Noir meets reality

The Random Adventures of Brandon – Edgar Wright & Tommy Lee Edwards (Laurie Dix)

The Random Adventures of Brandon is a project set up by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Spaced) for Microsoft which brings comics into the era of Web 2.0.

The premise is simple:

Brandon is a writer with a coffee addiction and dreams. After struggling with writers’ block, he drinks too much coffee and eventually falls asleep, having insane and unsettling dreams, and upon waking finds that a story has written itself.

Edgar Wright wrote the set up, and is now asking the people of the internet to continue telling the story. With a team of animators and web-techs, he picks and chooses ideas proffered by the internet, and weaves them together to create a story which, in essence, is writing itself.

It’s an incredibly ambitious project, and one I like the idea of a lot. Crowd sourcing can be potentially hazardous, but when you have the potential combined minds of everyone in the world, the stories that could be told could be amazing.

The idea for crowd sourcing stories has been around for ages (I recently re-visited some of my old ‘Directors works’ DVD’s and watched a short documentary about how Spike Jonze was trying to get members of the public to write their own Oasis video) but only now, with the rise of the internet and the capabilities now offered, crowd sourcing ideas is entirely feasible. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the internet, as well as having the potential to tap the minds of some of the most creative people in the world, there is also the risk of having to deal with a barrage of hate and, honestly, some really bad ideas.

I thought that this idea for a comic was something innovative and exciting, and whereas I would never want to experiment with something like this for myself (I don’t like relenting that much control over my stories, at the moment. My stories are my own, and even now I have people offering ideas to me which are dreadful, and I just have to try and respond politely and pretend I’ll take the idea into account), but I thought it was incredibly relevant to us, especially when we were considering adding voiceover to our comics.

Comics for the next generation.

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