As a Storyteller, I’m often inspired by the story behind the story so once I’ve finished watching a movie, I sometimes go in search of the story behind that production – so the screenwriters, the filmmakers, and the locations. I recently watched a sci-fi movie called Prospect, written and directed by Zeek Earl and Chris Chaldwell, a pair of filmmakers who met at Seattle Public University. Prospect started life as a short in 2014, which became a success on Vimeo, before being adapted into a “low-budget” feature-length film in 2018 starring Pedro Pascal and Sophie Thatcher. Shot largely on location in Seattle’s Hoh Rain Forest, Prospect follows the story of teenage girl, Cee, who travels with her father to a remote moon on the hunt for precious materials. With the shared goal to strike it rich, there too are others roving the moon’s toxic forest and so the mission quickly turns into a fight for survival. There are many things that I enjoyed about this movie – how nature was an integral part of the storyline; the lo-fi props; the less than rigid plot which gave a sense that the film and the characters were at times improvising adding to the intrigue; a young, female-lead who was naturally the most discerning of all the characters; humour courtesy of Pascal with his roguish character Ezra; and characters not driven by emotions. In other words, this was a movie, which with its DIY appeal, had the energy of a small group of people getting together to tell a story – no airs nor graces – simply a good story. Prospect is a good example of grassroots storytelling, which is inspiring because it shows that anybody who has a good story can create something – whether it’s a movie, a novel, or a piece of music – and it doesn’t need to be fancy, just real (meaning true to who you are as a storyteller). Once again, it is about energy and intention. This is also a reminder for anyone, whether you’re a storyteller or not, that if you’re creating something to always give it your best, not the best that is measured by the mainstream and its expectations, but your inner being’s best and to always retain your independence.
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