I’m spending a lot of time in Pasadena (CA) these days. That’s where I’ve been meeting an illustrator for my graphic novel, RED AS BLUE (RB). It’s a very exciting project but also very ambitious and exhausting. It’s an all-day affair like film production.
I fired my previous illustrator a few months ago, which was very painful. Once it ended, it felt as if the vision for the book had died. We had done about six months worth of work. I lost a bit of money and the project exhausted a great deal of energy for both of us. I think the new illustrator is a lot better…or different rather. I like his style.
After we finished filming NUNE, I thought I knew the character well. It took a revisit to the original story that made me realize that I’m still discovering who “Nune” is.
NUNE, the short film, is based on the RED AS BLUE project. Revisiting it has given me a second life. I get to fall in love with the character, Nune Lusparian, all over again. She’s an even more complex personality in the RB version, and the novel lets you live with her a bit more deeply—and really get into her imagination.
When first wrote RB, I was in love with the Briana character. Then things took a turn.
I fell in love with the Nune character.
I can’t explain what it’s like to fall in love with a character. I think only actors and directors understand it. You’re living with an archetype that’s alive and breathing inwardly—rather than outwardly. This makes it spiritual. It’s not a physical being. It’s a living energy.
Every time you see or experience the character being lived in the written word, an image, in a book or a film—it’s magical. You learn to connect, worship and love the person who has given the breath of life to your characters.
The reader or audience goes through the same thing. When they read a book or watch a film, they enter into the character’s imagination. They feel for them and connect to them. They learn to love them. They fall in love with them. In film, people mistake the actor for the character so they fall in love with the actor. But it is very dangerous to fall in love with an actor: because the actor is imperfect. The character is always perfect—even in his flaws.
I became possessed by a creative “daemon.” One day, out of the blue, the character Beverly appeared in my unconscious and took over. This beautiful being visited my mind and basically grew and grew and grew. The Beverly inside my head had a life of her own and many of the things I wrote—felt as if I was transcribing someone else’s diary. Beverly had such a presence, I thought of her day and night.
I worship ideals. Ideals are real if you can hold them secret and sacred inwardly—rather than expecting people to fulfill them. People will never fill those shoes.
Writers know what its like to be possessed by characters and how they appear to them. To people who aren’t writers, this may sound very strange.
I do not write about ALL the characters that take hold of my mind. I had some very dark characters appear to me for RB (especially dark energies that wanted to relive the homicidal scenes int the story), and after many revisions—I wrote them out because I felt they were harmful to society—and I don’t believe those characters deserve to be justified. These characters wanted to harm society and pull them into a dark place.
You see these characters justified in dark films, thrillers and horror movies all the time. I personally believe it’s irresponsible and wrong—to let them manifest. People form a lot of excuses for why they should manifest—they may rationalize that it may reduce crime, murder and so on. But it is my belief that just as you may not want to pollute your body with GMOs and so on, you don’t want to pollute your being with dark negative shit.
Artists that deal with darkness need to know how to take others into the dark but also lead them out. If they are unable to do this, then they are a spiritual danger to society. Many artists do not know how to do this: they take the viewer into the bottomless pit and leave them there to rot in the abyss. Then the viewer has nightmares and psychic attacks and they don’t know why. Go figure. So yeah, I deal with dark stuff—but only within my capacity to solve the problems I create. I do not like movies that make a mess out of this world and expect others to clean them up. They are just taking a cathartic dump.