Remember Waking Up? The open source movie about a positive future with a resource based sharing economy? Well, first draft is finished. Harald Sandø (yours truly) has spent the last year writing the script based on a story the Waking Up community approved. I am not going to reveal the story here, but can give you a teaser:
“When Ben, a wealthy investor, comes down with a terminal cancer in the year 2014, he undergoes cryogenesis to preserve his body until a cure can be found. 100 years later, he wakes up to the shock of a lifetime: money and capital are gone, all goods and services are freely shared, and everyone now works to protect and preserve the planet rather than destroy it. Is this the so-called communist future he had always feared would come to fruition? Or is this world a new paradise? But as utopian as this world seems, it still has its share of problems. Ben is about to find out exactly what those problems are–and whom.”
As far as I know, this is the first attempt of a science fiction movie about a positive future. The whole script is also online as an open source initiative. You are invited to read it and take part in the further development of the first draft of the screenplay.
It took us over five years to complete the film FUTURE MY LOVE.
In those years, awareness of economy changed dramatically.
In 2007, ‘economy’ was not really a hot topic and was mostly left aside for those who ‘knew what they were doing’. This surprised me because I feel so passionate about the subject. As if the economy – the way in which we arrange our physical existence together – didn’t have much to do with our daily lives! I had started to understand how much our economy affects us, not just in our day-to-day affairs, but also in how we think and feel, and even how we deal with the way we love each other.
Then things started to fall apart. The economy crashed, my relationships crackled, and the film I set out make was no longer the one I could finish. The economic crisis became a crisis for the film, but as these things go, it also became an opportunity to discuss ‘economy’ for what it fundamentally is – a human relationship, not just a banking system.
Making this film, it was soon clear that the problem is not lack of solutions. There are many brilliant thinkers proposing transitional models on how we could ease ourselves out of these destructive cycles towards an economy that stands in balance to our modern reality. The real problem, I believe, lies in us and in our fear of the unknown. The structures we have created have also shaped us, and the destructive mechanisms we see in the monetary-based system are reflected in our very own psychology. To challenge economy is to challenge ourselves, which is far harder than to complain about the banking system.
I often hear the argument that humans are inherently greedy.
This is used as a way to express that a different kind of economy would never work. Such grand assumptions of what ‘we are’ and what ‘we are not’ should perhaps be made more carefully. Instead of viewing the existence of capitalism as proof of the egotistical, competitive nature of human beings – could it be so that capitalism makes us that way?
Capitalism does not offer any grand moral statements (more than perhaps the protection of an illusive freedom which gives us the right to choose between the same salad dressings in every restaurant all over the world). It’s not a preaching philosophy but, however unspoken, it has direct consequences if you try to challenge it. Serve capitalism right and you are rewarded, serve it wrong and you will be punished. The ‘right’ thing to do in capitalism can mean making war planes or speculating with someone else’s savings – anything that makes money. The ‘wrong’ thing can be buying fair trade produce or taking care of your elderly mother – anything that costs you more or earns you less.
In order to change such a system, we have to understand the system as a part of ourselves. There is no fight for good or evil at the top – we are all part of this system. We have to recognise the way economy shapes our own psychology and make the silent ways in which capitalism shapes our morals loud and clear.
Should we give the film away for free?
The film explores the possibility of a world without money or barter, so instinctively the ‘right’ thing to do would be to give it away for free. However this is not how the film industry works, and if we want to reach an audience who are not active pirates on the web, or who are already interested in the topic (which has always been the hope with the film), we had to find some middle ground, or better still, a third option.
Even if we kept working on the film for free, we would still have rents to pay. We are as trapped in the system as the rest of the 99% of the world’s population who are not completely economically independent.
People have different opinions about pirating, and I have to say I agree with multiple sides of this argument: it is ‘just’ and ‘right’ to pirate and share important films for free, and it is ‘just’ and ‘right’ to respect copyright, because this will allow the creators to keep working and enable the film to reach out to people who would otherwise not get a chance to see it.
There are three known forms of economic transactions: exchange, gift and theft. So these basics are what we suggest to those who might want to see FUTURE MY LOVE.
Exchange: If you believe in paying for a product you can simply buy a VOD stream, or a DVD, or a screening license. We give you the film we’ve been working on, and you give us money.
Gift: We give the film for free to an initial number of people and then give them the option to give it, or pay it forward, to someone else. You can find out here how it works (www.futuremylove.com/forward):
Theft: You may choose to disregard what I have just said and ‘steal’ the film in one way or another. But that would of course not be great for our plan, as we would rather see whether gifting could make a difference to people’s perception about economy. However, we decided not to protect the film through digital rights management since we trust you to make your own decisions and don’t believe in restricting its usage across different platforms.
The philosophy of the film is to think about things from different perspectives; to relate things that are not usually put together, creating new thoughts. Because we need new thoughts, in fact we need a whole new way of thinking to get out of this bad spiral of our physical existence – before it gets rid of us like any other virus.
So we ask for your help to spread these thoughts and provoke debate about real change wherever you can! Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.
The Venus Project, The Zeitgeist Movement and a Resource Based Economy is constantly gaining more and more momentum, resulting in a constant flow of new creations of cultural expressions like these videos.
The two guys from the London based website and YouTube channel ‘London Real’ contacted me (or rather, their ‘Public Relations Coordinator’ did) with a new video interview they had done with Jacque Fresco, asking me if I wanted to post it on the blog. I found the interview not really bringing up anything new but the old anecdotes Mr. Fresco is always using, but I found an interview with Ben McLeish of The Zeitgeist Movement UK that was slightly more interesting. I post this here for you:
And for those of you who haven’t heard all of Mr. Frescos anecdotes, I do recommend listening through this interview. He is definitely quite funny and has a lot of good points:
And if you want some more in depth dope, take a look at Peter Joseph’s latest venture, Culture in Decline, this time on our so-called Democracy:
Peter Joseph turns out to be a first class entertainer!
As you all might know, I decided to “take a couple of years off” from the Waking Up movie to gain more experience, get a bigger network of movie production contacts and the likes.
One of the things I would do to gain more experience is of course to make more movies. I’ve had some ideas to some shorter and longer films thrown at me, but non that would be very easy to accomplish on a small budget. And, of course, I would like to make films about a resource based economy or with an RBE setting of some sorts.
So, the idea I got was to invite you guys to write new stories and short film scripts that can be accomplished on a small budget. And if you don’t feel up to it yourself, invite others! 🙂 Target script writers around the web and inform them of this.
I figure 10-30 minute scripts would be good. And the setting would be closer to our time so that the technology and surroundings can be more or less what we have today. It can be stories from the transition period, just after the transition period or in some kind of future in a setting where we don’t have to use any CGI or show any new types of non existing buildings or technology.
The important aspect of the stories would be the values of the people. It can be stories of young people, old people, researchers, scientists, artists, factory workers, car sales people, teachers, anything! The only ‘criteria’ would be to somehow show the values of a resource based world. Whether it is about generosity vs. greed, compassion vs. indifference, sharing and giving vs. trading and buying/selling, ownership vs. usership, money vs. gratitude, you name it!
It will be a much ‘freer’ approach than with the Waking Up movie which is based on one particular idea (Ben waking up from cryo) and set to a future far away with a whole new technology, and thus will end up as a much more expensive film to make. I really hope to make the Waking Up movie one day, with all the bells and whistles, CGI and special effects. But, as I have said before, there should be many films made about RBE, and with this new approach we can be the ones that starts this!
I also thought that since this would be something very different from the Waking Up movie website (which will still exist until we get around to making the Waking Up movie), there should be a separate website. I thought that ‘RBE Stories’ would be a good name for this new website, and bought the domain www.rbestories.org (www.rbestories.com was actually taken by a guy who gives away his stories there for free. He is practicing RBE without knowing it…! 😉 ).
The new website isn’t up and running yet, but I will install a new WordPress theme on the domain soon, and also open a new Google Docs collection for the stories. The new initiative will be 100% open source and public domain as in the CC0 license: creativecommons.org/about/cc0.
To take this even further, it will be open for both screenplays and stories that can be made into screenplays. And since it is all public domain, it will be open for all film makers on the planet to pick and choose whatever stories that might appeal to them to make films out of them. The films can be crowd funded through IndieGoGo/Kickstarter or the like and be published to YouTube. Films can even be shot on cell phones without a budget! It can be all levels of complexity.
All the stories will be open source and can be further developed by the online community. They can also be branched into other stories and be shortened/lengthened or built upon. The website can be a resource in terms of imagining the resource based economy and what it can be like. The stories can both be read as they are by anyone and be a resource in themselves, but also be made films out of. When films are made, the film team (director/producer/writers, etc.) will have the final say in how the story will be on the screen.
I would of course be one of the film makers that would be very interested in this and will follow whatever appears here closely. I hope more film makers and writers will find this interesting and join this project! If there’s a story that doesn’t appeal to me personally, maybe it will appeal to some other film makers. If there’s a very appealing story that appeal to more film makers, well, then maybe there can be a collaboration, or maybe there can be more film versions of the same story!
Do you want to contribute to the writing of a film about a positive future with a resource based economy? Now you have the chance. There’s a scene made from this film, called Waking Up. And it is an ‘open source’ movie, meaning that others can contribute to the writing of the story, the script and to the realization of the whole film through it’s website. Take a look at the scene here:
If you have trouble watching the clip here, or would like to contribute with a translation, you can go to the YouTube version.
This is a submission to the Cinema Out of Your Backpack film festival. If you like the clip you can VOTE for it by Pressing ‘Like’ on the clip. You have to hover the mouse over the clip and the ‘Like’ button will appear top right. You have to log in or become a free member on Vimeo to do it. Last chance to vote is the last day of July 2011.
The film is about Ben, who froze himself down in 2010, in the hope that humanity once might be able to thaw him up and cure his disease. And this is exactly what happens. In the year 2110, the world has gone through massive changes towards the positive. Both technology and human values has developed into a whole new world, positive in all aspects for humanity. One of the aspects is that money and property is gone, and people do things for other reasons than hoarding wealth. Waking Up is about Ben’s experiences in this world and the difficulties he faces in waking up to this new reality.
In the scene, Ben is walking in the woods with his newly acquainted guide, Aweena. He has only been awake for a few days, after several weeks of curing and restituting his body while he was asleep. He is a bit confused, and can’t really understand what has happened. He feels somewhat attracted to this new world and to Aweena, but at the same time he has trouble believing it is real.
This movie is a unique chance to actually contribute to describe and create what the world will look like in a hundred years, and what steps we can take now to make it happen.
I was so fortunate as to meet Jacque Fresco and Roxanne Meadows in Stockholm and was able to film their lecture. So, here is the recording of their lecture in Stockholm July 24. 2010. In this lecture they explain The Venus Project and a resource based economy.
Total time: About 2 hours.
First hour is lecture. Second hour is Q & A.
The lecture is about how our mind set and the monetary system is the source of the problems in the world today, and how a resource based economy, a society without money or trade, an updating of our values and mind set, and relevant use of technology and knowledge can develop our civilization to become a truly sustainable society with abundance for everyone.
Filmed by Harald Sandø and Vesa Rahkola.
Edited by Harald Sandø
The lecture was arranged by The European Organisation for Sustainability (EOS) and The Zeitgeist Movement Sweden.
The documentary Living Without Money portraits the life of 68 year old Heidemarie Schwermer, a German woman who made a deliberate choice to stop using money 14 years ago. She cancelled her apartment, gave away all of her belongings and kept nothing but a suitcase full of clothes. This was a decision that changed the entire outlook on her life dramatically.
Today, after 14 years, she is still living almost without money and claims she is feeling more free and independent than ever. The film follows Heidemarie in her day to day life and shows the challenges she meets by living an alternative lifestyle. Check out the trailer here:
The film is due in april 2011 where the film makers offer free screening rights if you want to show the movie in your hometown. Check out their homepage for more info: livingwithoutmoney.org
I am really looking forward to see this movie. It isn’t directly about a resource based economy, but more about the possibility of having a ‘moneyless mindset’, even in the midst of the ‘money jungle’ this society is. When Heidemarie can do this today, everyone should be able to do this as soon as it gets more common. And it should be part of a proof that RBE can work. That money isn’t necessary, and that we’re all much better off without it.
Peter Joseph’s latest documentary is setting world record in simultaneous worldwide screenings on the same day. 15th of January 2011 the film was showed in over 60 countries on over 300 locations, something that has not happened with any other documentary to date, as I am told.
This has been a highly awaited film, in other words. Two days ago, the YouTube version was released, and it has already over 340.000 views. In TWO days! Not to speak of the comments, which just passed 12.000 as I write this. The film has almost 12.000 likes and only about 300 dislikes.
It seems like the world has truly been waiting for, not only this movie, but a change on the planet. Even though there seems to be ‘business as usual’ around the world, there is a growing movement going on. Not just the Zeitgeist Movement, but in general. People want change all over the world.
So, to the film. It is a 2 hour 40 minutes long movie with lot’s of info. For me personally a lot of it was not news, but I guess for most people it is. I missed more transitional descriptions and more direct info on what a resource based economy really will be like. The film started out with a rather long winded talk about genetics and how we are not really bound by our genes, but rather more shaped by society. This is a discussion that has been going on for years among scientist.
Speaking about scientist and science. The film seems to advocate ‘the scientific method’ as the answer to most problems. It forgets to take scientists into consideration. The scientific method is well and good and is definitely the best method one can use to determine whether something is a good solution or not. The problem, though, is that scientists are just as often as ‘common people’ run by emotions and peer pressure rather than intellectual reason. There are continuous examples of this throughout history, and the ‘genes versus society’ is one field where this has been rampant.
Another thing about the movie, as with the Zeitgeist Movement in general, is the utter worshipping of The Venus Project, as along with science is the answer to everything. The truth is that TVP is not thought through thoroughly by far. It lacks both social descriptions and possible transition alternatives.
In such a long movie I would have expected more detailed descriptions on how to get there and how a resource based economy will work in praxis. Still, for all of the worlds people who still doesn’t know about what the worlds problems stem from and haven’t heard about a resource based economy, it serves it’s purpose. Except I am afraid it will suffer many shattering comments when put under scrutiny in classrooms around the world.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand has directed a most amazing film about the earth’s resources. How it all began, and how we are now depleting the planet. But, the film has hope in the end, mentioning positive developments around the planet.
Still, I can not understand how we can save this planet while holding on to the monetary system. The film is non-profit, but sponsored by several profit hungry companies, with the same profit hunger that has caused most of the depletion of resources the film is criticizing.