Instead of finding a script of a story we wanted to tell when we set out on this 100-day journey, we decided to make it even harder on ourselves and start with nothing. We had a vague idea about portals as a plot device, but there were no characters, no plot, and certainly no definitive idea of what movie we were making. We had a seed, and we had to bury it deep and see what came from it.
The process was unconventional but very creatively rewarding. We sat in the writers' room for the first 50 or so hours (except for sleep and food breaks) and hashed out every idea we could come up with, good and bad. We hit several creative and logical walls in the process, and the story got the best of us many times. It went out of control. It got boring. It started following characters we realized we didn't care about. It quickly got too expensive on several occasions.
At a certain point, we all landed on two ideas that focused our story and the direction of the film as a whole. Those ideas were the lifestyle-hobby of "picking" and Albert Einstein's relatively-unknown history in Greenville. These two ideas shaped the conversation and the film dramatically. We've settled here and continue to develop these ideas as we build the blocks of the story and production.
The script is not complete, and the ending is still unclear to us. But we know who we're following, why we're following them and a lot of pieces that shape their journey. We're learning as we go, about the characters, about this world, and about our story. It's an exciting, challenging process.
Episode 4 is about the initial story breaking process as well as revealing our story idea:
A scrappy picker, always on the heels of his bully rival, steals an antique, which happens to be lost Einstein technology that allows the user to instantly travel between portals.