. About the idea of the game, the movie and in particular about the creative process about which I wrote at the beginning.

    A last note that I consider interesting: I've seen a movie three years ago (the title is "Asylum"). Something completely crazy as who worked on it. The director is a great genius (I don't have a better word) called Chris Petit, and on the movied worked another fool and genius: Dave McKean. I'd love to know from Moorcock whatever he wants about this experience as a whole. About the director, about Dave, whatever. The movie is really wonderful and beyond. When these geniuses gather the result is unbelievable. I have a terrible curiosity about what happened behind the scenes, about how these peoples are in the real life, what they think, what they do, what they say. This feels so much more interesting than even read or see a book or a movie.

    So I'm asking :)

    - Abalieno
    http://www.cesspit.net

    P.S.
    Please tolerate this insanely long post, I just had too much to express and it's simply the best attempt possible for me. I'm also italian so my english cannot be better. And sorry if I sound pathetic, it won't happen again :) I like the place, I'll start to hang around more and limitate my foolery. I'm so damn curious about Moorcock himself.

  • #2
    Well, a brief reply -- I agreed to the present producers doing Elric because they had been Elric fans since they were boys. One of them in particular. It was their sincerity which convinced me to go with them. As I've said elsewhere, I've turned down many, many offers for Elric. The Weitz brothers convinced me they could do it, not by persuading me with arguments, but because I instinctively trusted them to be the ones. I have refused offers for Elric from many kinds of enthusiasts, but it seemed to me the Weitz brothers were intelligent enough and sincere enough not to mess with the character.
    Asylum was the work of my friend Iain Sinclair and his friend Chris Petit and they came out to Texas to film me for my segment in it. They had previously done two other films, of which Asylum is the third in a trilogy. There is now talk of putting the three, plus a lot of the material not used in the Channel Four movies, onto DVD. The first movie was The Cardinal and the Corpse (it also had me in it, along with Alan Moore and various others, some East End criminals connected with the Krays). The vision is really Sinclair's. Petit has done other films, including Radio On. Dave McKean did the effects for the movies. If you liked Asylum, you'll probably like Sinclair's books, such as Downriver and London Orbital.
    I understand your reservations very well, but rest assured I would not let Elric go into the hands of people who didn't have a strong sense of what he was about!

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

    Comment


    • #3
      The only other work I was able to see done by Sinclair and Petit was "The falconer", about Peter Whitehead. Wow. I loved the visionary style, it's fascinating. I'll track for sure those books. What is interesting is the result when fools and geniuses meet and plot evil. Alan Moore is another one, it feels like a secret society of sages and damned. It's life for me, there so much more you have there, hidden. I'm sure.

      I've pointed that movie because it's the example of what you have behind the scene, the friendship that can become a teamwork of pure talent, along that shade of mystery you all bring around. So compelling. You should gather and plot more often, it's valuable.

      You dodged the whole thing about working an online game-universe inspired on your dark-fantasy seetting. I imagine it's not something you find interesting or possible. Well, it was just an unrealistic dream I have from a very long time. I'll keep dreaming about it. Perhaps Universal or you could consider it someday.

      Perhaps in the multiverse :)

      Comment


      • #4
        Sorry, I didn't mean to dodge the stuff about an online game universe.
        I'm not a natural gamer, though I am probably a natural gambler!
        It isn't something I'd want to be involved with myself, I must admit, but I certainly wouldn't have any objection to anyone starting something, assuming they didn't class with rights which Universal now have for producing electronic games.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MJM
          Sorry, I didn't mean to dodge the stuff about an online game universe.
          I'm not a natural gamer, though I am probably a natural gambler!
          It isn't something I'd want to be involved with myself, I must admit, but I certainly wouldn't have any objection to anyone starting something, assuming they didn't class with rights which Universal now have for producing electronic games.
          You aren't interested because there's the "game" part that turns the project into an unappealing silliness but I'm sure that delving inside the real soul of this different, creative project could be compelling for everyone. Even if it results new and awkward to who has never dealt with it.

          I'm surely not in the condition of doing anything aside dreaming. I'm interested just in the design part of these games and without an investment and a very good team I won't do much. It's more or less like the movie, it's the result of a competent team, a single person can just dream about how great it could be.

          The only possible and positive movement could be done just by Universal in an unexpected, farsighted way. I'm not sure what rights Universal has but this isn't something about "Elric". It's just about taking the general setting, take the various rule-systems that Chaosium has published and work on that platform to build a complex project that could take a few years of development.

          It's not something doable as an hobby. It involves various stages to start to gather the various resources. Like a focused effort from Universal and Chaosium together. Unified effort.

          Perhaps you could prod them the idea. ;p

          Comment


          • #6
            Chaosium and I are scarcely speaking, I fear. I would like to prod them, certainly, but it might be illegal, what I'd prod them with. Universal haven't yet reached the stage, as far as I know, of being prodded, but
            it's certainly worth thinking about.

            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
            The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
            Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

            Comment

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