Our first installment of What Do You Know comes from Allison Vanore @alliecine on twitter. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Allison on Solo the Series which comes back for season 1.5 on April 12th. She’s an extrememly talented producer/director/writer and I can only hope to colloborate on many more projects in the future. For What Do You Know I assigned her the topic of NATURE and she gave us a great mashup about movies/nature/current events.
PS her boyfriend Rob is pretty Ok too.
Read on for her entry on Nature.
The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon, Volcano, 2012…
How the movie usually starts:
I’m Allison, a film & television producer, in the middle of finishing prep on a webseries, Anyone But Me Season 3 (a show I’m currently Line Producing). After a day of production prep and a meeting with the Producer, Director and other key crew (I’m exhausted), I had planned to come home, eat some dinner, and then finish printing out paperwork for set tomorrow. And then get some sleep. Then it all goes out the window.
I was getting tacos with my boyfriend, Rob Gokee (for more on his taco obsession click here), and I checked Twitter (a very normal thing for me to do) while we waited for our order to be called. I follow many news sources as well as a couple earthquake reporting sources so understandably, when I opened Twitter on my phone on the night of March 11, 2011 the only thing I saw was news about a huge earthquake hitting Japan. We all know what follows… I went home and immediately pulled up live video streams online (I cancelled cable about a year ago) – CNN was down, Fox News was working so I watched that for a bit, BBC wasn’t working, local LA news was a bit behind, eventually I ended up with Aljazeera English.
What I saw online was shocking, horrifying, devastating. The world was in a panic – but there was nothing we could do but watch. I was paralyzed by the events before me. Given our amazing technology, I was able to watch the earthquake aftershocks unfold as well as a tsunami hit the coast of Japan and destroy entire towns. I was able to watch video from inside homes and apartments from just a few minutes earlier and hear people reacting and running for their lives.
Now this is the part in the story where I reveal that since my experience in making a film last year about a tsunami gave me enough insight about tsunami wave formations and I am able to save Los Angeles from the damage and destruction our coast would receive (although nothing in comparison to what happened in Japan) and the West Coast of the US would be saved. At the same time, my boyfriend who is obsessed with tacos reveals his connection to the largest taco making company in the world and they agree to airlift tacos to Japan to feed the people who are without power or food.
None of this happened. This is where movie making and reality split.
I felt paralyzed. Useless. I couldn’t fathom finishing up the paperwork for my production. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the live footage coming in. One thing that struck me during this time (among all the other emotions I was feeling) was that I felt like I was watching an end-of-the-world movie (I mean I was literally watching people racing in cars to outrun the wave coming at them). The difference? This was real and there was no escaping it or the pain. I was watching thousands of people drown. These are true stories of life and of death. There are real heros who will emerge and there are real consequences.
As humans we yearn for the personal stories, stories of survival and stories of the hero – which is why films about natural disasters are written like they are. We also beg for a happy, or at least a hopeful ending. Unfortunately for us, disasters like this don’t resolve themselves in 90 minutes, they continue to devastate for days, weeks, months and the affects of the disaster last a lifetime, if not more.
These types of films always seem like a spectacle. The most exciting or interesting parts of these films are the visual effects. I know that when I find myself watchng films like this I find myself thinking, Well that doesn’t look real, or thinking, Oh it’s convendient that this guy knows how to protect and save the entire bunker of people he’s with. Also, as I watch these movies I find myself thinking, Why in hell do I want to watch the world being destroyed?
The answer? I don’t.
I’m not interested in the spectacle of this. I’m interested in the people, the stories of human survival, the heroes, and the reality that we live in an amazing and sometimes horrifying world.
Allison Vanore is an award winning independent film producer who was born and raised in Wall, New Jersey and now resides in Los Angeles, CA. She has a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. From 2004 to 2008, Allison served as the Director of Creative Operations for interactive design firm, Georgopoulos Design Environments (now known as Design Environments), where she oversaw DVD, Blu-ray, Website and Video production projects for clients such as Disney, Sony, and Yahoo! Most notable is her work on Tarzan II which won a Best Direct to Video DVD Award. Since 2008 Allison has produced projects ranging from PSAs on topics like child bullying to short narratives like, A Note to Etienne to original indie series such as sci-fi comedy, SOLO The Series to a feature romantic comedy called Hopelessly in June.
Allison is currently developing two new original series, Replaced by Heath Vinyard, Line Producer on award-winning show, Anyone But Me, as well as developing her own series with boyfriend and composer, Rob Gokee. Allison is also producing short films, A Boy’s Life, by Eli Benavidez and The Drought by Kevin Slack.
Recently, Allison directed select scenes of new original series, It’s Always Greener by Alicia Ying and directed upcoming episodes 3 – 5 of Diary of a Wedding Planner by Brandi Ford.