Slam! Wham! (pause)

A script for performance is usually a static entity – something that is written, printed, memorized and performed. But what if it were somewhat more dynamic? What if it were pieced together live from disparate sources? For my midterm, I explored the idea of generating a script through the process of crawling the web. In this example, I crawled a movie script site while using different pattern matching techniques to determine what was sort of lines are spit out. You can see in the example below I was looking for lines with more violent words (slam, wham) and lines with pauses – an attempt to create a sort of ebb and flow in the narrative. Though the lines move along too fast to be read in completion, you can get a sort of general sense of a story.

In this instance I’m returning mostly descriptive, stage direction-type stuff, but the same technique could obviously be used for generating dialogue. I’d like to work on developing more specific rules, so that it’s a bit more elegant and also the work on having better control of the pacing. I’m interested in working from unlikely sources (how would a scene from the New York Times be performed?) and in having two actors work off of two drastically different sources and see how they can play off of each other and if any sense could be made. The main thing I enjoy about this setup is the sense of anticipation and unpredictability – you can never know when the next line will come and you never know ahead of time what the scene will be.

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