Lets get Steamy

posted Oct 12, 2011, 4:00 PM by Steve N Bradford
Oh baby, you know you like it when I wear leather... and goggles.

So my recent obsession has been Steampunk.  I cannot seem to get enough of it.  Since I started work on The Schlonburger Certainty Postulator its been a continuing influence on my artistic endeavors.  I will admit, those endeavors have been limited largely to working on my next film.  Perhaps you have heard me talk about it, and if you have seen me in person or online since I started work on it... you certainly have.  Robo-Butler: A Steampunk Story.

Why do you as a reader of this blog care about this though?  Well, because I am 'finally' producing for an audience.  And it is an audience who includes ME.  Science fiction has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  When I had the flu in grade school I used to sit and watch the entire Star Wars trilogy back to back EVERY DAY.  It was the edition where Leonard Maltin did interviews with George Lucas before each one.  I remember because during that part I would go into the kitchen and have a bowl of cereal.  Thats right, first thing I did in the morning was go downstairs and put in the movie.  Second thing was breakfast.  That was the best week of being sick ever.  Since then I have been a Trekkie, a Whovian (Jon Pertwee was the man), a Whedonite, a Whovian again, a Smeghead, and tons of other things that were much more effective sex prevention methods than abstinence only education.

Now I am a Steampunk.  Not a long term one, not someone who has been with it since the 1980s when the term was coined.  And there is a lot left for me to learn about it.  But lets talk about this genre and WHY I have selected it.  This has to be one of the most free and somewhat nebulous genres out there.  It is in an infantile stage right now and so its tropes and conventions are limited and still in flux.  This makes it a fantastic playground for me as a writer and film maker.  It is well within my capabilities to produce props for it, the schlock and hammered together appeal of the aesthetic means that I don't need a huge budget to make something that is Steampunk.  I need a trip to the thrift store, a good eye, and some silver gold and black spray paint.

But best of all the thing I have discovered... is that Steampunk has a rather phenomenal community.  Which to me, is an audience.  I know that if I make films in this genre (and they are good) I have the reach and capability to bring it to people who want to see it.  This is extremely exciting to me.  Instead of making things and just hoping I could put it 'out there' onto YouTube or random festivals, I have a target.  There is a group of people who can talk to me and tell me what they like and don't like and I can make films that cater to them.

It is scary to narrow my focus down like this.  To go from making films of any and every type to focusing on a specific genre (and even within that genre an even more specific focus).  But it has been extremely heartening to me so far to see how excited people are about it.  I can't wait to see what happens when I get involved in this community.  Sometimes its good to be on the fringe, because at least them you aren't alone.