I’d like to make a film called Will in which I die in the opening scene, but in some funny, lighthearted, Darwin Awardy way so that nobody gets too broke up about it. In my final dispensation, I bestow to Kelly all of my note-taking accounts, including Evernote, Bear and OneNote. She’s actually that not happy about it, since it’s essentially a chore to wade through the half-started, disorderly, nonsensical ramblings, but she trudges along since I’m dead and all. So at the end of Will‘s first act, Kelly eventually comes to this paragraph that you’re reading, takes it to heart, and decides to follow through on all of the ideas found in my notes. The rest of the story is her starting a bunch of weird businesses, making albums, producing films, writing essays, inventing gadgets, performing stand up, all in a tribute to me. During the process, she learns a lot about herself and probably becomes rich and famous and celebrified.
Anyway, that’s just one of the films I’m interested in creating. Here are a few more of the more ambitious ones found somewhere in my notes, that Kelly would have to make if I met my demise and the rest of it played out like Will
- A real-time loose biopic of Robert Landsberg, a photographer who died documenting the massive 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Realizing he was too close to get away safely, Landsberg continued to shoot footage until he was killed. His body was found buried beneath ash, protecting his camera film. So the regular film is shot, where the photographer himself is a multi-dimensional character whose death affects the audience justly. But there’s also the actual photographs that he takes along the way, which appear on screen as a picture-in-picture, with the viewer always seeing the most recent photograph in the corner of the screen. An alternate point-of-view version can be made, of just what his camera sees the entire time, for the bonus features.
- A writer character bases his own characters on real people he’s met along the way, primarily those on the fringe of it all. He then orchestrates real-life situations to see how they act around each other, so he can understand their motivations a bit better and mine them for comedy gold. The film is essentially watching these staged focus groups and the writer writing a story along the way using this surrogate writer’s room. He adjusts the settings and corrals the people to fit the next scene’s beginning.
- Create a film with a screenplay adapted from a novel adapted from a short story adapted from a poem adapted from this image I found on Craigslist, which is used as the final impactful scene of the movie. The pieces from the other media would all be sold on their own as well.
- A side-by-side complementary video to run at the same time on screens within the original film. It has a slight Gogglebox feel, but fictional and more serious, with the activities in the second video impacting how our characters in the main film proceed.
- Rewrite a short, literal version of a film assuming it was a metaphor for something simple. In the metaphorical interpretation, a woman scales an unyielding mountain, encountering dead bodies, battling harsh conditions, confronting predators. This all turns out to be her perspective as she actually climbs the six flights of stairs to get to her apartment when the elevator in broken. The comparative conflicts include the lights being off in one stairwell, a window that was left open making it chilly since she wasn’t wearing a sweater, running into annoying neighbour and trying to dismiss them. There’s hints of Life of Pi in there, but not too much.
- Each room in the main character’s house is a different part of his mildly schizophrenic personality. Based on the underappreciated Herman’s Head and a Bob Odenkirk thing, and it’s just occurring to me right now that Inside Out is a children’s Herman’s Head. The different rooms are mostly distinct short films, transitioning between genres and conflicts.
- A short whose frame rate changes continuously as it moves forward, always relating to the speed of the world inside the head of our main character, who doesn’t necessarily believe that time exists the way other people pretend it does. It starts off at 24fps but can get up to 3000fps and down to 1fps. It ends at 25fps with our protagonist getting locked away forever.
- A film with actual puzzles and riddles that need to be solved throughout, in a kind of interactive scavenger hunt. The whole thing would need to take place on a single platform, so probably within a website, but ideally, if we can get Ted Sarandos in a room under the right conditions, on Netflix.
- A film that starts out being shot in portrait. The main character is the only one who notices that there’s a better way, with everyone else accepting the vertical world the way it is, similar to Pleasantville‘s colourisation. He spends the whole time figuring out how to get the scene righted, with the camera angle slowly turning clockwise, until the very end when he solves all the problems and everything returns to landscape.
- A film about a group of kids living lives like adults, in a Bugsy Maloney world. Since the child labour laws make it hard to properly shoot anything with children unless they’re twins, the characters’ bodies will be animated but their heads will be played by adult actors.
- This one opens on a woman and follows her morning routine, her oddball meetings and random experiences. Then she lies under a tree, and the camera pans up to the branches, leaving the woman behind. We see a bird’s nest and its inhabitants become our main characters for a while, but only in the same passive way as the previous scene. Then the camera zooms in to molecule on the bird’s feather, and we see those atoms interact loosely with the world, floating through it all. Then there’s a massive zoom out and we watch the planets floating through the universe as they do. The essential theme is lazy divergent anthropomorphizing with no real end game. The film borrows heavily from Slacker and Powers of Ten, with a touch of Rattlin’ Bog.
- A single-shot film, involving two people meeting for the first time. The continuous scene follows them throughout their evolving relationship, concentrating on important stages in their life together, including a nice range of emotional experiences. The backgrounds and visual style morph seamlessly to accommodate the different times, and the characters’ appearance and actual dialogue blend between the moments to maintain a smooth consistency. It’s partly an homage to the montage scene in Take This Waltz.
- From the opening scene, the camera zooms in at a constant but very slow pace. The first scene is in a house, and we’re with the characters just long enough to see and hear the a scene play out, until the camera is primarily focussed on a television in the house, and we experience this new scene on the television, leaving the first piece behind. The zooming continues and we end up inside a snowglobe on the mantle in the television scene, and this is now our main story. This repeats over and over until we ask ourselves what the hell we’re still doing watching this thing.
¹ [which I doubt it is]