COSMOS MOVIE PRODUCTION BLOG 3:
TELL A LIE, TO TELL THE TRUTH.
So what’s it about then?
Well, here’s where your access-all-areas pass comes in. We weren’t lying when we said we were going to show and tell all.
Here’s the elevator pitch…
COSMOS is a 90-minute contemporary Science-Fiction independent feature film telling the story of the three men who make first contact with extra-terrestrial life.
“When a group of amateur astronomers accidentally intercept a faint signal from outer space, they doubt its authenticity and flippantly transmit a response. But when they receive a reply only a few hours later, not only do they believe they’ve made the greatest discovery in the history of mankind; but found proof of life much closer to Earth.”
Last time we talked about why we’re making this film, but how did the idea come about?
The original concept for COSMOS actually developed from a short film; in December 2012 we bought 800ft of 16mm FujiFilm (Eterna 500T) to use with our Arriflex 16SR and while wracking our brains for a story, came up with the idea of an amateur radio-astronomer listening to space – sitting in a pool of light cast by his angle-poise, this man would accidently stumble across a faint signal weaving around in the radio static and make contact with alien life.
We eventually shelved the idea in favour of a Twilight Zone-esque Victorian ghost story and successfully shot our 9-minute 16mm short – The Mysterious Disappearance of M.M.Bayliss.
But when setting our sights on a feature film, we remembered our little idea about the radio-astronomer and decided to see where we could take it.
Having always been a fan of ‘submarine movies’ (a niche genre!) we’ve always loved that classic depth-charge scene… all the crew stand sweating, motionless, listening to the sonar pings as the battleship passes overheard… and we wondered whether that same nail-biting tension could be created when listening to a signal from space…?
Pretty epic, right?!
So picture this:
Three guys crammed inside their mobile astronomy van; the inside of this vehicle jammed with humming high frequency scanners, aerials, radio transmitters, coiled cables hanging from the ceiling like jungle vines. They huddle before a bank of glowing LCD screens; headsets clamped over their tatty baseball caps…
No one breathes… no one blinks… a faint coded signal swirls across the airwaves… could this be… CONTACT?!
Now if that’s not a picture worth pursing we don’t know what is! So that was our seed idea, and from it grew a 97-page original screenplay we called COSMOS.
WHY SCI-FI? As well as loving old WW2 Navy films (a trait we inherited from our Grandfather… much to our Mother’s dismay!), we also love Science Fiction.
As the old saying about storytelling goes; “You tell a lie, to tell the truth” and Sci-Fi is the greatest lie of them all. Good Sci-Fi tackles subjects more honestly and sincerely than most films placed firmly in reality. Good films change how we view our own lives, and although we enjoy the hero’s quest, the real reward comes from the lessons learned along the journey.
COSMOS tackles one of mankind’s oldest questions – Are we alone?
Everyone of us at one time or another has looked up to the night sky and wondered whether there is life out there, but our instinctive curiosity is equalled by our instinctive fear of the unknown – If there is life out there, what will it be?… And what will it think of us?!
So that is the million dollar question… and that is COSMOS!
Next time we’re talking about SCRIPTWRITING and how to get past that first blank page.
Don’t be shy… say “hi” over at @CosmosMovie
Elliot Weaver & Zander Weaver