Inspiration For "The Vigilante"
After seeing Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT, I wondered what it would be like to make a superhero movie in which the villain was the film's protagonist. The marketing campaign for the WATCHMEN movie was gearing up, and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to take a new look at the superhero genre.
Heroes in superhero fiction almost always constitute a ruling class. By defending the world as-is, heroes prevent it from changing and lock it in status quo. Villains try to change it.
--- I wanted to create a sympathetic “villain” my audience could relate to, without telling anyone how to think. ---
Condemned by critic Francis Fukuyama as the world’s most dangerous idea, transhumanism affirms the desirability of improving the human condition by developing technologies that enhance our intellectual and psychological capacities. Proponent Ronald Bailey counters, saying it's a “movement that epitomizes the most daring, courageous, imaginative, and idealistic aspirations of humanity.”
Unlike free citizens of North East State, Artemis's character develops the moment he loses the right to choose for himself. Losing his father to complications from a correction procedure and his mother to a depression she refused to correct, Artemis wishes things could be the way they once were as he struggles coping with a rapidly changing world.
Set in a relatable yet unfamiliar urban environment, inspired by superhero traditions and science-fiction, "The Vigilante" merges Spielberg's MINORITY REPORT with Alan Moore's WATCHMEN, combining trepidation, excitement of cultural and technological progress, and a grim absence of real heroes.
All-at-once exciting, strange, and thought-provoking, "The Vigilante" is not about good vs. evil or right vs. wrong. It's a film about how we view the world, ourselves, and the choices we make.
- Jules Hamilton
With almost four days left to raise the second half of our $70,000 fundraising goal, "The Vigilante" team is thrilled to see our project featured as a Kickstarter staff pick!
Science Fiction: “The Literature of Ideas”
Part of the human struggle has always been understanding ourselves and controlling that which was previously out of our control. We take it for granted as a part our culture today, but before advances in medicine and technology cosmetic plastic surgery existed only in the realm of science fiction.
So what happens when the ability to re-wire the human mind can be marketed as a personal luxury; the ultimate opportunity for self-improvement? This was the question I asked myself four years ago when I first came up with the idea for THE VIGILANTE.
When people think of “brain surgery” they often think of it as something they’d like to avoid. In our experience it’s invasive and extremely dangerous. Altering the human mind to voluntarily change ourselves might be the stuff of science-fiction today, but new discoveries regarding neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to change itself, suggests a wave of possibilities in our not-to-distant future.
Our identity has much less to do with how we look and more to do with how we think. As our understanding of the brain increases, so does our understanding of ourselves. Consider Ativan, Xanax, Valium, even meditation and aromatherapy—these are real, practical examples of self-administered attempts to control our own brains. Today cosmetic surgery is common practice, so what might we expect if we had the ability to customize our minds without risk?
Regarding a similar science in an episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, Rod Serling had this to say: "Improbable? Perhaps. But in an age of plastic surgery, let us hesitate to say impossible–these and other strange blessings may be waiting for us in the future.”
Progress continues to be made in emerging fields such as nanotechnology, neuroplasticity, and artificial intelligence. Suddenly, the ability to alter our minds using technology doesn’t seem so hard to imagine. Intentionally tinkering with our minds is an idea that seems closer everyday. In 2008 Kevin Warwick began putting brain cells into robots and last year MIT researchers used optogenetics to manipulate mice with light signals beamed into their brains.
I don’t think the world is a black and white place, so when I started work on THE VIGILANTE, I wanted to explore moral gray areas, allowing people to challenge themselves as they applied their own world views and values to my film’s story. Just like our world today, the world of THE VIGILANTE is neither a utopia nor dystopia.
My role as a filmmaker is to take my audience through a journey they’ve never experienced before, raising questions along the way. Working on THE VIGILANTE has made me grow more than anything else I can remember doing, and through my experiences on and off the project I’ve come to many of my own conclusions…
It’s an uncertain future, but I dare to say I’m excited to see what happens next.
- Jules Hamilton
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Original Vigilante poster signed by the director and members of the team, a collectable "Vote Saxby" campaign button, and Vigilante Backer t-shirt. Includes all previous reward tiers.Estimated delivery:
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