THE SEARCH SCRIPT NOTEs on a sci-fi thriller

My name is Wes Edwards and for the last decade plus, I've been lucky enough to make my living as a director. I've spent that time honing my craft as a filmmaker and storyteller.

My partner Denis and I are on the search for a great story to turn into a great film. In a few words here's what we are looking for:


So, that's it in a nutshell.

I know it's a bit open ended, so here are some more thoughts on the script:

  • something "contained" -- minimal locations and speaking parts
  • something with a strong central idea that is fresh but not overly complicated
  • a fascinating lead we care about
  • lean, tense, spare -- minimalistic
  • a strong suspense element
  • use of visual effects

In the words of Denis, we are not looking for a blockbuster, but the best possible calling card for one.

And when I say blockbuster, I'm not talking about Independence Day; I'm talking about Arrival ... Gravity.

I don't think it was technically a blockbuster, but I really loved Ex Machina: three characters, one main location and some really strong ideas. That's the essence of what I'm seeking.

I'm not as much into the "fantasy" sub-genres of sci-fi. I love concepts that could conceivably happen in our world. I'd much rather have something along the lines of Primer than say, Dr. Strange.

As an audience member I like to be entertained and I like to moved emotionally. That's what I try to do as a filmmaker. I'm comfortable with being labeled as a "commercial" guy, but I wouldn't say I'm that in the typical sense. I'm always looking to come at things from a different angle.

Some concepts I'm fascinated with:

  • AI and robotics
  • the singularity
  • mind and memory manipulation
  • virtual reality
  • synthetic life
  • cloning
  • anti-gravity
  • time travel
  • astral travel
  • anything "cyberpunk"

And of course I love extra-terrestrials.

Scary is great, but I'm not really a "horror" guy. At least not in the blood and guts sense. I'm much more interested in creating suspense and a feeling of psychological dread -- Hitchcockian horror.

I like things that are visceral and fast paced, but I want to make sure that the story slows down enough at times to get real human emotions in there.

I don't want to shy away from big ideas. I love things that are heady but I do think it's easy to go over people's heads. If given a choice, I'd rather aim for the heart. The ideal script would accomplish both.

Over the last few years I've done quite a bit in the realm of visual effects. I have a team capable of producing VFX way beyond what should be possible on a small budget. Here are a few things we can do well (photo-realistically):

  • set extensions: buildings, nature, trees, rocks, grass etc.
  • space exteriors
  • robots / androids / machinery / metals
  • cars / vehicles with proper physics
  • explosions and fire effects
  • fully green screen environments (like a spaceship interior)
  • crowd simulations

What we can't quite do well:

  • creatures with skin or fur
  • water effects

This is a video for Dierks Bentley we shot in Iceland last year. Not Sci-Fi, but some interesting visuals.

An electronic video for Dash Berlin and Emma Hewitt we shot in Mexico City a few years ago for next to nothing.

This also stars Emma Hewitt -- as an android. Again, not much money, but we made it happen.

I have written several screenplays over the years. It's an incredibly humbling endeavor and I have the utmost respect for those who can do it well. If you're reading this, then you're one of those people and I want to thank you for being here.

I hope this is enough to get you into the right head-space. I look forward to talking more about this!


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