The Truman Show Production Team Exchange


How's it going to end?

Words by & illustration by Kayleigh Pullinger

>Next we need to think about the areas where Truman is highly unlikely to go and, essentially, use those spaces to hide things he’s not meant to see. (Such as equipment, break rooms, etc.)

>>Okay, so do you mean things like the back areas of shops and other businesses? Restaurants, banks. Members of the public generally don’t just walk into staff rooms and restaurant kitchens so that might work.

>>>Yes, good. Let’s all be aware that some kitchens need to be real though. Otherwise he will never get to eat out.

>>>>How about boring industrial places and generic office buildings where he does not work? He’s not likely to ever really visit a factory. And we don’t need real factories here. Just buildings that look like factories. We can get our factory-made things from real factories.

>>>>>That’s a good idea. But what if he actually does work in a factory? Also, airports. Those are huge.

>>>>>>He won’t work in a factory. The writers want him to be smart.

>RE: rehearsal spaces and green rooms
>Alright guys, here’s what we brainstormed so far:

– The backs of shops and other businesses
– Staff rooms
– Restaurant kitchens
– Factories/large commercial units
– Office buildings

Let’s also add hospitals to the list. We will need a working hospital, but we can make it three times the size and fill it with green rooms and rehearsal spaces.

>>Re: Airports

We can’t put an airport in the town because the idea is that he doesn’t leave. An airport makes it really easy to leave. And then, if he actually goes there, the whole thing falls apart. An airport cannot exist on a fake island. It’s meant to be small and remote and journeys out will be infrequent. There will be travel agents; that’s it.

>>>But there will be boats won’t there? What if he tries to get on a boat? The whole thing could easily fall apart that way.

>>>>No, did you read the information pack they sent around? The writers will orchestrate a boating accident during his childhood with the hopes of making him afraid of the water and so, very unlikely to get on a boat again. His mother will be briefed. They have contingency plans to keep him in if he doesn’t develop a fear of water. The area of sea they will create will be large enough for him or others to take boats out for fun and not for means of travel. We’re getting off-topic here.

>Re: Airports

Following the airports and boats exchange I’ve flagged up with Special Effects that although he won’t be using planes, they should still be visible going over head occasionally. Their department can do some fancy shit with the fake sky where they project images of moving planes which look convincing.

>>Really fishing for awards there, aren’t we?

>Re: rehearsal spaces and green rooms.

Just checking that these are really necessary. How much rehearsal will really taking place? I
thought most people in the show were generally going to blend into the background. Essentially, they will just be living their lives and, most of them, won’t even come into contact with Truman. You don’t need to rehearse selling him a cup of coffee, do you?

>>And the actors won’t need green rooms. They will all have houses. Their house is their green room.

>>>That sounds horrible – I mean, how does that even work? Are they always ‘on’?

>>>>What do you mean ‘on’? You just said that they all blend into the background. You’re only on camera if you’re near Truman. They will just be living their lives; they will eat sleep and work on the island just like real life. They will play an important part in the illusion; they are regular and boring like everyone else, but they are acting. Ever blurring the lines between pretending and doing (for real).

>>>>>Are we actually bringing in actors for stuff like that? Why not just get regular working people and pay them as usual? It will be the most realistic option, surely. So a bus driver will just be a bus driver, not a guy pretending to be a bus driver. Otherwise you have to teach an actor how to drive a bus.

>>>>>>Someone could have ‘can drive a bus’ under special skills, don’t you think?

>>>>>>>Christof wants actors only. And they’ll only need to learn to drive a bus if Truman is getting on a bus. They’ve thought about these things. He’s on a tiny island with his own car – why would he ever need to get on a bus?

>>>>>>>>I don’t understand how you can have that much control over someone’s environment without them catching on.

>>>>>>>>>He really wants to try and pull it off that way. I agree with what you’re saying there, but this is Christof’s way of doing things. If this gets the attention it needs, actors will be willing to give their lives to be in it. He wants ‘real drama’. Which completely does not add up. It will be almost real. It’s still a studio. This man will be born, live, and die in what is essentially a bubble.

>Re: rehearsal spaces and green rooms

Following my meeting with Christof: he liked our ideas on using office buildings and commercial units. He made the point that there will be a lot of buildings like that which are purely decorative. Truman will never have a reason to visit them. The restaurant kitchen idea is definitely out because all restaurants need to be the real deal. Can’t store random crap where you meant to be storing restaurant crap etc. Doesn’t make sense. Same goes for the backs of shops.

>>Dunno what we were thinking with that one.

>>>Where will everyone rehearse?

>>>>Wherever they can. I think in houses, mostly. If they need to teach someone to drive a bus, they will do it before the ‘bus driver’ gets into the studio. Someone made a joke about special skills before, but show me an actor who wouldn’t want to get paid to learn to drive a bus. This is the nature of the industry and Christof knows it. There is a certain breed of actor that will jump at the idea of having their career manifest as what is essentially a life-long performance which is televised around the clock; to be a crucial cog in the machine of the illusion which is entirely centred around the very person who believes it all to be real.

>>>>>Cheers, mate. We get it.

Georgia Iacovou is an artist who’s approach to making is that of making collections and indexes. She has self-published a number of books, one example being a series of books which attempt to explain and analyse the lyrics of Nirvana songs.