06 Jun pre-Gravity
the other day I was going through my hard drive, doing some organizing and I stumbled upon a proposal for a short film entitled “Crux.” back in 2008 it was something I desperately wanted to make, but could never round up the resources to do it.
basically it’s a 3D movie about two astronauts stuck in space… yes, it was “Gravity” before gravity. granted, on a much smaller scale.
here are some choice bits from a grant application.
Two astronauts are stuck in a damaged space capsule. They have two choices, they can either use their remaining power to call for help or to fire their thrusters and make the risky return to Earth.
“Crux” is a science fiction story that takes place in the near future. The style will be one of “hard” sci-fi. That is, world within the film will function based on existing science and technology. For example, there will be no “artificial gravity” or “sound” in space. It will be set in a realistic zero gravity environment as possible.
The style of the film will be more akin to “Apollo 13” than “Battlestar Gallactica.” It will be more “Gattica” than “Serenity.” I want the film to exist in a totally believable world. Because it is such a short project, there isn’t much time to draw the audience into the world of the film. An immediate sense of realism will allow the viewer to quickly “suspend disbelief” and enter into the world of the story.
The format of this project will not be traditional. I am not going to shoot a planar film. I am going to make a film that is stereoscopic, that is “3D.” Stereoscopic filmmaking is neither easy nor inexpensive. Some of the elements required for this format of filmmaking are: a specially constructed rig with two cameras running in perfect sync, knowledge of the physiological response that produces stereoposis, a well thought out and rigorous post workflow, and a keen aesthetic sense.
Benefits to Society
3D film is the future of cinema. The technology is here. The distribution pipelines are available. And the public interest is growing.
3D film shouldn’t be limited to kids’ films and animated adventures like “Journey to The Center of The Earth” and “Beowulf.”
For the first time since the birth of widescreen cinema in the 1960’s, cinematic language is changing. Arguably this is the biggest potential change to the language of film since the advent of “talkies.” We are at a place where the art form can AND will grow. There will be new conventions, new styles, and new techniques. This is one of the most exciting times in the history of filmmaking.
These styles should not be dictated only by those on the inside of the business of filmmaking. Change needs fresh voices and fresh perspective. I have that. And I want to be part of shaping the future of cinema.
The story this film tells is also important. At its core it is a tale about taking personal responsibility. No one is responsible for rescuing us in life. We should not blame our position or predicament on society – we should strive with every fiber of our being to help ourselves and to help our fellow man. Film is a powerful medium and I think providing stories that provide powerful and inspirational messages are a great benefit to society.
Relationship to the material
“Crux” was inspired by a radio play I heard as a child, where an astronaut and cosmonaut hear a radio broadcast about WWIII. Believing their world has been destroyed, they decide to kill themselves by drifting off into space. Only after they have left, do we, the audience learn that the radio broadcast they heard was a “War of the Worlds” type radio hoax…and that they killed themselves for nothing.
I always thought, even if there had been a real war, they made the wrong choice. They should have tried to go back. They should have tried to survive. So I wrote a script that presented this point of view.
Even in the most dire of situations there is hope. And without hope, life would indeed be dire. There is always a solution, a way out, or an answer. It may not be the one we want, the easiest, or the most apparent, but it is there. By putting my characters in an “impossible” situation I’ve forced them to find this answer. And I hope the film inspires people to look for the solutions to their own “impossible” problems.
looking back, I’m not sure it would have been the best film for me to make… it certainly would have been technologically challenging – and at the time, the limited amount of 3D capable screens would have made the expense not as worthwhile. still, it’s fun to look back think about what could have been.
do any of you keep project archives? how often do you revise old material as opposed to creating new work?