Well…another month has gone by, and I haven’t been idle. Last month, I made the decision to go ahead and self-publish two projects that had been shelved for a few years. These were Oz After Midnight and The House Down the Lane, both Plays with Pictures, that I had been waiting to make available after they had been mounted and produced. After what I went through with Below the Surface, however, I decided that it might be for the best if I just put them out there as they were. The Oz play would be a very big production, and technically challenging. The other is too similar to Below the Surface in its themes and characters.
This is not to say that I doubt the merits of these two works; rather, I am as fond of them–especially Oz After Midnight–as I am of anything I’ve ever written. I started work on OAM shortly after I moved into the apartment I occupy now, and began a new phase of life with much hope and optimism. That feeling, I think, transferred into the finished product. It is pure, unadulterated creativity from Craig, in that, while it is unique and entertaining, it is also a wee bit self-indulgent. That’s my estimation, anyway. The premise is a retelling of the Oz fable (like Dot’s Journey, which was published first but written second), and Dorothy, who is a lover of old movies, is transported to an Oz torn by terrorism–much like the U.S. she left behind–and populated by film stars who bear more than a passing resemblance to the ones she has always known (i.e., Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, etc.). The tale takes some very strange–even Hitchcockian–twists and turns, but never strays all that far from the source material by L. Frank Baum. As with many of my other projects, the illustrations feature miniature sculpted characters in dioramic settings, which I created myself.
The House Down the Lane shares this format, but it is a shorter and more concentrated piece; a thriller in which two young women, Priscilla and Ardis, find themselves stranded when their car breaks down, and must seek shelter at an old house at the end of a nearby lane. Ardis quickly disappears in the clutch of a terrifying mutant of a man who pops out of a cabinet, leaving the panicked Priscilla to search for her friend even as various members of the eccentric household emerge from the woodwork and deny knowing anything about Ardis’s whereabouts.
I created promotional trailers for both projects; they may be viewed here.
Both works are available for purchase here, in both print and ebook format. http://stores.lulu.com/store.php?fAcctID=3027613
Moving on to my next project…a short silent film, composed of my own “animated” characters, dealing with the various responses to evil as a kinetic force, represented in this case by a sinister sculpture in a museum.