Notes on the Epic!
Alien Invasion Epic (operating title) will be a science fiction tale assembled as a graphic novel from national submissions of staged photographs. You are invited to stage photographs depicting scenes from an alien invasion story – whatever you imagine – and send them to us to be included in the book.
Think of sci-fi movies and especially those depicting encounters with aliens. What are the kind of ‘motif’ images you’d expect to find? How about anything with glowing light sources? That’ll get you in the door to the alien effect. (Think all the glowing lights in the woods and in the backyard tool shed in ‘ET’. Or remember the backlit aliens emerging from the craft in ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind.’)
Remember, these will be still photographic images, so you will need to encourage some acting to get across the look of the scene! Ask your models to think of a specific situation, like the revelation that a monster really is standing right in front of them, and urge them to show it in their posture and in their faces!
Also, think of movie stills, either from sci-fi/horror films or just from good old film noir. You can go a long way with just dramatic lighting – a light source on a face while your hero/heroine receives a mysterious call (how about those summer camp stories with a flashlight under your chin?); maybe an ominous shadow in a vaguely human form in the background while your character is on that mysterious call; or your protagonist recoiling in fear as something looms before them, as evidenced by the large shadow on the wall, even though you can’t see the actual alien.
Photoshop is our friend! Start with actual photos, but feel free to work them up and add special effects – glowing eyes here, alien antennae there, spaceships in the sky, etc.
The order and layout of the larger novel will be determined by the editors, who will use as many submitted images as possible to assemble a multi-faceted story, possibly including stories-within-a-story and other plotting techniques.
So try to imagine all the types of shots we might need to tell this story – and fill that need! Just a few examples off the tops of our heads, with suggestions:
- ‘Normal’ life before the onslaught (small town America – suburban streets; sun rising on the family farm; bustle of the big city)
- Something’s wrong! (victim found in an alley; family dog missing – kid holding broken chain in front of dog house; all the way up to spacecraft crashed in a field or on the neighbor’s house)
- Panic! (people fleeing in fear, stumbling over each other, punching the button on the elevator with anxious faces)
- The Fight! (brave citizens fighting back with whatever they’ve got – kid with a baseball bat coming to defend his mom; the ‘mob scene’ with pitchforks and torches!; hand-to-hand combat between aliens and brave humans, with clothing dirtied and torn a la a good Capt. Kirk battle)
- The aftermath (sunset or sunrise – a new day; rubble/ruin; smoldering remains – yeah, there’s gonna need to be some Photoshop there; the family reunited, with bandages and crutches; the ‘hopeful tomorrow’ – family or friends hugging)
- And don’t forget the closeups! (worried mom; panic-stricken ingénue; thoughtful and determined scientist, almost certainly with pipe and bow tie; the fighter grimacing in the heat of battle, maybe oddly lit and splattered with alien blood)
Remember, submissions are open to artists over the age of 18 residing in the United States – but younger folk can participate if assisted by, or in the end represented by, an older primary contact person.
Also, entries must be original images of the artist(s) design and must not include imagery from existing copyrighted work, such as science fiction movies, TV shows and magazines (i.e. no Yodas, ET dolls, tardis, etc.)
Please don’t include any text (captions or speech/thought bubbles) on the images. We’ll add that later, once we’ve been able to stitch together a storyline. BUT please feel free to include suggestions of text and dialogue for submitted images as you envision them. Your idea might steer our storyline!
It’s all due by Thursday, October 31, 2013 – so get going!