Narrative

BEAMS – Concept for Black Shadow – Sept 9 2014

Erin Fleck/Sarah Fairlie

(the following describes the shadow puppet play unfolding)

1. A woman exits a small cabin and walks down the slope of a hill, banjo strapped to her back.  Clouds, silhouettes of a flying V of geese, a sun, clouds pass by her in the sky.  Quickly, as if time is passing by her as quickly as the tempo of the song.
Simultaneously, the ground beneath her feet moves quickly past her.  Fir trees pop out of the ground.
Note:  at the first chorus and the mention of “Black Shadow”, a demon of some kind will appear either as one of the trees, or maybe in the clouds.

2. Banjo-walking girl reaches the bottom of the hill, and seats herself on a dock on a lake.
A great blue heron walks on the water, stalking something.
A beaver swims into frame and finds something to nibble on.
A fish jumps.
A loon surfaces, floats and preens its feathers.
A frog leaps over banjo girl into the water.
The girl begins to play her banjo.

3.  All of the animals dive into the lake.  Simultaneously, the lake/shore shifts upwards, changing the scene to an underwater view.  
All animals transform into their Demon selves.
Each transformation is more sinister than the last. Sharp teeth, claws, red eyes.  The demons fight and swirl around each other. 
 We see a pair of feet enter the water from the top of the screen. The banjo girl’s feet dangling in the water, unaware of the scene below.
The banjo falls into the water, past the demons who until this point have not noticed the feet.  The Demons dance and play with the banjo until it sinks out of view.
The girl’s hand plunges into the water, trying to retrieve what she dropped.  
From the bottom of the screen, her Demon/Self swims upwards towards the girl’s hands, carrying the lost banjo.  The Demon/Girl places the banjo in her hand to return it, but slashes the Girl’s hand. Blood swirls underwater.
The lake/shore shifts downward, the underwater scene disappears, as we see the banjo girl limping away from the lake, with her banjo.  Leaving a slight blood trail behind her.

4. The girl retraces her steps from the first scene, this time moving up the hill, slowly. Everything passes her again, but in reverse.  The only difference, her Demon/Self follows from the lake, unbeknownst to the girl.
The girl enters her cabin, as the moon rises over the hill. The cabin light comes on.  Her Demon/Self waits silently outside the cabin.

The end.

 

 

Storyboard

(click through gallery)

Preliminary puppet designs

Puppet drafts 1

Puppet drafts 1

Puppet drafts 2

Puppet drafts 2

Puppet drafts 3

Puppet drafts 3

Puppet drafts 4

Puppet drafts 4