Dream Board Jam

David & Toby expand upon the mood board approach by using imagery as the ‘opening scene’ to tease out story ideas.

Location Board 1

Use images to imagine the opening shot of a movie. What is happening here?

Shipyard Breaker. Gutted tankers. Mickey in ruins. Trash Island. Forbidden City.

When was the first time you went to Disneyland?

Euro Disney appalling work conditions. Not enough housing for workers, had to live off the park and take the shuttle bus from one of the tiny villages nearby; could take 5 hours to get home, so you only had a few hours before the morning pickup for your next shift.

Not enough cafeteria space for ‘cast’. Had to do shifts; overlapping; no time to eat. Wasn’t enough food for visitors either resulting in mini riots; lacked security.

Sounds like slave labor or living in an open-air prison. You have to entertain the people who are stuck there when you’re stuck there, too.

Sneaking into the Anaheim park.

Massive surveillance operation to ensure kids don’t go missing or get kidnapped.

Future generations won’t look at Mickey in the same way, perhaps? Symbol of oppression.

Wheelchair buddies (fake family) to skip the queue.

Amusement parks run like cities. Graduates can go and run other municipalities. Proto-fascist training ground?

Mecha-Mickey, “Have a Nice Day. Oh Boy! I can’t wait to taser you.”

Will future generations after the collapse of humanity look at the “Mayan” ruins of Epcot and wonder what all of it meant?

Planet of the Apes, finding the Statue of Liberty at the end. Does Disney buy a planet and set itself up there, giving themselves all the powers they need?

Disney Moon. Because we’ve got the org skills to do it! They create their own terraformed planet. Just as States are desperate to get Disney to come, interplanetary competitions do the same. Disney has the rights to build a nuclear power plant in Florida. A new entertainment planet, using all of their knowledge and know-how of world-building. House of Mouse is the intergalactic pioneer.

Tourists are intermittently eaten by alligators in Florida, as they roam golf courses and hotel pools. Same thing might happen at Disney Moon.

Something Dangerous lives there, too.

Security guards sent to club birds to death so they wouldn’t crap on the fixtures; turned out to be endangered species.

Ideal Society or Living Hell?

Entire planet is a franchise.

Earth is destroyed. Survivors on Disney Moon have to live with what they have. The only guide they have is the Disney Employees Handbook. Over the centuries, it turns into something wonderfully weird. They had to become self-sufficient and build new technologies. All they had was the braintrust of the Employees and visitors who were stranded there.

The visitors expect to be treated special and become the aristocracy. The staff must entertain them. Becomes a caste system handed down from generation to generation. Use your science magic to make us happy.

Timberland. Algae run-off? Reduce majestic forests into wood floating in fetid water. Beautiful from a distance.

Koyasnisqatsi - “Life out of balance”. Beautiful Decay. We go from one perspective to another.

Modern life keeps abstracting and abstracting that we remove ourselves from what matters. Too many intermediaries. Too much distance. “Why Nothing Works”, by Marvin Harris. Responsibilities keep getting outsourced to others so that they cannot care. You buy a brand new jacket and the button pops off. Imagine that happening in the Eskimo world? Buttons coming off means death of the hunter and no food for the family. No more pride in craftsmanship because we are too removed from each other.

Financialization of everything is another level of abstraction. Removes us from what is humane, and real, and authentic.

Do goober celebrity arrives to do tour of the Amazon. They’ve shut down temporarily. Government inspector. Government employee who hasn’t received their bribe. Pay up! They arrive but everyone’s gone, or dead. What happened? Pandemic? War? Eerie. Just left as it was a day ago.

The forest taking back what belongs to it. Humanity as a parasite. Pestilence.

Zombie-ant fungus. Fungus that gets into ants’ brains and controls them. Turns them into zombies. Their heads explode to infect the colony. Ophiocordyceps Unilateralis.

Purge, Amazon style. The natives fed us the fungus and it’s an apocalypse.

Simon McBurney’s, “The Encounter”

Salvager Gold Rush

Severed Tanker. Action set-piece. Rush to salvage something from it that was hidden behind and it’s crawling with pirates that are looking for it, too.

Refugees are displaced and aren’t let in by host countries. Become nationless. What if they live on a deserted boat like this in the harbor or at least just in international waters so they are just out of arm’s reach? Just like the ship, they are marooned, stuck in place. Indeterminate status. They create their own nation.

Scientists of Fortune

When you find something in the ocean, you get salvager’s rights. New Yorker article long ago about a crack team of professional treasure hunters that specialize in historic research to locate sunken wrecks with treasure that they go and salvage. Have to work fast because it attracts others, including government agents from nearby land. They have to protect themselves with mercenaries. Multidisciplinary team of soldiers and scientists.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”

Treasure hunters of another kind. The truth behind recycling. You put your bottles in the correct bin and this is where it ends up and what happens to it.

Future archaeologists will find this. It must have been special and precious because it was kept in one place and preserved. Excavation site in the past found ancient wine. It was in the Middle East, where there is desert today. It had a huge wine operation. Traders from all over came to buy it. They found a massive aviary for pigeons to harvest their poop as fertilizer. The pots that the wine was shipped in was its signature. What would people make of our bottles and the logos on them. Different religious groups? Seven-Up and Coca-Cola were special factions or sects, or offerings to the Gods. Good product placement. Who was this Dr Pepper? He must have been very important because there’s a lot of offerings to him. Were they for medicinal purposes?

Because we abolished plastic, it’s becomes a rare treasure in the future. Could become more valuable than gold is today. There is no plastic in the future and thus very valuable. We’ve exhausted all the petroleum. Rather than strip-mining for minerals, we strip-mine dumpsites in the future for rarities. If we go ‘kablooey’, future generations would have a harder time of it because we’ve used up all the low-hanging fruit resources, although we’ll leave behind amazing trash.

The way we consume things currently is linear, cradle to grave, and we need to create a circular pattern of recycling. Circular thinking. Take it as far as we can. Renewables.

Trash Pirates

You can make good money from cardboard in Italy, so there are cardboard thieves. Rubbish thieves who take your garbage and prevent it from going to the recycler. Paper is good because you can’t fingerprint it.

Covanta burns trash for energy. Don’t just burn it! It can be re-used for all sorts of other things :wink: We might look upon trash burning as a terrible waste.

Imagine a society where everything is circular. Even human life. Renewable and not linear.

EverLife fictitious ads. “What a senseless waste of human life”.



We run out of space for people, so we move residents from the top to the bottom floors and fill those floors with earth.

1 Like

Love this mood board idea, A picture is worth a thousand words :slight_smile:

1 Like

Appreciate the feedback! If you have any ideas on how to enhance the technique, we’d love to hear them. I’d like to organize another session of these, perhaps in an asynchronous manner. At this point, I’m collecting feedback before we do another one.

Sure thing, I was thinking about it and Poetry and Music came to mind and thought it would be cool to write a poem about the photographs and find a song that makes you think of the photo to inspire more ideas. Here is an interesting article about “Photo poetry” - https://www.readpoetry.com/photopoetry-photography-poetry/

That’s a great suggestion. Reading it brought back a flood of memories and ideas I had long forgotten about.

The first was regarding the early CD-ROMs. The most successful of them, as I recall, had stills photography interwoven with audio recordings of people’s narratives. The stills were synchronized to the audio to create the feeling of watching a documentary but without requiring such a high A/V overhead. Computers were pretty under-resourced at the time, so full motion video would have been buggy. It was very minimalist but highly effective. I used a similar technique on a behind-the-scenes Web series I created back in 1997-8 in which I used Macromedia Director’s early implementation of video streaming. 56K baud modems were about all you could wish for at the time and I wanted to give viewers a documentary experience of the interviews I was doing with crew members on feature films. I shot about 72 hours worth of video, edited it down into 10m minute chunks and then did stills captures from the video over streaming audio. This allowed the viewer to click a button on the website and get a streaming experience within about four seconds that felt like a true ten minute audio/visual presentation. Can you imagine four seconds today?! You’re audience would be long gone! It was cutting edge at the time. How far we have come! Nevertheless, it’s always stuck with me - how just limiting the images of a photomontage over rich audio could be so engaging; like a podcast with visuals.

The second was that I often daydream when listening to music. I find music very visually stimulating. I have wondered what it would be like to do a Story Jam just to music? I read long ago that the musician Kate Bush would bring her watercolors into the studio and tell her musicians to, “Play that”.

The third was a photographer who I can’t remember but they did portraits in which their subjects held notecards that gave a personal history, snippet of a bio, or what was in their head at the time. It gave the image another dimension. I wish I could remember their name. I hope it comes to me!

I enjoyed the Web page you referenced. It started another journey down the rabbit hole! I’ll add to these thoughts later but I came across this Photocaptionist website that I thought was interesting.

I invite you to come up with some Poetry Jam formats that we can experiment with :slight_smile:


The Documentary project sounds cool, would enjoy watching that. Still have tons of CD’s around and remember making them for friends as gifts, always loved picking out songs that I feel they would rock out to, maybe this will inspire me to do it again! I feel the same way about music, when listening to the radio and a certain song comes on that connects to a memory, I actually feel a type of energy in my brain, almost like I am re-living the experience – that would be fun to do a story jam about music - When looking at those photographs, I thought of them being an album cover and what songs would be on that album. For example, the photo of the ship graveyard where they break apart pieces of the ship, I would name the album – “Broken Dreams” and a song that would go on that album would be (Bring it home to me) – by Sam Cook – Like he is trying to pick up the broken pieces of his relationship or forgotten dream (The Broken Ship Pieces) – I will brainstorm of some ideas how to format a poetry jam, maybe try picking a theme such as motivation or a place in nature like the ocean or forest and building on that – Thanks for sharing the photo-caption website, For music also wanted to share an awesome worldwide radio website and app called Radio Garden that you can explore local live radio stations around the world. http://radio.garden/listen/mallorca-sunshine-radio/ijRAAHrB- Wish everyone a joyous new year!

I like where this is going. I hope you post a few examples, even if they’re just works in progress. I find that it’s important to keep the momentum going, so don’t put it aside - get right on it! Play around, post some tests, let’s see what comes.

I’m asking a friend about a tool she used to do some cool narrative stuff on the Web because I can’t remember the name of it. However, in the meantime, I wonder if something like Adobe Spark would do the trick? It is very similar in functionality to what I did with Macromedia Director all those years ago but is more up-to-date! It allows you to publish files you can embed on a Website (with iFrames) or push to social media channels. The key difference, though, is you can invite others to collaborate with you on your Spark project.

Of course, you could just use a timeline editor to produce a video and post it to YouTube. Somehow that seems kinda wasteful to me and not easy to collaborate on. My reasoning here is that a tool which allows people to examine what you did, build upon it, mash-up, etc, is far better :slight_smile:

I should also take this opportunity to plug the fact that we are working on a collaboration tool, ourselves. It will be awhile before we have the functionality needed for a project like this but we look forward to you helping us to alpha test it next year.

1 Like

Good morning everyone, Here are a few examples as a foundation to get started for the Poetry Jam, let me know your thoughts. To start we would pick a theme – for example, we could pick to choose “Nature” and write a short poem about a place in nature or a place that gives you peace of mind or that you can connect with a memory, also try and find a photograph that you feel represents the poem. I just downloaded Adobe Spark thanks for the recommendation, I will play with it and see what more I can come up with and definitely seems like a fun way to collaborate and build upon ideas, I also look forward to being on board and testing the collaboration tool!

  • To start I will share this short poem I wrote about a place in Nature that I love – The Beach :blush: - Also attached a photo that I feel represents the poem

“I treasure all that is given to me by the Ocean and the Sun, the soothing sound of waves kissing the shore and the Sun warming my face and heart, I wish this moment could last forever but one day I will fade away but my spirit will remain in the Sea”

Here are some more examples of themes
Love - Write a poem to someone you know, friend or family
Gratitude - Write a poem about something in your life that you appreciate, Write a poem about your version of a “perfect day”

  • Also just to note I thought it could be cool to translate the poem after writing it to a different language, just to see how it looks on paper and how it sounds trying to read it

I like it! Thanks for kicking this off. I’ll try to think of some variations on your theme.
In the meantime, here is my off-the-cuff poem to someone I (should) know… family

Ode to Netflix

To my unknown relatives of the past
Good thing you outran the mastadon
So I can sit here on my ass
To those who braved the Great Plague
I’m just going to sit this one out
Thanks for all the procreation
that led to my recreation
Rest assured I’ll do my part
As soon as I figure out where to start


Here’s mine. I was in a slightly darker mood, today. I’ll try something a bit brighter again soon!

A Cut Above the Rest

1 Like

Here’s a picture that I encourage others to write a poem to.

1 Like

The universe is such a mysterious creation, time keeps moving, never ending, formation of the earth, wind, fire, and water, evidence magic must be real. I hope to discover the luminous spark of magic from the universe within me and never have it vanish, dropping to the abyss of the ocean, forgotten forever. I Just need to find what makes me feel alive and hold on to it, never letting go

1 Like

To truly live is treasuring each moment, bound in the infinite mystery of creation, like your favorite song being played over and over again, I ask what is TIME but a man-made construct? Why do we follow time so closely, controlling every moment, time doesn’t mean anything, a distraction from what is essential – The Spirit of Life

1 Like

Treasuring each moment makes me very aware of time. And mortality. Without time, life might be a waste of time. Is an awareness of time a distraction, or is it where mindfulness comes from?

Ironically, time may be what makes life worth living.


Nice :slight_smile: I like it