June 25, 2013

Fun with fish

Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of "2001: A Space Odyssey" made its theatrical debut in 1968 and was immediately recognized for its breathtaking visuals and cutting-edge special effects. Even today the film holds its own as a timeless classic. Kubrick's cinematic craftsmanship was just that good. Before the movie was a box office smash, my father and I took turns reading Arthur C. Clarke's book upon which the movie was based. We both liked it a lot but my father would not go to see the movie. After I saw it, I strongly recommended it to him. His response was -- there was no way a film could equal the images provided by his own imagination. Thus, the film would only have been a disappointment.

This is one of those things that parents say that doesn't make much sense at the time but speaks volumes later. Someone else told me much the same thing regarding "The Lone Ranger." Originally it was a radio show years before it was brought to tv and this person never wanted to see those programs. He relished his memories of how the radio show, through sound alone, had vividly portrayed all the action and nuance of each adventure. All visual aspects had been provided by his own imagination.

Going through a pile of sketches now which I've done for my story, I look for the images that best express my imaginings of the locale and characters. However, in light of the wisdom of older generations, I wonder if the illustrations are at all necessary. As one publisher once told me, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. And why would you want to? --- RT

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