Fan reactions ranged from dismay to outrage as news broke that Hollywood would adapt the 1995 cyberpunk anime classic Ghost in the Shell.

A natural next thought arose in this nascent age of crowdfunding and Internet-based collaboration:

What if we could take matters into our own hands and create something better than anything Hollywood would ever dare to produce?

Early discussions about the “GITS: Alive” idea often centered around the cost of producing a live-action Ghost in the Shell film. The film clearly requires a strong element of special-effects expertise, as seen in the anime’s approach to technology in the year 2029.

All dreams in cinematic form eventually awaken to the reality of one word: money.

The effort could be fully funded from the start. That would be the ideal scenario.

If not, there are other possibilities.

What if “GITS: Alive” begins life in the short-film format?

Here are a few options:

1. It could begin as pitches often do: with an idea, images and/or storyboards and a trailer. Shoot a dynamic and exciting few minutes’ worth to get fans and potential investors salivating to see the rest.

2. GITS:Alive could have the “best” scenes filmed and released first in order to woo and awe the viewer into wanting more. Release each subsequent scene as a mini-feature that builds momentum for the next. A faithful adaptation needn’t worry about “spoilers”, since the fans have seen the original anyway. The crucial attributes are craftsmanship, smart-yet-faithful adaptation of source material, and believably acted characterization.

Each mini-feature would be the promotional vehicle for the ones to come, with a focus on tight budgeting in order to reach the ultimate goal of funding a completed feature-length film. The sooner that objective is reached, the sooner the film’s remaining scenes can be shot, edited and compiled into a finished product. Most films are lensed out of order regardless, so this way of building scenes could work equally well.

Another way to film in the “mini-feature” style would be to construct each part as its own small “episode” with beginning, middle and end (“to be continued…”). For the final work, editing and any necessary “in-between” filming can smooth the contiguous narrative arcs to manifest a single cohesive storyline.

3. GITS:Alive could be condensed into a single short-film version. The already-written full-length script could be refined into a five, ten, or even fifteen-minute piece. It would hint at what could be possible with a proper budget and creative latitude required for a true telling of the GITS story. Once further funding is procured, the production commences with either a series of short films (see option 2 above), or full-on from start to finish using the feature-length script.

Here are a few early nominations for a potential group of independent creators in the visual/film worlds who could bring a Ghost in the Shell to life.

Visual Design/Interface Design: Project 2501

Why? See Project 2501.

Project 2501. Homage to Ghost in the Shell.
Project 2501. Homage to Ghost in the Shell.

Co-Director: Ash Thorp

Why? Thorp is the visionary behind Project 2501. His aesthetic sensibility captures the tone, beauty and style of the anime with the auteur’s impeccable attention to detail. Given that Project 2501 was a global collaboration, Thorp has also shown leadership skills and the ability to complete a complex visual project.

Co-Director: Joseph Kahn

Why? See Power Rangers bootleg.

Kahn’s willingness to go as far as necessary down the R-Rated road is essential to a Ghost in the Shell film. If you’ve seen the anime, you know that the action is not the kind that can be toned down to the equivalent of PG-13. The Power Rangers Bootleg short film shows that a decent story needn’t sacrifice the necessary violence that was a masterfully conceived aspect of Ghost in the Shell.

Director of Photography/Technical Director: BLR VFX

Why? See Keloid.

Watch the film. Now remember Ghost in the Shell. The style and subject matter are so similar, they could almost take place in the same fictional universe.

Caveat: BLR VFX may no longer exist. It’s likely that the original BLR members have heard of GITS — and would want to join the team for a live-action film.

Producer: Adi Shankar.

Why? Mainly because of Shankar’s awesomely weird tendency to dress like Brandon Lee from the Crow — while offering a solid introduction into the world of indie film financing. Shankar also produced the Power Rangers bootleg.

Cast:

This is the next question.

A few names have already been mentioned.

More ideas coming soon.

Advertisements