Zymachi is an animation I’m working on. Before confronting with the storyboard itself, I made a graphic synopsis, a descriptive text matched with sketches of the characters and locations. The synopsis is now available in an online bookshop. The book contains 160 pages with b/w illustrations, and it costs 7,95$ plus shipping.
I rewrote the italian version of the Zymachi illustrated synopsis (ho riscritto la versione italiana della sinossi illustrata degli Zymachi).
Whenever I’m working on a story, my first step is to tell it to friends and relatives. Usually that’s how I shape it up entirely. With Zymachi, storytelling wasn’t enough: plot was complex, and I had a lot of bottlenecks to widen, so I started writing it down by hand, in italian. I wrote it as if I were talking to someone, just explaining the plot, that’s why I call it a synopsis. Usually I wrote in bed, just before falling asleep. Some of the ideas came to me carried by dreams. Manuscript was raw, I polished it on the keyboard.
Second step was to illustrate the synopsis. I wanted to visualize the charachters and the locations, and eventually bypass lack of description. As soon as the sketches were ready, I posted the whole thing on my website.
Then I started translating the synopsis in english. It wasn’t a mere translation, english can be a very synthetic language, so I was able to condense most of the material. I gave things the right name: Internal Sea for bloodstream, Jellyfish for white blood cell, Free Machine for cancer. English is fantastic for names: I can’t find the italian for Jelly-Spermwhale! Moreover, I started adding dialogues. I’m not a real writer, I had never noticed before how a dialogue can extricate the narration, maybe that’s because I have a comic background. In comics, dialogue is the easiest way to build interaction. Description is provided visually, then you just have to fill the balloons. A writer can’t do the same, he has to balance words from description to dialogue.
Third step was to translate synopsis back into italian. This was a very simple task: I realized that I write in english having italian structure in mind. It just “sounds” like english, but it’s italian in disguise.
What follows is a one page synopsis of “ZYMACHI, in the Land of Living Machines”, an animation I’m working on. Enjoy.
Professor Kerenskij loses control over a secret Soviet biotechnology lab directed for years. New leadership, a Chinese Multinational, wants him to cooperate with Miss Hu, a Quantum Chip expert. The two scientists harshfully acquaintance during the spectacular close encounter between Earth and a dwarf planet, Nestis, inhabited by microscopic beings. The aliens, who call themselves Cycledwellers, are scattered all over the world, and infect, among others, Professor Kerenskij. Back to the lab, the two scientists work jointly at the true goal of the Chinese: Zymachi, nanorobots designed for genetic therapy. The aliens, that communicate telepathically, exploit Professor’s body as if it were a mine, and sabotage Zymachi, sensed as a menace. In order to protect them, Kerenskij injects Zymachi in his blood stream, but loses contact. The nano machines, incompletely coded, mutate, and form an alliance with Proteena, an outcast alien scientist. Thanks to Proteena, Zymachi guide the immune system against the invaders. A double dialogue is established, on one side Zymachi and Poteena, that recounts the myths and decadence of her people; on the other Kerenskij and the alien telepaths, withdrawn in Professor’s brain to escape immune system. In the middle stands Doctor Hu, assisting infected Professor while attempting to contact Zymachi. Although all kind of malicious attacks arranged by the invaders to weaken Kerenskij’s defenses, contact is established, and Zymachi deliver to humans the alien genetic code, while replicating on Proteena’s body one of the myths of the Cycledwellers: the shift from one sex to the other. This intimate journey will help her to understand the real causes of alien decadence. But there’s no time to sit back, Hu has to sedate Kerenskij, turned into a puppet by the telepaths, and places in his skull a probe that attracts the Zymachi. A ferocious battle takes place, at the end of wich an artifact brain cancer is destroyed. Harangued by Proteena, aliens recognize that the “Mine” is in fact a sentient being. Emerged from sedation, Professor perceives a wider picture: planet Nestis is in itself a living creature, and Cycledwellers work as it’s unconscious brain. Thanks to Zymachi a first contact between two species has been established, it’s time to harvest its fruits.
ZYMACHI (or ZIMASHI) are nanoMACHInes with enZYMAtic properties. I’m working on this idea since age of 12, having in mind an animated serie long before computer animation and 3D breakthrough. First step is this illustrated synopsis, in wich the whole story is displayed along with 159 sketches.