An interesting world

So I'm always looking for interesting visual thematic that can be used to create storylines. It's semi rare to find anything truly interesting, but once in a while you come across some imagery that could be spun into something unique.

This is a real photo taken during the occupation of northern Ireland. Apparently the combat went on for so long that people got used to it, and just went about their daily activities while the soldiers were fighting. This is a brilliant creative seed for a dystopian sci fi plot. This picture is amazing, but if you intentionally staged this concept, you could make an amazing film. I'll tell you what's so great about it. If someone was flipping through channels and saw this scene as part of a film, they would absolutely keep watching, just to find out what storyline could possibly have led to this.

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That device she's pushing puzzles me. It appears to be electric yet the cord disappears at the grip of her left hand. It looks to have front wheels but no back wheels. If it's a lawn mower, it sits very low and only looks to have a cutting diameter of 10 or 11 inches. The handle looks like something you'd see on a vacuum cleaner or possibly a floor polisher.... and there's a child in the upper left corner of the picture. You'd think the lady would want the kid inside. So strange.
 
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That device she's pushing puzzles me. It appears to be electric yet the cord disappears at the grip of her left hand. It looks to have front wheels but no back wheels. If it's a lawn mower, it sits very low and only looks to have a cutting diameter of 10 or 11 inches. The handle looks like something you'd see on a vacuum cleaner or possibly a floor polisher.... and there's a child in the upper left corner of the picture. You'd think the lady would want the kid inside. So strange.
yeah, I thought the same thing. I'm working under the assumption that it's a lawnmower.

Honestly, I know very little about technology in 1921. At first I assumed the photograph was fake, but they made a documentary film about the guy who photographed it, and he died before photoshop was a thing, so It's real. Also, there are many other similar pictures from the same guy.
 
I've long had a mental image of people commuting to work and stepping around dead bodies in the street.
Don't know what I'd do with that image - haven't come up with a broader story for it - but yeah, I love that image from Northern Ireland.
When I saw this, the light immediately switched on in my head. All I need to do is add some cell phones into the mix and I've got some powerful imagery for a dystopian plot about the new digital sociopathy. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if people could have seen into the future when they invented certain things. There's another sci fi plot waiting to happen. Would the inventor of the television have gone forward if he could look in a mirror and see the obesity epidemic? Would the smart phone have been a thing if people could see images of silent coffee shops, no friends, no one speaking, no eye contact, just 30 people staring into small black squares? I know that the inventor of the atomic bomb publicly admitted regret of introducing the tech.
 
It's funny how time and distance can have such an effect on one's perspective!

Honestly, I know very little about technology in 1921.
Not sure, @Nate North , whether it's a typo or you really meant to refer to 1921, but this would have been in/or around 1971, and it was (more or less) the time, place and context of my youth, so when I look at that photo I see "normal life" in all but one respect.

people got used to it, and just went about their daily activities while the soldiers were fighting.

Yes, people "got used to it" - but for the most part, the soldiers weren't fighting: they were usually acting as peace-keepers, of a sort ... or being ambushed. Even when things kicked off somewhere, it was usually very localised. My mother hosted a couple of German language students in the 80s, who bunked off class one day to visit "the North". They came home bitterly disappointed, because it wasn't anything like the war zone depicted on television. :tear:

there's a child in the upper left corner of the picture. You'd think the lady would want the kid inside.

There'd have been no need. Given that that soldier is on his own, chances are he was in one of the "safe" parts of Northern Ireland and engaged in an exercise, or a photo-op! No reason for anyone to be anywhere other than wherever they want to be. The youngster has probably come out to have a look at what the soldiers are up to, although I suspect he's there for a more important reason:

That device she's pushing puzzles me. It appears to be electric yet the cord disappears at the grip of her left hand.

There's a higher resolution of that photo, which shows the electric cord snaking through the grass from behind the woman's left leg over towards the child. Based on personal experience :cool: I'd say his job is to keep the cable from snagging on the shrubbery while his mother mows the grass. And yes, it is (as far as I can determine) a very early Black-&-Decker electric mower. There's probably a roller at the back, under the metal housing.

The one thing that stands out for me about that photo, the one thing that is "not normal" is not a soldier bearing arms, or a woman using an electric mower, but where did the British Army get a black fella?
:eek:


Growing up in Ireland in the 70s, we knew there were black people in the world (the missionary nuns and priests used to talk about them), but we'd never have seen one, in real life or on TV (mainly because few of us had TV). Without exaggeration, if a black man (or woman) had walked down my street back then, regardless of guns, bombs or apocaplyptic meteor strikes, every child from every house would have been out to have a look. :shocked: :haha: :bag:
 
It's funny how time and distance can have such an effect on one's perspective!


Not sure, @Nate North , whether it's a typo or you really meant to refer to 1921, but this would have been in/or around 1971, and it was (more or less) the time, place and context of my youth, so when I look at that photo I see "normal life" in all but one respect.



Yes, people "got used to it" - but for the most part, the soldiers weren't fighting: they were usually acting as peace-keepers, of a sort ... or being ambushed. Even when things kicked off somewhere, it was usually very localised. My mother hosted a couple of German language students in the 80s, who bunked off class one day to visit "the North". They came home bitterly disappointed, because it wasn't anything like the war zone depicted on television. :tear:



There'd have been no need. Given that that soldier is on his own, chances are he was in one of the "safe" parts of Northern Ireland and engaged in an exercise, or a photo-op! No reason for anyone to be anywhere other than wherever they want to be. The youngster has probably come out to have a look at what the soldiers are up to, although I suspect he's there for a more important reason:



There's a higher resolution of that photo, which shows the electric cord snaking through the grass from behind the woman's left leg over towards the child. Based on personal experience :cool: I'd say his job is to keep the cable from snagging on the shrubbery while his mother mows the grass. And yes, it is (as far as I can determine) a very early Black-&-Decker electric mower. There's probably a roller at the back, under the metal housing.

The one thing that stands out for me about that photo, the one thing that is "not normal" is not a soldier bearing arms, or a woman using an electric mower, but where did the British Army get a black fella?
:eek:


Growing up in Ireland in the 70s, we knew there were black people in the world (the missionary nuns and priests used to talk about them), but we'd never have seen one, in real life or on TV (mainly because few of us had TV). Without exaggeration, if a black man (or woman) had walked down my street back then, regardless of guns, bombs or apocaplyptic meteor strikes, every child from every house would have been out to have a look. :shocked: :haha: :bag:
That's really interesting, to get an insider perspective on the world of this photo. I'd say for dystopian fiction purposes (I was eying this crazy looking image for some future episode of Save Point) I'd probably lean into the misperception rather than the reality. I'm glad to hear it wasn't the case IRL, but I think there's a very interesting fiction to be written about what LOOKS like is happening in the picture. An active warzone with people mowing lawns and playing badminton while soldiers exchanged fire from behind ornamental mailboxes in upscale neighborhoods. I guess it's the dissonance and contrast, but for whatever reason, it's powerful imagery. Reminds me of the kind of thing you'd see in the original Star Trek.

I had no idea that there were literally no POC in old Ireland. I did hear some stories about Japan in the 80s, when tourism from America picked up. People told me that if you were white with blonde hair, you were an instant celebrity in Tokyo. You didn't have to be famous, just anyone with blonde hair would get mobbed in the street by photographers and people wanting autographs. They said if you were also tall, the effect doubled, and that tall blonde white people would be quickly approached and offered significant sums of money to visit businesses, because the shop owners knew it would draw a crowd.

I'm also far to young to know about lawnmowers with power cords, so that was a surprise as well. I'm now trying to picture other things with cords on spools. That's a whole other surrealistic art project, just creating a world where everything is hardwired. I'm picturing people in coffee shops with the floor covered in cat5 cables, plugged into the sides of coffee cups as people drink them, that kind of thing.
 
I'm also far to young to know about lawnmowers with power cords, so that was a surprise as well. I'm now trying to picture other things with cords on spools. That's a whole other surrealistic art project, just creating a world where everything is hardwired. I'm picturing people in coffee shops with the floor covered in cat5 cables, plugged into the sides of coffee cups as people drink them, that kind of thing.
:lol: I regularly tease my "wireless" offspring, strangled by a plethora of cables of one kind or another, how we were the true wireless generation. If you wanted to send a voice message to someone, you found a willing child and sent them running off to deliver it, with instructions to wait (or not) for a reply.

These days, it's the set-up of sound/amplification systems for the dance events I go to that amuses me - cables as thick as your arm running the length of the venue and branching out to ten, twenty or thirty mics so that we, the dancers, can listen to music played on ... ... ... acoustic instruments? :eek:
 
True story, I've been to wireless and back. I was trying to set up everything wireless, to reduce clutter. And I did. Then I added some equipment, and some more equipment, and then a bunch more equipment, and one day the wireless signals in my lab started interfering with each other. Had to back off a bit, and started hardwiring stuff again, just a few wires, for important stuff. Well, that needs to be connected also, and I could auto backup core drives if I just put one more over here.

It's 7 years later and I now have 8 wireless signals and my lab looks kind of like this

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I agree, this is an interesting scene. I have many scenes, like the one where the witches and the soldiers, but, so far, no plot lines. Try as I might, I have not been able to write properly. And that is why I am thinking that, if I am ever to pursue my dream, I will have to retire from law and go full time into writing, because I just can't come up with consistent story lines.
 
Visual surrealism is a significant part of my design approach. I like the idea of conjuring images that raise so many questions that people feel drawn to the film or story out of curiosity about how the world in the illustration could possibly be explained. Dr Who does a bit of it here and there.

It's not hard to do really. I could make a film trailer where a line of excited people were waiting to pay to have their hand chopped off at a mall kiosk. Every time the blade comes down, the people cheer and smile, and some confetti rains from a blower above the amputation booth.

Just cut to black, and you've left your viewer with a LOT of questions. Of course the only way to find out the answers is to watch the show right? There's a method to my madness.

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