FINDING THE CURVE - FLAT EARTH DOCUMENTARY
Documentary of a filmmaker's quest to find the edge of the world, after coming to the realization that the Earth might actually be flat
Hi, my name is Einar Kuusk. My life was recently shaken to the core by the notion that the Earth might actually be flat and motionless. I kept rejecting this idea for some time and even made fun of the people who dared to consider such a "primitive" model of our reality before finally realizing that there is undeniable, mathematical and physical proof that our world as we know it is not a ball spinning in space. As a filmmaker, I found myself in the midst of the greatest story untold - the story of humans waking up to the fact that they have no idea where they live...
"Finding the Curve" is my debut feature film and I imagine it to be this metaphysical, sometimes funny, adventure documentary where people's sense of reality is shifted. In this documentary, I capture the very moment I have a sudden consciousness shift and start believing the Earth is flat, after someone online payed me to watch flat Earth videos. The next day, I have become obsessed with the subject, especially the premise that Antarctica, believed generally to be a continent, is really an enormous ice wall that surrounds the world and a treaty has been signed by most of the countries to keep the general population away from it, as if not to let them discover the true nature of our world. I start recording my life as a flat Earther. As I travel the world for projects unrelated to this, I begin recording people's reactions to me believing that the Earth is flat and start to see what my film is really about: It is about people. Humans. The Human race, confused about where they live and capturing their emotional response to the proposition that everything they've been taught about the Earth may be completely false. I learn that there's no other subject that triggers people more than this one, no other idea that is more controversial in this day and age. Naturally, I'm excited. Every filmmaker is in constant search for a truly great story, that masterpiece of theirs that's going to change the world. And I think I've found mine.
I come home from my trip and start uploading the content I've shot over the past few months to my YouTube channel. The videos become popular among the flat Earth community and especially my home country Estonia. I practically lose all of my fans overnight, people start making fun of me and think I've lost my mind. Next, I lose one of my best friends and the director of the last movie I played in calls me and tries to convince me to drop the subject and not talk about it publicly or I will never have a career as an actor. This is where I have my first moment of doubt. I develop an unhealthy drinking habit to cope with my cognitive dissonance and depression arising from the backlash. I remove all the flat Earth content from my channels and consider quitting the project for good. The next day, I wake up with a horrible, empty feeling in my heart. I've always been a spiritual person but definitely not religious. It's at this moment that I feel I may have been put on this path for a reason and abandoning it would mean abandoning who I really am. And, as Jim Carrey put it, I'd be falling into my grave grasping on to a character that I never really were. I reupload all my flat Earth content.
As time goes on, I keep getting moments of doubt and pressure from others not to talk about flat Earth. Eventually, however, I have to come to terms with the fact that I'm a storyteller at heart and if I don't take this opportunity to tell probably the greatest story ever told, I will regret it for the rest of my life. I gather all the footage I've filmed about the subject and videos from some of my favorite flat Earthers, put together a proof-of-concept trailer and launch a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of gathering enough funds to take this documentary project to the next level.
Next step: Expand my crew, conduct experiments, visit all the known flat Earthers and mainstream scientists in the world to discuss my plan to circumnavigate the world through Antarctica to prove or disprove the spherical Earth, see who's with me and find people with resources and expertise to organize an expedition. Which leads us to...
I am planning to make this film in three stages. I call them Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3. Right now we're in the first phase. The funding goal that I'm raising will only cover Phase 1 of this enormous project.
Launch Kickstarter campaign, the website and start promoting the project and its trailer all over social media. Do livestreams to discuss the project with people and to spread awareness of the campaign. Create paid ads on social media for the trailer and its campaign. Produce content and keep people up to date with the progress in the production blog, videos, livestreams and ofcourse on Kickstarter. Pitch the project to investors and producers, get airtime on mainstream media and articles in news outlets. Look for sponsors such as the National Geographic Society and apply for grants and cultural endowments.
- When the Kickstarter campaign is successful (and it will be), I'm going to upgrade my video and audio equipment so I can shoot footage worthy for the big screen, buy hard drives for 4K video storage and hire a cinematographer to join me on my travels all around the plane to meet known flat Earthers out there including but not limited to Eric Dubay, Eddie Bravo, ODD TV, Rob Skiba, Jeranism, David Hicks, Matt Boylan, Mark Sargent, Jake the Asshole, Dave Murphy, Shahzwar Bugti, Delano TV, Darren Nesbit and Brian Mullin. I want to sit down with the people that completely changed my perception of the world to discuss our next move - which in my view is to cross Antarctica and its so called pole and keep going south until we either come back the other end of a spherical Earth, find an edge or a wall or discover a new world out there that noone has ever seen...
Besides meeting and talking to my favorite flat Earthers on camera, I want to meet credible mainstream scientists to hear the other side of the argument to not let this documentary become too biased. I also want to ask them good questions people have about the heliocentric model and conduct with these scientists the various experiments that people have done that prove empirically that the Earth cannot be a spinning sphere but is more likely a motionless plane. I also want to conduct the tests myself that Discovery Science channel did when they supposedly "crushed" the flat Earth theory, do it with the same equipment to verify their claims and instead of using actors, I would like to do the tests with scientists and provide the audience actual data and records of the experiments.
There are other things I want to do for the documentary, like go talk to people about flat Earth on the streets and capture someone elses full transformation from ball Earth believer to flat Earther on camera, go on a high altitude MiG-29 fighter jet flight up to the stratosphere or as they like to call it: "The edge of space" and film proof that there's no curve, interview naval officers and pilots about the supposed curvature of the Earth, prepare a realistic flight simulation where the surface below the airplane moves 1000mph and then have airline pilots try to land the plane, go to NASA headquarters with some flat Earthers and ask them the most pressing questions, travel to places with phenomenon that would be impossible on a sphere like the salt flats in Bolivia or Lake Baikal in Russia for interviews and scientific experiments, meet Norwegian adventurer Jarle Andhøy and talk to him about his experience in Antarctica, go find and interview the Challenger mission astronauts who are supposedly still alive today and one of my favorites (something that Eddie Bravo came up with): Give NASA ISS astronauts a GoPro camera to record continuous footage of them flying to space and docking the International Space Station.
Next: Before we can begin Phase 2, I need to find professional explorers and navigators who would join us and help organize our expedition across Antarctica and around the world, aswell as hire a cartographer to join our expedition to make a more accurate representation of our world and find people with money who would like to sponsor the expedition by making an investment in the movie. Cannes Film Festival is a good place to start looking. I'm hoping this project, with the help of the community and the power of the internet, will help make that happen. And that takes us to...
- Simply put, Phase 2 is the expedition to circumnavigate the world vertically over Antarctica to see if the Earth really is a sphere and live to tell the tale. If we make full circle and end up where we started, then the Earth is undoubtedly round. If anything but that happens, then...well, It's not. In my opinion, this is the best way to empirically prove the Earth's shape. It's the most foolproof test there is. If done right, ofcourse. And to do it right, we need a team of professional explorers and navigators for the job.
This kind of undertaking is of course very expensive and probably quite dangerous. It needs thorough planning, people who know what they're doing and some serious money. It will also most definitely be met with an awful amount of bureaucracy. This is why Phase 2 needs to be dealt with as if it's a seperate project.
Think of it as the third act in a movie - It's the most action packed part, it's where the stakes are highest, where the characters have to make life altering and possibly life-threatening decisions and where the whole story reaches its conclusion.
- The third and final phase is the aftermath of the story and post-production - the editing, sound designing, color grading and composing music for the film.
Post-production will have its own set of challenges and additional people that need to be hired for editing, color grading, sound design etc. aswell as licensing costs, paperwork and producing the film into a high quality, finished product that can be screened both on the big screen (DCP) and your home devices. This is why I'm compartmentalizing the project, so I can focus more on the tasks at hand and therefore produce better quality with less stress.
Einar Kuusk is a director from Estonia with a decade of experience and hundreds of professional videos under his belt - including comedy sketches, hidden camera pranks, street interviews, vlogs, sports videos, commercials, music videos and one post-apocalyptic sci-fi short film. The documentary will be produced under his production company Turtle House Ltd.
You can watch his post-apocalyptic short film here:
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Risks and challenges
Like I mentioned, the funding goal that I'm raising will only cover Phase 1 of this film project - which is traveling the world, meeting people and doing interviews, conducting scientific tests and experiments and generally documenting everything as I'm trying to find a way to circumnavigate the world across Antarctica without dying.
The are of course challenges that we might face while shooting the documentary, like changes in travelling schedules (canceled flights etc.), unexpected expenses on transport, equipment repairs and instances where some of the people we want to interview on camera will say no, want a higher fee than expected or we'll have a hard time reaching them. These bumps in the road are completely normal when making movies and that's why it's important to aim higher than the set funding goal.
This project is still in its early production phase, I just started filming and the only thing that's holding the film back right now is funding to go take the story to the next level. We need to give the project wings. There are other challenges to come like licensing fees and permissions but those are all in Phase 3. This first phase is a walk in the park compared to the other two. That's, again, the reason I'm handling them as seperate projects. Other than that, I'm very confident that this production phase will be a pretty smooth ride once we reach our funding goal!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)