Meet Brandon Generator.  He stares at the cursor on his blank laptop screen.  He drinks too much coffee.  He cuts newspapers into “word salads” for inspiration that never materializes.  He can’t write.  Like many a struggling writer, you can find him bemoaning his stasis on Twitter and Facebook: “Today I wrote nothing, but learnt how to draw four different types of dogs.  Progress?”  What makes him exceptional is that he is also the creation of writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and Marvel and Lucasfilm artist Tommy Lee Edwards for their online, animated graphic-novel-in-progress designed to crowd source elements of the story.

The first installment of The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator, a seven-minute video setting up the narrative, is now up with more to follow throughout May and June.  Visitors to the site can also explore Brandon’s flat and contribute prose and drawings, the best of which will be used as the story progresses.  Of working on the project, Wright explains at Wired:

“The more random, the better,” said Wright. “It’s exciting to know that even though there’s an underlying narrative and set pieces in place, much of the plot is up for grabs.”

He added: “I think young filmmakers today have more opportunities than ever. You can make a movie, do the effects in your bedroom and have it seen around the world in a matter of hours on YouTube or Vimeo. It’s pretty astounding. Hollywood careers have been made on zero-budget shorts on the net, so you really have no excuse. I started with no industry connections and we had zero money in our family, so I am a big believer in sheer determination to achieve your ambitions.”

The Random Adventures of Brandon Generator also features narration by Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh), original music by David Holmes (Ocean’s Eleven, Haywire), and animation by Scott Benson, Don Cameron, Daryl Bartley, and Rodolfo Damaggio.

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TNB Arts and Culture Editor CYNTHIA HAWKINS teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Most of what she thinks she knows comes from movies, including how to tango, how to take someone down with a ballpoint pen, how to curse in French, and how to catch a moving train. Her work, on movies and otherwise, has appeared in literary journals and magazines such as ESPN the Magazine, Parent:Wise Magazine, The Good Men Project, New World Writing, Strange Horizons, and numerous alternative weeklies and anthologies. You can find Cynthia on Twitter and at cynthiahawkins.net.

2 responses to “Edgar Wright and Tommy Lee Edwards Launch Brandon Generator

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