Nothing will be personified by the stylized voiceover of a fictional narrator, much like in the author’s previous, equally challenging and multi-awarded ‘satirical documentary fairy tale’ “Goodbye, How Are You?”
Omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, our hero prefers to comment rather than intervene. It speaks eloquently, yet does so in fragmented, art comic book style – a mixture of grumpy Tom Waits and laconic Corto Maltese.
Its voice is that of a timeless, self-assured, slightly tired veteran. Its charismatic tone will range between warmly sarcastic – i.e. full of sympathy for human weaknesses, and comically self-ironic – as aware of the impossibility of its own existence.
For dramatization purposes and enhanced audience empathy, our protagonist will also gradually adopt universally recognizable human characteristics.
While the narration will only feature the voice of the main character, the film will be illustrated by dozens of cinematographers from around the globe, including several IDFA/Venice/Berlinale/Camerimage/Golden Globe/Slamdance winners, who will receive both detailed instructions and carte blanche for capturing documentary Nothingness.
They will be sending in their documentary representations of Nothing in five distinct stages:
1/ Freestyle: unrestricted, top-of-their-head, based on personal aesthetics and local cultural interpretations
2/ After receiving a list of the director’s 100 favorite quotes on Nothing
3/ After receiving a 100-page research digest on Nothing, condensed from our eclectic 20.000-page bibliography
4/ After receiving the full screenplay, without shooting instructions
5/ After receiving the director’s final shooting instructions; i.e. full principal photography
At the end of each stage, all submitted footage will be uploaded on a customized video-sharing platform in the form of unsigned clips. The cinematographers will then be invited to discuss each other’s footage, also through anonymous comments. After each round, the author will draft up conclusions and set new guidelines for all.
The goal of this process (graphically simplified below) is to allow the alchemy between ideas, images and narrative comments to develop in a most constructive, egalitarian and expandable way – which we believe is the essence and ultimate goal of creative documentary filmmaking today.