Thursday, August 9, 2012
Compose Through Metaphor
“I never make work that is careless.” Tezuka Osamu
Cont’d Part Two
Last week we looked at how one word in a title, or as a character summary, can be strengthened into a metaphor for a broader understanding. But before you can even do that it’s important to know what are your themes and your goals for your story. For example, one of Osamu’s goals for his work was to include a touch of humor or irony, especially when dealing with difficult topics. He felt that especially when he tried to show culture out of control or present the idea that technology had the potential to become unstoppable he would lean into irony.
In the Tales of a Street Corner all the characters were developed with humor and pathos as war came to their corner crashing into their lives. And showed those who remained self-centered and those who grew into selfless actions, like the naughty little mouse who tried to save the bear.
Another key word image for Osamu in creativity was joy and fun. “The fun of experimental animation is the different perspectives people saw.” He appreciated the unique insights his audience had and in turn their comments often sparked new ideas for him to pursue. He worked diligently to create quality work, but did not expect everyone to see only his vision. Once his work released it went free. That is the gift of metaphor in any work.
In his short film Mermaid he explored potentially closed thinking through “the story of a boy from faraway lands that likes fantasies.” The boy saw a mermaid. Everyone else only saw a fish and went to great lengths to blast his idea of out him. He too eventually saw the fish, but with Osamu’s tilt of angle the last line went, “But the boy did not forget the mermaid.”
Like a firecracker a familiar image might start off in plain wrapping paper and then explode into showers of light.
1. Read through a picture book the next time you’re at the library or a bookstore but don’t read the words. Look only at the visual background first. Then go back and read the story. How do they complement each other? Does each page have a one-word tag? Funny, scary, curious?
2. Now do a reverse action. Take one of your chapter scenes and mark it off as if it were a picture book. Can you identify a main image on each ‘page’?
Share: Did you find an image that surprised you? Can you develop it further as a thread without it being forced?