It comes around once every four years. The space-time continuum cannot be denied and a new impossible day must be born, run its span, and die. That year is now and that day is today. This event impacts the lives of those born during it. They exist in a strange nether region where their birthday too comes only every four years yet the ravages of time occur to the same inexorable beat as the rest of us. They might celebrate only the twentieth anniversary of their birth before dying, outliving their sixty year old children. Envy them not. Pity them not.
That's all I have. I'd hoped for something more, but nothing came to mind between the first of the month and now. I would like to say, just as a bit of commemoration for the history books... Rest in peace Davy Jones of The Monkees. I'll try to keep being a Daydream Believer.
Do you obey the audience speed limit when watching a movie or reading a book? In other words, do you dial your expectations up and down for each piece of entertainment that you come across? Or do you expect every one to have the same level of intensity or suspense or action or humour or whatever it is that you picked up that item to get? Horror is one of the hardest hit genres for speeders who expect and need every new book or movie to be as frightening as the last, as dangerous for the characters, as personally involving in the terror. Often times the complaint is that there isn't enough escalation. Being as horrific as the last one isn't enough. It doesn't matter if each has a different creator. It doesn't matter that some people have a greater fear of particular elements than others. It's all about more, wetter, flashier, exponential pulse acceleration.
I do my best to follow the audience speed limit and take the horror movies, books, and games that I spend my time with, at face value. I don't go into Paranormal Activity and expect it to be, or get aggravated that it isn't, Silent Hill or Hellraiser. I don't even look at sequels or other movies from the same creators in comparison to those other films and novels until sometime after the first interaction with them. The same holds for remakes and reboots. Each gets to be its own animal for a time. That said, sometimes incorrectly aimed hype will adversely affect my reaction at some level. If you're led to anticipate hard horror and get a dark crime drama instead you can't help but feel that you've been misled. Some of it can be chalked up to, again, a different value in what is scary or intense, but some of it is pure misdirection. So not only it is important to obey the speed limit, but to also post it correctly.
Music: Music: Objects in the Rear View Mirror by Meatloaf and Watching Over Me by Iced Earth.
Prequels present a very interesting opportunity for writers. There is a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. The end may not be locked into finality. That is, the end of a story is not always the end of the story unless everyone is undeniably dead, and even that does not always hold. No matter how it is sliced, that way lays sequels. Likewise, and somewhat in contrast, the beginning is almost never the first of any complete story, but instead the best starting point to tell what the writer wants to tell about the characters or situation that the work is to be about. When so desired it's easy to tell a story before another story. When these prequels are well done they take into consideration what happened in the original story in a satisfying way that adds depth to that original story, and at the same time draws strength from that originator, while still standing on their own.
I gave Paranormal Activity 2 a re-watch last night and was reminded I never did write the post about prequels I mentioned after the first time I watched it, so here we are. It definitely did its work as a prequel and even laid groundwork for the 3rd movie, which is a prequel to both--I have yet to see 3 but hear good things. Prequels have to follow one rule of sequels and that is to go bigger. There are a couple ways to do that. One is to have more and bigger scares. We are talking horror sequels here, but action sequels for instance would have bigger and more elaborate stunts. The other way to go bigger is to make a bigger story. That can be done by deepening the threat, widening or introducing a conspiracy, and generally raising the stakes. In horror the second story can also be more disturbing, which can be a part of either way to go bigger. It could be more gore, more violence, adding perversion, or making things more emotionally devastating.
When it comes to film there is little time to do the planning ahead to write what will be the prequel first and then write the original/first film knowing full well what came before. With published writing the pace required to do this is possible with some planning and a touch of time sacrifice. The question then is which method makes for the more powerful and engaging pair, trilogy, or series? Such a set of stories could delve further and further back into the timeline of a setting and it's central line of characters--whether or not that line is an actual family line or just interconnected characters carrying on some tradition or other non-familiar lineage. An interesting thing that could be done is to write flashbacks into the original book that are taken from a different point of view in the prequel or have a different spin on them with the difference being attributed to bias, missing detail, or failed memory in the original story. In TV in particular character bias between "actual" events and flashbacks or retellings is usually done with humorous intent, even in horrific series, but this is hardly a necessity and often unwarranted given the usual overall/mood.
Music: Music: Caught Somewhere In Time by Iron Maiden and At the End of the Rainbow by Hammerfall.
What blogger can resist posting on February 29th? Certainly not I. In honour of that auspicious occasion I am taking the lazy route today and this is all you get. I have scheduled posts for February 8th, 15th, and 29th. See you next week.
Music: Music: Come What May by Iced Earth and I Believe In Rock 'N' Roll by Twisted Sister.