Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WARP SPEED's Rialto Theater Research

Last blog we met the guys who helped me with the Star Trek/Batman/Star Wars references in WARP SPEED. This blog, we're going to meet someone else I called on for help.

In WARP SPEED, not all the characters are human . . .

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And I'm not just talking about the Star Trek, Star Wars and Batman stuff that Marley and his friends argue about.

This time I'm taking about a building. But not just any building-- specifically, the old Rialto Theater where Marley lives. It was based on the real Rialto Theatre (it's spelled different in real life) in my Scrivener program . . .


And here's the real Rialto. It's closed down and crumbling now, but there's a fight on to save it . . .

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On the right side of Scrivener is some of my research about old theaters and projection booths. On the left is a part of an essay Marley wrote for his English class . . .


My friend, Curtis Sponsler, owner of Animill was a movie projectionist in a former life. . .


So, I bugged Curtis with questions about the projectionist booth where Marley's dad spends most of his time. After WARP SPEED came out, I asked him more stuff. This time about him.

1) What was the best thing about being a projectionist?
The exposure to countless movies, the ability to do homework, to make artistic envelopes for my girlfriend's countless love notes... Ok, the very best was blowing holes in nickels using the carbon-arc lamps.

2) Have you always been a movie buff?
Once a nerd, always a nerd. Movies have been to me what books have been to you. I've always known I wanted to make movies.

3) What did it feel like, being alone up in the projection booth?
Goes kind'a with question #1: alone to design, write, think, and imagine. The sound of the projectors was lulling and familiar - I love mechanical "low-tech" as much as my bleeding edge microprocessor powered gizmos.

4) Was there a character you could relate to in Warp Speed?

For a while Warp Speed felt like a biography of my early years - wayyyy to familiar and sentimental. So I would say that I was Marley: preoccupied with Trek (BTW, real Trekkies call themselves Trekkers... which ultimately makes them uberTrekkies and have a serious problem), Star Wars, and movies. So perhaps I am the amalgam of Marley and his dad.

As a follow-up, I knew a few "Diggers" and ended up making friends of them... of all your characters, I liked him most.

Let's hope the Rialto can be saved. Here's a painting of it that hangs in my living room, plus some more photos . . .


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Disclaimer: No proofreaders were harmed (or even used) in the creation of this blog.

Lisa Yee

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