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SPARK » Erika Cleveland and Channie Greenberg

Erika Cleveland and Channie Greenberg

Erika Cleveland
“No More Pink Sea Cucumbers or Frilled Sharks, Please”
Goauche and pencil in altered book
Response

Owmapow and the Unsolicited Request
By Channie Greenberg
Inspiration piece

Dr. Own Brownstone:

I’ve read some of your short stories. I’d like to invite you to join my team for an exciting project.

Dr. Vincent Bianchi

****

Dr. Bianchi:

What type of project are you facilitating?

Dr. Owen Brownstone.

****

Dr. Brownstone:

I’ll tell you all about it when we talk. Give me some time slots.

Dr. Bianchi:

****

Dr. Bianchi:

Let’s try some time during between 11am and 5pm, Thursday. Would that work? Otherwise, I’m not available until next week.

Dr. Brownstone

****

Dr. Brownstone:

Noon, Thursday, suits me. My Skype id is Grandiose@gmail.com

Dr. Bianchi

****

Dr. Bianchi:

It was nice speaking with you. I believe that I could contribute meaningfully to your project on oceanic narrative. I like writing littoral stories.

Here’s a summary of the points I raised during our conversation;

 
* Joseph Campbell mentioned, in The Masks of G-d, that all narratives are variations of a single great story. 

* It would be helpful to hire professionals from that New Jersey-based digital entertainment company to supply images.

* Flash fiction-length tales use up very little audio time. For example, a short story of mine that was over three thousand words long took only seven minutes in audio form. 

* Narrative has a multitude of applications. Consider the YouTube video that I posted that compares and contrasts the mating habits of walpurtis with those of weedy sea dragons. https://www.youtube.com/oceanicspecies/mating/=seadragonsorwalpurtis. 

* Narrative is most effective when written for a particular audience. For whom am I making the templates? Investors? Screeners? Other? Are those persons wise about the ways of sea life? It would help me to know as much as possible about your intended audience.

*Format: maybe a dropdown box, or a similar interface with a hierarchy of topics, would be constructive. For instance, under “fish,” you could put the subtopics: “hagfish,” “lampreys,” “cartilaginous,” “ray-finned bony,” and “lobe-finned bony.” In turn, each of those subtopics could branch. More choices could create added consumer interest.

* I’d like a combination of a fixed fee contract and stock. On balance, “nothing is anything until it is something.” That is, I am willing to partition my remuneration for only a limited period. While you’re empire building, I still I have to pay bills. I’m willing to take time from others of my projects only if I can receive some upfront monies from you. 

Dr. Owen Brownstone

(Owmapow)

Something more to think about;

After your company goes public, thousands of scripts will be needed for folks who become “addicted” to your channel, i.e. to tinkering with wildlife narratives. Additional writers will have to be hired. I know many writers who could become good assistants. Let me know when you want to hire more folks.

****

Owmapow:

I got your email. Currently, I’m bombarded with sales targets, delivery issues, and prepping for my Russia trip. I can’t get into deep discussions.

 

I agree on your thoughts about advertising and demographics. However, our fish tales need to be mainstream. For now, I need to focus on broad-based entertainment.

 

Your requested a mix of remuneration. That’s tough since I don’t have the time to figure out a conversion from sweat equity to actual money. As soon as the prototype brings in funding, I can distribute funds. 

How long would it take for you to develop a few short-short stories as well as to develop a list of key words to use for blanks in those stories? What’s your fee?

Vinnie

****

 

Vinnie:

I grok brief emails and am okay with gaps between volleys. In fact, I’m entirely logged off most weekends. Please send me a more detailed set of specs for those short-shorts. What’s more, should I aim for texts that read for about a minute?

Orro (an Australian expression of closure used by an editor whom I adore),

Owmapow

****

Vinnie:

Attached, please find two scripts. Please advise if they are what you are seeking. 

Given introductory and closing music of approximately three to five seconds apiece, the stories, themselves, have to fill fifty seconds or less of air time. Please do not use soundtracks like those featured on Jaws. Most aquatic encounters are far less dramatic.

Nighty-night, 

Owmapow

****

Owmapow:

Thank you for your samples. I’m not sure that either of them suits me. The texts are a bit long and they lack a list of fillers. Also, they need to be simpler and funnier. Their reading level is way too high. I understand the challenge.

Also, for now, I want our prototype to focus on newscasts. See http://vimeo.com/67832415 for an example. That story about piranhas typifies what I am seeking.

Vinnie

****

Vinnie:

The broadcast was helpful. I better grasp your intended audience’s reading level and the role of sounds and images in your project. 

To wit, attached, please find new stories. The blank spaces among lines are meant to be filled in with music and pictures. These new stories are sufficiently vague as to be enjoyable to a wide array of people. Please let me know if I am approaching your concept.

Owmapow

****

Owmapow:

My initial reaction is that your work’s still a bit “out there.” I’ll get back to you.

Vinnie

****

Owmapow:

I steeped in your tales for a while. I’m confounded. Your writing is too stylized. Your language is too good. For my needs, plots and diction have to be more down to earth. I think you are still not grasping what I am seeking. 

Our users have to be able to relate to our narratives. Think species’ evolution. Think global warming or other climate change factors. Our consumers need to be able to drag/drop down events into your stories, and then to reshape them as their own. “Their” stories will include bits from Internet science sites, environmental broadcasts, and so on.

For starters, we need just a few plots, such as: fish meets fish, fish eats fish, or fishes spawn. The length of your examples is right, but your tales of tails (ha ha) still lack wide appeal. Later, maybe, can we aim for more particular audiences. For our prototype, we require mainstream.

Vinnie

****

Vinnie:

When I write up the next version, I will ask some of my college students to try it. I think they belong to the demographic you’re targeting.

Owmapow

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Owmapow: 

No hurry. I am off the grid for a bit.

Vinnie

****

Vinnie:

The coeds say I should simplify my stories’ plots, that is, that I ought to make my samples more parsimonious. No matter, Version Three is attached. Please let me know if it is closer to what you are seeking. I dropped the complex language while retaining the narratives’ freshness.

Owmapow

****

Owmapow:

I had to take time to really get through this version, which is odd considering that the stories are brief. More specifically, any stories we use have to be more grounded. So, no more pink sea cucumbers or frilled sharks, please. Also, while I like your whimsical approach, that style doesn’t help our engineers transform stories into my prototype. Please write more plainly. Furthermore, your tales shouldn’t focus on marine geology or on chemical oceanography. Those topics are too high brow for our initial audience. Have a look at the newscasts, again.

Vinnie

****

Vinnie:

Version Four is attached. I test drove this version with my student “consultants.” This version worked for them as being sufficiently interesting and flexible (albeit, a handful of emerging adults is an infinitely small sample of the millions of available social media users.)

Owmapow

****

Owmapow:

This new version is definitely on the right track. Moving forward, I need your scripts to tie into events like those taking place between hatching and mating or between fighting off a predator and mating. You get the idea. Also, I need more blanks in each story so that we can add lots of music and images.

While you are rewriting, I will work with my software crew to provide Internet inserts. Next, we’ll merge your stories with those data.

Vinnie

****

Vinnie:

I’m back at the keyboard. Attached is a “rethink.” It contains six, not two, tales. Please let me know if I am getting closer to your vision.

Owmapow

****

Vinnie:

Any word?

Owmapow

****

Owmapow:

Your scripts are nowhere close to what I need. I don’t think you will be part of the team, going forward. Thanks for your donated time. 

Vinnie

 

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