Blog

During each residency, guests will publish blog entries through which the interested public will be able to track their journey through the locations included in the project.

Marko Škobalj: An Author in Search of a Story, A Three Act White Tragedy or Black Comedy

ACT I – Agroturismo Fangar

“To be a poet is a condition rather than a profession.” 

 

Why do I write? Because I must. Because I feel like it. Because I become obsessed with the fictional lives of characters, the storytelling, and emotions. All of which starts inhabiting my imagination. And through it all, there is The Process. 

As a living and progressive process, writing should constantly be looking for the next high tramontane-swept mountain to reach. And if the first glimpse of the drop beneath the feet, turns my stomach with its immensity, then so much the better. 

That was the emotion behind my wish to participate in the ULYSSES' SHELTER MALLORCA SCREENWRITING RESIDENCY. 

So, in retrospect…when emotions have settled and the analytical mind has kicked in: what the program has offered me personally was a totally unique and wonderful experience! As my project is intimately connected to the island of Mallorca…the practical contact with and observation of facts connected to the life on the island, local community and all the ingredients for a great storytelling opportunity were just perfect! 

For an author in a search of a cinematic story – that whole adventure was simply immense and most gratifying. Discovering all the nuances and specificity of the region is almost impossible to describe...until the first draft of the script, of course.

The location of the Writer Retreat segment, at Agroturismo Fangar, was just great for marinating ideas and thoughts about the project; calm & peaceful with wonderful nature and motivating vibes. Rooms, writing spaces and common areas - along with the staff from every and each person just exemplary. Every mentor-script editor brought a unique look at the project. For me personally, Eva Svenstedt Ward helped me clear any doubts in approaching the adaptation of literary work into screenplay as my starting point was a short story by Robert Graves „A Toast To Ava Gardner“, a wonderful slice of life but REALLY short, based on biographical experiences of Graves taking place on Mallorca in the 1950s mirrored against Franco's fascist dictatorship. It was a challenge how to adapt it into a feature film screenplay. And all the things I knew were based more on WHAT NOT to do, but I was kind of stuck how to approach it. And Eva said the right thing at our first one-on-one session: „Consider the litetrary work you are adapting as a house. And you are free to roam the rooms of that house until you find one room where you feel comfortable to stay.“ Basically, the same room where I would like the audience to stay and enjoy the film. Just a perfect advice!  

 

Shredded Shit & Planktones

Bioluminescing biobreak;

Probiotic in charge of

Playful vertical translocation.

A deluge of microscopic muck

Accompanies

Intellectually curious constipation.

In blazing summer solstice;

A cala of piled los mamíferos

Sailing the sea of surface wee-wee warmth.

 

ACT II – Deià

“Poems are like people. There are not many authentic ones around.” 

 

Now that I have found my characters and created an adventure for them full of drama and authentic context, I want to continue this journey of development all the way into the final screenplay and film shown at cinemas.

This script is meant to be an experience, to move along with the feelings of the main characters. Of course, the main thing is to establish their humanity because if the audience cares about the characters, they will love the film. 

So, the aim is to try to tell the story of every human being as everybody sees the world through their own stories they carry inside them, their own mythology – and we all too often inhabit parallel lives while always being in between.

As I have participated in a quite a few script developing residencies, I must admit that ULYSSES' SHELTER has a special place in my heart. All the fellow residents became a new cinematic family of mine, and I will cherish a few new friendships until my last breath. 

On the topic of increasing my skills – I am a firm believer in constant learning and permanent chance to grow as a creative mind and an author...so this program was absolutely wonderfully curated for exactly that purpose.

 

Sweatblot

The corruption of sporadic dampness,

Where fear lives -

Comfort zoned out.

[lively discordant strings playing]

Rorschach perception of perspiration,

Dampened T-shirt derrière.

A perfect take of movie magic bocadillo

against a rushing death hex.

[dramatic sting]

Hey Banksy, hold my drink mate…

 

ACT III – Palma de Mallorca

“There's no money in poetry, but there's no poetry in money, either.” 

 

When you are a writer of some experience, it should be well within your capabilities to simply launch yourself at the deep end with good opening idea and then trust your own mysterious process, or writing instincts, to let the plot, structure and nuances of character emerge from the narrative as you go along. To take risks. To work without a safety net. 

Because if you are certain that you can do a thing, this only means that there is little to no point in actually doing it. 

And that is the reason why ULYSSES' SHELTER writer's residency offered me all the elements that I needed to continue this journey to the final cinamatic narrative to toast Ava, Robert Graves and their legacy. 

I would recommend this program to EVERY STORYTELLER…especially those who are playing in the field of literary-script adaptations. To make things hard for themselves by sharing ideas and thoughts about the project in a stimulating surroundings. 

And to fear nothing, especially failure.

I always advocate for the wisdom found in forgiving oneself for the mistakes of the past because it's in between failures and trumphs that our lives are written.

Precisely how it all plays out and fluctuates in the present time-space continuum between two opposing realities – I do not wish to rationalize but, for sure, I can share my hunch that…

…the margin might be narrow but the choice is yours. Always. 

 

And that is why the logline for the story that I have discovered is as follows… 

 

Killer dame and bullet-in-the-back dreamer looking to free themselves from the bounds of their own personalities meet on the margins of their usual lives on Mallorca. They go on a road trip, and with the help of a countercultural spiritual guru, learn how to unlock the power of choice. But, there is a secret to unravel…the mystery as old as the hills in the land of MARGINALIA.

 

Breakfast at Satan’s

Crispy bright full house of heavenly loiterers

Filled with mundane trivialities

Not an interesting sight!

A lone oarsman 

Splashing

Rowing 

Up-and-Down 

Splash & Plash

Abdominal empty growling

Peristaltic wave 

Stroke & Release

Brightness pierces submerged nether regions 

As infernal ensaïmada is paired with glacial cacao 

Slurp and Burp

Indeed!

 


IMPRESSUM

 

Sandorf - publishing house founded in 2008, engaged in Croatian literature and literature in translation, and in a wide range of books in humanities.

 

Center for Research and Promotion of Urban Culture (CIP) is a non-profit association that has existed for twenty years. Established in 1998, it operates in the areas of culture and art, urbanism, youth mobility and social dialogue.

 

Editor in chief: Ivan Sršen

Managing editor: Jana Smrekar

Editorial board: Matko Abramić, Thanos Gogos, Sena Zereyak
Graphic editor: Nikša Eršek

Website maintenance: Nabukodonozor d.o.o.

 

 




 

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