'A New Place' stems from the need to experiment with expression, form and language. As a filmmaker, I struggled with self-expression and style for a long time. The struggle laid in producing something which resonated with me and felt authentic to my voice. Following the rules and others' methods of working just led me further astray from what felt authentic to me. After some experimentation, taking a much more personal and also spiritual approach to my work, I found the feeling of honesty and emotional accuracy in my work, which I'd been searching for a significant amount of time.
A concept which has become the driving force of my work is the need for change and exploration of the new. I grew up in a constantly changing environment; even as I progress through adulthood, life is constantly on the move and I want to move with that current, exploring what is downstream or around the corner. 'A New Place' is vastly different from anything I have made and I take great pleasure in that.
I have been probing non-verbal communication in film for a couple of years. In my experience, it is entirely possible to make a film which is relatable on an emotional level without abstract ideas being explained using words. So far, my experiments focused on using natural imagery with very minimal use of sound or music. 'A New Place' flips that on its head, utilising abstract imagery featuring a sonic identity tightly interwoven into the film.
'A New Place' is by far the biggest project I have worked on. Not only in scope of production, but also conceptually. However, I feel an urge to tell this story now, a representation of the current state of internal affairs.
The concept of 'A New Place' explores the idea of spiritual and otherworldly interaction. Based on my own beliefs of a universal consciousness, the mysterious life-force binding all life together. The film is structured through the lens of widening perception to this esoteric form of connection and spirituality. Starting grounded in 'reality', the footing quickly begins slipping away as things get stranger and more confusing. Quickly shifting from light and love to confusion and darkness, the film navigates through this ebb and flow to make sense of the messages. Through these tribulations, the observer is led into a place of light and love, having undergone a volatile journey through peaks and valleys to arrive where the two intersect, understanding one cannot occur without the other. Some like to call it unity through duality, the Tao refers to it as yin-yang - however it is described, it is a concept prevalent in life on earth.
Making the proof of concept film was useful as a way of working out the best processes and workflows. It is worth bearing in mind, it is only indicative and stands to change as I explore and experiment with different techniques over time. Traditionally, film scores are written to picture. This stems from the nature of films being a collective piece of work, involving multiple people - certain processes have to remain quite rigid to maintain order. Going at it alone allows me to be more fluid with the process. The first step in production will be getting the score to a workable place. I first want to tell the story through music, later making the image fit the music - averting how films are usually made. With the score in a place I am comfortable with, the next step will be arrangement of the sonic story - imagine a radio play - including temporary sound design to provide information about pacing and layout of the story. Next will come the process of producing the imagery. Once I have the complete audio version, I will be able to respond and asses what shots are needed and figure out the processes necessary to achieve the look I am after.
This is no overnight task. Being the biggest and longest project I have ever worked on, I am keen to take my time and ensure I am telling the story I first set out to tell. As such, I have set myself rough deadlines for the process:
September '21 - January '22: music production and sound design; raising initial interest - first set of NFTs released in September promoted through online channels
January '22 - June '22: experimentation with imagery for different chapters. Footage gathering, producing and testing shots in situ\
June '22 - September '22: edit (picture to music) including colour grade, titles
September '22 - December '22: full sound design, mix and polish, as well as ramping up marketing and promotion for the project
January '23 - March '23: release
While I believe I have all the resources to make this project as is, there are certain tools which would make the process more efficient and produce results closer to the idyllic version I am picturing in my head. Instead of running a standard crowdfunding campaign, I will instead focus on promoting the film and raising funds in the NFT (non-fungible token) community. By releasing artefacts from, not only the concept film, but also elements as I am working on them, will make the collectors excited to see the development of the project but also give them some ownership of the finished product.
see the NFTS here