Lost: Black Earth

Back… Way, way back at the beginning of time for Hysteria Productions, founder James Cole along with Chris Daniels dreamed up this crazy idea to make a full length feature film of their own with no money, practically no resources and close to no idea how. None of that mattered of course and the journey of Lost: Black Earth began. Lost newspaper article Inspired by post-apocalyptic films such as The Postman and a love of all things sci-fi and alien related, the two wrote an epic three feature film scripts following the trials and tribulations of a misfit band of people, the warrior, the scientist, the crazy old fool who was a technical genius and the rescued slave soldier as they make their way across a very different Earth, deep in the throws of alien terraformation. Of course, with their limited funding, a whopping ten grand, this epic sci-fi trilogy was doomed to never get made. However with a little ingenuity of their own and a ‘never say die’ attitude, Part I: The Black Earth was worthy of attempting. Lost-poster-webPulling together their own rag tag band of misfit, wannabe filmmakers and volunteers, the production of Lost began in the winter of 1999 and continued over weekends for the next six gruelling months. At the end of production the crew that began as strangers and ended as family, packed up and parted ways. It was now up to James alone to pull together the footage and discover if indeed they had captured the movie he and Chris had dreamed up a year earlier. Three long years passed and in between working on other projects to earn a living, James slaved away editing, creating visual effects, recording, designing and mixing the sound and eventually after many setbacks, he emerged with a completed film. It was not the film they had set out to make however. During the editing process, James discovered that some footage from one of the key scenes was missing. It had been accidentally recorded over. It was a scene where all the different story lines came together. Without it the film could not work. After frantically contacting the actors to see if they could do reshoots, he was devastated to find that one of the actors had changed his look considerably, one had moved interstate and one had moved to a different country entirely. Reshoots were impossible. Giving up was not an option. James worked through all the footage he had and found that one of the sub-plots could stand on it’s own with some creative editing, some extra visual effects to fill the gaps and a narration at the start to set up the new story line. It worked and although it is not the film they intended to make, both Chris and James are proud of what they achieved with very little of anything but the right attitudes. Nearly fifteen years on James freely admits that this is not a great movie by any standards but it did give him an amazing education in filmmaking, the likes of which could not be gained from film school alone.

You can find out more about the movie at www.lostblackearth.com
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