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Bewildering Stories

Challenge 157

What Might It Look Like?


David J. Burnham’s “Meltdown” has a rich and almost quaint narrative style such as we rarely see. If memory serves, one has to go back as far as Michael Hanson’s “The Night Jaunt of F. P. Willenby,” in issue 90, to find something comparable. Perhaps you can suggest other examples.

Obviously, the style fits the setting perfectly. And yet David Burnham’s illustration, descriptions and narrative suggest a challenge in another medium. Could “Meltdown” be made into a film? A short art film, to be sure, but there’s plenty of action and scenery to hold the viewers’ attention. Two questions in particular come to mind; I’m sure you can think of more:

  1. How would you handle the exposition? It’s easy in writing, but in film you’re limited to images and sound.

  2. What film techniques would you use for the really mysterious scene where Dr. Sellière opens the urn? We have to keep in mind that Françoise Sellière is no Dr. Frankenstein, quite the contrary: no black and white scenes out of horror movies. Rather, the illustration may give us an idea of the challenge a talented cinematographer might accept.


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