How it started. Part 1.
I am almost a professional procastinator. And very obsessive. When there is something that arouses my curiosity, I search, I investigate, I read, I gather … everything that is put at my fingertips. In the case of unmemory, I look for examples of gamified narrative. Things like Harmonia by Liza Daly, Blackbar, Device 6, the “books that can’t be printed” from Editions at Play in collaboration with Google. I play Gone Home or Papers, Please, or take up classics like Samorost or Machinarium from Amanita Design. I also explore interactive resources like telescopic text, this texter, or this other experiment along with some visual effects.
I also spend time looking for a story. I don’t get to work on it concretely. Rather I read a lot and write down ideas. Especially comics. Things like Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips, Parker by Darwyn Cooke or Ardalén by Miguelanxo Prado. The latter is about memory and I especially like it. I also read crime novels such as The Friends of Eddie Coyle George W. Higgins, Pierre Lamaitre’s Blood Wedding or Marc Behm’s The Eye of the Beholder.
There is a time when I think maybe the best thing to do is look for a story and make an adaptation. I think it must be “interactive” in the sense that it seeks the participation of the viewer and two films immediately come to mind: Memento by Christopher Nolan and Mulholland Drive by David Lynch. These are movies that I liked a long time ago and that I have always felt “interactive” because somehow, while I was watching them and also afterwards, my head kept trying to build the puzzle of the story. I think this is the moment when I decide to start writing a fairly free adaptation of Memento. I see it a couple or three times. Even a chronologically ordered version. I also see Mulholland Drive again. And another movie about memory: Before I Go to Sleep with Nicole Kidman, which I don’t like so much but which helps me to get an idea. All in all, I start writing a short story script that I rewrite several times to complete 10 chapters. More or less one page per chapter.
As I write, I get new ideas, references and things that I have always liked. For example, the culture jamming movement of the 90s that I approached with magazines such as AdBusters, the book PRANKS or the Influencers festival.
And of course, puzzles. I research and collect a lot of puzzles. Of all kinds: memory, deduction, logic … I buy a book by Martin Gardner.. As I write the story I realize that the ones that fit the best are those of “opening bolts” or “combination locks”, so I start playing a lot of escape games: The Room, Rusty Lake, Viridian Room, Sagrario’s Room, Agent A … and a book like Journal 29 or La Casa de Papel.
All this, and something else, goes through my head at some point while I write the scenes, build the characters, imagine the settings and design the puzzles.