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After literally years of work conceiving this script, Mark then spent more than 2 years drawing it in pen and ink. Thrilled to say, the graphic novel is now complete, and a few copies have been printed.
A version is being shared with film producers.
We’re just waiting on a colour cover, and then 500 more copies will be printed.
Cover image for the 3 parts of the graphic novel, The Oracle MachineGo to to find out the latest, and follow the exciting journey, from idea, to comic, and hopefully, some time soon, into a live-action movie!


Hi guys,

Just to let you know, The Oracle Machine movie project never stopped. I just took time out to make another film – GIRL FROM NOWHERE – which is having its Official Premiere tomorrow (Friday 29th September 2017) at the Labia Cinema in Cape Town. (Yes, that’s a real cinema)

You can find out more about GIRL FROM NOWHERE on it’s page

Meanwhile, I’ve been hard at work illustrating The Oracle Machine, to turn it into a graphic novel. The idea is to use the graphic novel to get people into the story, to sell the script (The graphic novel is 100% the film script, and the images will become storyboard images)

The graphic novel is completed in rough – all 150 pages. Now it needs funds to pay for a comic artists to make it nicer. Or maybe I’ll fine tune the illustrations myself. Regardless, I will launch that project very soon – like in the next two weeks. Stay tuned.


OK, the script is in it’s zillionith re-write, but it’s getting there. I’ve cut out a few characters, simplified it. I’ve suspended the drawings/animatic mission until I’m 100% happy I’ve got the script right, but I remain committed to the animatic idea.

In the meantime, check this out: (in one version of the Oracle Machine, the computer commandeers a drone)

I’m back. It’s been 6 weeks since I last posted, but things are still keeping on.
The NFVF got back to me, (5 months after submitting my script) and said they’d like to develop the script on their Master’s program. Which is an honour, but I’d rather have development finance, thanks very much.
I’ve been showing the script to a few people. One super person who’s very involved in internet development, loved it, which is a big boost for me.
I’m still trying to get producers to just read the script, even the first few pages. This is incredibly difficult, so work continues on my animatic. The frame above gives you an idea of what it’ll look like. I’ve always drawn storyboards from my head, but have recently discovered the possibilities of copying…
I went to see an awesome Tretchikoff exhibit recently and noticed how he divided pictured into a grid and copied them. And so did Mucha, one of my favorite drawing inspirations.
So I’m doing the same, taking frame grabs from videos that match scenes I like, dividing the image with prestik-markers on my screen and copying onto my paper drawing pad.
Lena is drawn from grabs of Catherine Deneuve, from a wonderful movie called ‘Manon 70‘.
The frames are scanned, turned into transparencies, then put onto a timeline with music and VO. I’ve done about 90 frames, only another 900 to go… Give me about 2 months…
Seriously feeling I must hurry up and get it done before it all comes true anyway… I’m busy editing a corporate this week, but next week, the mission continues…

3pm inspiration

The Next Phase

It might not look like much, but this is it – the next stage of my script’s development. I’m laying the script out on an editing timeline, placing a marker for each scene.

In script-writing, typically 1 page of script represents 1 minute of film time. So by judging the length of a scene on a page, I’ve stretched each scene marker to match that length of screen time. Some markers are 10 seconds, others 3 minutes. But by looking at this timeline, I get a pretty good idea of where the film slows down, and where the scene changes speed up the pace.

I’ve also started recording the voices of actors and am about to start laying these sounds up. And with music and SFX. it’ll start sounding like a radio play, but at this early stage, there’s not a lot of emphasis on performance, it’s more about timing and how the story plays out.

In between the scene cards I’m going to start placing simple storyboard images, (just one for each scene to start with). It’s a lot of work, but it’s giving me a great feel for the pace of the script.

This is a very organic process of trying to get as much done as possible to make it easier for producers to ‘see’ my movie. It’s about taking out as much risk as possible. It seems pretty logical to me and I know animation movies follow a similar path. Pixar typically spend the 1 year of a 3 year development cycle doing just this – giving a script to a storyboard artist and working and reworking an animatic with a director, recording voices, placing temporary music and SFX.

Hopefully my process won’t take a year… I’m aiming for getting it done in 2-3 months. Let’s see how it goes…

Keep on Trucking

Just wanted to give another update before I blog on about computers and metaphysical dream stuff…

Just to say, it’s amazingly difficult to get people i.e. producers, to read your script. Yes I know they’re busy and they really don’t care about you. Well, at least, now I know. To borrow a fantastically cheesy phrase: “I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I never knew it would be this hard…” 🙂

Most film companies here seem to have started out with their own projects first and grown their company from there. Even if they want an outside script, chances are good they’ll want to use their own director. To get someone to take on an external script with an unknown director attached – that’s hard.

However, have just heard from a successful film producer I contacted about 3 months ago, asking if I could get in touch in 1 month’s time… so cool, the wheel keeps turning, that’s another ‘possibly maybe’. This is good.

I’m actually glad producers are so hesitant to read my work, as it gives me time to really get it tight. The fine-tuning continues – had another session with an actor yesterday and cleaned up some weak areas. My dialogue really sucks, but with the help of these actors, I’m learning…

I’ve also been assembling a kind of ‘dream team’ of actors who would be perfect for this script. Once I’ve got them all pinned down, the next step will be to try get them all in a room together at the same time and workshop the script as one. And record it, and edit the recording to check the flow.

The actors have been incredibly supportive, but ‘if only’ I had some funding, I could pay them what they’re worth and pull this together faster. I’ve applied to our film foundation for a little support, we wait and see, but of course, to borrow another song title, we continue ‘with or without them’…