Monday, March 5, 2001

Arrrrrg. This has to be one of the most frustrating experiences in recent memory.

I have this animated series that I want to make, called Wine to Those in Anguish, out of my own pocket. I’ve found a terrific character designer. He expressed cautious interest, but wanted to look over my ideas first. I pointed him to my online repository of scripts, episode summaries, etc.

He kinda freaked.

The problem is that I put in a couple of rather grotesque things. The story is about a girl who had totally given up her sense of self-worth, and I wanted to show how far that had gone. So I had written in two elements to the story: One, when she’s strapped into this particular machine to do her work, she’s nude, and totally unselfconscious about it. Secondly, there’s a small probe thing that’s attached to…her.

When I thought about it, I realized that the probe really was unnecessarily extreme. But as for the nudity, I had always planned to do that very very carefully; the scene would be put together such that you’d never really see her nude; you’d just see her from the shoulders up, or the knees down. Anyone who knows me knows that I’d never do that in any way other than extremely tastefully.

Unfortunately, the character designer doesn’t know me. So when he read that stuff, he was afraid that this was all low-brow stuff, and probably assumed that I’d just show this girl fully naked. When in reality it’ll be very tame, and indeed the nudity is meant to disturb the viewer. It’s not a matter of, as a friend put it, “Hey, let’s have her take her shirt off.”

So now I’ve got to e-mail him and assure him that Wine won’t be a low-brow series, that I’m going to remove the whole probe thing, and how I approach questionable subject matter like nudity (I don’t even plan to show her butt, much less anything else). And hope that he’ll understand.

It’s such a delicate process, too. I’ll have to phrase my e-mail with extreme care, so that I don’t come across as willing to compromise my work, and to try to change his mind about what I’m trying to do here. Which is extremely difficult to do via e-mail.

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