And the Word was a drawing. Depicted below is my current sketchbook, custodian of the secret plans for Yvette Horizon. It is also my favorite worldly possession, and it ever goes missing or I drop it in a canal, I will do a little cry.
Seriously, look at that thing. The paper is of a texture suited to serious drawing (and erasing ) on both sides of the sheet, yet is of the purest white, and lined needlessly with gold edging. The binding is solid, it opens flat to scan, is mounted in a decadent gold relief Rennie Mackintosh cover and has one of those little ribbon things. It’s a convenient A5, has hundreds of pages and cost six quid. My only regret is not buying it bulk, since it’s out of manufacture. I even wrote a love letter to the publishers to try and score some surplus, but no joy. It’s era ends when I fill the last page.
For two months in 2011 though, it offered home to the ‘writing’ process for this film. I started Yvette the traditional way, sitting in coffee shops and thrashing out my screenplay on a laptop like a hipster buffoon. I would comfort myself, as one is available to do in that London, by glancing across to the next table where one celebrity writer or another would invariably be working, and contriving to tell myself I was engaged in the same process as them. In time though I had to concede that this was a lie, and that hunching over twiddly inch-high drawings in the middle of the night in my room was the more productive way forward.
Thus, Yvette Horizon is ‘written’ in storyboards, thrashed out in thumbnail sketches and constructed like a cartoon. I’m not advocating that. It’s probably a terrible way to make a film. And if the whole thing winds up wonky, my excuse is that I drew half of it on the Underground. But the process gave me something intelligible to show to the people I wanted involved, and they all seemed to buy into it and volunteer their services. So either what I created makes sense, or everyone involved is just haplessly susceptible to cartoon imagery.
It’s still too early for me to rule out either possibility.