We met Jay Weisman at Comic-Con a couple weeks ago, where he was promoting his upcoming 3D feature, Shockwave, Darkside.
Yes, that's right, he's making an indie 3D sci-fi feature. Gutsy.
And to be perfectly honest, once we saw his frakking awesome trailer, we had to make sure indie sci-fi enthusiasts everywhere saw it.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Jay.
What's it about?
While a distant and starving Earth burns, Shockwave, Darkside features the last two tribes of humanity locked in a death struggle over the last, and most precious resource: water, frozen in the deep craters of the lunar surface. Five soldiers, shot down and behind enemy lines, find themselves marooned on the dark side of the moon. With depleting air and supplies, they have no choice but to start a dangerous trek through hostile territory. As their numbers dwindle and nerves fray, they make an amazing discovery about the moon that just might save their lives, but destroy the very cause that they are fighting for.
Inspired by the storytelling of classic science-fiction literature from the 50's, but with a 21st century 3D twist, Shockwave, Darkside is an exciting, thoughtful and timely exploration of the tense intersection between faith and reason.
How long did it take to shoot?
Shockwave, Darkside was shot in 18 nights shot in May 2010.
What's the running time?
Shockwave, Darkside is still in post-production, but the estimated running time will be around 90 minutes.
What was the budget?
Not at liberty to say. Less than Avatar :)
What's your day job?
Jay Weisman is a freelance writer, producer and director in both traditional and new media. Clients include Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, Pfizer, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, We TV & Citibank, on such brands as Dilbert, Peanuts, Star Trek, Stuart Little & Christina Aguilera
Anyone famous in it -- and what else were they in? How did you get them?
Mei Melançon (X-Men : The Last Stand, The L Word), Bill Sage (Precious, American Psycho, The Scientist), Sonequa Martin (The Good Wife and the upcoming Yelling to the Sky). We found these actors through our casting directors Sig De Miguel and Steve Vincent.
How did you find your cast and crew? Did you pay them? How?
One of our producers, Pipeline Entertainment, is also a management company that specializes in above and below-the-line talent, and supplied much of the key crew. Additional crew members came to us through our other producers, Red Giant Media – so it was a mix of recommendations and personal contacts. We also had several volunteers that were invaluable to the production.
Any crazy stories from production?
Shockwave, Darkside was shot at night in a huge industrial sandpit Cape Cod in Harwich, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, so the production braved pretty much every biblical element you can think of. Driving rain, wind, snow, locusts (well, on warm nights – swarms of bugs were attracted to our lights), so interesting methods of framing out frost, smoking out bugs, keeping sand off of the delicate glass of the 3D rig’s beam splitter had to be devised.
How are you distributing the project? Where did/will it show?
Shockwave, Darkside currently has interest from several distributors, but the producers are waiting until the film is completed before they reach out to any more. We recently showed our 3D trailer at Comic-Con which was very well received.
What's the project's official website?
What other projects have you completed? Which, if any, are sci-fi too?
Surveillances, a short World War II spy film, was completed in 2003 and played in over 30 film festivals around the world. It won the Best Original Short award at the Avignon Film Festival and the Best Short for Originality and Experimentation at the Wine Country Film Festival.
What are you working on next?
Currently, we are working on a prequel comic book for Shockwave, Darkside and developing the sequel, which takes place on Mars. We also have Day: 37 – a science fiction prison film in the pipeline.
And anything else you want people to know?
Shockwave, Darkside is in part, inspired by the legendary writings of Rod Serling, Ray Bradbury, Issac Asmiov and Robert Heinlein during the golden age of science fiction. Although their work was replete with bug-eyed aliens, zap guns and rocket ships, these authors understood the power and placement of their metaphors. And at a second glance, these rocket ships became the transportation of our manifest destiny, the usually-atomic-powered zap guns, the mechanism to either defend or destroy in the palm of our hands, and the bug-eyed aliens usually acted as the greedy, base part of ourselves.
These stories weren’t about science. It was about humanity viewed through the prism of science. Any given issue could be augmented and commented on by the fictional magnifying glass of tomorrow and carried to its inevitable conclusion – and it is that conclusion’s affect on its characters that becomes the engine that drives the story.
Shockwave, Darkside operates in a similar construct. It imagines a society where belief in anything other than science is outlawed. Between the conflict of fundamentalism and democracy, red states, blue states and everything in between, the landscape that Shockwave inhabits is a 'what if' mirror held up to our own world climate. What if extremism got so out of control that faith itself was banned? How would that polarize society? What would that schism do to the individual? And what happens when you realize that everything you ever believed in is wrong?