DISPATCH #2: Zombies, characters, and the real world...
As an actor it is, of course, my discretion on which projects I work. More so, as a company member of Glass City Films, my colleagues and I are always counseled before green-lighting any project. Each member has the power to veto a project if it does not meet the demands of our specialty.
Obviously, the script for Chrysalis was unanimously agreed upon, and I can only speak from my point of view as to the why.
One of the first things I look for in a script is the characters and dialogue. In my opinion, a beautifully produced film can be a laughingstock if the acting isn’t there, or is the dialogue is distractingly bad. As much as an actor’s work is taken for granted in the independent film industry, it will be the first thing noticed when it is lacking. Chrysalis contains characters and arcs that make your heart ache even on the page. Upon my first reading of the screenplay, it was one of the first experiences I’d had with a rough draft in which the characters simply made sense. I could hear, cleanly, each word being said without effort. Each subsequent word, sentence, and beat was completely natural.
Another element that I make a priority in our projects is tethering the emotions of the audience. I believe that films must be fantastic, but they also must be relatable. Can an enthusiastic audience member wonder, “How would I handle this situation? Or how DID I handle that situation?”
Now...I know what you’re thinking: “ZOMBIES...RELATABLE?!?!”
That’s the beauty of good science fiction. On some level, science fiction is just an augmented variable of science fact, and somewhere, somehow, we find ourselves connecting to the material because it’s not so hard to suspend our disbelief.
Enter an inspirational bit of information for Chrysalis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuKjBIBBAL8
Here, we have absolute proof or a biological substance, literally a bio-chemical, which can control your mind, direct very specific behavior, and wipe out an entire civilization using just one corpse. What’s more, it exists naturally in our world, and in thousands of derivatives, each specializing in a different species. Mutations happen every day, due to change in climate, in surroundings. The thought, the mere possibility of something like this actually happening to human beings, is enough to make you lose sleep.
Glass City Films believes in story first. Science fiction, horror, thriller, drama. All are second-level decisions after story. We have something to tell you here.
Hope you’re listening!
~ Update by Cole Simon, artistic director of Glass City Films
(playing Joshua in Chrysalis)