Jeremy Blog
Documenting art processes

Original Lengthy Ghost Opera Treatment June 13, 2007

It’s dark and late.  The room is black and open save for a bed in the corner.  A large antique metal milk jug filled with dried flowers rests lazily across the room.  At the foot of the bed lies an old wooden box containing unknown treasures.  A big black telephone waits patiently on a night stand.
A fertile space for dreaming.
Wrapped in sleep, she turns to her side easily.  The chains that support her plaster body gently tinkle and sway.  Hints of gentle blue light tickle the edges of things brining definition to the darkness.
Ghost Opera I seeps ethereally into the dark night air. There is a telephone to the puppeteers side.
Her gentle breathing sways her chains.  Look up.  Higher.   Do you see the figure swathed in shadow.  It caresses the chains connected to our dreamer.  It is making her breathe … Giving her life.
(Extended version includes three dream sequences to be fleshed out later for an extended filmic version:
1.    Bathing Diana spied upon by Acteon.  Transformation of Acteon into a stag then ironically destroyed by his own hunting dogs.  Dreamer woken by The Hands.
2.    Wasting of milk.  Pouring gallons of milk from the jug into a cobblestone gutter. Dreamer woken by The Hands.
3.    Vengeance of Acteon – subjugated and pierced by Acteon’s arrows. Dreamer woken by The Hands.)
A voyeur as camera creeps up the sleeping figure’s leg.  An unknown soft glow illuminates the landscape of Ildeth’s* body.  It lingers on the plaster landscape admiring its natural beauty. Here the narrative breaks.  The video will meander here and wait for the song to escalate. A tentative idea is to build a miniature white landscape and fly over it.  This is like in a dream when you fly over strange lands that look real but aren’t quite so…
The intruding light voyeur is actually The Magician’s Hands*.  They are singular in their purpose. Their sole intention is to show Ildeth that she is a pawn in bondage to the marionette controlling her.
(Unbeknownst to the Magician’s Hand’s, Ildeth has no power to move on her own volition.  It is slavery that gives her purpose and locomotion.  Without it she will crumble to a pile on the floor.)
The Magician’s Hands try desperately to grab Ildeth’s attention.  She is too interested in her dreams to care.  Nonchalantly she bats the Hands away and tries to fall back to sleep.  The hands try for her attention with renewed vigor.  They perform magic tricks in front of her.  Pull a rabbit out of a hat?  Card tricks? Slipping out of handcuffs?  She cares not for these diversions.
Dismayed, the hands resort to desperate measures.  They fly to a far corner and wait for her to fall asleep.
Ildeth makes a phone call before she falls asleep.  She whispers something into the handset.  With a gentle click she hangs up the phone.

Once under the veil of unconsciousness the hands start their work.  They begin unscrewing the lock bolts that attach Ildeth’s body parts to the chains.  The overseeing puppeteer notices the intruding actions and commands Ildeth to wake.  She flails wildly causing the hands to erupt into chaos.  Ildeth leaps from her bed and lunges for the box at her feet.  (She could first try and capture the hands in the milk jug.  They get captured easily but quickly escape by producing a hidden key and unlocking the top.  Variation.  Ildeth is overwhelmed by the hands.  She seeks refuge inside the milk jug.  It is there that she comes up with the idea of capturing the Hands with the camera.) She flings it open and quickly searches through its contents while batting the Hands away.  Meanwhile the hands are attacking the binders at her limbs.  Ildeth produces an old camera from the box*.  Snap Snap Snap.  Ildeth starts a chase scene around the room.  She is trying to imprison the Hands in a photograph.  Sometime during the chase the telephone starts ringing.  She want to answer it, but it entirely too preoccupied with the chase to do so.  After a wild chase around the room she successfully manages to get a good snap shot.  The camera produced photos much like a Polaroid, (so we wont have to sit through the banality of developing pictures.)  The photos wiggle and thrash in her hands.  The images of the Hands in the photos are angrily trying to escape by balling into fists and banging on the picture edges.  Ildeth mounts the photos behind glass.  She puts the picture on the wall.  It jolts with the contained anger of the confined Hands.  Feeling she has banished the hands Ildeth slips back into bed and quickly falls asleep.  She dreams of Houdini struggling inside a burlap sac.  During the dream the Hands escape their picturesque prison on the wall by doing a magic trick.  A puff of smoke is all that is left in the frame.  A “tadaa” sound plays and we faintly hear the sound of an audience clapping.  The Hands manage to release every chain except one from the sleeping Ildeth.  In the dream Houdini emerges from the sac.  As the Hands work the last clasp she awakens!  There is little she can do because all of her lifelines have been severed save one.  With a jerk the puppeteer lurches Ildeth up from bed.  Her body is oddly suspended in the air by one arm.  The Hands easily detach the remaining chain.  Her now free body drops lifelessly to the bed.  The phone begins to ring.  Ildeth’s head flops towards the phone.  Her body cant respond the clanging demand of the phone.
The end?

Ildeth – The supposed name of Lot’s wife whom was “turned to salt” for disobeying God’s orders.  The turning into to salt can be taken as a metaphorical metamorphoses.  It can be supposed that perhaps she was made barren.  i.e. as the supersalinated Dead Sea area where no vegetation grows; made hollow by the horrific experience of seeing Angels of God descend and destroy entire cities.
The figure is literally created hollow by the process of plaster bandage casting.  She will be left the natural color of the white plaster.  She represents a blank generic female figure to which we may pour in all manner of archetypical personalities.

The Magician’s Hands – Ghostly white hands formerly belonging to a magician/escape artist.  They are translucent white-gloved hands that flicker between realities.  They lack a body.  Their locomotion comes directly from their impossible existence and singular purpose.  Their purpose is to free Ildeth from the supposed restraints of bondage.

Camera – Certain cultures believe that if you take their photograph you will imprison their soul within the image.  Ildeth rationalizes that if she can take the spirit’s picture she can imprison the hands.

?  Hands entertain Ildeth with magic tricks then hypnotize her with a shiny pocket watch to sleep so the Hands can release her.

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