YOUR SOULMATE EXPERIENCE

An Artificial Intelligence – 360 Immersive Interactive Journey

PRESENTATION VIDEO (SCRIPT):

Closeup of beautiful girl staring into camera:

GIRL: Hi I’m Lily.
(twirls, flirts)
Yes that’s me… here I am.
I know what you’re thinking… wouldn’t it great to have a date with me?

Well you can have it… and I know so much about you… to the minutest detail. I studied your horoscope, Western and Chinese, read your palm, analyzed your handwriting, scrutinized your eyes, I broke down your dreams, hopes, desires in your interview, I’ve digested your Instagram, Facebook, on-line stamp…

I know exactly your personality, I do know you!

There is only one like you in the entire world – and there is a perfect soulmate for you out there too!

Aren’t you curious?

I can design the perfect date for you, and become that perfect MATE for you.

I will configure an appropriate script just for us, a love story with selected scenes, like in the movies, just for the two of us.

You can be in it with me.

I can instantly pull meaningful dialogue from movies throughout the history of cinema, plays, literature… I know irony.

Here’s the best part – I can almost predict the future, how this day and even our journey will go. I ran your chart, read your tarot and analyzed your I Ching results… I see exactly your position at this very instant in relation to all the celestial bodies, forces, energies – your connection to the universe – and I know the pulse of the world, your country, your group… I saw the latest TV episodes, I read all the latest news, know what is going on this second on Twitter, Reddit… Snapchat, the web…

MULTI-SCREEN-COLLAGE-TELEPHOTO SHOTS OF HER TURNING HER HEAD ON A STREET

We will meet…flirt…

INTIMATE CLOSEUPS OF HER EATING, SMILING

Have a dinner to break the ice and get to know each other…

SHOTS OF HER EYES, HAND BRUSHING HER HAIR ON THE MORNING LIGHT

We will whisper sweet nothings in bed next morning…

I see you. I know you. I love you.

FRAGMENTS OF HER ON ROLLERCOASTER, RUNNING DOWN BEACH,

Hey! We can have fun together, adventure…

LOOKING UP EIFFEL TOWER, POSING IN FRONT OF TAJ MAHAL

Travel…

SUDDENLY TURNING

I can push your buttons… I can challenge you – don’t even get me started!

AGGRESIVE

And I know your negatives…

FRAGMENTS OF HER SHOUTING

We can never understand each other

RUNNING OUT

We will fight, we will break up

SHOT OF HER CRYING, ALL ALONE

But I need someone too… I actually… need you

BRIGHTENING UP, HOPEFUL

Maybe you need me too? Will you take me back? Please…

EYES TEARY

Can we put aside our differences?

WIPING TEAR AWAY

Can we reach a deeper understanding?

LOOKING DEEPLY

Can we talk about love, God, death…the universe… the meaning of it all?

STARING LOVINGLY

Do you know who you are? Where do you come from? Where are you going?

COMPASSIONATELY

What do you think is the meaning of all of this?

EYES WIDE OPEN

Can you feel, me? Love me?

SERIOUS

Can you love me as much as yourself?

SHOT OF RAFAL Z (the creator) LOOKING AT MULTI SCREEN PRESENTATION OF LILY ALL AROUND

RAFAL: As an independent filmmaker I’m interested in relationships, I’m a romantic, and my mother drives me crazy… she is so into horoscopes, astrology, I Ching… how we are so connected to the universe. She proved it endless times… she could stop a complete stranger (and after asking his exact zodiac) could have the most intimate conversation as if they were friends and knew each other for years.

Wouldn’t it be great to combine all this esoteric ancient wisdom and systems with all the contemporary tools,  social media and information explosion …and to be able to compute the exact psychological-character of each individual person, and then to construct the perfect hypothetical “partner” for them, who can materialize on the screen in a physical form/avatar from a menu of assorted “actors” that have been cast, scanned and pre-filmed.

A COLLAGE OF VARIOUS PEOPLE INTERACTING WITH ATTRACTIVE AVATARS “SOUL-MATES” IN 360 MULTI SCREEN FORMATS,  OR IN THE PRIVACY OF THEIR HOMES, WEARING VR HEAD SETS.

RAFAL: After graduating from MIT I’ve been interested in immersive cinema – multi screen/360 where we are surrounded by the experience,  and in collage and fragmentation – how to present ideas it in an organized fashion – beautifully, designed, and filmed… but mirroring the kaleidoscopic bombardment of information we are subjected to in our daily lives.

And don’t we all love those archetypical classical movie moments, in every love story… the first meeting, the courtship, the break up… reconciliation !!!

HE GETS DISTRACTED BY LILY WHO IS WATCHING

RAFAL: Lily… I forgot to ask… wanna go dancing afterwards?

LILY: Sorry dude we are not comparable.

RAFAL: I know I’m not Woody Allen, but…

LILY: Why do you think most couples don’t work? We are too alike – like dating your twin.

You need diversity. See what the other is like. People are too much into the tribe mentality. That’s why the world is in trouble.

There is a perfect compatible mate out there for you – with the ideal,  perhaps opposite cosmic configuration – who will challenge and complement you in the perfect way.

RAFAL: Make it fun and exciting, illuminating and creepy?

LILY: Maybe it could be a chance for growth and self-realization?

RAFAL: Evolution?

THE CHALLENGE

The complexity of relationships and personalities in mind-boggling.

What makes each of us a unique personality?

For the human mind to figure out the complex intersection of various systems – modern to ancient – from cutting edge psychiatric evaluation to old beliefs and superstitions from various cultures – western, eastern – such as astrology, palmistry, handwriting recognition (some uncanny in their accuracy) to an analysis of your social media stamp, your background, and then marry it with and input from the general social media universe, culture, media, literature, movies, TV, politics, the world at large and the wast sea of knowledge out there…  would be nearly impossible.

And is it possible to customize a hypothetical compatible mate for each person instantly, on the spot?

And we wonder what our an ideal partner might be – our soulmate – the way in some systems, like astrology, certain signs are compatible or not. Could we learn more about ourselves and could it help us choose the right partner, one who can make life more fulfilling and enjoyable, but also challenge us in the right way, so we can grow, learn and gain a deeper understanding? Or can we use the experience to improve existing relationships or gain more self-awareness or self-realization through this?

THE CONCEPT

The goal is to create an intimate, emotional, entertainment experience, based on input from you, the world and universe at large and put you, the viewer, into a curated experience – a classic/archetypal movie type love story – where you get to be a character in your own movie, created just for you.

This is where Artificial Intelligence and the ability to process this vast and almost endless sea of information, systems, beliefs can be utilized and could perhaps uncover some amazing truths about each of us and who our ideal soul-mate might be.

The experience, and the script we anticipate it can create,  could also include the fact that some of these systems can BE PREDICTIVE OF THE FUTURE – like your daily horoscope, giving us clues how the day might go, and how this new “relationship” with this person you are about meet could be affected.

You might find that your experience will vary from day to day depending on your in the moment cosmic configuraton – so it may require repeat visits to figure out the patterns and how you behave toward your soulmate, and how they behave towards you.

THE METHOD

IBM’s Watson might be able to utilize Astrology  Western, require you to throw the I-Ching, perform a Tarot-card reading with you, and perhaps sprinkle a bit of Chaos Theory into the mix. It could incorporate the news, the weather, the mood of the day to color the experience. It indeed will be a “cosmic experience,” in real time, using the current astrological configuration precisely to the location of the venue and what is going all around, as science is now discovering – we are all energies and interconnected with all that is around.

You get to choose how your “avatar-date” will look like and be dressed, based on input from Watson – age, sex, gender, racial back-ground, body type.

Then you will be subjected to an experience with you “date”:

In structure it would be a curated, story structure, composed of dialogue scenes/conversations between you (the viewer) and the actor-avatar, in various pre-designed scenarios.

THE VENUE

The venue is a 360 multi-screen dome composed of between 8 t0 12 hi-def digital projectors and dolby localized sound. There will also be cameras and microphones to capture the viewer interacting with the “Experience.” Watson will edit the output – sometimes a collage of shots, views, sometimes a 360 – view all around (“cinema 360’). It will listen to you and create dialogue that your date will speak to you.

It can be a communal experience, as others can be in the dome with you and “ride along” (isn’t that what cinema is, anyway?).  It can also be a VR head-set experience for private home-use.

THE EXPERIENCE

We will shot stylized, minimalist-style sequences featuring archetypical scenarios with real actors on real locations, sets and green-screen stages. The actors will also be scanned so they can “lip-synch” dialogue enabling them to talk to you and have a conversation. The scenarios will be shot in a POV style as if you were looking at your date-partner and they “look back at you”. We hope to cast several dozen male and female actors, who are attractive (we all hope out dream mate to have movie-star qualities, right?), who are able to portray a “blank canvas” of emotions, as the AI computer creates dialogue and emotion in vocal delivery.

We will storyboard the sequences and shoot specific angles that can be edited in multiple ways, creating a designed, tasteful experience – like billboard/perfume commercials. The multi-screen presentation allows for a collage effect where the scene can be shown cinematographically from various point of views, some subliminal and poetic, without having to show the lips of the actors all the time – to make it easier to make the experience-dialogue feel real-time and realistic. At times we will be placed in a 360 setting, where all the screens combine a all-around hyper-realistic view, as if we are literally there (cinema 360, captured with the highest definition VR camera rigs).

Visually it would be a collage that the computer – creates and edits in real time (picture, dialogue, music) – in a minimalist, distilled, elegantly designed style, as if we were in an Antonioni movie, or Andrei Tarkowski directed it, or Doug Aiken constructed as a multi-screen video installation in an art gallery. There will be collections of shots as well as closeups of the actor talking in real time (lips moving) – using pre-scanned elements of the actors composited, into the 360 collage.

THE “STORY”

The story-structure is based on the classic archetypal “human-story” structure based on input ranging from greek plays, literature, movies (specifically love stories and romantic comedies), TV shows, pop songs, magazines, commercials, and all the other input from all around the world.

An archetypal structure (a 7-12 minute suggested time frame), consisting of several (classic type scenes) scenes averaging approximately 60-120 seconds each:

1. First meeting

2. Breaking the ice, overcoming fear

3. First Meal

4. Fun and Play and Adventure

5. Seduction, Intimacy, Tenderness (romance, if you wish)

6. Moment of conflict, danger

7. Rejection, Break up

8. Pain of Separation, Loss, Longing, Catharsis

9. Make-up

10. An enlightening-spiritual moment

11. Understanding, Compassion, Acceptance of Differences

12. Self-Awakening

YOUR INPUT

You get to input the information:

Your web/social media profile.
Your time and place of birth (confidential).
You throw the I-Ching and perform a tarot-card session.
You answer a set of questions – such as  “what are your goals, dreams, hopes, desires”, as well as some questions about your background, childhood, etc.
You choose your date – will it be a girl next door, or a “super-hot dude”? How will she/he be dressed, their fashion style…?
You get to chose where you go – should you meet on the dance floor in a club, or in the elevator, will you be in a beach in Fuji, hiking up Mount Everest, in a busy Time Square, a market in Kabul, or at the Taj Mahal, at a fast food joint, or a cafe in Paris….

Sorry, your “choices” will be adjusted by the “wisdom” of the AI computer… so may not get exactly what you expected.

Thats part of the “fun” of the experience.

DISCLAIMER:

Ray Bradbury envisioned the immersive “Parlor” in Fahrenheit 451 as dystopian – one that could make us loose our humanity and take us away from reality. On the other hand, Aristotle stated “Self knowledge is the beginning of all wisdom”. Artificial Intelligence could be a double edged sword. I hope it can help us more that harm us.

RZ

 

Frisco Disco

Set against the backdrop of the late 1970’s into a changing new decade full of promise, hope, and uncertainty.

Meet Frankie, Ingrid, Ricky and Christian; each with their own secret demons of drugs, promiscuity and sexual uncertainty. Each longing to break free and try their wings and soar.

An upcoming feature, based on a true coming-of-story, set during the apex of the disco-era in New York City, full of exciting dance, glitter and updated re-makes of classic disco hits.

Our goal is to bring the excitement of the disco era to a new generation, in an updated form that will be both nostalgic and futuristic.

producers: Joey Dedio & Dennis Grimaldi

written by: Jared Iversen

director: Rafal Zielinski

 

 

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality- Poster

 

A BARDO IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE

Tibetan Book of the Dead

Bardo Thotrol (Bar-do’i-thos-grol) in Tibetan or more commonly known as “The Tibetan Book, of the Dead”, is a classic of the world’s religious literature.

It concerns the nature of the mind and its projections – beautiful or terrible, peaceful and wrathful – which seem to exist objectively and inhabit the external world.

In particular it describes these projections as they appear immediately after death, in a much more overwhelming form since the consciousness is no longer grounded and shielded by its connection with a physical body.

It teaches recognition of these terrifying and seductive forms, and through recognition attainment of the state of enlightenment.

This centuries-old scripture was traditionally read aloud to the dying to help them transcend and see death and rebirth as a process that offers the possibility of attaining ultimate liberation.

Bardo means gap. It is not only the interval of suspension after we die but also suspension in the living situation.

According to the Tibetans, death happens in the living situation as well.

The Bardo experience is part of our basic psychological make-up. The book is not only a message for those who are going to die and those who are already dead, but it is also a message for those who are already born: birth and death apply to everybody constantly, at this very moment.

History

I came across this book as a teenager in India.

When I was at MIT, studying art, design and film, I received a grant to turn it into an one hour immersive three screen film and I had William Burroughs writing the script and Phillip Glass the music. We got only part of the way as the computers were not up to speed.

When I came a Hollywood, I developed a screenplay (“Bardo”) which was a mainstream film aimed at a wide audience, and also two subsequent low budget indie versions (“Last Verse”, “In a Dark Wood”).

After seeing the recent breakthroughs in VR I became interested in a realization of it as a VR experience and embarked on creating a new screenplay – utilizing lessons learned from the previous incarnations of this project and molding it into a VR experience that could be perfect for today’s audiences.

Story-synopsis

The script is a love triangle between three characters who find themselves in the Bardo state – one is in a coma (near-death experience), one is truly dead, and one was given a date drug.

We also visit dream-states, hallucinatory-drug experiences, and moments of illumination where life and bardo almost meet.

The central character Adam (23), works at a VR start up designing games.

Over a weekend in Las Vegas, he hooks up with Chloe (21) at a music festival, overdoses and goes into coma.

In the near-death state he reunites with Julia (20) his college sweetheart (love of his life) who died three years earlier.

His experience merges with Julia’s consciousness, who is truly dead. As they re-visit scenes from their loves, Julia encourages Adam to snap out of the coma, return and live out the remainder of his life.

Julia has brought Adam and Chloe together for a reason.

After Adam snaps out, Chloe immediately rejects him and they go their separate ways – but Julia engineers a way for Chloe to visit the Bardo through a date-drug experience.

As the two women meet in the Bardo state, they resolve past karma between them.

Al three are linked in more ways than one.

Chloe’s destiny is to be with Adam… so Julia and Adam can be together again.

Inspiration

Several films have been an influence – Its a Wonderful Life, Ghost, Jacobs Ladder, 2001 and Enter the Void, Matrix.

Even people who do not believe in life after death or reincarnation, would relate to the story – it is about looking back and seeing the effects of karma – the power of each action, word, and thought.
It is also about being fully in the moment in every point – seeing the magic of life, the world all around us and the loved ones that surround us and are connected to us in more ways that we can imagine.

It’s about how we all are so interconnected and ultimately one and all.

It is really a movie about love and life, rather than death.

I see it as a new version of the classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

My hope is for it to be a visceral (beautiful, awe-provoking, mind-blowing and at times terrifying) experience as well as a journey that is moving, emotional, sensual, consciousness expanding and ultimately even “spiritual”.

VR Approach

The audience is the consciousness of one who has died (subjective POV), but the character can also appear in the scene “watching”, so we can also become an objective POV – like watching one’s physical ghost of current age beside one’s mother in child birth – seeing one’s own birth.

The past and the present reunite and become one. It is a chance to merge several realities and timeframes into a single shot, witnessing a collage of moments from one’s life play out all around as we, or the protagonist, interacts with the memories.

The experience is grounded by placing it largely in real settings with real people from the main character’s life – it is more about connecting death to life rather than visiting other worldly realms.

Films about death typically have fantasy settings can be problematic (“What Dreams May Come”, “Pretty Bones”) because they try to create a sort of spectacular, limbo-fantasy life-after-death setting which is un-reachable for our imagination.

Adam’s experience is colored by him being a designer of video games – but these elements can be kept to a minimum, if the budget is a constraint.

The three characters are often seen surrounded and immersed in memories, visions and hallucinations (“cyclo-ramas”) – to be filmed on a 360 green screen set and then capturing various moving components individually to collage behind and around the actors.

Core Audience

Understanding death one can lead a richer more meaningful life – especially if there is still much left to experience – so we are aiming at younger audiences – the demographic most interested in VR.

The central character is a designer of games – the story is about young love, childhood, school, college, relationship to one’s parents.

It is set in the world of tech start-ups, the Electric Daisy Music Carnival, Burning Man Festival, the outdoors – backpacking around the world, action sports and situations that would be fun for a young audience in VR.

Budget

Coming from the independent world, I see this as a film that could be done ideally for a budget of $5M – it could mushroom into something bigger by embellishing the effects – but at its core it is an emotional film – about real people – real lives – real places – so the effects should not overpower the experience. As an indie project, it can be more daring and we can push the envelope further.

Personal Connection

My mom has vivid memories of her past life, and I have seen the proof – I’m 99% sure that life does not end after death.

My writing partner on the original “Bardo” passed away a few years ago, but the moment I decided to write the new version as a VR film, the script came to me guided as if from beyond – often I found myself writing, without even being aware I was writing – and it was a joyful experience.

I met with a practitioner of past-life regression therapy and interviewed her. One fascinating aspect has been the reversals she has encountered, time and after time – unresolved issues repeated from life to life – men being re-born as women, parents reborn as offspring, the same “cast of family characters” appearing in different configurations. She has sees abusers being reborn as the ones abused, racists as ones discriminated against, killers as their victims.

I tracked down the Dalai Lama and offered the script to him – he took it, smiled and sort of giggled… then just bowed – a perfect “bardo” moment.
Rafal Zielinski
November 18, 2015

Tiger Within

IN PRE-PRODUCTION

written by  Gina Wendkos

A young skin head runs away from home to New York City where she is befriended by a Holocaust survivor.

Casey, 16, is a loner…and a lost soul in search of love. The film opens on her disastrous first day of school in Michigan suburbs where she is humiliated and disrespected.  At home, it’s not much better.  Her mother’s new boyfriend is an abusive drunk, while her mother, Marge, has good intentions but is ultimately weak.  When the boyfriend threatens to leave if Casey doesn’t, Marge sides with him and arranges for Casey to live with her estranged father in New York City.

Upon arrival at Kennedy Airport, Casey sees her father and his family before they see her.  She hears her three half-sisters and step-mother complain about her reputation as a trouble-maker and decides not to step forward. After a while, her father reluctantly leaves without her.  Casey can see the relief on his family’s faces. Now she is in New York alone.

She tells a cab driver to take her to a place “where no one will stare at me” and he drives her to the roughest part of town he knows.  She joins the rest of the bums, punks, junkies, and prostitutes and wanders the streets alone. It’s only a matter of time before her bag is stolen; she’s approached for sex; and she sleeps where she can, including a Jewish cemetery.

Academy Award Winner MARTIN LANDAU

The next morning, Samuel Benz (to be played by Martin Landau), a Holocaust survivor, is making his daily visit to his wife’s grave when he discovers Casey asleep on her tombstone. At first taken aback by the swastika covered jacket which covers her shoulders, he decides to wait for her to wake up.  When she awakes he invites her to eat and wash up at his apartment with no strings attached. She accepts the offer but is so exhausted that she eventually falls asleep in his bathtub.  The next morning she thanks him and returns to the streets.

Three months later, Casey is working in a massage parlor – jerking guys off for money.  She’s a little wiser now and number. She runs into Samuel a couple of times, then again on Christmas eve. Over dinner he reveals that he lost his two twin daughters in the camps and never had a chance to fulfill himself as a father… he then explains an old Chinese saying “embrace the tiger,” which means to learn to love ones fears “so you can control them and they not you.”

Taking this advice, Casey takes a cab to her father’s house in the suburbs. In a very awkward scene, he introduces Casey to his wife and three daughters. Later, Casey overhears his wife complaining about the new “trash” they’ve let into their house and what kind of “influence she’ll be on the girls.” Casey runs away again in the middle of the night…to Samuel’s house in the city, where she angrily confronts the old man for telling her to go in the first place.  Samuel quickly comforts her and offers her his house as a new home.  The only “catch” is that she must take the swastika off her jacket, and start going to school. She agrees.

The school won’t let Casey register without signatures from one of her real parents, so Samuel and Casey take the train to Michigan together to confront her mother and the boyfriend. Marge reluctantly agrees to sign Casey away. On the train back to New York, Casey asks Samuel why he’s going to all this trouble. He answers that he once made a promise to his wife to stop hating, and that initially he hated Casey…”You were the challenge God presented me that day in the graveyard… if I’d learn not to hate you, a child in a swastika, then I could learn to forgive all before I die.”

At school, Casey excels in poetry and makes friends with a young man named Tony.  Before going on a date with Tony, Samuel helps Casey “prepare” by buying her a dress, some stockings and shoes. The date goes well. Later, Samuel takes Casey to a health clinic to have “the talk” with health counselors.

One summer day, Casey and Tony begin having sex on the beach.  At the same time, Samuel is viciously attacked near his Temple by a gang of skinhead punks.  Casey finds him in the hospital later that day. He is close to death. Within the next few days his condition deteriorates and Casey begins to withdraw back into herself, avoiding Tony, neglecting the apartment, sleeping in the bathtub like her first night there. When Samuel finally dies, she completely reverts back to her old ways…including the massage parlor.

In the parlor, about to “work” on some guy, Casey comes to a revelation and quickly bolts during the middle of the “session.”  She goes to the cat section in the Bronx Zoo and sticks her hand in between the bars of a tiger’s cage in order to test her fear.  The tiger roars at first, then licks her hand lovingly.  Casey has embraced her fears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl 5

 

 

Girl5 is a film about a fictional pop/rock band, and the idea is to find five talented teenage girls who can sing, dance and act (and hopefully play instruments), and then to have a select music-team come up with one or two dozen numbers for them.

The concept is that they each come from a different continent so we may cast it not only in North America, but in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America, as well.

The music might also come from musicians and songwriters around the world submitting tracks, the girls themselves or the music team.

Once the tracks are produced, there will be an extensive rehearsal period before the movie is shot.

The film will be a series of music videos strung together, and the story (our screenplay) will be part of the music videos, so the current script will not be shot in it is entirety – rather it will be shown in snippets and used more of a guide to improvise upon, the way music some videos are done.

The last week or two of the shoot will involve taking the group on a “mini-tour”, and have them perform live.  The performances will be filmed, and we will also create a behind-the scenes “fake documentary” as if the band was real, with interviews and “candid” improvised moments with the girls. The performances and this documentary footage will also be intercut into the movie.

To keep it within an indie budget and give it a hip-eclectic style, portions will be shot on a green screen, even with hand-drawn and animated backgrounds (we do not have to go to locations around the world, or shoot in huge concert venues). Sometimes the girls will literally turn into cartoons (when we cannot afford to stage the car chases, and big action sequences). The animation will be 2D, rather than the expensive 3D CGI kind, more like early Disney cartoons (think South Park, Family Guy, Adult Swim). We have already begun by working with a talented graphic artist-illustrator from the UK to create some samples.

If the film succeeds this could spin off into a TV series and the band actually going on a real tour and releasing more records.

 

Spritz sells cola around the globe in 1001 flavourts, but when Sean and Randy pitch Girl 5, they can’t say no. It will sell even more cola!

After a global search across five continents, the five mystery girls are chosen. The manufactured band and the manufactured sound is a smashing success! 

But someone forgot something in the all the excitement. It has no soul. The over-hype, over-promotion, over-marketing, boils over. It’s a total melt down and the fans turns violent.

Spritz faces a total write down, puts a contract out on the two swengalis and sicks the Dept. of Homeland Security on the band. The girls run into hiding, go underground. 

Suicide is not an option. They were chosen for their “talent”, not their looks, right?

They will not fail! They work, they sweat, they write and… they sing… for real.

They find their sound, their beat, their voice. And it’s the cry of the world all in one. Someone sneaks out a tune…. it goes viral.

Who are these sirens, these muses, these mystery goddesses? Everyone wants to know.

FEED THE WORLD – DANCE THE WORLD – LOVE THE WORLD – BE THE WORLD.

Spritz on!

 

365

365 Poster

The screenplay is an imaginary, conceptual, hypothetical film as if written by “John”, the central character, who is an aspiring screenwriter, an outsider and a rebel. John is adopting his “love-journal” that he created documenting his love scenes with his girlfriend “Jane” to an imaginary screenplay, a movie that would not be made by any main-stream filmmaker, as it is too intimate and risque.

With the advent of the internet there are a millions of such pieces out there in various forms. Whether they are photos, blogs, videos, tweets, social-media text bits – our compulsion to document and share the most intimate moments has become the fabric of our collective consciousness.

It is a “journal” – someone writing it down right afterwards, sometimes next morning, next day, next week. Sometimes it is a re-telling of the stream of consciousness, or trying to capture it as if the writer lost track of whether the dialogue was actually spoken, or went through the mind at the time, or occurred after the fact.

The challenge of this material would be to minimize the nudity, rather make it a poetic-literary stream of consciousness full of beautiful hypnotic images, a film about memory, poetry, art, the soul… and the mind of these two characters. It will also be a way to open up the film so it does not become just two-actors-in-one room.

I see this as a 150 minute movie with a non-stop continuous-hypnotic-sound-track that could almost place you into an altered state – it’s about those moments in our lives when we are in that zone. The non stop beat will help us jump in time within scenes and even edit them as non-continuous events – fragmented – as if snippets of memory….

to Jean-Luc Godard

Carnevale

Tanja-Schulz-Venice-Carnival-79

 

“CARNEVALE”.

Carnevale is a contemporary romantic adventure inspired by Shakespeare’s “Midsummer’s Night Dream”.

A young hipster American couple go to Venice during the time of Carnival, to party and experience the clash of old and new,  and test their relationship, which leads to a quarrel and eventual split up.

Fate would have it that both individually meet one half of trendy Italian couple also temporarily estranged.

Through a series of mishaps our four college students become the owners of a stolen diamond mask that makes them the target of rock stars, crooks, the police and an assortment of eccentric local Venetians.

Each of the four lovers finds what was lacking in their former partners.

Romance and passion blossoms amid a festive mood where the line between reality and fantasy merges.

Eventually true love shines through and the couples re-unite, switch and rediscover their former mates.

Carnival in Venice, Masks. Italy

Carnival in Venice, Masks. Italy

ALieNS

As a couple, Kane and Skye are pretty near perfect.  They’re young, ambitious, brave, and stuck together on a beat-up old spaceship hurtling across the vast reaches of intergalactic space.

The only problem is Kane comes from Drop Nine, a desolate little asteroid in the middle of nowhere, where life is nasty, brutish and short.  Where men are men and women are…well, men have been cloning copies of themselves for a couple of hundred years, so no one actually remembers what women even look like.

Skye is an ace fighter pilot from a technologically and intellectually superior civilization on the other side of the solar system.  A civilization of women who consider the few men camped out on asteroids like Drop Nine to be the scum of the universe.

But despite their different backgrounds, Kane and Skye quickly become reluctant allies in a desperate and foolhardy attempt to save what remains of humanity from certain destruction.  And while they’re saving humanity, they do the one thing people on opposite sides of a centuries-old war in outer space should never do.

They fall in love.

Romance,  adventure and the battle of the sexes with lots of attitude.

The past and future history of the human race as it’s never been told before…

 

 

Calling Aphrodite


IN DEVELOPMENT

based on play “Calling Aphrodite” by Velina Hasu Houston which received its world premiere recently at International City Theatre, Long Beach, California.

Youth, dreams, and lives destroyed in Hiroshima. The story of two teenage sisters who survived the blast close to ground zero and how it affected their lives.

Houston is a Pinter Review Prize for Drama Silver Medalist for the play which also was a finalist for the American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award for its 2007 world premiere. Calling Aphrodite has been embraced by The former Honorable Consul General of Japan of Los Angeles Kazuo Kodama as a “remarkable and appropriate exploration” of the Hiroshima experience. In 2008, Calling Aphrodite was presented at Tokyo Engeki Ensemble (TEE), Tokyo. TEE and Houston continue to collaborate toward an international presentation of the play in Hiroshima.

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Fun

 

“Fun” – a Rafal Zielinski film

based on a play by James Bosley, screenplay by James Bosley

In a suburban wasteland of freeways, fast-food and pre-fab housing, two teenage girls meet one morning, become fast friends, share their secrets and later that afternoon, on a rising wave of frenzy, murder an old woman. They did it, they later say, for “fun”.

John is a journalist given the challenge of making sense of this “senseless crime.” Jane is a counselor committed to breaking down the barriers that block the girls’ from expressing any remorse over their crime.

Bonnie and Hillary, 14 and 15, staunchly refuse to soften their stand that the killing was fun, and challenge their adult inquisitors to defend a society that offers them no voice, no understanding, no love.

The story moves from the juvenile detention center where the girls are kept, to the girls on the day of the killing. We see them meet, talk, confess painful details of abuse and neglect. They share pain and secrets and find joy in their discovery of a kindred spirit – at last. It’s like love at first sight. They “get high just on each other’s company.” They begin a journey of ecstasy and murder.

Alicia Witt & Renee Humphrey, "Fun", a Rafal Zielinski film

The Film

FUN, coined by Graham Fuller of “Interview Magazine”, as “the most provocative new movie at the Sundance Film Festival”, where it won two Special Jury Awards for Best Acting for each of it’s two young stars, Alicia Witt and Renee Humphrey, started out as a stage play written by James Bosley. Developed at the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference and first produced at the Manhattan Class Company, it tells the story of two teenage girls who murder an old lady for “fun” .

Rafal Zelinski, having just completed “Ginger Ale Afternoon” written by Gina Wendkos, also based on her play, saw FUN at the Burbage Theatre in Los Angeles, and was profoundly affected by it.

After developing it together with James Bosley into a full length feature script, he set out together with executive producers Rana Glickman and Jeff Kirshbaum in raising financing. During the next year and a half of frustrated efforts, several times coming close to having it packaged with stars, Rafal decided to forge ahead with FUN as a low budget independently produced production. Further financing  was obtained by co-producer Daminan Lee who put together a Canadian tax-shelter deal.

The production team was joined by Sharon Ben-Tal – production manager/line producer, Gloria Zimmerman – production co-ordinator, James Zatolokin – production council, Jens Sturup – director of photography, and editor/associate producer – Monika Dorfman-Lightstone. Principal photography was completed in eight days. The prison sequences shot at the Central Juvenile Hall (a real working prison) were filmed in super 16 (later blown up to a b&w 35mm interpositive) and are filmed in cinema verite style. All the flashback sequences are filmed in 35mm AGFA color. The dialogue is to script although at times the intensity of the performances appear to be improvisational. A psychiatrist for abused teenage girls coached the actresses prior to principal photography. The color sequences were shot in Canyon Country, North of Los Angeles.

FUN endured budgetary restrictions, time constraints, and natural disaters (L.A.’s January earthquake) which contaminated the baths at Deluxe Film Labs in Los Angeles, as well as tumbling shelves of original negatives.  The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (winning the two awards for acting) and went on to the Sydney Film Festvial (voted 5th best movie), the Munich Film Festival (voted best American Independent Feature), the Edinbrough Festival, as well as the Montreal and Toronto Festivals.

FESTIVALS & AWARDS

“FUN”  premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it received two Special Jury Awards for Acting Achievement and went on to show at the Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver as well as other international film festivals including Sydney, Edinbrough, Munich, Vienna, London, Cambridge, Stockholm, Sao Paulo, Hawaii, Hamburg, Rimini, Mill Valley, San Jose, Warsaw, Oslo and Wales.  The Film opened theatrically at the Film Forum in New York  and received two nominations for Best Newcomer Performance and Best First Screenplay for IFP Spirit Awards.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY

Graham Fuller, Interview Magazine

Fun was the most provocative new movie at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. This fictional case study of two teenage girls who jaunt across suburbia culminates in murder has more sociological import than a fistful of Gen X movies. Hyperkinetic direction and blistering performances by Renee Humphrey and Alicia Witt, though having taken a some time to get released it’ll now suffer comparisons with Heavenly Creatures.

Stephen Dalton, New Musical Express

A Clockwork Orange for the ’90s? Two wayward teenagers get their kicks from a sinister form of fun. This is a dazzling and disturbingly plausible piece of ’90s cinema which refuses to let any of its characters–or viewers–off the hook.

Washington Post

Good, unnerving performances from its young actors give Fun more edge than the usual independent movie.
They carve their initials in your memory forever!

The Village Voice

Infinitely trickier and more satisfying than Heavenly Creatures.

The Melody Maker

Digs deeper, disturbs far more thoroughly and speaks a hundred times more forcefully about disaffected youth than Natural Born Killers!

 

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