CultureMob interviews Barry Morgan, creator of the Arcana web series
Barry Morgan is a Portland, Oregon based filmmaker gearing up to release season one of a new Fantasy / Drama webseries titled â€œArcana.â€ To understand Barry’s ideas behind the world of Arcana, we must travel back to a time before the internet and global integration. To a time before the Industrial Revolution or even the French Revolution.Â To a time before Romans, Greeks, or Egyptians.Â To understand Arcana, we look to a point in history where the only record of man’s passing lay dim and faded on the walls of caves or frozen in the ice for thousands of years.
â€œAnd then, something happened,â€ Barry declares.
Exactly what happened continues to boggle the mind, but the outcome shrouds understanding in mystery.
â€œA massive something happened,â€ Barry adds, â€œthe dawn of civilization.â€
â€œOn a very distinct level, [Arcana] is a way for me to explain some things that I find a little bit confusing â€“ some explanations that I find missing. Â My education, anthropology and history, taught me a certain narrative regarding the origins of humankind. Â However, in the back of my head, I always thought, â€˜this puzzle seems incomplete.’ Â Then, years later, many more than I would like to admit, I came across a book by a British author, Colin Wilson, who described the accepted academic interpretation of humankinds’ history as the â€˜then something happened’ theory.â€
Barry explains that early humans lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle for untold millennia. Â And then, â€œsomething happenedâ€. Â The Ice Age, and the end of the Ice Age. Then, â€œsomething happenedâ€ again. Humans developed agriculture. Humans developed civilization. Â Humans developed writing. Â Humans developed myriad ways to kill one another. Â Humans developed morals and reason. Â Humans developed religion. Â Humans developed science. Â Humans became human.
â€œThese developments represent gigantic, and in some places, seemingly simultaneous leaps of knowledge and social organization in different parts of the world. Â This narrative that’s been constructed leads us â€“ tells us – to believe that we went from hunter-gatherers to developing agriculture and then, in certain places like Egypt, build these massive structures that we still can’t figure out how it was done. There is a big missing chapter between the end of the Ice Age and the dawn of civilization.â€
Possessing a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, a minor in Religious Studies, and a master’s degree in History, Barry finds this historical gap, or as Barry calls it, the â€œhuman amnesia periodâ€, both troubling and interesting. Â While Mesopotamia may have been the academically accepted birthplace of humanity and civilization, Barry believes there is still a story left untold.Â The yearning for this story, mixed with Barry’s wild imagination, became the birthplace for Arcana.
â€œThere could have been a very specific point in history where human consciousness was raised, and that was the base timeline I established,â€ Barry declares. Â â€œI then took [this idea] and incorporated the Tibetan Buddhist idea of reincarnation, which is a conscience reincarnation – you see your life and all that is about to unfold before you are born.â€
Barry melded the ideas of a spike in human consciousness and a conscious form of reincarnation and pinpointed a time roughly 65,000 years ago.
â€œThen, let’s look at two individuals who might have started this spike and let the snowball accumulate,â€ he says, fingers twirling to indicate the growing snowball effect.
â€œHow does this one event lead to the world we live in and the fantasy world of Arcana?â€ Â Barry admits that he let this question consume him. His metaphorical snowball grew, and with time it gained momentum. But with a backstory so elaborate, a mythology so complex, Barry needed a structure. He drew inspiration from a wide variety of influences.Â If you could take a dash of Carl Jung, stir in a little Plato, add a pinch of Tenzin Gyatso, sprinkle liberally with Indiana Jones and mix it all together in a magical black cauldron you might begin to see the foundations of Barry’s thinking for Arcana. Â However, there are two writers in particular that always make the top of Barry’s list.
End Part 1