THE LAST GENERATION TO DIE - EXTENDED FUNDING
We've had interest from people wanting to donate even after our kickstarter has wrapped! So in case you missed our campaign and still want to contribute, we set up a basic site to allow any further donations. With the additional money we received through Kickstarter, we are restructuring our budget and film to be bigger. We are now aiming to get up to a total of $50k (the cut-off for SAG ultra low budget) to allow us to match our now higher quality set production with a better post-production budget. Any more from here will only go to making the film better.
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Set in the future when science first begins to stop aging, a daughter tries to save her father from natural death.
I don't think the time is quite right, but it's close. I'm afraid, unfortunately, that I'm in the last generation to die.
Concept Art by John Bisoski
The story takes place roughly 30 years in the future at the moment when science has first figured out how to stop aging through genetics. It is framed around the gulf between generations that would occur with the first release of this technology. A daughter who works for a company called Aperion Life- the first to bring this new technology to the public- wants to save her aging father. She starts him on the trials but he soon stops coming. The film continues with the conflict rising between them as she wants him to live on with her while he feels a natural ending is more human.
"Who Wants To Live Forever?"
The film centers itself around the natural conflict that would exist at this divide. Upon developing this story, I've asked many people and I've found a pretty even 50/50 divide of opinions strongly on one side or the other- either they want to die naturally and believe there is beauty in finality, or they want to see what the future holds and have more time to explore and learn more in life. I'd like to turn the question to you... Which side are you on? Would you want to live on or die naturally?
I feel this is a film that needs to be made. Asking these questions in the form of art and story will help start the discussion. Our world is changing very fast and the rate of technology is speeding up. What does all of this mean for humanity? Everything we know, from a book to a play to a song, ends... What does it mean when there is no ending? Would we be more complacent? Would life be as meaningful? Is there more of a beauty in the way it has always been with our passing or is there more beauty in our bodies and minds staying fresh and alive for many, many years to come? What about social justice and overpopulation? Would life become boring after living on indefinitely or would you find it exhilarating to have time to learn new languages, instruments, subjects- to read more books, to love more- to live several lifetimes? Would it be worth it if some of your most loved friends or relatives passed on and wouldn't live on with you? Are you interested in seeing what the future brings in technology and social evolution or are you happy to have contributed and be a part of it for a short time? The film seeks to ask these questions rather than answer and provoke thought. The film will also be self aware that it in itself is a body of work which has an ending. This will be acknowledged through an interesting final scene.
AGING AND SCIENCE IN THE FILM
A big inspiration for me with this film was the book, "Physics of the Future" by Michio Kaku. In the book he interviews over 300 scientists and makes realistic projections of technology for the next century. A chapter on the future of medicine gets into the slowing and potential reversal of aging, which prompted this film concept.
Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku
Other than bringing greater longevity through defeating diseases and printing new organs grown from stem cells, a lot of research is being done now and two main possibilities for a more direct approach are discussed in the book- genes that control aging and telomeres on chromosomes. The film takes the direction of finding the gene(s) for aging and altering them. We start there and add a little literary license to help explain the technology further through an animated video the main character presents in the beginning of the film.
While the film will be strongly based in science, it will not be about the science. It is a human story above all- one that is framed in this very likely future world.
Tim Maupin - Director
Tim is a Chicago based filmmaker, originally from the St. Louis area. He has a BA in Film Production and has also taught as an adjunct professor at Webster University. He has worked as a DP, camera operator, visual effects artist and stereographer and has a good deal and variety of professional experience behind him, including shooting for Discovery, TLC, 3NET and Nickelodeon. He has also directed 6 short films that have played in a variety of festivals including IndieMemphis, Atlanta Shortfest, The 3D Film Festival (alongside Sundance) and the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase and has won awards for best dramatic short film, cinematography, and visual effects. Here he is seen pondering the nature of existence... or perhaps simply where to put the camera.
Cody Stokes - Cinematographer
Cody Stokes is a director and cinematographer living in New York City. Cody is a Princess Grace Award recipient. His films are represented by SNAG films, Future Shorts, appear on the Documentary Channel, and have played The Rooftop Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, the St. Louis International Film Festival, and the Nashville Film Festival, among others. Cody has also done work for Nike and BMW. Cody and I have worked together on numerous projects and have very similar visual sensibilities and a good shorthand down. Cody's favorite review of his films included the description "tough as bear claws". You can see his work here:
Vincent Shade - Producer/AD
Vincent has been an assistant director for many films, commercials and other projects, including several independent features, Civil War 3D for 3NET, the Onion, and has just wrapped production as the AD on "Division 19", a futuristic feature film shot in Detroit starring Neve Campbell.
Aaron Coffman - Screenwriter
Aaron is an accomplished writer who has written and directed two features and a host of short films.
Josh Johnson - Visual FX
Josh is an accomplished VFX artist who has worked on feature films such as the Awful Nice which debuted at SXSW this year and music videos from White Rabbits, Flying Lotus, and Friendly Fires. He's also been published in 3D World Magazine, Post Magazine, studiodaily.com and has presented at NAB and Siggraph. He also runs the site vfxdaily.com. I think he has a shirt that says "I'd rather be matchmoving".
Kyle Krupinski - Assistant Camera
CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL EFFECTS
Cody and I both have a strong sense of visuals and plan to create an engrossing and cohesive visual film world. We plan on using creative lighting and fixtures to help achieve a subtle futuristic look. Additionally, we will be choosing locations that already have a futuristic look and feel and then adding elements of clever production design and visual effects work in post to round it out.
The visual effects of this film are going to be a core part. As a VFX artist myself, I understand the challenges and how to effectively shoot to get the best result. I'm a firm believer in a mixture of practical and digital. I think when digital subtly augments real physical objects and effects, it is in it's best form.
This is a rapidly developing technology that will undoubtedly be part of the future. We want to creatively employ it both in the storyline and in the making of the film itself. We are partnering with Chicago based "The 3D Printer Experience" to include some 3D printed models for rewards as well as props for the film.
The 3D Printer Experience
WHAT WILL THE MONEY BE USED FOR?
Making a film is very expensive and the costs add up quickly. The money from you on kickstarter will primarily be used for casting talented actors, visual effects and 3D printing for props- all to make a believable future world. Of course, there will be the regular costs of making a film, such as insurance, renting additional gear/lighting, catering, props and wardrobe. Many people will be putting a lot of time and energy into this project without being paid their normal rates because they believe in the project, so I want to make sure every dime goes into creating an amazing film that everyone is proud of.
A HUGE THANKS!
Thank you so much for taking a second to view my project and I am truly grateful for any support you can give. I want to make this project with you and quite frankly, cannot do it without your support. This film is the perfect blending of many things that I love- strong cinematic visuals, visual effects, technology and the future, as well as asking big moral questions and above all a human story. I have already poured a lot of time and energy into the pre-production of this film and will pour my life into the rest of it. I want to make a great film above all, and I hope you will join on me on this goal!
If you like this project, please spread it around on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media you use!
AGING AND SCIENCE LINKS
We are reaching a point where the "fountain of youth" may soon no longer be a legend or merely the substance of stories. Science is catching up. When you see headlines like "Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Co-Sponsors $33 Million Prize to Extend Human Life" and "Longevity Gene Points to Fountain of Youth", you know we getting closer toward that reality. Here are some fascinating links to learn more:
TED Talks About Life Extension
NPR "Worm's Bright Blue Death Could Shed Light on Human Aging"
National Institute on Aging
The Telegraph "Longevity Gene Points to Fountain of Youth"
NBC News: "Would Life Extension Make Us Less Human?"
We also just got a post on this nicely curated site of longevity projects:http://lonintelcomms.tumblr.com/ thanks to Stuart R. G. Calimport
This is a co-production of Two Coats & Vase Entertainment Group