Seth Worley on creating a Proof-of-Concept film to reach Hollywood

Originally posted on: www.redgiant.com

Darker Colors, the latest Red Giant film from director Seth Worley, has already amassed over 30k views, getting comments like: “This is one of the best shorts I’ve seen on YouTube. So good.” “HE DOES IT EVERY TIME!!!! Seth Worley = Genius.” “This was pure genius, everything from the color grade to the acting was perfect.”

But what most people don’t know is that Darker Colors was created as a proof-of-concept for a feature-length story Seth has been developing.

Creating a proof-of-concept short that accurately translates your vision to the screen is a huge undertaking, fraught with its own pitfalls and opportunities for failure. In a new video out from Red Giant, Seth talks about why he went the route of making a short film to pitch a bigger idea to Hollywood, and how the process turned out to help more than just his pitch.

So, why should you make a proof-of-concept short to help pitch your full-length project? 

  1. Show people what you are talking about. Putting your ideas into short-film form shows everyone else the tone and style that is crystal clear in your head – but almost impossible to explain any other way.
  2. Figure out what you’re talking about. Going through the process of creating actually allows you to field test your ideas organically within a narrative. For Seth, this also enabled him to experiment with his more ambitious VFX ideas in a more flexible medium.
  3. Rethink what you’re talking about. According to Seth, “In the process of working through the story in 10-minute form, I gained massive perspective and insight on its 100-minute form, unlocking things that I’d been struggling with for months.” Creating a separate shorter version of your full-length concept gives you the opportunity to think ideas and storylines through in different ways, without the huge risk. 
  4. Make what you’re talking about. Creating a feature-length film is hard. Really hard. Not impossible – but there is so much that could happen (or not happen) to stop it from coming to fruition – so make the proof-of-concept because if you don’t, you may never get the satisfaction you’re seeking in having your vision come to life – even if it’s not in the form you originally intended. 

Darker Colors: Inspired by the things Seth’s kids draw

“Darker Colors,” tells the story of Amber (Lexi Janicek), her brother Jack (JT Underwood), and their friend Bowman (Jeremiah Rusch) taking on terrifying creatures that are of Amber’s own design – literally. After Amber’s drawings are transformed into living monsters made of crayon and glitter, her older brother leads a mission into the woods to destroy them. But the idea for the film was inspired by the things Seth’s kids had drawn. 

“Some of it is so weirdly dark and disturbing and I look at it and I think ‘Boy we would be screwed if this thing was a real thing.’ But then I also think about how art and creativity are the healthiest outlets you could choose to explore the darker things inside of you and how emotionally upsetting and horrible it would be if those things were suddenly thrust into the real world.

So over the next three years, this developed into a complex and emotional story about a young girl’s drawings coming to life and threatening the lives of those around her, taking her and her family’s unpacked emotional baggage and dumping it all on the front lawn so to speak.”

If you haven’t already seen it, check out Darker Colors (and share it with your readers!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u14hmR0Ti2w

Then go behind the scenes to see how Seth and his team made it all happen: https://youtu.be/pJ78_qqbQwY 

Interested in speaking with Seth Worley about how and why he created Darker Colors as a proof-of-concept film? Reach out to Alexis Isaacs at alexis@zazilmediagroup.com for more information. 

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