Writing for Film and TV

STORYTELLING | INTERSPECIES LOVE – By Pamela Jaye Smith & Monty Hayes McMillan


Interspecies Love is an excellent story device to make observations on the way humans treat each other and a clever way to portray our more animal-like aspects.

Exemplar Movie

Avatar

Why it exists (evolutionary back story)

Some versions of humanity’s source calls for off-world aliens doing genetic manipulation on the local primates. But in Battlestar Gallactica, you find a feedback loop of humanoid-to-humanoid.

 How it serves us now

Is this preparing us for alien contact? Is it an artifact of ancient astronauts doing breeding experiments here? And really…what’s the deal with alien anal probes?

 Examples in Myth and Legend

Greek king god Zeus was a rampant womanizer of mortal females, immortal females, and half-mix females. As a swan, he seduced mortal Leda, who bore him Pullox and Helen (later of Troy).

Examples in Media

Avatar  is an excellent example of technologically advanced cultures taking advantage of other beings who are seen as “less than”. There is Interspecies Love between Jake and Neytiri and a generalized mutual respect and love between the human scientist Grace and the Na’vi.

Symbols

Two very different versions of the same thing in juxtaposition: eyes, hands, sex organs, etc. In Avatar the helicopters and the flying dragons represent the differences between the humans and the Na’vi.

Key Element – The Shining Action

In Galaxy Quest when human Fred Kwan and Thermian Laliari embrace, her appearance generator is over-ridden and an octopus tentacle comes up behind Fred. She gives him a look, “You okay with this?” He swoons into her tentacles.

Cinematic Techniques

When bringing together different species, photograph them face-to-face from the same angle if it is a mutually accepting situation. If it is predatory in any way then the predator is at the higher angle looking down on and overpowering the prey.

Show the non-human’s point of view of humans as significantly different from human vision with infra-red, black-and-white, multiple lenses, etc.

Conclusion

Interspecies Love is a really rich situation you can use to make all sorts of statements and send all sorts of messages in your stories – while greatly entertaining us in either heart-warming or terrifying ways.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

“SHOW ME THE LOVE!” authors Pamela Jaye Smith & Monty Hayes McMillan have worked in all aspects of the media industry for 35+ years, in Hollywood and around the world including the Arctic, the Andes, and SE Asia on features, TV series, music videos, commercials, documentaries, and web series.

MYTHWORKS – Applied Mythology for Individuals, Organizations, and the Media Arts

Mythic Challenges – Create Stories that Change the World

Alpha Babe Academy


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