Friday 26 November 2010

Tim Burton's Online Twitter Story

The concept is simple. Tim Burton writes the first line of a story,

“Stainboy, using his obvious expertise, was called in to investigate mysterious glowing goo on the gallery floor #BurtonStory”

Readers are invited to submit their ideas for the next line of the story, obviously restricted to Twitter's 140 character limit and every few hours, the best one is selected and the story continues. Similar to the parlour game called Consequences where everyone writes lines on a piece of folded paper, Mr. Burton's plan calls for the creation of a story by his fans. The project started on November 22, 2010 and will end on December 6, 2010.

The main character, Stainboy is a character from a series of animation shorts made by Burton in the vein of his film The Nightmare Before Christmas. As an aside, for me Nightmare itself is directly tied to one Edward Gorey. The artistic influence of Gorey in the formation of the characters in the film is not just strong; it almost seems like homage if not a copy. For anybody who is not familiar with Gorey, read his Amphigory. It is Nightmare!

Burton's unusual exercise is to build a story line by line but using lines created by numerous individuals. This lends randomness to the project. At the moment of this writing, the story is now at line number 32 and it is somewhat comical to read the 32 lines one after another as a story then reflect on the fact that each line has been written by a different person. It makes for a comical take on the tale. Read over the full story (up to this point in time) at the web site Cadavre Exquis.

Tim Burton at TIFF
In downtown Toronto, the Toronto International Film Festival has opened its new building the TIFF Bell Lightbox at the corner of King and John. Currently, there is an exhibition organised by New York's Museum of Modern Art dedicated to the work of Tim Burton. It is on from November 26, 2010 to April 17, 2011.

Postscript - April 16, 2011
The completed story consisting of 88 tweets has been bundled together as a single PDF. All in all an interesting idea for story telling and just now, I've run across something similar called Star Voyage Online.


Tim Burton's Cadavre Exquis

Wikipedia: Consequences (parlour game)

Tim Burton's home at TIFF

Wikipedia: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Wikipedia: Edward Gorey


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