Noir meets reality

Author Archive

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter (Ben James)

Hey all. This is a quick analysis on the transition of the Tales of The Black Freighter comic that features in the Watchmen graphic novel to the big screen version and how they fit it in with the main feature.



[ A segment from the film’s animated counterpart, Tales of The Black Freighter.]


 When looking at the transition from the comic within the comic to the animated piece, it seems to be an easier transition than it would be for the rest of the book with having animated it. Despite that I’m not quite sure what to make of the animation, as I quite liked the animation style of it but it didn’t bring that discomfort I felt when reading the comic version, which to me felt intentional.

I think the clever thing about having made The Tales of the Black Freighter is that when they made the director’s cut of the film, they managed to fit the segments of the animated film into the main film itself to match the graphic novel. I think that this was a rather interesting move and it was actually an interesting take on filmmaking. This is something that we wanted to do as a team in Johnny Noir, though instead of an animated piece we used comics to illustrate the event of Charles death.


Some Homage (Ben James)


The idea for the start of my original script came from the film Sunset Blvd. In the film a character is left dead in a swimming pool with a narration running over the top of it. The film then goes back from that point to tell the tale of what lead up to the death. I wanted to pay homage to the great Noir films out there but not completely rip them off, so I replaced the swimming pool death with a dockside. I thought it fit well considering me living in Bristol, a dockside city. Kind of a coincidence, huh? But y’know, not really. Oh well.

[ Opening of Sunset Blvd, the inspiration to the opening scene of Johnny Noir.]

Johnny Noir, The Concept/Idea (Ben James)

Hello all. I’ve told this tale quite a few times now, but I thought I’d share with everyone about how I came up with the concept of Johnny Noir and how it got made into a script.

The script idea for Johnny Noir was something that I dreamt of one night. Well, I’d say half of the idea was present in the dream. In the dream I witnessed a few events in a Noir-like fantasy. In one instance, a couple of characters were under a bridge that crossed a dockside. It was somewhat and romantic until everything went to hell. The woman of the couple quickly turned on the man, revealing a gun. After a struggle the woman manages to shoot the man and this was the point where I woke up from the dream. The other event that occurred within the dream was a bank heist pulled off by a group of men. They pulled out outside of a bank guns blazing and robbed the place before driving off again.

It was about 4am when I awoke from the dream and I immediately grabbed a notepad to write down what would be the very first basic plot outline of Johnny Noir which at the time I referred to as Noir Fantasy. This dream came to me at some point during the scriptwriting module in where we had to team up with another person in order to create a script that would later go on to possibly being made into a short film. I teamed up with Phil Hampson and we got started on writing this Noir fantasy.