I'm in a unique position, in that for my "real" job as a private jet pilot, I get to travel around the world to exotic locations and stay at least for a few days. In my real job as a film maker, it seems like there should be a way to make use of this opportunity, in addition to the travel shorts I make. The difficulties are many, and at the top of the list is that I often don't know where I'm flying to until a few days before, so trying to arrange cast and crew travel is pretty much out of the question.
So I'm looking for a story line that could utilize many different locations around the world, without having to fly cast and crew to those locations. I have professional camera and sound equipment, and have done work as my own cinematographer before, so the production quality can be high.
I'm looking for creative ideas for a story, and will be able to offer compensation as well, on a small scale at least. Feel free to PM me, or visit my vimeo channel and send me a note there if you have any ideas, and Thanks!
Jem Moore - Director
Descant Productions, Cloudgate Studios, Analogy Films
Sony and Zeiss
Unfortunately I see no advantage to filming in various locations without having predictable and consistent cast at those locations. How else can you make a story?
There are many film makers here from around the world. Some of them have tried working together via the internet to produce something that uses various world locations but no cast in common. So far I believe nothing has come of it although footage has been shot and edited.
Hi, and thanks for the welcome and response. I know that the challenges are large, but one idea I had was to have the main character be an animation, that way scenes could be written and blocked, and the main character inserted later...or something to that effect anyway. Another possibility is to have an actor that is able to be flexible and travel on short notice, and then hire crew when arriving on location. But it all needs a story that is driven by the character being in different places for some reason, and that's why I am reaching out to a larger group of creative people than just my film-making friends here in Taiwan. Challenge and opportunity often go hand in hand so I'm trying to rise to both...
Jem Moore - Director
Descant Productions, Cloudgate Studio, Analogy Films
Sony and Zeiss
Thanks for the kind welcome to IndieTalk, I'm looking forward to being part of this lively and creative community. A couple of things...
the first is that in the 'Robert Rodriguez' way of looking at things, I'm trying to make the best use of what I have available to me, and do so as creatively as possible.
Second is that I've often found the most creative solutions when faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem...in this case the idea of using an animated lead character seems like an interesting possibility.
So while it's true that the story is almost always about people ("Benji" anywone?) I think it's also true that place and time are often very important characters as well, and the opportunity to add 'production value' by shooting in a wide variety of recognizable locations seems worth pursuing.
One of my most consistent tropes is the idea of "Home"..losing it, finding it, longing for it, missing it...and it seems like there could be a story that uses an ever-changing background setting to highlight a character's search for 'Home'.
In any case, I appreciate all the thoughts, suggestions, and delineating of difficulties. Hopefully it will spark someone's imagination as well and we'll be off and running!
Production value is great but if your story doesn't connect with the viewers then no one is going to care how nice the locations are, or how much work you put into a color scheme or set design.
Audiences are spoiled these days.
I'm sure you've watched a boring movie before that had a high budget.
They make them all the time. It's cool for a minute or two and then zzzzzzz
It is important to be creative and work within your resources, and if you can use these locations with a great story that's awesome. I'm not saying abandon your idea or locations. But take care not to put all your energy into something less significant while neglecting your viewers really want.
Even “Benji” is about the people who befriend the dog. The audience
experiences the dogs story through the people. I suppose you could
split hairs and say that “Bambi” and “Lady and the Tramp” and “Robin
Hood” are not stories with people in them. A movie like Disney's “Perri”
doesn't have a single person in it but it is not a story about the
locations (as beautiful as they are), it is a story about growing up and
experiencing the world through loss and danger and friendship and
finding love. My point is I believe you need a character through which
you tell a story even if that character is a deer, dog or fox that talks
or a well edited squirrel.
“Home” is a terrific theme, something we all can relate to. But who
(or what) is missing home, longing for home, finding home? Doesn't
that have to be someone? “The Incredible Journey” is just that theme
using two dogs and a cat. Again, wonderful locations beautifully shot
with high production value but what the viewer relates to are the
characters, not the locations.
I have worked on three long distance hiking documentaries. The
locations are amazing but it's the hiker and the people he meets that
viewers relate to. Without that human element – or anthropomorphised
animals – what you have is a travel video.
I'm sorry if you think I'm only pointing out difficulties. I am quite taken
by the challenge and as a writer I'm trying to grasp how to tell a story
using only locations. Perhaps something like Reggio's “Koyaanisqatsi”?
I feel like somehow I'm being misunderstood in my goals and obstacles...I definitely want a main character around whom the story revolves. It can even be an actual actor. I just can't afford to fly an entire cast everywhere, and if the character doesn't have to be a real human then even more possibilities open up, that's all...and I still appreciate all the comments and suggestions
There's one fairly straightforward way to solve this apart from animation - a POV movie whereby the main character is behind the camera not in front of it (eg Blair Witch Project). S/he can interract with whomever is around (so you see hands/feet etc). You can even add dialogue in later (with some clever editing) using a reasonable voice actor. All you need now is a story to carry the character to places. Possible ideas might be a quest (eg seeking a missing/dangerous person) or someting Sci-fi (like JUMPER) or perhaps crime (eg drug running/DEA).
What if the character have different body in every country. It can be like mini series where the character wakes up every time in different body or some scifi set where he or she travels like that doing missions all over the world. The character just need some mannerism that audience see that this is the same guy or girl.