Science fiction, speculative fiction – yep, you can keep them. Adam Browne’s lecture on his process of translating his narratives to short film seemed like a diversion of interest only to others. I was wrong. Slightly nervous with reflux tablets to hand, Adam cut a ‘handsome genius’ figure, to paraphrase his blog site. Checked chef pants, fire-engine red runners and tropical bird print Hawaiian shirt only added to the quirky image of him as author, illustrator, and filmmaker.
Between attempts to play his short films and responding to Andrew McRae’s prompts, Adam also fielded a mess of questions from the audience. During ‘The Adjustable Cosmos’ I noticed he sat, arms resting on his head and eyes closed. I couldn’t not ask him about this.
‘You sat through that with your eyes closed. I wondered if it may have anything to do with the fact that as a writer you were concentrating on the words unlike the visuals over which you didn’t have any control,’ I asked.
‘No, just nerves,’ he replied.
I pursued him further. ‘You write, illustrate and make films. What comes first in your head? Is it a linear or circular process? Or more like a pizza dough?’
‘That’s a good question that I don’t have an answer to. I don’t know.’
In a way, I had hoped that he was going to answer that he sees his stories as a movie first of all. This is how I experience my stories. Even when writing from my own real-life experience, I see the movie unfold in my head. I then try to describe the scene, picking out key details that will express the most in as few words as possible.
I’m curious about the interplay between the part of my life as a visual artist and that of a writer. As Adam said – a good question that I don’t have an answer to. I will, however, take solace in another piece of wisdom he shared – that you can discover who you are through writing.