A CITY to MAKE ME - TRANSHUMAN FUTURE?

A CITY TO MAKE ME - SYNOPSIS

The City is the world, a world filled with NOISE––a virtual ocean, a digital jungle. Set in and around a dystopian fictionalized City in the year 2035, unemployment, class warfare, and hyper-commerce provide the social backdrop in which a job-hungry data-miner, David Phoenix, attempts to survive. A CITY TO MAKE ME follows the psychological journey of a man exposed to deep politics and dark power as he becomes a Transhuman agent for the revolution, fighting against an all-powerful corporation on the verge of total information control.

A CITY to MAKE ME - OFFICIAL TRAILER

"A CITY TO MAKE ME" - IN PRODUCTION

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Progress...

Editing continues. To date, I've cut together the final 6 minutes of the film for 'picture lock.' The experience of working with the footage, painting moments, tuning into the subtleties of gesture and body language, has been therapeutic. I'm thinking about the strength of the soundtrack as I cut the film to some of the most beautiful ambient music I've ever heard.  If you haven't tuned in to THIS, do so:

Academy of Thrift - Arxicon Mixtape by _type

I have the classic Director fear of not achieving the same mood and tonality in the final soundtrack.  That fear subsides when I think about the insane talent that surrounds this project as a whole.  If we haven't met that composer yet, I'm sure we will.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Principal Photography wraps!

Wow. We're all coming back down to base-camp from what seems like a pretty epic endeavor. Miracles do happen, including the level of enthusiasm, professionalism, creativity, and support that A City to Make Me received from everyone involved: Mathew Hughes, Jason Chapman, Zulema Covarrubias, Olga Sanina, Windy City FX, Asylum Stunts, Lance Lee Davis, Noelle Lynn, Tim Musachio, John Bisoski, Jess from Atmosphere Casting, Brittany Pawlowski, Jose Rivas, Andrew Heller, Ira Sapir, Aga Furtak, Colleen Krupa...And the list goes on.

It's been a ride. Thank you for joining us. More to come.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

EXTRA! EXTRAS! THE FUTURE IS NOW!

EXTRAS!

Thank you for making this film a reality! We couldn't do it without you!

In order to paint our future world effectively, we need YOU to have the following when you arrive:

1) Bring several clothing options. Muted earth-tones work best. Blues, browns, grays. No green please!
2) No logos or printed slogans on t-shirts - graphic designs are ok!
3) Hooded sweatshirts, overcoats, sunglasses, or hats...are ENCOURAGED! Bring it on!
4) Want to go 'all out' with some crazy eccentric fashion or want to just 'be yourself'? Send us a pic of what you're planning to wear, then go for it!

Dates: 20th & 21st.

Location: 1248 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago LINK TO MAP

Call Time 11/20: 12 noon
Call Time 11/21: 1pm

Please Confirm with us which dates you will participate!

Confirm to: acity.casting@gmail.com

Friday, October 22, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

VERI-SYNC has sponsored our film...

The good people at VERI-SYNC have allowed us the use of their literature and logo in our film!  Thank you, VERI-SYNC!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Handcuffs.

Handcuffs. The moment...

Two guys, mid to late thirties, jump on a train, gasping for air. Yeah, they're laughing about it..."Bout' what?" "Well, you see...Jason here...Can't get these damn handcuffs off...So we brought these tools, see..." (shows collection of screwdrivers and paperclips to The Conductor). "...So you're NOT runnin' from the cops, huh?" "No...You see...We're filmmakers and...Shit..." (he's never going to believe this...but whatever) "...We were shooting this scene...a prisoner scene...and I broke the key off in the handcuffs...and then...we had to run to catch the train!" "Right..."

Needless to say...Adventures were had last night shooting Jason Chapman as The Unabomber...or at least, a character AKIN to The Unabomber...We made it out alive and laughing our asses off.

Monday, September 20, 2010

FUNDRAISING!!!

The community developed around this project is supporting it! We've reduced our monetary need by almost 50% after a 'tech garage sale.'

We are now only $3600 away from making this film!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

BE A HERO!

Hello A City to Make Me Fans!

Why not play a hero in real life? Why not save the WORLD...of a film? Without your donation, the world of "A City to Make Me," a world that is as much poetry as it is insight into the way we're living NOW… Will be nothing but a dream, an unrealized vision. Yes, it could die. SAVE THE FILM.

We are currently in need of production space, caterers for cast and crew, as well as construction materials for sets and a budget for props, wardrobe, insurance, and other production essential items. Please donate what you can!

If every fan of the film donated $20, the price of a dinner out, or a movie ticket and parking, you WILL make this film happen. From the cast and crew of A City to Make Me, THANK YOU!!!

What you get:

For any material or monetary donation, you'll receive the following:

1) a lifetime of GREAT karma.
2) a credit in the final film.
3) a signed DVD of the finished film by cast and crew.
4) Your MONEY BACK, plus 10%, upon the sale of A City to Make Me to broadcast markets. This is our way of saying THANK YOU for your contribution to the project and your belief in DIY filmmaking.

DONATE NOW!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Our latest location...The Palace Theater

Creating 'collage realities' is something we're really geeked on at ACTMM HQ. Enjoy our latest location photo...

Friday, August 27, 2010

NET-COM becomes THERIDION...

We decided to rename the long-standing evil Google of our script from NET-COM...to THERIDION CORPORATION. We all agree it SHOULD sound less dated in the years to come.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Latest...

We wanted to write everyone involved in "A City..." and let them know that good things are happening, despite our 'silence' in recent weeks!

We've been going through our production with a fine tooth comb, narrowing down our locations and production space.

The great news is, we are now a financed picture! What does that mean?

Most of us, from the Director to Featured Extras, will still be participating 'pro-bono.' BUT, we WILL have money for all of the essentials - production space, props, wardrobe, make-up, catering, and post-production.

The quality of this film will be taken up several notches as a result, which bodes extremely well for its festival-run, viral spread, and the eventual sale of this project as a feature-length concept!

That's the word. We'll be in touch as we narrow down production dates, which shouldn't be long. We're shooting for mid-September. In the meantime, we'll be filming key 'Media Feed' scenes for use in our viral marketing campaign.

Thank you, from all of us at "A City to Make Me."

All the best,

A City to Make Me Staff and Crew

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Human vs. Transhuman?

I don't necessarily agree with ALL of the assumptions made in this article, but it IS the outline of the 'conflict' within "A City..." : Human vs. Transhuman.

Happy reading! http://vigilantcitizen.com/?p=3563

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Go-go gadget, Tech Rehearsal...

Our intention was to coordinate our Hair/Wardrobe/Makeup and Production Teams... It was a resounding success, as well as the catalyst for much improvement next 'go-round'. I make no apologies for the rough hack and slash edit job (link)...This piece remains simply a document, a sketchbook of ideas. "Thank you all for making this event a success..."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tech Rehearsal: July 31st @ CAD

Come one, come all! Let us paint a future world together, a dystopia all our own.

Our goal is to work with all of our featured extras, finalizing their wardrobe, hair, and makeup. Lunch will be provided! We need at least 40 people, so, please, bring a friend!

LOCATION:
CHICAGO ART DEPARTMENT
1837 S. Halsted
Chicago 60608

SCHEDULE:

Setup Crew: 8am

Makeup/Wardrobe Crew: 9am

Talent Arrival: 10:00 am - 2pm.

LUNCH BREAK for CAST and CREW (CATERED): 12 noon - 2pm

Test Shots/Lighting Tests with Talent: 2:30pm - 5:30 pm.

Strike: 6pm.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Status...

It's been awhile since I've posted something 'personal' on the blog, you know...Lessons learned, and that sort of thing...I will say this, "THANK YOU ACTORS OF CHICAGO!"  We've had a great turnout of talent this month, all organized by Jason Chapman.  We'll be calling people back this week.  

We had the pleasure of working with O'Connor Casting for about a week this past month.  We ultimately decided to find our own talent.  We just don't have the budget to pay O'Connor for their time, nonetheless David O'Connor offered us a much appreciated strategy for finding the right talent.  Moving through all of the required tasks that I'm responsible for as Director of this project - $$, production space, writing, wardrobe, lighting, casting, $$ - has taught me this: until I find a system, whatever the task, all is chaos.  The mountain is just TOO high, at every level.  Once I find a system, an improvised, site specific method in dealing with the task at hand...All is well.  On that note, this past Saturday saw Zulema and I churning through 38 unique wardrobe designs for the film.  I'm thrilled with the results.  So, the film moves on...There's even talk of a potential investor at this point.  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

ACME DESIGN and O'CONNOR CASTING...

Two regional players have taken on A City to Make Me: Acme Design and O'Connor Casting.

We'll owe them all our first born.  Apparently, they like the script.

Acme and O'Connor, thank you!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Audition Space for Saturday, June 26th.

Thank you in advance to everyone scheduled for the latest round of auditions for "A City to Make Me." We should have signs and staff guiding you to the right place!

Zhou B Audition Space for June 26th ONLY:

1029 w. 35th street, Chicago 60609
3rd floor
RMK studio
back side of building, first door on the left when you are going up the stairs.

June 27th auditions will be held at the original location:

Chicago Art Department
1837 S. Halsted
Chicago, IL. 60608

Monday, June 14, 2010

Our first press...

Well, we got our little press release into REEL Chicago...Cool.

http://reelchicago.com/archive.cfm?storyID=2846

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Casting...It's official.

Casting Call and Auditions for A City to Make Me:

TSS is accepting casting submissions for an independent feature film entitled, “A City to Make Me”.

http://acitytomakeme.blogspot.com/

TSS will be filming their multi-layered, sci-fi noir feature film in and around Chicago. Actors and non-actors are encouraged to apply.

We are looking for multiple male and female leads of all ethnicities, ranging in ages from nine to sixty years old. We are in need of multiple supporting roles, extras, and those embracing alternative lifestyles - tattoos, piercings, transgender, etc.

We are offering an amazing project shot in 4k HD, hi-end post-production values, festival play, and the next BEST thing you've ever done creatively. We are offering an intimate, full-spectrum creative experience, as well as a percentage of the back end gross.

Please submit headshot and resume to: acity.casting@gmail.com

The Meetup...

The Sunday meetup, really the FIRST meetup between all of the creative minds working on this film, went incredibly well. Chris brought an amazing LED driven prop complete with battery pack. Matt came armed with a shooting strategy and philosophy for the project. Zulema brought her designer genius into the mix, sharing some really great clothing and wardrobe concepts for our future world. Linas offered his insights into the 3D/VFX workflow that we need and John's concept art inspired us all. The energy was palpable, inspired, and fun! Agnieszka brought us organic strawberries at the 11th hour, and wow...were they delicious.

More...PLACE ADDITIONAL POST HERE

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sunday...

Filmmaker's Meetup this Sunday! Looking forward to having a fun and inspiring POW WOW with the entire crew. Will MOST likely by a BYOB affair at Ryan Miller's place...6pm.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Neuroenhancers and H+

Trolling The Feed today, and came across this...Need I say more. Huxley is kicking through his casket...

“It’s not the mind-expanding sixties anymore,” comments Margaret Talbot in a recent New Yorker article. “Neuroenhancers are perfectly suited for the anxiety of white-collar competition in a floundering economy. And they have a synergistic relationship with our multiplying digital technologies: the more gadgets we own, the more distracted we become, and the more we need help in order to focus.”



More...

Read the orginal article HERE

Meanwhile, UPDATES on A City to Make Me include Matt Hughes beginning to craft his DP production bible, complete with locations and reference images. Chris Rubano is hacking away at headphone parts, LED's and electronics. Zulema and I are meeting tomorrow to discuss the budget for the world of costumes in the film. John is a week away from finishing the FIRST of ten concept images. AND, time keeps on slipping...into the future.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Linas and CONNECTED...

Linas and I, over beers at HOPLEAF, hatched a pretty workable plan to visualize a short film over the next 6 months. Ok, that's my timeline, but here's to hoping. He also wants to sink his teeth into the BIGGEST VFX scene I can throw at him. Done!

Checked out this short film today, CONNECTED: http://www.ov43.com/

I'm getting more and more excited about creating a short film out of the ACtMM concept...That hasn't always been the case. I've wanted to just PUSH for the feature. I know the feature will come, in due course, but let's prove the concept first, in 5 minutes or less.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Meetings and Management...

3D people: Finding them. After placing another AD on Craigslist, I think I may have found the people we're looking for. It's hard to find people who are interested in investing their TIME into something without getting hard cold cash in exchange. But, a few people still do things because they BELIEVE in the project, like it, see room for growth...On Monday I'm meeting with a local architectural rendering firm who wants to get into the film world.

The toughest thing I had to do this week was to express, in words, my frustration with members of the crew not 'owning' this project. We all have our own lives. We all have side-side-side projects. But you know what...This is a MAMMOTH project that won't finish itself without discipline and dedication, even if it amounts to 30 minutes a day. I hope, for the sake of the project, that these words resonated and affect change. Time will tell.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tapping into something...

Matt and I ventured into the wilds of suburbia to explore "CITY SPACE #2" this past weekend...It is the studio that will allow this film to become a reality. It's a workshop space, a place somewhat insulated from the cares of our daily rituals, a place where we can craft, create, and become better at what we do. I always wanted to make my first feature film close to my chest, with subtlety, a sense of peace about the process. The worst thing I could do, at this point in my creative life, is to throw myself, and my work, into the corporate funded blender that creates the modern goo that surrounds us, hoping that 'because I'm special' the results will be different. No, this film will be different because we're making it differently. This film is an act of will, an act of love, an act of peace in-process. The content itself may not be 'peaceful.' Production WILL have its moments of everything but PEACE... But underlying all of these moments, underlying the inspiration... Is a very quiet place...A still place... A place known before time and echoing through it. I'm just tapping in for a time. WE'RE tapping in...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The End of Hiatus...

It's been a while since I've posted something production specific, but that doesn't mean ANYONE has fallen asleep at the wheel! Zulema has been in Mexico doing research ;), Chris Rubano has been designing mock-ups of our VR INTERFACE hardware, ordering parts, you know...THE ESSENTIALS. I've been knee deep in Act II for the last week and one-half. I fully expect to be done with rev. 1, Act II...TODAY! Hurray! John Bisoski, concept artist, has also been hiding in his cave, presumably pouring over the finer details of our FUTURE WORLD. Matt Hughes and I plan on doing some shooting tests this weekend. Our 3D staff situation is on hold until Linas, our prospective 3D overlord, reads the script and decides to man the helm. We've gotten a tremendous response from the 3D VFX community about this project. Everyone, thus far, has great things to say and wants to get involved...Time will tell.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Taking down "Future Now"...One Bill at a Time...

Alex Jones outlines a series of events that are pushing towards a 'licensed, censored, and controlled' Internet...Get ready.

Transhumanism 101...

A primer on the concept of "Transhumanism." Part I includes an interview with the doctor that completed the first head transplant between monkeys. Enjoy!



Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hands Free Thought Controller...



The promise of computer interfaces controlled by nothing more than brainwaves is now reality...

LINK to original article: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/02/thought-controlled-lights/

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mike Lynch's "Burden"



Mike knows how to do epic! This 'making-of' is just phenomenal! Mike is currently taking his film "Burden" around the world. This week he's in France, I believe. The important thing to note is that he kept pushing for 'epic' amidst a whole lot of 'critics.' Oh yeah, and it took him roughly 3.5 years to finish this film: Running time 9:55 minutes +/-. I'm in the credits as a Visual Effects Advisor and Coordinator! That's awesome! I encouraged Mike to not 'sweat' the location of his VFX team and use a net-based server to integrate workflows. That solution allowed Mike to actually finish his film! I even get a 'knod' in the making of here! Currently, Burden has won two awards for 'Best VFX.' Enjoy!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wikileaks on the Culture Show...[ Future Now #2]

Wardrobe Notes, Casting, 3D...

Saturday was a busy day. Zulema and I squeezed into a TOTALLY packed Star Lounge on Chicago Avenue for the obligatory double cappuccino...The caffeine was fundamental to our discussions on everything from wardrobe color palettes to synthesizing Eastern and Western couture into something interesting. We're going to FINALLY get an online collection of ideas going, working the Web 2.0 with a Flickr account. She is detail oriented beyond my greatest expectations. Again, I couldn't imagine a better fit for this project, pun intended! Matt and I...
More...Matt Hughes and I met in the afternoon to talk about our progress to date. We laid the groundwork for organizing the casting, discussed which 5 (five) scenes best represents the scope of this project for our investment trailer, and HOW THE HELL do we build a 3D/Digital Set team? Well, the answer to that question is no longer obscured by the 'fog of uncertainty.' Fast forward to Monday morning...Mike Campobasso recommended someone he used to work with at Digital Kitchen, a top-tier post-production house right here in good 'ol Chicago. We're meeting this week! John Bisoski is still working out the finer details of the "Standees Diner" scene. After all of this organizational work, team meetings, and web crawling...I need some peace, quiet, and writing time.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Busy Week...Props, Script, Wardrobe...AND MORE!

So it's been a week of transitions. On a positive note, Chris Rubano and I toured American Science and Surplus last night, which became immediate food for thought. Exactly HOW will we re-appropriate found objects? We need to get some prototypes going and Chris has agreed to start pricing and pooling together resources to accomplish just that.

More...I'm meeting with Zulema tomorrow to go over her current 'state of the art' in providing wardrobe and costumes for this project. Meeting at a little coffee shop near her home, Matt Hughes will join us at 3pm. John Bisoski, just last night, sent me his next draft of the 'Diner Scene' concept art. It's coming together!

SO, the working world of film pre-production continues. I'm tossing around the outline for Act II as time allows. Right now I'm focusing on, as Bruce Snyder would put it, the 'promise of the premise.'

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NET-COM at your service...


LINK to original article: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/01/pl_print_watchers/

Shane Harris says that in 2004, when he first shook hands with retired admiral John Poindexter, he thought he was meeting an “evil genius.”


More...Shane Harris says that in 2004, when he first shook hands with retired admiral John Poindexter, he thought he was meeting an “evil genius.” Poindexter had become infamous in the ’80s for orchestrating the Iran-Contra scheme with the help of an at-home encrypted data line. After 9/11, he fell into further disrepute as the architect of Total Information Awareness, an antiterrorism program that proposed collecting as much data as possible — emails, credit card statements, even veterinarian bills — about everyone on the planet. It was too much even for a war-on-terror-era Congress, which shuttered the vast data-mining project in 2003 and ran Poindexter out of office.

But as Harris, a correspondent for National Journal (and, full disclosure, a friend of mine) got to know Poindexter — hanging out on his boat, sharing lunches of Spam and Tequiza, and trading documents over a private file-sharing network — he was impressed by the admiral’s relentless intellect. “This guy gets knocked down time and time again and keeps coming back for more,” Harris says. He also began taking a fresh look at Poindexter’s Orwellian approach to data-mining. “He feels that if you don’t know who you’re looking for, if you don’t know where the threat is coming from,” Harris says, “maybe you need to look for patterns in that sea of information.”

The Watchers, Harris’ new biography of Poindexter, turns out to be a loving portrait of a rather unlovable man. In this book, the technovillain is a misunderstood hero, as obsessed with preserving privacy as with catching suicide bombers. Harris describes his “visionary” subject as “H. G. Wells and Albert Einstein in one package.” But even Poindexter’s chronicler acknowledges that the government’s attempts to take a TIA-like approach to data collection haven’t worked. “Anytime the government has tried to demo this stuff, it took a long time and produced a lot of garbage,” Harris says. The Feds find it hard enough to spot obvious warning signs — email to radical imams, purchases of high-powered firearms. Adding more haystacks doesn’t make it any easier to find those needles.

Monday, January 25, 2010

State of the Art...



Pumzi, Kenya’s first science fiction film, imagines a dystopian future 35 years after water wars have torn the world apart. East African survivors of the ecological devastation remain locked away in contained communities, but a young woman in possession of a germinating seed struggles against the governing council to bring the plant to Earth’s ruined surface.

Read More http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/01/pumzi/#ixzz0dfO2lx3e

Crude oil from algae... :) Wicked.

http://www.greencrudeproduction.com/solution.html

Found this while surfing, found it fascinating enough to share...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Andrew Benz and Moving on...

Over the weekend Andrew and I decided that it would be best for him to bow out of this project. The reasons are many, mostly financial. He has been unable to commit to the essential functions of his work as D.P. on this project while balancing his other freelance projects. It takes a certain kind of person, at a certain point in life, to commit to a project of this scale without investors 'lined up.' Andrew is not that person. We wish him the best with his future projects!

Monday, January 18, 2010

3D Bioprinter promises tissue on demand... (nextnature.net)

091229-Bioprinter-02Behold “the world’s first production model 3D bio-printer.” A machine capable of arranging human cells and artificial scaffolds into complex three-dimensional structures, which result in such wonderful things as printed design meat, replacement organ tissue, or perhaps artificially grown teeth.


More...“Scientists and engineers can use the 3D bio printers to enable placing cells of almost any type into a desired pattern in 3D,” says Keith Murphy, CEO of Organovo – the San Diego based company who will supply the devices institutions investigating human tissue repair and organ replacement.

“Researchers can place liver cells on a preformed scaffold, support kidney cells with a co-printed scaffold, or form adjacent layers of epithelial and stromal soft tissue that grow into a mature tooth. Ultimately the idea would be for surgeons to have tissue on demand for various uses, and the best way to do that is get a number of bio-printers into the hands of researchers and give them the ability to make three dimensional tissues on demand.”

Building human organs cell-by-cell was considered science fiction not that long ago, but now rapidly becomes science faction. Yet another step in the blending of the ‘made’ and the ‘born’.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chris Rubano's Prop Manifesto...[You saw it here FIRST!]

Here you go... It's a prop manifesto!

There is an interesting trend that I've noticed in designed objects; as the object becomes integrated into our cultural consciousness, there is a tendency for them to become more artfully designed. While true for many things, this trend is evidenced in both automobiles and computers – two modern technologies heavily marketed directly to average consumers.

The automobile was invented just before the turn of the 20th Century at a point in time when objects were often handmade; mass production was yet in its infancy. Those early automobiles looked essentially like a cross between a bicycle and a carriage. In fact, most automobile manufacturers of that period began as bicycle manufacturers. However, with the introduction of mass production technology, automobiles became more standardized. Subsequently, the average price reduced to the point where the common man could finally afford them.
More...
By the 1920s, the automobile had become ingrained into our society. It was at this point that manufacturers began to focus more on the formal aspects of the auto. People no longer had to be convinced to buy an auto; that point had become readily apparent. In stead, the focus shifted towards the aesthetic of the object itself. Think about the Rolls-Royce Phantom from the 1920s, or the Roadster from the 1930s. Both are logical continuations of trends first introduced with the widespread acceptance of the Model-A and T. By the 1930s, the shape of an auto's hood became almost as important as the technology underneath it. The onset of World War II saw a sharp decrease in automobiles sold in the US. The next leap forward in automobile style would come after the war.

With so much prosperity, it became even more difficult for autos to stand out in a crowded marketplace. In the late 1940s and certainly into the 1950s, automobiles became almost fantastical in design; it was the era of big-name car designers. Incorporating design elements from the Space Race, cars came to look more like rockets than land-based vehicles. But things changed; the pendulum began to swing the other way. In the 1960s, there was a paring-down of the over-stuffed design of the 1950s. The size of the autos didn't change, and certainly not the technology behind them. The most noticeable shift was towards a more streamlined, “boxy” look.

This trend continued into the 1970s, but certainly accelerated in the 1980s. A case could be made that the new spartan aesthetic was the pendulum reaching it's other apex, but I have come to believe that it was a result of different economic situations. In the post-war period, money seemed to grow on trees; it was a very optimistic time in our history. Naturally, manufactured goods were produced to capture that feeling of a new American day dawning.

But as America progressed into the 1960s and 1970s, the country began to backslide economically. And no industry was more vulnerable to this trend as the automobile industry. Cars began to look like moving boxes. With the 1990s, the US would see an economic shift towards prosperity. The design of the automobile became more ostentatious – all curves and sexiness. This trend would continue well into the 2000s. With the onset of 2010, the US is at the center of a global economic downturn – which has had an equally profound effect on automobile design. The overriding aesthetic has again shifted to a more conservative, pared-down look. This will likely continue into the future until we recapture that feeling of euphoria that attends an increase in prosperity.

A similar observation can be made regarding personal computers. The aesthetics of this device owe much to the effects of miniaturization – where old computers were large and ungainly, newer computers can be placed in a case smaller than an X-Box. Despite the general decrease in size over time, similar parallels to the automobile can be made. Originally, computers were enormous beasts made of tubes. After transistors revolutionized electronics, they could be made much smaller and inexpensive. The computer, for many years, was designed very plainly. When consumer-level computers finally reached a heavy enough density, the drive towards a more aesthetically pleasing visual design commenced. The overall design went from completely nondescript to visually striking, and now back to a minimalist approach. Likely, computers will undergo another shift in visual design in the future. Perhaps they will mimic the radios and televisions from the 1950s – which were designed to resemble furniture.

There is no straight-forward “this-leads-to-that” logical progression in the visual design of a given device; instead it's a push-and-pull that's deeply rooted in the zeitgeist and economic situation of a particular time. This always makes predicting the future of design a difficult business. Most future-spec fiction becomes an extension of the times that birthed it. Future-spec fiction written during the Brass-Age looks “steam-punk” to us; stories written in the 1960s retain a clunky Space-Race feel; and Sci-fi from the 1990s looks breathless and polished.

The way to counteract this tendency to make the future look like an extension of the present is to make a melange of different time-periods. Just as you continue to see old beaten-up cars from the 1980s and 90s on the road today, we should see a mix of old and new technologies in ACtMM. The rich will have whatever analogue for the iPhone that exists in the future, but we should also see the Nokia 6110 of the future, too.


Whew! Now I'm winded,

C M Rubano

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Andrew Benz...

A few notes on Andrew Benz...He knows more about the technology of filmmaking than anyone I know.  His insights concerning the script, marketing strategies, and festival politics have been a much needed guiding hand during the pre-production phase of this project.  Thank you Andrew!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Zulema and Areill are amazing creators...

So, not knowing EXACTLY what I was getting into when I ventured over to Zulema's studio on Monday, I was immediately embraced with warm hospitality and enthusiastic interest in 'what's next' for A City to Make Me... Before we got to those discussions though, Zulema gave a tour of her creative world, i.e. her amazing collage work, her re-styled hybrid fashions, wigs, and clip-art fashion references... It was immediately apparent, and exciting, that she was obviously perfect for the role of designer and manager of all things fashion, costume, make-up, and hair.  She has an impeccable eye for detail.  She's worked fashion shows with literally HUNDREDS of models, management, staff...and kept her head.  So, needless to say, I feel like FATE has blessed us with Zulema...

As it turns out, her boyfriend Areill is an incredibly talented designer in his own right.  Not only is he a designer, but has connections to the fashion world that fit perfectly with the concepts and direction of this project.  He enthusiastically shared some of his ideas, showed me a handful of designs, and my reaction was: THEY'RE PERFECT! So, I'm looking forward to working with these two.  We're currently in the process of negotiating a collaboration with a hi-end fashion boutique to feature their designs in ACtMM...I'll keep you posted with exactly WHO they are as we solidify the relationship.

Thank you Zulema and Areill!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Re-Introducing Joe Orlandino...

As most of you know, Joe Orlandino has come aboard as an 'interested party' in 'The City...' project.  Joe recently kicked off his new blog and it makes for inspiring reading: http://joeorlandino.wordpress.com/

A few notes on Joe: He's currently chief marketing consultant for Reel Chicago.  Ruth Ratny's 'Reel Chicago' should be familiar to most people in the Chicago film industry, and dare I say beyond.  That fact, in and of itself, makes Joe an exciting addition to our team.  He has also recently signed a contract with Fetcher Media, an online DVD distributor, as their Chief Marketing Officer.

These are just a few cliff notes from Joe's blog!  Read it for yourself!

The week in advance...

This week is booked!  This is why I love filmmaking!  Every night, it's a different specialty, a new feast of ideas...Tonight, a meeting with Zulema to go over her concepts for costumes.  On the agenda?  All the 'have to' fashions for the project.  What are the journalists of the future wearing?  How about the CEO's and working class?  We've got some ground to cover.  I'm hoping to meet with Matt Hughes on Tuesday to review the latest additions to the script.  Wednesday is booked with learning new software for a system to 'organically edit complex HD video sequences.'  Thursday, a meeting between myself, John B., and Pei -- future architecture and cityscapes.  Chris Rubano just sent me an e-mail with an incredibly DETAILED list of props that we need, scene by scene.  He's forwarding his prop concepts on the team by Thursday...

It's going to be a busy week!  I'll keep you posted.

Friday, January 8, 2010

FUTURE NOW is real...It's called Wikileaks.

FUTURE NOW, the dissident group unveiled in A City to Make Me is not a FICTIONAL story, it's real world.  It's now.  The most brilliant idea I've heard all day?  Creating an 'offshore information state' where gag orders, advertisers, and governments have no control over what you read or what you hear...     http://wikileaks.org/

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Concept Artist John Bisoski...

I wasn't sure what I was going to get when John arrived at my apartment last night...Was I getting 'yet another' collaborator who talks a good game, listens intently, but does nothing?  Or, was I getting a collaborator who could also own this project, who would push themselves creatively? I'm just going to float John's boat here.  He arrived to our meeting last night, the second since we've met, completely prepared!  He brought with him 10 or more large scale drawings based on ideas from the Act I.  I was immediately excited about John's ability to frame and visualize the concepts of this project.  John Bisoski has more talent in his little finger that I have in the entire right side of my body...My left side, well, that's pretty impressive...The point is I'm thrilled to have John visualizing this project.  WE couldn't do it without him.  I'm sure you'll be as excited as I am to see the results...For the first time, "A City" in its pure form, its imagined form, will be made flesh.  Heads up, Pei...We need to sit down and discuss YOUR ideas for 'The City' so that John can integrate them into his drawings.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

nextnature.net, clooney omega, and the metaverse...

Thought I would share a few things that have inspired me over the last few days! Images, a website, the info-sphere...


First, http://www.nextnature.net/.  Check it out.  This site is a minefield of concepts, verbage, hybrid lingo, and ideas...I find myself drifting through the metaverse just linking from fascinating image to fascinating story...

Second, a fun OMEGA watches Ad with George Clooney, image attached.  I love the minimalism of his 'prop.'  Re-purposing current tech is absolutely fine by me.  Let's get inventive.

And last, the script is cruising along.  Cuts, hacking, slashing...Never mind the vats of acid in the bathroom or the butcher's apron...Everything is fine. : )

Meeting with John Bisoski tonight to go over thumbnails of his intro concept sketches.


Send me links of anything that inspires you!  Enjoy the imagery.



And, finally...Mr. Clooney...sporting a very fashionable appliance...