Thursday, September 2, 2010

I know what i want to do in my life...

there was a guest speaker who has done some relatively large scale productions here in australia. Scorched and Storm Surfers are the two major ones. storm surfers is entirely web based (although moving to the big screen) and scorched is the reason why i'm writing this message.

scorched was about a "what if" scenario. with all of the droughts australia keeps having this filmmaker decided to do a film series about "what if sydney (biggest city and largest producer of food in australia) had only 8 weeks of water left?" the film was researched and backed by incredible amounts of research and the end goal was to make a television 2 hour event... kind of like a mocumentary showing how people would react and such. but they realized they could do so much more in a multi-media event. 6 months before the release they started a vlog on youtube about a girl named cassie who has dreams. she has dreams of a drought and the devastating effect it has on the country. this is all dated for the future mind you... 2012. this girl is the protagonist of the film. but nobody knows this. intercut in the vlogs are split second cuts to their website and as time got closer they started to release (with the help of their sponsors... the major news networks here) false news reports that for all intents and purposes seemed real. with one month before show time, the site launched. the cat was kind of out of the bag, but they had 1.3 million viewers online (australias pop is 22 mill) and they had created websites for the bad corporation behind all of this. and gotten real anchors and weather men not only to help write segments of the film, but to take part in it. they created this complete and engaging world. when the tv show finally aired, it far exceeded what was expected and set this guys career on fire.

this is what i want to do. i feel like i wanted something like this (though i was thinking on a much smaller scale) for diaries (my senior project at CWU. if you haven't had a chance to check it out, please do: but i want to create something almost like world of warcraft creates for gamers, or LARPing creates for the even nerdier crowds. i want something that takes on a life of it's own. and what was interesting was how the story changed as viewers got involved, and talked in forums. and it essentially became fed by the audience.

haha i don't think i'm content to just make films. this guy really fired me up (even though when i went and talked to him he was extremely cynical and didn't give a shit about actually talking to me unless i was buying his dvds haha). this is what i want to do. lol if i spend the next two, three or even five years building up the research and developing the world of... whether it's diaries or something else (i'd probably want to rewrite and reshoot if i go with diaries...). and while i work on that just work on other projects, building contacts and getting my finances in order so those don't eat me alive.

THATS what i want to do though. i want a universe. narcissistic? probably. but i want to create in my audience that excitement i felt when i saw star wars or jurassic park for the first time where all i wanted to do was be apart of that world. and i don't think anything would hook your audience members faster than if they feel they have some say in it.


  1. i felt i should add... because i forgot to mention this in the post: the filmmaker turned me onto a web based contest where i take a small webseries i've done, turn it into a minute long trailer. if i get the most views, i win. and by win i mean $50,000 and a deal to produce my series and get it put out and online.

    i'll see about getting that done and uploaded by the end of next week (last midterm is due tomorrow) and then yeah. i'll let you all know where to go and watch it repeatedly haha

  2. I think thats an amazing Idea. We can research the world of warcraft together!!!

  3. Dear James.

    I like your passion, it is evident. I also believe that you can do something like this. you have the character to see this kind of idea through the tough times when it seems likely to fall through. Seeing Diaries, I also believe that you have the medium through which to accomplish this....or at least the style.

    I also like your order: research, FINANCES, create. There is nothing like financial burden to make things not happen.

    That being said. I believe that television is fast becoming a substitute teacher for kids and adults alike - educating them on what is ok, what is socially acceptable, and what is uncool or lame. Directors, writers, actors etc NEED to be conscious of the effect that their work has on the populous. ESPECIALLY if their goal is to be interactive and nationally/globally wide spread.

    My point WILL have a message to your viewers, whether it is heavyhanded, subtle, or completely unintentional. My Challenge to you is this: make it intentional. Make it worthwhile, make it a GOOD influence. I would lean towards subtle myself, but you could just wrap up each episode with a moral articulated by animated vegetables.

  4. James: no.

    Stu: i think there should always be a strong reason for telling something. a message the story teller wants to deliver. i love using metaphor and trying to leave something i write open to interpretation. it's always my intention to leave you (the audience) with something good, worthwhile and meaningful. if i'm not atleast trying to do that... then what's the point?

  5. A wonderful idea James. There are some great TED talks that discuss concepts similar to this through different mediums, check them out (
    I'd love to help out where I can. This year is going to be really busy but I can always guide you to people, ideas and other resources. Good luck Wiz!

  6. Ooops, PTownPilgrims was Cass by the way.