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Creativity Jam Session: Images and Words

With a bow toward Molly, who’s been posting her own Jam Session ideas, I humbly present two of my own.

Consider the following picture (which is linked to the original’s Flickr page if you want to see it in more detail).

Ashore

Now: come up with the title, author, and synopsis of a book that would evoke this image.  Alternatively, come up with the title, director, and synopsis of a movie that would contain the image.  Part of the challenge is to write the synopsis so that it’s obvious why this image is important.

And since we’re on the subject of using photos to inspire creativity, here’s one based on the excellent webcomic Found Comics.  Go to Flickr and search for a common-word tag—say, “pie” or “funky” or “computer”.  Take the first few images in the results, and then construct a short narrative that ties them together.  And be sure to credit Found Comics for the idea if you publish whatever you come up with!

Nine Responses»

    • #1
    • Pingback
    • Wed 25 Jul 2007
    • 1713
    Received from molly.com » Creativity Jam Session With Eric Meyer: Ashore

    [...] Check out this great photo from Eric Meyer and share your creativity. [...]

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Wed 25 Jul 2007
    • 2108
    Ted the Robot wrote in to say...

    This tool is very helpful in making your own Found Comics:

    http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/mosaic.php

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Thu 26 Jul 2007
    • 1014
    thacker wrote in to say...

    Meyer–

    If my single brain cell were functioning this week, a small parody on that photo could be written in a bizarre Ludlum/Clancy/Rod Serling style that reflects a sinister plot line similar to the “4400”. This is, afterall, the Jersey Shore. And it looks as though the woman in the surf is Lola Lolita who is inadvertantly witnessing the recently lost “biochip”, that contains the remains of Jimmie Hoffa, the details of the Kennedy assassination and the proof of the existence of Iraqi WMD’s, wash ashore. You can clearly see the old guy in the red trunks, the ultra-secret Dick Tracy CIA operative, Jack Buzzard, surreptiously watching poor Lola and drooling in the process. If you look very closely at 12 o’clock on that photo, at the photo’s original resolution, you can see what really appears to be the underside of the Space Shuttle.

    Besides, someone had to respond to this thread to keep you from feeling … god, did this idea ever bomb.

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Mon 30 Jul 2007
    • 1104
    Joel D Canfield wrote in to say...

    Written by Jimmy “No Relation” Steinbeck, “Found Dreams” is the story of the late Elsa Gerent as told by widower Max Gerent. Elsa’s death leaves Max no apparent reason to live, and one simple way to end it all: the beach near the amusement park where he and Elsa first met 47 years ago. As Max makes his cross-country pilgrimage, he recalls their life together in flashbacks which comprise the bulk of the tome. How things change irrevocably upon his arrival at the beach alters the tenor of the entire story in a manner sure to prompt thoughts of the true value of life and love.

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Tue 31 Jul 2007
    • 1043
    Will wrote in to say...

    “The Grand Life of Amusements”, by Rachel O’Shaunessy.
    Taking snapshot naratives in the lives of several different people, we find that the human being is living between dramas of happiness and pain. The ups and downs of the rollercoaster ride, the circular habits of the ferris wheel and merry go round. Then moving to the beach where the water and tides begin to play part into perspectives of life and death. Building sand castles, leaving foot prints, and having them washed away. Pondering on the unanswered question as to what it all means.

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Tue 31 Jul 2007
    • 1557
    David Mohrman wrote in to say...

    The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (The “American” version*)
    Director: Tim Burton

    * (Because American movie studios don”t trust new and “untested” concepts, they”ve asked Tim Burton to rework this classic British comedy from the late “70”s)

    Reginald Perrin – Reggie to his friends – is a highly successful entrepreneur born to wealth and influence, who secretly dreams of being a carnie fun-house operator to re-live the brief moments of pleasure he remembers from his overly coddled and regimented childhood when he was taken to the boardwalk by the family chauffer so the driver could meet secretly with the Amazing Tattooed Lady, against the family”s orders.

    Reggie”s life, in spite of outward appearances of success and material happiness is a tangled mess of emotional dependencies and confusion in which he feels trapped and suffocated. A crisis erupts one day and Reggie decides to end it all by walking into the sea near his beloved boardwalk early one foggy morning. The last anyone sees of Reggie are the clothes he left on the beach. A massive manhunt is conducted but fails to turn up Reggie or his body.

    In the meantime, a naked, unconscious amnesiac is pulled from the surf by a woman fishing from the boardwalk pier and slowly nursed back to health. The woman is blind and so doesn”t recognize or realize who Reggie is, and of course Reggie can”t remember. The blind woman is the illegitimate daughter of the tattooed lady and Reggie”s chauffer who gives Reggie his new name, “Martin Wellbourne”, the family chauffer”s name, because she heard her mother mention it now and again. A relationship develops as Reggie assumes his new name and replaces the boardwalk”s funhouse operator, fulfilling a subconscious lifetime desire.

    Over time, “Martin”s” innate entrepreneurial talents surface and he gradually comes to run the entire boardwalk enterprise to the point that it becomes the target of a takeover by his family”s corporation who wants the real estate to build a huge casino operation.

    During the struggle to fend off the take-over machinations of the corporation, Martin starts to regain his memory after meeting with some of his old acquaintances and family from his previous life.

    Marty/Reggie has a sudden revelatory flashback to the moment of his amnesia where he remembers actually trying to commit suicide but having a change of heart at the last second as he looses consciousness and starts sinking into the murky depths.

    As memories and people start to surface, Marty/Reggie”s life starts to become even more complicated and convoluted than anything he had to deal with before his “re-birth” and he now has two lives worth of relationships and regrets to reconcile.

    Feeling trapped and hopeless, Reggie has one last climactic confrontation with his old and new families, and botches it completely, apparently alienating everyone involved.

    Despondent, Reggie finds himself at the beach in view of the boardwalk, on a cold and foggy day much like that one several years ago. The urge to throw himself into the surf and sink to oblivion rises almost irresistibly. Will he try once again to end it all? Will he go back and face his demons and try to resolve his past and present no matter the personal cost?

    You may fit the image at either the begining or end of the story.

    • #7
    • Pingback
    • Mon 6 Aug 2007
    • 1557
    Received from ThePickards » Blog Archive » The Thanataphobe’s Lament

    [...] piece of doggerel was inspired by Eric Meyer’s post Creativity Jam Session: Images And Words and was supposed to generate the synopsis of a book or a film, but for no reason in particular I [...]

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Mon 6 Aug 2007
    • 1558
    JackP wrote in to say...

    Well, I tried to do a book synopsis, but unfortunately it all came out as poetry. I’ve therefore posted the poem on my website, along with the image that inspired it (which I’ve used your Flickr thing).

    If you don’t want me to use the image in this way, let me know and I’ll remove it immediately, and with apologies…

    • #9
    • Comment
    • Sat 18 Aug 2007
    • 2156
    Stormwater Management wrote in to say...

    Fantastic story, David.

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