THE IMPACT - 50 WRITERS, 50Filmmakers, ONE PICTURE
The Impact is a crowd-created film produced and directed by Chris Jones, based on the experimental concept project Impact50. Co-author of the prolific Guerilla Film Makers Handbook and head of the London Screenwriters’ Festival, Jones spearheaded this film, which saw 67 screenwriters and 36 directors collaborate to create a disaster movie linked by a looming meteor strike.
The Impact (Impact50) Synopsis
THE IMPACT is a crowd-created feature film with multiple stories connected by one thing – a meteor strike.
The film opens with the President of America (Olivia Williams) giving a televised speech to the world (written by Joe Eszterhas (Basic Instinct) where she sets out the premise of the movie… Nothing will survive.
The movie poses the question: what would you do if you knew that you only had two hours to live? This question was answered by thousands of screenwriters who wrote short scripts that were filmed and edited together to create The Impact.
The film is a fascinating tapestry of interwoven stories from diverse voices worldwide at times moving and profound, at others hilarious and irreverent, but always asking ‘what would we do in our final moments?’ A multi-cultural and global reflection of pop culture’s vision of the apocalypse… written and filmed BEFORE the actual covid apocalypse of 2020, and now offering a haunting reflection of where we may be headed as a species.
The Impact is a London Screenwriters’ Festival initiative to get as many creative people as possible their first break and a ‘produced’ IMDb credit.
'The Impact' is about a fictional apocalypse, production was halted because of Covid. It now feels strangely prophetic.
The opening script is written by a friend of the festival Joe Eszterhas, who in his day was the highest-paid screenwriter in the world for 'Basic Instinct'.
The President in the opening scenes is played by Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense).
2,800 scripts were submitted from around the world to make the final selected 50 that were released to filmmakers.
Nearly 100 short films were produced and submitted to be part of ‘The Impact’.
Over 1,500 new entrant film crew, producers and directors were involved in the process, and from across the globe.
'The Impact' sets two new world records for the Most Screenwriters and Most Directors on a feature film. It may also set the record for longest-end credits.
On the premiere night, there will be an awards ceremony where the winner of the Best Screenplay award will be given the Final Draft Meteor Award... And an ACTUAL meteorite!
It All Began With A Kiss… 50 Kisses, Actually
In 2014, the London Screenwriters’ Festival premiered their first Create50 project, 50 Kisses – www.50kissesfilm.com
50 Kisses was the culmination of two years of work, drawn from 1870 submitted scripts, 127 produced films, an untold amount of man-hours, and one vision – to get writers writing and filmmakers making films.
The film launched the careers of many writers and filmmakers and entered the Guinness Book of World Records, breaking the record for most screenwriters in a feature film.
As we awoke on a proverbial morning after our 50 Kisses journey, we knew that we needed to do it again, this time with greater focus and ambition. After consulting with the community, we settled on The Impact50... a selection of stories set in the final moments of humanity before a cataclysmic meteor strike will destroy all life on earth.
Project director Chris Jones explains: “We were keen to give writers a ‘real life’ opportunity to work with directors and get their films made. This was especially important for writers seeking that all-important first credit”.
The Writers Challenge
In 2015 the writers' challenge was launched: 2,800 scripts were entered during the submission process, which closed in early 2016.
Unlike other writing challenges, collaboration and feedback were hard-baked into the process. In order to submit a script, the writer also had to read and leave constructive feedback on three other submissions. This process created an extraordinary amount of momentum, and, most importantly, experience, education, and new relationships. Creating a learning experience and expanding industry networks is at the heart of both the London Screenwriters’ Festival and Create50 projects.
In the spring of 2016, a team of eight writers and filmmakers descended upon the London Screenwriters’ Festival offices in Ealing Studios to assess the submissions. The entries were considered, argued about, and finally whittled down to a shortlist. One of the winners from 50 Kisses, Phil Peel, was part of this process and he personally read 300 scripts, adding: “I learned just how important the concept is. Over and over again my notes were ‘needs tightening or cut dialogue’, we need to get into the story fast.”
The final shortlist was then submitted to the industry judges, who then selected the final 55 scripts. We asked for candid comments from some of the judges who shared…
“I admired all fifty-five of the winning screenplays enormously and it is practically impossible to pick one favourite.” Ted Tally, Oscar Winner for ‘Silence Of The Lambs’
I had the opportunity to watch a screener of the film. The passion for storytelling and filmmaking by everyone involved is clearly evident, as is the power of team effort. The ticking clock keeps the suspense and tension in high gear. Filmmaking is a team sport and this is a huge team all focused on telling one story. Chris Jones, Producer and Director, expertly weaves the collaboration into a work of art. The acting is excellent. Every actor makes the most of their time on camera, mostly conveying the emotions and thoughts, both real and imaginary, of imminent demise. The different perspectives of the story world are as vast as the Universe. One of my favorite segments involved a young woman who has gone to Australia to surf but is grief-stricken about not being with her family at this crucial time. Her companion encourages her to move forward with her plan. 'If you want to ride the wave, you have to get in the water." Thank you Chris for creating this collaborative effort that allowed so many actors and writers to shine.