How do you make a game about Orson Welles? I hadn’t thought about this in the past few weeks until I read the third part of Simon Callow’s director, writer, actor, and Paul Masson Wine’s occasional seller’s biography, the one-man band. This volume is from 1947 to 1964-from Othello to the midnight chime.
Now I can’t think of anything else. In a way, I grew up in Callow’s book on Wells. I read the first article in 1995 when I was 18 years old. In other words, I have grown up with Wells. He was 24 by the end of the first book. In a one-man band, Wells and I are both in their 40s and have a little twist. Anyway I’m a little sneak. Wells are actually still a little sneak.
The man loved chaos. Everything about him is exhausted: his life, his lies, his imagination, his failure, his appetite. And it must have been exhilarating and horrifying to be with him, put together a film as he flew around Europe, and perform a play that was focused only on the night of the first performance. I want to get a little bit of this world for myself, but from a safe distance: no fractures or unpaid debt. After the biography, the game inevitably seems to be the best way to do it. But how? How do you do wells in the game? Over 6 feet, quite heavy by the 40s, the cliché is made for him, but how do you perceive someone bigger than life?
In the middle of the book I started to notice something. Something perfect. Wells was scary, but he was easily afraid. One of the things that seemed to be afraid of him was acting with other actors. Callow is good at theater-he is good at everything. I have loved him since his anxious and flickering performance at Amadeus. A glimpse of suppressed violence made me really scared when I was a kid. He is particularly good at acting troupe psychology. Wells often appeared in the plays he directed during the one-man band featured period. He was Ahab, Othello and Falstaff. But he didn’t really like to rehearse with the actor. That seems to be the point. When everyone was preparing to play, he made an excuse for his different personality. Was he afraid of their verdict?
This means that other actors had to act around him-when he was absent during the rehearsal and, suddenly surprisingly, once again, actually around him 2 Acted twice Presence During the actual performance, when he was there with platform shoes and funny makeup, he designed himself-often a fake nose, and often a fake nose that falls during the stage-and very much of his script. Without a strong handle.
It’s fascinating. In the movie, Wells is huge-his scale, richness of voice, control of everything in the frame. But in rehearsals? He wasn’t there as often as he wasn’t there somehow.
And that makes me think: the game is surprisingly good in the absence. Especially games related to characters. Edith Finch, Gone Home, Lifeless Planet-There are spacesuits, but they are read as absent forms and a little disappointing at one moment with a visible human-these are the characters always present and in the center of the stage. It’s a game, but the character itself is off-screen and there’s no danger of a spooky valley breaking the spell.
Therefore, a game about Wells could be a game about everyone in Wells’s orbit except Wells. Maybe it’s a light around in the style of Frank Sinatra having a cold. Maybe you’re rehearsing a play-the theater allowed Wells to react quickly to things, but dialed his fears and bad behavior-and you wish for this existence I’m trying to interpret, this brilliant and exhausted ghost never looks perfect. Voices from wings, voices from food stalls, lighting modifications, new ideas, new gimmicks, cutting and adding lines, moving shadows about editing your reality out of reach.
And brilliantly, this idea rushed me back to the first volume of Callow’s biography, which never left me in detail: Citizen Kane’s trailer where Wells introduces the entire cast except himself-still Remains central and dominant Existence for about 3 minutes during that period.