Friday, August 11, 2006

Common Sense Has Prevailed

In Tuesday's posting, I announced a page count of 1,164 pages. We arrived at this figure on the basis of giving each of Bava's storyboards an entire page to itself -- but common sense has prevailed. We've realized that, given the oversized dimension of the book's pages, this kind of presentation would be a bit much. There's no reason the storyboards need to be reproduced at actual size. Even with six storyboards to a page, they look perfectly legible, so that's the arrangement Donna has settled on.

The Storyboards appendix will not only contain the previously announced storyboards that Bava drew for his unfilmed project BABY KONG, but also scenes from LA VENERE D'ILE and Bava's complete storyboards for his "Polyphemus" episode of ODISSEA/THE ADVENTURES OF ULYSSES. Elsewhere in the book appears a storyboard for the Red Sea sequence in MOSES THE LAWGIVER. None of these have ever been previously published.

Consequently, we are now reporting a revised page count of 1,128 pages -- which we expect to be final.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Finally, We Have a Page Count

We have finished laying out the front and back matter, and can now confirm that the Bava book will be 1,164 pages long.

As I've mentioned before, apart from the dual-columned opening spread pages of each chapter, the main text of each chapter occupies four columns of text per page. I'm finding that, in proofreading the text, I'm turning pages only once every 10 minutes. So, yes, we're talking 1,164 pages... but the actual amount of text per page is equivalent to probably three times that number of conventionally sized book pages.

We've also now calculated that the book will contain in excess of 1,200 images -- most in full color.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Credit Where Credit is Due, and More

I received a letter yesterday from Bart van der Put, a journalist based in Amsterdam, informing me that the correct information about Bava's July 30 birthdate, contrary to what I wrote in my previous Bava blog entry, had in fact been previously published -- by him -- in the Spring 2002 issue of SCHOKKEND NIEUWS (# 54), a Dutch quarterly devoted to genre cinema.

"In October 2001," Bart writes, "I went on a pilgrimage of sorts to Rome, to try and find locations of Bava-films and see to what extent the city and culture has influenced his work. "It was an enlightening experience in many ways, and I ended up finding his grave as well. It was the most profound and frankly depressing cinema-related journey I ever made, and I've made a few over the years. I wrote a long article about the pilgrimage for SCHOKKEND NIEUWS and also published a shot of the headstone with those surprising dates." He attached to his letter this (I assume previously unpublished) photo of himself at the site.

"It is perfectly understandable and no fault of yours that our publication has fallen below the radar," he allows. "Our circulation is limited and all content is in Dutch."

Of course, I was unaware of Bart's article (which I'd very much like to read) and learned the truth of Bava's birth date as he did -- by seeing it on Bava's repository. The fact that the information was reported in Dutch gives it limited exposure, but my research has relied on findings and observations made in various books and articles in several different languages; the important thing, I feel, is to give credit where credit is due -- and Bart was demonstrably the first fan to report this fundamental discovery. I thank him for writing.

Last night I proofread my chapter on BLACK SUNDAY and it took me roughly three hours to read through -- it's 50 pages of four-columned text. It's got to be the equivalent in length and content of one of the thicker "BFI Modern Classics" books, and the chapter on PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, if I remember correctly, is somewhat longer.

Also, Donna tells me that she has now counted the illustrations in the main body of the text, so we can now report that MARIO BAVA - ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK will contain a minimum of 1126 illustrations, probably 3/4's of which are in full color.