Posted by terrance
The evolution of REPO!’s story and music, from original concept through the multiple staged productions & into the final feature-length film, has been almost a 10-year journey. With REPO!’s countless spin-off possibilities—comic books, sequels, REPO!-inspired music—I suppose this artistic adventure could continue for another decade, or more (if I let it!).
Because of the gradual development process, REPO!’s tales and tunes have changed a lot over the years. Therefore, it’s difficult to pinpoint precisely that initial creative “spark”…but I’ll give it the ol’ college try:
REPO! has 3 of my favorite things: rock music, dark subject matter, & beautiful women. When I think about artwork that inspires me—the music I listen to, the comics I read—these 3 things are usually present. So, at its core, REPO! is my crack at making something that I would want to see and hear.
REPO! is also an attempt to challenge myself creatively. I played in rock bands in high school and college and always wanted to write music—or create musical sets—that rose above the typical collection of 3-or-so-minute songs. A 21st century opera seemed about the most difficult thing that I could imagine, so I went for it.
More specifically, the story of REPO! sprung out of a 10-minute tale that Darren Smith (REPO!’s co-creator) and I penned during our 10-minute opera days—short stories we’d put to music and perform at L.A cafés and clubs in 1999-2000. We’d write sets of 10-minute operas revolving around themes. One of those themes was Eosaphobia, a fear of the dawn. This parameter inspired me to conceive of the character of GraveRobber, an observer of the underbelly of society whose illegal nocturnal activities made him hide from the light of day.
Attempting to avoid the clichés of typical Victorian melodramas, Darren and I set this tomb-raider’s story in the future, having him pilfer corpses for DNA as opposed to rings or gold fillings.
At the time, Smith had a friend who was going through a bankruptcy and whose possessions were going into foreclosure. Inspired by this, he came up with the brilliant idea of a future where not only your property could be repossessed, but also your body parts.
So, take a grave-robber, an organ repo man, add rock ‘n’ roll music, throw in some hot chicks, & stir it all in an opera pot for about 10 years, and you have the recipe for REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA.
(photos by Enzo Giobbe)