Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “2BR02B” and I met by chance one dark night on the Internet. It was a steamy encounter, and I was immediately enraptured by the weaving tale of one Father’s choice when confronted with his “perfect” society’s ugly underside. It’s basically about starting a family, and what sacrifices you have to make when starting that family. Though, in our case, it’s taken a little bit to the extreme. Guns are involved. Gas chambers are invoked. People die. When your world has a one-in one-out policy in regards to global population, family planning becomes very important. You don’t want to be the guy that has to show up to the hospital and tell the Doctor you don’t have the necessary person to die, and then he says your kid won’t be allowed to live. It can’t be good for your marriage. Nobody wants that conversation.
So, saying that, I immediately recognized the potential of this project to be turned into a film. Since Kurt Vonnegut is such a masterful storyteller, everything I needed was right there. Adapting for the screen was no great challenge, and the story is so strong. A lot of Sci-Fi is empty guns, and space ships, and so on. With this piece, it’s a real emotional ride. It’s dark. It asks questions. Plus, it has some kick ass Sci-Fi gimmicks that we all know and love.
Being able to have a story to adapt into a film makes the process of script development easier. Kurt Vonnegut did a lot of the hard work for me, God bless his soul. So, the actual process of honing the script into a filmic spear of artistic integrity was over relatively quickly. There’s a place in the film industry nicknamed “Development Hell”, and I was not planning on stopping there for a visit. We stuck to pretty much every scene in the short story, with a few structural changes that had to happen to make it work for film, and we used a lot of the original dialogue. To be honest, the dialogue was the thing that was changed the most. We made things a little funnier, and a little bit darker — if a film where a Father has to choose which kids of his survive can get more dark. We found an amazing location to use for the hospital, which has been used in TV shows and films for the past decade. A lot of Sci-Fi shows have shot there. In fact, Vancouver is sort of a Sci-Fi central, with Stargate, Fringe, Battlestar Galactica, Continuum, Almost Human, The Hundred and others all making their home in Vancouver at one point or another.
It really has been an amazing experience adapting this story though. I’ve learned a lot about Kurt Vonnegut, and a lot about population. Did you know he named Slaughterhouse-5 after the freezer he stayed in as a POW in Dresden? He was the only one who could speak German, and had to translate for all of the other Prisoners. For me, growing up without war, I can never relate to that.
But anyways, to the point. Do you guys want to see this film or what?! It’s going to be great. It’s funny, it has amazing Art — check our Facebook page for more on that — and it’s just a damn good story! Plus on top of all of that, we get to shoot Paul Giamatti in the face, and I get to make my dream come true, and prove to my High School teachers that I made myself into something. Help make it happen, folks. We want to get a lot of small contributions, so anything that you can get towards us will go a long way. It might mean the difference between feeding me canned beans, or a Subway sandwich. Nobody wants somebody eating beans on a film set. The sound guys hate it.