Poor Little Witch Girl spreads its narrative over multiple formats to achieve various effects.
Act One is told in a comic book. Act Two is shown in a Short Film.
Act Three is wrapped up in another, concluding, comic book.
“New media are new languages, their grammar and syntax yet unknown.”
Marshall McLuhan | Laws of Media: The New Science
How best to fully exercise your storytelling capabilities at an indie budget level?
Acknowledge your skills and limitations; do your best to design within constraints.
Know and work with whatever assets are available, etc. etc. We’ve all read the same blogs.
The trick is to design a fully realized world on screen - one that’s actually got some presence.
Too often, indie projects forego thorough world building for the adrenaline rush of Production-
This is to their own detriment. The easiest and cheapest thing you can do is world build.
As is logical, our world building began with establishing our inspirations.
Hellboy, B.P.R.D., and The X-Files were first and obvious citations.
The works of H.P. Lovecraft, Clive Barker, and Raymond Chandler are all foundational authors.
Nearly all of our inspirations have one unavoidable thing in common:
An extended universe of connected stories with no exclusively central narrative.
Their stories ebb and flow and can shrink and grow in relation to the need of the narrative.
It was our prompt to determine how to approach designing this on an indie film level.
If we’re going to sink this much time into designing something - it had better be adaptable.
My personal goal was to establish a universe I could work with throughout my career.
To do so, it will have to be able to shrink, expand, change genre, add characters, etc.
We would need Micro and Macro Stories in a world where we know the Modes of Operation.
I knew I wanted to work with a detective in a noir-adjacent capacity in a paranormal world.
We’d have access to appropriate locations. We’d just worked with our lead talent previously.
And we had nothing better to do - a dead end job provides time for writing on their dime.
The Micro Story would be focused on The Detective on Screen and what we could pull off.
The Macro Story fleshes out the rest of what we can’t show on screen in more economic ways.
Primarily, comic books would serve this role - but art, blogs, and other things connect as well.