Valcapella & Dwinn

Lemony Snicket’s spiel:

DON’T DO WHAT YOU USUALLY DO when there’s a CD included with a magazine, which is leave it in the little thing. Take this out of the thing and listen to it because it’s an epic of heartbreak and awesomeness, fully acted-out and music-ed, and it demands your attention so just listen to it. What’s wrong with you, if you’re one of the people not listening to it? Are you going to use the excuse of having a traumatic childhood experience with a recording of an epic poem? Or are you just a morally stunted person who does nothing but self-Google and snack? Get ahold of yourself. Take the CD out of the thing. Move one step forward to the heavenly glory available here on Earth instead of eating so many corn chips and scrolling lonesomely down the address book in your phone. -Daniel Handler (A.K.A Lemony Snicket)

Plot summary:

In the dry wasteland of the distant, terrifying future, two very different people become unexpectedly entwined in each other’s lives. Dwinn is a worker clone captured by the fearsome drug-addled bandits of the desert, and would prefer to quietly and politely die than cause any inconvenience to others. Valcapella is a pirate-princess and solider of fortune, who will exploit anything or anyone to eke out an existence, firm in her belief that deep down, all people are equally selfish and cruel. When Dwinn saves Valcapella’s life in what appears to be an act of pure altruism, the two are thrust into the epic post-apocalyptic adventure of a lifetime.

Joff’s Notes.

This epic poem was an epic task. By the final edit it reached 80 minutes, and included over 2000 takes, all edited together with added breaths, and other tricks, to give to the effect of one continuous reading. We recorded narration, dialogue from actors, and sound design using bits of junk, glasses, a mandolin, and other fun things. On noisy days we set up an insulated microphone-cubby out of heavy blankets and chairs in the middle of the studio. We did our best not to digress into reliving childhood memories.

The music is mostly associated with the post-apocalyptic landscape. It gives each area its own ghosts, voices and feel. Sometimes the sound of the landscape is sympathetic to the characters, and sometimes, as in the saloon scene, it’s in contrast to the action and almost making a mockery of the characters’ feelings. It was decided that we would avoid music that literally interpreted what the narration already allowed us to imagine.

In directing this story I began to realise just how prized a good performance is. I also came to experience the same level of utter madness I see in many of the directors I work with. Also Tom is super-cool.

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