I had to make a choice, to follow my heart or take the easy way. I chose the Captain Planet answer and decided to shoot in my hometown. After getting so much positive feedback on the script and idea and with my knowledge of equipment and leadership skills I felt the kickstarter would translate well to people only wanting to pitch a few dollars, but still make something cosmic. I can promise you this movie will be great all I want, but that doesn't matter. It comes down to trust.
Don't trust me, trust the energy I'm putting into this idea . Trust my audacity.
I will make this film if it's the last thing I do and I am damn good at the things I do.
I realize it's asking a lot to give money these days, even a small amount to this project, so thank you for at least considering it. I won't let you down.
Principle Photography begins March 23rd,
Ladies and Gentlemen, the End of The Universe:
WE'RE ALL THAT'S LEFT.
Prairie Oyster will be a visually dynamic, character-driven, story-propelled, experimental narrative fueled by the audacity of the human heart. It's made for anyone to be able to watch, and to give us a connection to what makes us us. Without going over everyones head with post-modern filmic jargon, like our favorite songs do. The characters are loveable and worthy of cheering for, even the antagonist. The visuals of a solemn character walking in a vast, empty prairie or a character putting everything and more into an attack to fight the impending entropy of the Universe. This is a love story, not the beginning, and certainly not the end. It's revenge for every sad ending, every broken heart.
Carl and bea are all that's left in the Prairie that survived the end of everything. They're in love, and they aren't going anywhere... unless the now unemployed forces of reality have something to say about it.
Hi my name is Clifford Carl Brice, and I'm a dreamer.
I'm also a film student, which means that my dreams could get me killed. Film is a beautifully brutal art form, where logistics and creativity cross and clash with business and infrastructure. That being said, it's what I want to do. Prairie Oyster is my foray into the settling dust.
I've been working on Prairie Oyster for about 3 years, before I was even a film student. I wanted to see something dynamic, sharp and saturated. Something that I would want to see that I had never seen. Being a huge fan of animation, I decided to pursue a style that blended the sharp aesthetics of comics and animation with the tranquility of film. In order to do that I needed a story that spoke with boundless energy all the while working with a minimal budget and resources. On top of all of that it has to have Heart.
Prairie Oyster takes place after the unexpected end of The Universe, where only 7.77 square miles of prairie remain, and the survivors wake up every morning with a hangover in strange places. Carl Oku and Bea Walther are two lovers as well as two of the three guardians of The Prairie. They are accompanied by Ben Sheemus, he's a pacifist with sunglasses. The trio don't mind the lack of reality, and it would seem that The Prairie was built just for them . . . other than the "perpetual hangovers" thing.
When the now unemployed forces of reality send a messenger to fix The Universe and find out what caused its end, Carl and Bea have to fight for their realm of dust. It's LOVE vs. THE UNIVERSE.
I want Prairie Oyster to be the kind of film that the viewer (you) will want to see again, but not just because of it's entertainment value. It should inspire you, make you smile, and motivate you to live. I want you to cheer with this film. Anyone should be able to like this from any perspective including people with hearing or visual impairments, I want every dynamic of this film to be executed as such.
T H E O R Y o f P r a i r i e O y s t e r
I wrote Prairie Oyster to be like a song. In a song there are important elements such as the beat, the melody and the lyrics. As I conceived the idea, I put huge emphasis on these, but from a filmic perspective. Substituting the beat for pacing/editing, the melody for cinematography and the lyrics for dialogue. Beyond this, however, is something even more important.
Behind every great song is another factor that goes unnoticed: Heart. Every song has a story behind the lyrics which causes the singer, guitarist, drummer, et cetera to put all they've got into making the song. Artists like Fleetwood Mac and The Beatles are prime examples. My film is about this, I want to say something without saying it. No, actually, I want to shout it. That's the beauty of my idea.
MAKING A BEAUTIFUL RECKONING
I have the resources of The University of Colorado at my Disposal, but equipment rentals cost money, not to mention paying for quality and actors. Given the two hour drive between the campus and shooting location, I'll need all the help I can get. I also want everyone involved to be paid in some way.
Email me if you want to help: firstname.lastname@example.org
What it will look like- Prairie Oyster is minimalistic. No shots of buildings or helicopter shots. It's all about The Prairie's beautiful void. The color will be highly saturated with contrast. I want to blue sky and brown ground to stand out as a character in itself.
Digital Animation and Rotoscoping - The film is fairly simple to shoot, however, I'm also experimenting with a number of insane ideas that I've gotten since I began my career here. The will require usage of special effects such as rotoscoping or after effects. I am already working with students at CU-Denver's digital animation program to assist. I'd go into more detail but I don't want to spoil any of it. Also, they won't make the film look bad.
Acting - I'm in contact with local acting resources, try outs will be held later this month.
Scenes are relatively simplistic, with 5 roles that have multiple scenes, 3 of these roles have the majority of lines and presence. However, they will require a devoted cast, I've been told the script should do that for me.
The film will be shot in southern Colorado in the prairies outside Pueblo where I grew up. It will have a cast of ten and a crew of whoever is willing to help. I'm using the film as my FILM 4500 project in order to graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a BFA in film production. I will also graduate with a BA in Film Studies, though that is not very important, it just means I have a good idea of what I'm getting myself into.
Carl Oku (Male Lead)
Carl is an 18-24 year old male. He has a scruffy, loveable appearance with brown, blonde, and/or red hair. He has a normal to slightly shorter build and height, with moderately tan to pale skin. Carl wears thick-rimmed glasses and a turtleneck, with scarf, and rain jacket (trench coat). Carl is relatively silent, but delivers on certain lines and phrases to give them more emphasis and power. He is in a relationship with Bea Walther. Carl has a demeanor of a child mixed with that of a loveable mutt. Likes strawberry milk.
Bea Walther (Female Lead)
Bea (bea) is around the same age as Carl, with medium-cut hair, her hair constantly changes color due to the after-effects of a lack of reality. She is of a relatively small build, which she makes up for with quirky comments and wit. She's like a Rubik Cube, complicated, colorful and simple to those who can figure her out. She wears a pair of sunglasses constantly. She enjoys Pocky, a Japanese snack. Her style is more colorful and creative than Carl’s, due to her extreme sense of individuality and creativity. Carl Oku is her boyfriend, she appreciates his stubborn playfulness.
_______ (Male Primary Antagonist)
______ is a bearded, male character with the power of reality at his disposal. He has a distinct presence of logic and law. His age is the same as Bea and Carl’s or older. Though his name is never mentioned, he has a past history with Carl, Bea and Ben Sheemus. He wants to restore the Universe to its original state. ______ is the most handsome of anyone in the film, and has numerous likeable traits and features. He’s a complex guy.
Ben Sheemus (Male- Tertiary character)
Ben represents the soul of the film. His ethnicity doesn’t matter, but he is also scruffy and somewhat deshelved. He wears sunglasses that almost never come off. Ben wears black with a thin tie and flip flops, as well as boxers with hearts on them. He speaks often in prose and is extremely cool in any situation.
“F” (Male – Evil)
F is another nameless character who represents the nature of the Universe and certain physical bias when concerning sex/sexuality. He is nasty, constantly pulling maraschino cherries out of a glass container and sucking the juice from his fingers. His power lies within the logic of the mind and convincing others of his opinions. He’s more of an anti-romantic than a realist.
Bart Ender (male)
The bartender at the Whammy Bar. Older, long, grey hair and a beard. Likes to smite things.
An old man with a guitar. Caretaker of Leyla.
A young girl who is blind and deaf. Might just save the Universe.
An Arcadian who once commanded the laws of the Universe that is no more.
“Faye Th” (female)
Faye is a female disembodied entity that works with power on the Arcadian Parole Board.
TO BE PERCEIVED.
The following videos are examples that I've shot, or what I want the project to look like
KOROKU: This was a silent project I did. The Arcadian Parole Board will look much like this, but with blue light and fog,
Kamikaze Girls. This is the closest thing that I will find to what the final film will end up looking like. I have a major crush on Anna.
This final video is Chronos. My first film. It's also silent and shot in SUPER-8 film stock. I will be using some SUPER-8 celluloid in Prairie Oyster, this just lets you know that I have made things before this, during my 6-year college career.
THE AUDACITY OF INSPIRATION
Music is the biggest inspiration for this film. On top of that, I want to vocalize the sources of my inspiration. It will give some idea of what to expect, and how my ideas came to be.
FLCL (Fooly Cooly)
This is the biggest one for Prairie Oyster. The visuals, storytelling and flow of FLCL are what inspired my style of filmmaking. I want the visuals of FLCL to have a noticeable influence on Prairie Oyster. I'm not going to steal any of the shots or copy and paste vectors. I guess the best comparison would be comparing a Fun. album to something like Queen. Each are unique, but there is some familiarity between the two. My style as a filmmaker is derived from this concept. To bring animation to the filmic continuum. I believe I can do it, it's a huge undertaking.
Here's what I want to bring to film:
Last semester, I used Miyazaki as the primary influence for my class film. I was told the idea was successfully conveyed. I also learned that I should never record my own audio. Ever.
My favorite filmmaker. The biggest influence, for me, is his heart. His films are brilliant and take the audience on an emotional journey of discovery. His tranquil brilliance is something I admire, the whimsicality his films generate is also something I am inspired by. I could never win an award without thanking him for his inspiration.
Considered by many to be the greatest anime ever made, Cowboy Bebop does amazing things in every aspect of visuals, storytelling and music. It's the human condition seen from outside the human condition.
I realize this is vague. I like the gaming experience, I think it's an artform and I support it thoroughly, though not all of my peers do and I understand that. Being a creative person I enjoy RPG's, indie games and the occasional Halo. Feel free to recommend some to me. I crave inspiration!
HOW YOU ARE CONTRIBUTING TO THE TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF EVERYTHING IN PLAUSIBLE REALITY. SHUCKS!
The 2,000 dollar budget for Prairie Oyster is primarily concerned with equipment and necessities. That means after hitting the budget, extra resources will go to making a better film with more priority and possibility. Imagination is cheap, its manifestation is not.
Necessities- That's rough sound and video, with pay for the actors and some travel. Breaking the 2,000 budget will go straight to expanding resources, such as being able to pay for out of town actors and more expensive equipment. ZERO of it goes to Clifford Carl, he gets some of the catering and that's it.
I'm researching the right camera for shooting deep focus with high saturation, with a high frame rate. The cost of such a unit could be around $100 a day, depending.
Digital animation- Also part of the budget. These guys do work, and they're good. They deserve the credit and cash.
I also need a bar on the edge of the prairie. If you have ideas contact me, por favor.
What is a Prairie Oyster? Give me 250 bucks and I'll give you a gander.
Prairie Oyster on Social Media
I want Prairie Oyster to connect people and their music. I decided to use social media in order to do that effectively.
The blog contains about all there is to know on the current film, including vlog posts, more location scouting and concept art.
Risks and challenges
This is a film. Murphy's law applies to it the same way Newtons do to us. For Prairie Oyster there are a few things that that could become problematic.
Transportation- I love the location, however, the distance it has is a challenge. For example, my acting contacts in Boulder would have to drive or be driven down to to Pueblo for every shoot they were involved in. The same applies for the crew and myself. This means I most likely need to find local talent. I have a number of peers and cohorts who want to help and are okay with the drive, but it's still asking a lot and often. Having some funds to work with would be great here.
Weather- 90% of Prairie Oyster takes place outside. Changing weather in March may cause inconsistencies which may effect scheduling. This is slightly preventable.
Talent- Local resources and such are available, but the selection is more limited, and given the age range and such for my cast this could be a difficulty.
Crew- This factors into the transportation schemata, essentially I need help, I have some local resources, but they are hampered by time and life, so finding good people is key.
Being A Student Film- The class has some specifications for the film, which is why I'm making two cuts of the film. The class could pose some problems with timing, as well as taking up all of my time. It also means that the film has to be made for me to graduate.
BIG IDEAS and ACTION- I'm a rather audacious human being. i have a lot of ideas that need to be conveyed well or they will be laughable.
My Job- I work for the University of Colorado Accessibility Department. It's a great job, and I would highly recommend their services. I'm devoting all the time I can to my job and doing it well. Having more funds means I can do more work for the University with less stress. Keeping up the pace will be a challenge regardless.
Artistic Response- It's a postmodern method of differentiating herself from the thought that something has to be big to be important. The fact that her name sounds phonetically like the letter 'B' is also of note. Her name exists, and that gives it power, as does the amount of illogicality that is possesses.
OFFICIAL CONTRIBUTOR TO THE END OF THE UNIVERSE. Good job, you destroyed everything.
A limited edition "Prairie Oyster: Get Out of Hangover Free" card proving you officially backed filmic awesome. Next time you have a bad hangover, present this playing card and your hangover will be gone!!!
*Note- This is not a valid coupon.
Personal Letter of thanks. Clifford Carl Brice will personally write you a letter, different from any other, and send it to you with a digital copy of both cuts of the film.
"Get Out of Hangover Free" card included.
1/50th of the Prairie
A jar of sand from one of the locations where Prairie Oyster will be shot: The Prairie, The Prairie, A Bar or The Prairie!
Each jar of sand will come with a numbered letter of hate from Clifford Carl telling you how dumb you must be for buying a jar of sand for $50.
Also the digital copies of the film.
But seriously. Thank you.
-A personal looooove letter from one of the characters in the film, INCLUDING THE ANTAGONIST (laaadies). With signature of cast member who played the part.
-Digital Copies of both cuts of the film.
-A Thank you in the credits.
Custom Prairie Oyster wanted sign drawn by Clifford Carl Brice. Clifford Carl will draw you, or someone you know as an outlaw in the Prairie. Examples will be posted. You will get a digital copy, as well as a HQ Gloss print of the sign. The art style is digital, if you want a pencil or ink version, please request it.
DESTROYER OF THE EARTH. Physical copy of final draft of script. Physical copy of Clifford's First draft, lots of doodles, signed by Clifford Carl. Comes with a Wanted sign of you or someone you know with a Higher bounty than the $100 version. Drawn by Clifford Carl. OH, and you will be credited as a "DESTROYER OF THE EARTH" in the credits.
DESTROYER OF THE GALAXY. A wanted sign, drawn by Clifford Carl, of you or someone you know (respectively) appearing in the film itself. A filmed piece of love prose starring Clifford Carl or one of the cast to you or someone you know. It can be a joke, or serious. It can be included in the extra features (for all to see) if you wish. Why not embarrass us? It's what film majors are for. You will be credited as a DESTROYER OF THE GALAXY in the credits.
DESTROYER OF THE UNIVERSE. Holy Charizards. You pledged half our budget. A High Bounty drawn sign by Clifford Carl appearing in the film. Name drop in the film as a exclamation at some point, if you want. A personal thank you by the cast and crew in the special features, for leading the destruction of the Universe. Yowsers.
Most people pledge for the art, not the prize. In your case, this is exemplified. No prize could offer enough thanks for your assistance. The most I can do is give you a video of what you're funding. My dreams. I'll personally sit down in front of a camera and answer any questions you have about what I want to accomplish in film. My dreams are the most valuable thing I have, so they're really the only thing of value I can currently off you. Thank you. -Clifford Carl Brice
With this will of course come the wanted sign appearing in film, a name drop if you wish, copies of the script. You'll be credited as appearing as The Universe. There is no limit on this prize, because I like the idea, and I'm a romantic, what can I say?