Dirk Maggs describes the ‘tyranny of the image’

Dirk Maggs, the director of ‘The Sandman: Act 3’, feels that the imagery takes a lot away from the audience and limits their imagination since everything is served to them on a platter in the form of moving images. But, in the same vein, he appreciates that India still hasn’t steered away from audio storytelling and still believes in the power of the spoken word.

Dirk started his career in radio but wanted to move to the medium of audio-visual but when he got the change, it didn’t suit him that much.

Talking about the same, the director told IANS: “I am a pretty frustrated filmmaker (laughs) because I told everyone during my stint in radio that I am going to television, I am going to work in films. But, when I started working in films, I realised it’s a very limited medium in the sense that it doesn’t give you a lot of flexibility. Since everything is presented visually, it limits the scope of imagination. Whereas in an audio movie, the audience can imagine the visuals unfolding in their minds as the audio plays out.”

‘The Sandman’ audio movie took nearly 30 years to come to fruition. When asked what were the major challenges that he faced along with Neil Gaiman – the author of the book, Dirk said: “The challenge on the ‘The Sandman’ was its length as it’s such a vast piece of story akin the Indian epic of ‘Mahabharata’ or ‘Ramayana’.”

He further mentioned: “Also Neil wasn’t an established author back then as he is now. So to ask the producers to fund the project for such a huge story was a mountain. It took us 30 years to materialise this project and it took this long for a good reason because we now know the medium much better.”

Dirk said that as a storyteller he will always use the medium of audio to tell his stories. Furnishing the reason behind the same, he said, “sound has a tremendous power to present a story but unfortunately our society is such where the image overrides a story. I call it the tyranny of an image.”

‘The Sandman: Act 3’ is available to stream on Audible.




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