So, I had a realization the other day, while trying to wrap my brain around this project I’m working on. Essentially, the insight came in two steps. I was talking to my wife about creative ways to get around the fact we’re missing clips and video content that was originally mandated in the screenplay for our current film project. One of the points I made was that, since we cannot reshoot anything, it’s up to us to think creatively about how to rework the script to tell the story, while taking up the challenge of turning the missing pieces into a feature, instead of a flaw. This is something you have to do when you’re working on low-budget indie films anyway, but low-budget indie SF is especially this way.
That’s in the spirit of the original idea for the film, anyway, and, indeed, in the spirit of the original story. See the toy guys in the women’s hands? Those are in the original novella: the women have to hack children’s toys to produce weapons that effectively fight off an alien invasion. (… carried out by brainjacked ansible-using aliens from across the galaxy…)
We took a different angle, of course: our film was supposed to be a subjective presentation of the experience of the interrogation that comes after the main action of the story–the weeks later, when cleanup is mostly done, and the Galactic Federation is trying to figure out what in the bloody hell happened on Earth. Since the Federation’s representatives are many light years away (and FTL travel doesn’t exist in this universe), that means interview via brainjacked ansible uplink.
I knew that when we started shooting. I just didn’t understand the implications till we turned up short on some footage. That shortage led to a revelation. Continue reading