The Making of Laager and Limehouse

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21 July 2006

Every so often something catches the Beetle's roving eye, or snags the mind of the Firedrake, and the words 'That might be a Laager' are uttered; this nearly always happens when the two miscreants are in the same room or car or field as each other. (Very occasionally one of them will come up with an idea entirely alone, but in general it helps if they are in a position to toss a notion to and fro verbally a bit.) Then whatever it is gets jotted onto a bit of paper or the an old envelope or the back of someone's hand, and with luck gets copied into a computer before the jeans it has been back-pocketed in are washed or the Swarfega has taken effect. Then nothing happens for several days, or weeks, until one or other of the conspirators notices the obscure jotting in a file called 'scripts ideas' and thinks about it: Who would say that? Which of the characters would be likely to notice a flickering fluorescent tube, or be most irritated by it? What the blazes did 'a ghost that POLTERS!' refer to? Then the Beetle goes 'tappity-tappity-tappity' on a keyboard for a bit, and emails the result to the Firedrake, or vice versa; the Firedrake (or the Beetle, if the versa is vice) responds with caveats, amendments, quibbles and suggested alternative readings; after a few email exchanges, a script has been hammered out.

Then the Firedrake sits in front of his nest of computers and finds new and interesting tee-shirt designs to include, goes tappity-tappity-tappity on Poser, 3DSMax, and The Gimp to produce artwork, and generally makes the four panels fit the words. Then the Beetle looks at the result and says 'But that looks as if Nils is about to bite Bell in the buttock' or 'Wouldn't Elizabeth stand up there?' or 'The order they're talking in isn't quite clear, could Jaakko's speech move a bit up and to the left?', and eventually the artwork reaches the point at which there are no more caveats, amendments, quibbles and suggested alternatives. Then it is deemed to be Done and goes into the buffer.

Then as soon as it has been released on the 'net, one of the Creative Team notices that it might have been a bit better done slightly differently, but that's Art, or Life, or something.

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