For this project we were tasked with summarising a film of our choice using 10 images posted in a social media context. As blogs are social media, this is it.
I chose Dredd (2012), the criminally underrated film based on the 2000 AD comic series Judge Dredd.
Dredd's setting is complex and unique, a dystopian future in which the earth has been ravaged by nuclear war and climate change humanity dwells in gigantic cities stretching the length of continents known as Mega Cities. Within Mega Cities, unemployment, boredom, and crime run rampant. The only people keeping order within mega cities are the dictatorial authoritarian police force known as Judges, judges have the responsibility to be judge, jury, and executioner regarding all crime within mega cities, carrying out on-the-spot judgements for any and all criminal infractions.
(The following paragraph is most of the film premise in text, I'd advise skipping past it, and viewing the images first)
Dredd (2012) focuses on a single day of Judge Dredd's career as a street judge, the day Judge Dredd is tasked with evaluating the viability of a special-case rookie judge Cassandra Anderson. Anderson is a mutant with psychic abilities, her psychic abilities are what allows her to progress to an evaluation despite failing the entrance exam. Dredd accompanies Anderson out on patrol, allowing her to call the shots as he evaluates her performance.
Anderson decides they will respond to a triple homicide in the Mega Block Peachtrees, after investigating this particularly gruesome and public crime, the pair of judges track down and detain the prime suspect and intend to interrogate him back at the station. However, Peachtrees goes into a state of lockdown just before they exit, leaving them trapped inside. It is made apparent that the lockdown was no accident, Peachtrees is under control by a crime syndicate determined to kill both judges and stop them from interrogating their suspect. With no way out, and plenty of criminals out to get them, Dredd & Anderson must fight their way up through all two hundred floors to regain control of the mega block and deal with the crime syndicate.
I feel like Dredd (2012), despite being dismissed as gratuitously violent and departing from its source material, manages to tell it's story through considered imagery interwoven with calculated minimalist dialogue, it's very pragmatic and efficient just like it's titular protagonist (I would argue Anderson is the primary protagonist however).
I've no doubt the subtlety and nuance of the film is somewhat lost in my interpretation despite my best efforts to broaden every definition in the brief to my advantage (37 panel comic as 10 images because the pages are one image each, technically). Despite that, I had fun with this project. I played around with watercolour, had a subject I was passionate about, and discovered why comic pages are rarely in landscape (the composition is hellish (maybe I'm just not practiced enough in comic composition yet)).
The inclusion of quotes from the film to accompany my imagery helps carry the lack of dialogue, and text in general within my comic, by providing additional context that also links back to the source material. It really helps that almost all the dialogue in Dredd (2012) is memorable and impactful, so its capacity to assist alongside imagery is even greater.
However including quotes directly from the film itself may give the impression that I expect the audience to have already seen the film (which you should if you haven't, just because it's a good film) but I believe the effectiveness of the quotes when accompanied with my images is not compromised if there's no prior knowledge of the film, the quotes themselves merely add additional context to my images and do not rely on prior knowledge.
While my image making may be quite amateur in the watercolour medium, the experimentation was a worthwhile endeavour and a fun experience. Even with the challenge of landscape comic composition and unfamiliar medium, I feel like I've successfully managed to convey the gist of Dredd (2012) in my 10 images.
Elliot Watson, Illustrator with a background in historical swordsmanship and all the weird and wonderful trappings that entails.