Find Me

GENRE: Psychological Thriller.

STATUS: In development. A location for filming has been secured and a lead actor cast. The script has been written and filming is likely to begin in the spring of 2023.

LOGLINE: A man having various dreams of dying in the same spot of his house tries to figure things out with his therapist, which makes him deduce that the visions must be happening for a reason that he must discover.

MINI-SYNOPSIS: A man confesses to his therapist that he constantly has dreams which always concludes with him dying. Convinced that these experiences are not just a function of his going through tough times, they delve deeper into what is behind the situations that he finds himself in. But his visions are so disparate that they seem random until he realizes there are two commonalities. One, each vignette involves someone from his work group, and two, it always ends with his death in the same location, the living room of his house. A thriller described as “Groundhog Day” meets “The Sixth Sense,” Find Me is a taut psychological puzzle that pulls all of its pieces together at the very end.

Concept Origins

The concept for Find Me developed out of a desire to continue filming a series of short films, to avoid unnecessary bureaucratic work in doing so, and the availability of a shooting location and a lead actor. The series in question was in relation to the short film that was co-produced by YBS and Fatlark, Grab (inset is the movie poster). The back story on this previous production was that it had been hampered by having to meet the myriad of administrative requirements imposed on it by SAG-AFTRA on this New Media Production, which was the result of four of the six performers in the shoot being union actors. As co-producers Eric Nemoto (YBS) and Mark Ganialongo (Fatlark) recalled, SAG-AFTRA authorization did not come until just a couple of days prior to the shoot (despite the appropriate application forms being filed weeks in advance as per SAG-AFTRA instructions). Hence, as Eric and Mark met to discuss moving forward on this project, the thought was to film another episode, but to try and do so as a non-union production and using only non-union actors. Particularly with the fact that both had learned that SAG-AFTRA’s rules for New Media Productions had changed wherein it no longer could be used to film features (and it was always the intent to expand Grab until a full fledged feature film could be pieced together), given a desire to film the next episode on a shoe string budget, it made sense to film the next short strictly as non-union. Other union shoots would ultimately enfold sometime in the future, but this next shoot, the men firmly agreed that they would try to get this production in as low maintenance as possible. But as far as doing so, there was the obvious problem of the availability of the two actors who appeared in Grab who were non-union. Lizzie Laws had relocated to the mainland and Michael Carter was killed off. Mark reasoned that Michael would be perfect to center the series around and the fact that he died in the original episode could somehow be worked around, with either shooting a kind of prequel, or, inventing some story which explains that he wasn’t killed off in the first place. Committed to the notion that there is always a way to carve out a story, the two agreed to meet and flesh out ideas.

Tough And Talented Michael Carter Is Set To Star In Find Me

Development Meetings

Mark and Eric first met on August 11th, 2022, for dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen in the Kahala Mall in Honolulu, Hawaii. Through a series of brain storming ideas on how to bring Michael back from the dead, a revelation hit them, why not just do “another” story centered around Michael, a short film along the lines of Grab, but not quite. Eric agreed, however, he gave his personal opinion about the idea of filming another short. He offered that, per his experience, the logistics for developing a short was as extensive as filming a feature, the only difference being that of course the latter would require more days of filming. Shorts, as Eric explained, has a less likelihood of going anywhere. Features were tough to sell as it was, so selling a short was near impossible. Eric mentioned that the tried and not so true function of the short film had always been (and continues to this day) to showcase a filmmaker’s talent to the extent that it would impress some glorious investor who would eagerly back the filming of a feature length version of the story. He gave examples of his own desire to raise funds this way and also that he actually had never heard of any other filmmaker succeeding with this tactic (not that it had never been done but just that he, personally, had never really met anyone). So in all of his endeavors, he had focused on filming feature length movies, with the expressed belief that you find a way to get a movie shot, and one never knows what exactly could sell. He gave as an example the tremendous viewership of The Landline Detective, which garnered in over 15 million streaming minutes off of the YBS Amazon Prime Video Direct (PVD) platform, and brought in significant income. “Who would have thought,” he asked, “That ‘that’ movie would be the one to sell?” Eric mentioned that he just, really, wasn’t into filming short films. He offered that most filmmakers settle for this because they’ve never really filmed a feature before and by virtue of that believe that doing so was this titanic mountain that could only be produced with a significant budget. But YBS “had” experience in filming features, many features, so he would rather focus on developing whatever they were going to film into a full, feature length movie. Mark agreed. “The key to independent filmmaking is really not money,” Eric expanded, “It is to secure a location where one’s filming can be controlled.” Landline had been filmed for a mere $200, so any movie could be written around what the project knew it had, which, for this one man movie the production had a room. Eric reasoned that this was the added benefit of centering a story around Michael, who had told him he was all in for filming at his house and on his property. So, agreeing that they would develop a feature centering around Michael Carter and film it on his property they brainstormed on ideas and eventually came up with what they felt was a thoroughly winning story (see Story Concept). Then deciding that Michael needed to be brought in to solidify the project, they held the next dinner meeting with Michael at the Zippy’s Restaurant on Nimitz Highway in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 17th, 2022. Michael not only said he was on board for the project but offered up some story ideas that both Mark and Eric decided to incorporate. At the conclusion of their meeting they decided the next step was to visit Michael’s house at 47-040 Okana Place, in Kahaluu, Hawaii, to get a sense of the settings that could be used for eventual filmmaking, but also, then, to get a sense of how to write the scenes that would specifically be shot. They subsequently met at Michael’s place on August 22nd, 2022 to look at the available places to shoot (see the photo montage below). Eric and Mark held another meeting at the Nimitz Zippy’s on August 31st, 2022 to finalize the story ideas and the essence of Find Me had been established. However, they both agreed that rather than try and rush both the story and shoot (originally, when talking to Michael, Eric had suggested that the shoot could ensue along with other projects YBS was working on, within the window of October 15th, 2022 to November 15th, 2022), they would take the rest of the year to write the script, and then attempt to shoot it sometime after the turn of the year, perhaps February or March, 2023. Given this, Eric intends to write the initial draft for which Mark and Michael will comment later. Mark will eventually direct.

Michael Carter’s One Acre Property In Kahaluu, Hawaii, The Eventual Shoot Location For Find Me

Story Concept

In brainstorming story ideas, both Eric and Mark kept flashing back to the fact that in Grab, Michael ended up being shot by the character portrayed by Thomas Smith and dying in the living room. Eventually, they realized that this would be the hook, that Michael has various visions of dying, and always when he does, he dies in the very same place. In order to find a way of expressing these visions the idea came forth that Michael is talking to someone about these peculiar dreams or nightmares that he’s having, and they settled on the notion that he is seeing a therapist. As he discusses his problems we will flashback to the scenes that he is seeing which on the surface have nothing in common but two things. One, they deal with fictional characters that are based on real life characters at the company that he used to work at, where either he has retired, or, was forced out due to some matter that will be resolved at the end of the movie. And two, again, he always dies in the exact same place. Towards these ends they settled on basically seven concept scenes. Michael’s character is given the working name of Drumond.

The Therapy Session: As mentioned, we see Drumond talking and explaining his visions to someone that seems to be a therapist. It takes place in a room that looks like what one typically associates with a professional in the counseling field. Drumond goes go over each of his visions for which the basic ideas are as follows.

The Mentor: Taken primarily from Michael’s own personal history of being a boxer when he was younger and the relationship he had with his boxing coach, this will tell the story of Drumond catching a young man stealing from him and rather than turning him in, he starts to mentor him, first in boxing, but then on other matters and life in general. This will be a drama which will feature the young man discussing having to make choices that will come to define him.

The Crypto Wallet: Patterned basically after the central theme behind Grab, this will show two men breaking into Drumond’s residence in search of a hard drive that contains the crypto wallet of bitcoins that were purchased early in the crypto currency age, which is now worth millions. The men are surprised by Drumond and his wife as they return home from a night out and then the wheeling, dealing, and conniving comes forth, where no one knows who to trust.

The Sushi Party: A story that is inspired by a segment of another script that Eric wrote entitled, “Bar Stories,” this comedy drama will depict Drumond and his work friends – in an attempt to get back at a member of their work place for his outrageously rude behavior, as well as possibly shock shake him into changing his persona – fake that they are running a cocaine drug ring. But their outlandish play acting will come to boomerang hilariously on them.

The Work Group: This occurs in a lunch room wherein all of the supporting characters who appear in all of Drumond’s vision scenes are having lunch together. They talk about having a dream about Drumond, which are the same visions that we have seen. Thinking these oddities are some form of surreal sign rather than mere coincidence, they decide to visit Drumond at this house after work. It is through this scene that we realize that Drumond left the company earlier. Also, we see a photo on the wall of the therapist, who we discover was the head of the company’s human resources department, but who had died years before.

The Big Reveal: The work group gets to Drumond’s front porch. They bring with them grocery bags filled with food and bottles of wine. They ring the door bell but get no response. Eventually, they notice that the door is actually not locked and is slightly ajar. One worker tilts his head to see what is Drumond’s outstretched leg. He is dead.

The Ending: We realize that the visions were emanating from Drumond himself who had been stuck in the netherworld between earth and heaven. Because he had died with no one around, he cannot move forward until someone discovers his body. Hence, the dreams were his unconscious means of communicating to his work associates to come and find his body, and his therapist is the former HR director who is helping him transition to the other side. As a door opens, light brilliantly explodes into the camera, and Drumond steps into it.

For information on other movies in development by Yellow Brick Studio / LegacyVision Films click HERE.

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