Producing : 14,000 years ago by Michael G Mclaughlin

14,000 years ago

I would love to write and produce a feature set 14,000 years ago. The actors would not speak a language but would use gibberish and sign language to communicate. The up side of this is certainly low production costs. The downside it would need SE for the animals in the story. The story would be (basically) a young woman (A cave painter) becomes the head of a clan of people and must guide her clan through the perils of living in those prehistoric times. She doesn't do this like a supper hero (So tired of those movies) and bust heads but uses her smarts to succeed. The last movie set in this time period was Quest for Fire in the early 80s. Time has come today.

James Welday

I like the concept, and I'd be interested in how it could be marketed. I've always appreciated films that are more reliant on visuals, then dialogue to tell their stories.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Michael G Mclaughlin By produce, do you mean that you have a script and you intend to produce? Or are you looking for collaborators to bring a script? What budget range, etc. I like the concept. Tell us more.

Michael G Mclaughlin

I have 3/4 of a script. The problem with a feature like this is....duh, there is no script and Hollywood has big problems for anything that is not what they are use of seeing. The script is in narrative form only. Scene by scene. The movie would be made from an outline. I would hire a sign language teacher and teach the actors some sign language. to augment the words or gibberish they speak, I thought of entering this "script" in contest but felt I would have zero chance. The production cost for costumes, props are,cheap. There are animals in the story so there is a need for computer generated (realistic) animation.The nationality of the actors would not matter. I originally thought of a (white) European cast but it could just as easily be Mexican actors or Asian actors. Funding or MONEY is always a consideration. If you kept the running time to under 90 minutes my best guess is the low millions to produce it. It has a strong woman's lead and most of the cast are women too, plus children and many dogs. As I mentioned the lead character is a woman who wins the day not with violence or strength, but with smarts. In a way it is a coming of age story. I am sure tired of women characters if films and TV who are just like the men in solving problems on screen with killing somebody. We have too much of that.

Marketing? Marketing to women honestly and young women. Here is a character who is not a kick ass Wonder Woman. Hollywood can't imagine a character including women unless she solves problems with blowing some guy's brains out. There is violence in the story, and crude violence at that, but it is not the focus. Thank you any consideration, Michael

Erik A. Jacobson

No script? No Raquel Welch? No Arnold Schwarzenegger to save her from the dinosaurs? A smart cave girl without a club? How will she survive? Not to worry, she has Godzilla on direct-dial. Seriously, though, the possibilities are intriguing.

Rutger Oosterhoff

"14,000 years ago. The actors would not speak a language but would use gibberish and sign language to communicate."

Origin of language - Wikipedia

"Some scholars assume the development of primitive language-like systems (proto-language) as early as Homo habilis, while others place the development of symbolic communication only with Homo erectus (1.8 million years ago) or with Homo heidelbergensis (0.6 million years ago) and the development of language proper with ..."


"What language did the first humans speak?

Many linguists believe all human languages derived from a single tongue spoken in East Africa around 50,000 years ago. They've found clues scattered throughout the vocabularies and grammars of the world as to how that original "proto-human language" might have sounded."

A woman as head of her clan?! In those times? Why? Are all the men dead? Now she has to go on a quest to find men. Otherwise, she and her (group of) people become extinct... And then we have a somewhat different "Quest for Fire." Now they have to go on a quest to find men... without her befriending a saber-tooth for protection!! In those super harsh times, this must be a VERY RESOURCEFUL woman. And all that after the first "Me Too" uprising, killing all the group's men, except a low-IQ savant, the only one who knows the location of the lost map to freedom; being the next large (for those times) settlement 500 miles ahead. It's not in the ground, it's in his head.

Dan MaxXx

You have 0 track record. Store this idea away and go create something else for dirt cheap with your own people and show the world your talent. Then if you're a hit, that's the time to pitch your "14,000 years ago script."

At least that's how American filmmakers do it- make cheap stuff first and then solicit corporations for big dollar movies.

Michael G Mclaughlin

Dan, and 97.8% of those film makers fail. Doing what other do is sure to be like all others. It is like chasing trends, you are always one step behind the creators.

Michael G Mclaughlin

Rutger, the settlement is 500 kilometres away. Closer.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Michael G Mclaughlin I like the female lead aspect. Without language though, there is literally no audience who will follow the story. It's all academic until you have a script in hand, right? I would encourage you to write it and see where it can go. You cannot see where it can go without having written it, as it is just an idea and everyone has those.

Michael G Mclaughlin

Dear sir, no audience will follow the story? Having been an actor I find the comment ....let's say not correct. And you know. it is not what you say but the emotion behind the words that is good acting. Now the audience may not be able to follow the story because I am not a good script writer. You could writer a story set 14000 years ago and everybody is speaking English or Dutch or whatever. Certainly we have movies made in Roman times and everybody is speaking English. Back to my point. If I hand a "script" to a slush pile reader she will reject it because of it is NOT in the format they read. What I think I will do is write in block narrative form i.e Scene 1, Scene 2 and enter it in contests and see what happens. There are a lot of ideas in Hollywood, a lot less original ideas. I watch one more superhero movie and I am cheering for the bad guy to win to end the franchise.

Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Michael G Mclaughlin Well that's the point right? A script without understandable dialog is almost de facto not a good script, and had better be divinely transcendent if it's going pay for itself as even a no-budget feature film. On the other hand, as I said it's not anything but an idea until a script is created - the proof is in the pudding. About ideas, I certainly can't confine that to Hollywood. Like tushies, everyone has an idea and they all have holes in them. If you think Hollywood flix have bad concepts, slog through independent film and you'll see there's no monopoly on poor ideas and poor execution.

Michael G Mclaughlin

I rarely look at independent films. I imagine they are small contemporary projects (saves on costume and props) and are films of people talking about their feelings or relationships. For every success story of independent film making---you know this guy borrows money and maxes out his credit card to make a film that is a success---there are many more of people in debt with films that fail. We never hear about the failures. Failure in the business is the norm. Actually the norm in the business is they never get to make a film. Thanks for the comments. Michael

Martin Reese

No language? Perfect film to model it after is One Million Years BC. I don't think The Quest for Fire had dialog.

Rutger Oosterhoff

So let us take France as the place of action. Take the Lascaux painting estimated between 15,000- to 17,000 years old, does she paint a thousand years later? But I think we have to go another 3.000 years later in time if we do not want a created language/dialog like in "Quest for Fire". So the oldest city was in Turkey, +_ 12000 years ago, built beside the first grain; in other words, agriculture started there. Now men did not have to move from place to place to hunt. Time to settle down. If somehow a group of adventures wanted to explore what lies in the West, and after a long journey full of hardship only one makes it to our female hero's French cave, They have their guide to civilization. She wants him to get them to Turkey because she believes only there she can make "painting" take a flight. In the most modern civilization on Earth in those times. Of course, most of her group gets killed or settles down in small settlements through their journey. Realize their men all died in a catastrophe hunting accident. Only she and her Turkish guide make it. In an alternate outing of art, she makes the first grain circles.

If you want an old form of language to be subtitled, around your time period and around nowadays Europe, it can only be Turkish. Otherwise, you first have to create your own language for whatever story you want to tell.

But you still need a great script written for a (very) modest independent budget focussing on an arthouse audience; a script that YOU wrote, Nobody is going to write it for you.

It's Marco Polo in the Pre-history with a talent for painting. But she's not going to China, that's a bit too far.

Michael G Mclaughlin

Rutger, thank for an outline of a script. That was action packed. No sex?

Don't be so technical. This is 14000 years ago or 18,000 or 17842 years ago. You nor I nor anyone have any real knowledge of what life and people were like. All is known are artifacts. Shards of pottery. The audience will accept any scenario as long as there is not a cell phone in the scene. (Joke) The story is a coming of age for the girl. Who is to say how clans were socially organized.Maybe they were matriarchal. It is a story of a person who just so happens to be a woman and she uses her mind, her brains to overcome life back then. She doesn't kill anybody in a knife fight. She might have sex with more than one man at a time---want to write that scene? Thanks for suggestions.

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