About Thomas

Polymorphic Technology:

"This is a truly digital experience. The possibilities - like the technology - are as endless as they are exciting. It's something I want to be part of. Ignore at your peril!" - Richard Jobson, Film Director

Polymorphism is a new recording, production and enabling technology that allows the same video or film to be viewed in trillions of different ways. This is facilitated by the unique Morphic Player, a software development that intelligently directs and edits in real time and on the fly. Using graphic equaliser style sliders, the viewer can among other things, emphasise which preference they wish to concentrate on.

Gospel of Thomas - Morphic Player with Western or Semitic Jesus selection, translation preference sliders, emotions, analytical tools and other attributes:

Gospel of Tomas in morphic player Fullscreen with overlays

Fullscreen with overlays

Morphic Player's additional attributes relevant to the Gospel of Thomas:

Jesus Selection.

Select Western or Semitic Jesus. Western selection enables full analytics. The Semitic selection (Perrin Translation only) illustrates the portrayal and technology in a dimension representative of Eastern fluidity.

Translation Preference Sliders - Western Only.

English translations of the original Coptic Text. Allows 100% selection of a particular translation or the mixing and interplaying of translations.

Transition/Thinking Time Slider - Western Only.

Alters the transition time between sayings.

Emotion Selection - Western Only.

Select Jesus' emotional portrayal as: Gentle, Medium or Passionate.

X Sequence - ON/OFF - Western Only.

Play Sayings sequence in the original numerical order (X - Linear Progression).

Subtitles - Western Only.

Select to display Saying number and Translator on screen.

Scene Selection - Western Only.

Select a Saying or build your own Sayings play grouping as per preferences above.

Catchword Database and Filters - Western Only.

Select catchwords/phrase (Based upon Perrin) or keywords from indigenous database and play connected Sayings as per preferences above.

Script Layout and Format:

This script is presented differently as compared with the standard script format normally used for conventional linear locked films. This is because current scripting software packages are as yet unable to accommodate scripting and filming polymorphically. Polymorphic scripting, filming and editing are based upon, but differ from conventional techniques. The GTh script allows for the incorporation of a polymorphic shooting matrix required for filming and editing purposes. We are currently developing a Polymorphic Script Writing Tool to facilitate the creation and manipulation of polymorphic story.

The Script:

"These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and
which Judas Didymos Thomas wrote down. And he said,
'Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings
will not taste death.'"

Gospel of Thomas

The Gospel of Thomas (GTh) formed part of a collection of Gnostic (Gnosis, Gk. Knowing, act of knowing) Coptic Texts discovered in 1945 near Nag Hammadi in Egypt. Although GTh is not included as part of the New Testament it is regarded by some as the 'Fifth Gospel.' Unusually, as compared with the four Canonical Gospels, Thomas is not a narrative account of the life of Jesus, but a collection of short dialogues and sayings, 114 in all, that are attributed to Jesus. It is considered by most scholars to contain some of the earliest known recorded sayings of Jesus and is one of the most controversial, enigmatic and studied of Gospels and was used as the basis for the film 'Stigmata.'

Many believe that the Gospel of Thomas holds within, some hidden still to be discovered insight, and that its sequence of sayings does not appear to reveal its hidden structure nor its implicit meaning, suggesting that its correct rearrangement and nuance of interpretation could hold the key to discovering its secret meaning. Polymorphism will empower viewers to explore these aspects as the film is enabled to seamlessly re-sequence the sayings of which interactive variant translations and emotions are incorporated within. This will perhaps engage the viewer into making their own discovery, educating and enlightening in the process.

The Translations:

There are many translations of the Gospels and no two read alike. This disturbs many Christians since they believe that their salvation depends upon the correct interpretation of the truth and want to know which is the most reliable translation which has the least bias.

As a result many translations can be discounted. However, in reference to the Gospel of Thomas, it should be recognised that Coptic words do not have a direct correspondence with English words in terms of their meaning nor the same sentence structure nor style. Therefore, bias does not necessarily enter into it and as such there is room for legitimate variation in translation, provided that each translation is truthful. In fact this truthful diversity can be positively advantaged by using the unique capabilities of polymorphic technology and the Morphic Player which will allow for the subtleties and nuances of meaning to be explored differently and more fully with each play and preference. This affords the interactive viewer a new, exciting and entertaining way in seeking a better understanding or gnosis; something that is not possible with current film and video technology.

Das Abra has as a neutral investigator and the film's director diligently sought 'truth in translation' by selecting what are, in his opinion, the most reliable and accurate, yet individually distinctive translations of the Coptic Gospel of Thomas from four separately acknowledged and respected scholarly sources.The four translations selected are:

Lambdin (1988) - Thomas O. Lambdin in Robinson, The Nag Hammadi Library.

Blatz - NTA (1991) - Beate Blatz, in Schneemelcher, New Testament Apocrypha.

Patterson and Robinson, Berlin Working Group (1998) - S. J. Patterson and J. M. Robinson, The Fifth Gospel.

Perrin (2002) - Nicholas Perrin, Thomas and Tatian, the Relationship between the Gospel of Thomas and the Diatessaron.

Although the above texts at casual glance look similar, they are subtly very different when interplayed with one another leading to some surprising results. All these interpretive translations are arrived at from interlinear translations, a stage on the way to translation that correctly identifies, as far as is subjectively possible, the basic meaning and function of each Coptic word.

In the Gospels the same stories are told in different ways by the four evangelists. Now, by using polymorphic technology the same one source Story or Text can be told in a myriad of different ways, and enlighten perceptions otherwise unattainable by conventional film and video presentation.

"The first truly interactive video technology" - Jonathan Blair, Michael Simkins LLP

The Film:

This polymorphic film was shot over 14 days using a matrix of 12 Hi-Definition cameras in a studio set studios.popmorphic.com that was devoid of analogue clutter. Up close and personal against a blackened background, focus concentrates on lit faces and clear words drawing the viewer into the deliverance, interplay and meaning of what is being said. The interrelationships of sensitive framing of multiple camera angles with different oral translations and emotions gives variance and depth to the performance and afford a high degree of polymorphism (3.6 x 10114 for Western Jesus and 1.2 x 10880 for Semitic Jesus - the number of atoms in the known Universe is 1 x 1080). As such, it is designed as a 'living film' that can be seen anew with every view and incorporates a mixture of many angles with the main protagonist, Jesus, sometimes (depending upon polymorphic play) looking straight into camera as if direct at the viewer, and with all other protagonists never looking into camera, never at the viewer. This provides a magnetism that combines the engaging realism of News Broadcast with the voyeurism of Film.

"It's as though you are there, it is counter intuitively real....
Fantastically Terrifying" - Alex Reedijk, General Director of Scottish Opera

The Director:

Das Abra has written and directed a series of conventional linear locked short films in both 35mm and Hi-Definition. One of his short films 'Beggars Belief', starring David Hayman and Susan Penhaligon can be viewed at www.qmorphic.com (13 minutes duration). Das has also directed Patrick Bergin and Steven Berkoff, two highly proficient yet extremely different actors. Pushing the experimental aspects of film beyond the limits he eventually conceived, wrote and directed the World's first polymorphic film 'The Next Room' 2003, a visual representation of the interplay of quantum and relativistic mechanics (public domain release date September, 2008) which can be viewed at www.thenextroom.org. The film was conducted as a study of the art of polymorphic film making and enabling rather than as a portrayal of art. This empirical evidence laid the foundation for all current innovations and software developments utilising polymorphic technologies and gave birth to Morphic Media and a new platform technology.

"You instinctively know this is ground breaking technology...
It blew me away" - Jeremy Courtenay-Stamp, Head of IP and Commercial, Macfarlanes LLP

The Actors:

True to the life and times of the first century, all Actors were required to have, or be able to portray a Semitic look.

Oral Delivery:

It would be impossible to memorise and accurately deliver the lines with the exactitude required for each translation as every word must be true to original translation. Therefore skill in reading Autocue with little training was required as all lines had to be read by the Actors so as to avoid mistakes and unnecessary take repetition and always without the viewer perceiving the eye movement of the Actor reading Autocue.

When you see your likeness, you rejoice.
But when you see your images,
which came into being before you,
and which neither die nor become manifest,
how much you will have to bear!

Saying 84, Gospel of Thomas

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