My First Feature Film Scene

My oh my, things are going fast. I never thought I’d start my ‘narrative film career’ this quickly. But here I am, writing and directing a scene from a feature film idea I have had for several years. The idea is about a positive future for humanity. Since about all the future scenarios I’ve seen in science fiction movies the latest years have been pretty gloomy I thought that I wanted to change that. I had a vague idea that have started to grow the latest couple of years. And so far, it has grown into the following scene, and this website.

The film is about a guy, Ben, who froze himself down in 2010 in the hope that humanity once might be able to thaw him up and cure his disease. And this is exactly what happens. In the year 2110, the world has gone through massive changes towards the positive. Both technology and human values has developed into a whole new world, positive in all aspects for humanity. One of the aspects is that money and property is gone, and people do things for other reasons than hoarding wealth. Waking Up is about Ben’s experiences in this world and the difficulties he faces in waking up to this new reality. You can read even more details on my Vimeo page and even on the film’s own home page that will be updated with more details this summer/fall: wakingupmovie.com. I can reveal as much as this will be an ‘open source’ movie where several contributors can become a part of writing the script and form this film.

As I said, I never thought I’d actually get as far as creating this movie. What triggered this was the newly invented festival/competition ‘Cinema Out Of Your Backpack‘, where one could make one scene (3-4 minutes) from a feature film or documentary and send it in. The rules was that one had to use one of the new HD DSLR cameras (if that means anything to you) and all the equipment in use should fit on one backpack. A bit ‘dogmeish’, which I liked.

I thought that one scene, that I can do. Even though my idea was from a science fiction movie, I managed to write the script so that no CGI (computer generated images) had to be used, but one would still understand that this was a 100 years into the future. I had never written a script like this before, and had no idea how to do it. What I did, though, was to use meditation. I had set the scene to be played in the forest (due to the no-CGI limitation), and Ben had just ‘woken up’ from his 100 year sleep and was walking in the forest with his guide Aweena. I closed my eyes and went ‘down’. There, their conversation just ‘came’ to me naturally. What they said to each other was played out, like in a movie. And as I saw and heard what they said, I read it out loud into a recorder app on my iPhone.

I used filmcafe.se to find actors to this, and was overwhelmed with the response. 26 interested actors of both sexes wanted to contribute. I did the casting on the phone, after having emailed them the script, and found Sara and Katene, who turned out to be perfect for the job. We did the whole shoot here in Mariestad, Sweden. The first day, I had planned to shoot while walking backwards. This turned out to be very difficult since the ground in the forest was far from even, and without a steadycam the image became too wobbly. Besides, Sara almost froze to death before we could finish. So, I had to rethink. Luckily we had agreed that they could stay until the next day. So, we went home to my place, warmed up, had dinner and I made a more detailed storyboard to the whole thing.

I realized I had to use a tripod on the whole scene, which made us having to plan every shot in detail. What they said at what place and what they did while saying it and how they moved before and after. We went through the script and this whole storyboard in the warmth of my living room several times before going out into the woods again on saturday. It took time, but we made every shot sit like a glove if I may say so. I was truly impressed with the actors and I think I learned more in those two days than I would ever had in several months on a film school.

 

You can read even more details on my Vimeo page.

 

 

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