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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Doing A Short Film About... The Importance Of Toilet Papers?

Progress Report of Swifty's Untitled Sci-Fi Project

The problems with the previous version of my postapocalyptic satirical sci-fi epic are rather apparent. It's too complex and confusing to be put in a 10-15 minute SHORT FILM, combining satire (poking fun of people’s overreliance on the internet by showing those homeless bums) with sincerity (romance between Edward and Maya) is not a good choice, one has to be chosen over the other.

(Read the idea here. And read my pitch here.)

And to have so many themes in a short film is dangerous as well... the themes I had in consideration were:

• Technology becoming an extension of humankind.
• Humanity’s overdependence on technology (and the internet).
• Machine vs. humanity
• The line that separates humanity from machine is blurred.
• Human interaction ruined by technology
• Technology substituting human emotions

I can't pile them all in a short film. Therefore I have to pick the ones that are entirely necessary. Emotional resonance has to be added, characters must have more depth. I am not attempting a farce in the vein of Jettison Your Loved Ones (which IS very bloody awesome, go download it!). Therefore, I must streamline things, and by doing thus, I came up with an entirely different approach for the original idea. Traces of satire will still remain, but I am turning this into more of a love triangle between Edward the camcorder guy, Maya the lovelorn chick and mysterious Dave, her online boyfriend. (Note: Names aren't confirmed)

My lecturer had asked me a couple of these questions after reading my initial plans for the short film.

"Are you telling a story about a girl who traversed half the planet, past the seven seas to seek her loved one, only to get a devastating surprise? Or are you telling a story about a society ruined by the collapse of the Internet? Or are you telling a story about humanity becoming so depersonalized that they feel better interacting with one another via technology and machines, than with each other?"

I wanted to tell all three, but I can only pick one to focus on, the rest will only be peripherals, so I guess I have chosen to tell the story of a girl journeying to seek her loved one, which is very much different from my original idea of doing an epic tale of a girl wanting to save the world. It'll remain black and white to make things more alien, and so that despite shooting my film at contemporary Perth, people can still assume it takes place in an alternative world, or the future, or something. Hm.

After telling my tutor about my new approach of the tale, I guess she seems more excited with it. Although she suggested that I should ditch the 'cool and mysterious, good-looking yet entirely mute younger brother' role so that the story can become more about Maya and Edward and mysterious boyfriend Dave. And it'll be more like a road movie, where they occasionally run into some characters that show how messed up the world had become (perhaps I shall have a look at Homer's Odyssey again, even though it was adapted not too long ago... by Coen Brothers' O Brother Where Art Thou? with George Clooney in it)

Pay attention when Swifty is talking, or Takako Uehara's gonna kick your assI'm not revealing the ending, but if delivered well, it'll be pretty sweet. Most first-time filmmakers will attempt to do something macho and badass, the latest Quentin Tarantinoesque film, or perhaps a hardcore sci-fi thriller. I can't believe I'm doing a, well, love story.

On the other hand, remember my original idea where the main baddie that has conquered the workd is this megacorporation called Yahooglesoft? (Yahoo + Google +Microsoft), I don't think I'm being overdramatic. With this whole thing about Google's Gdrive, they might actually have taken another step to world domination. Read more about Gdrive here, it's kinda disturbing, and scary. Who knows? If I get more money, and can do a longer film, I might just do something about Yahooglesoft!

Swifty's New Short Film. Project Title: 'Asswipe'

This is a project for my Screen Production class which I conceived suddenly yesterday afternoon. A group of people were supposed to do a 3-minute short film, shot in 2 hours, and then complete via continuity editing instead of jump cuts and such.

Anyway, the summary of this awesome short film is:

A guy takes a shit in the university public toilet, then realizes that there weren't any toilet rolls anymore. In desperation, he peers out of his cubicle to see whether anyone's out there... then with sheer Metal Gear Solid stealth, he had to sneak into other cubicles to find toilet rolls, while avoiding humiliation and embarrassment.

I think it'll be a masterpiece.

Brief Oscar Thoughts

More of my thoughts about the Oscars will come later. My predictions were here. Like most people, I didn't expect Crash to win over Brokeback Mountain. I got 13 out of 20 correct. Was expecting Memoirs of Geisha to be shut out completely from the Oscars (I am blinded by my dislike for Zhang Ziyi), was surprised to see it winning Best Art Direction, Costume Ah, Takako Uehara is disappointed that Brokeback Mountain lost tooand Cinematography. Was expecting Paradise Lost to win over Tsotsi too. And was hoping that Constant Gardener would win for editing. And then was thinking that the conservative Academy would award Crash's In The Deep instead of Hustle and Flow's It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp (some call it the first rap song to ever win the Oscars, but hey, didn't Eminem's Lose Yourself won too? WTF!) And I didn't expect the last Star Wars film to not get anything at all (it lost Best Makeup to Chronicles of Narnia). Hmm.