Twenty-eight-year-old, Brooklyn-based filmmaker Ace Salisbury was taking a shower (because that's where all great ideas originate) when he was struck with a mental image of Manhattan surrounded by gaping canyons instead of rivers. Barren, dried up, this was a New York City with no access to drinkable water. He ran with this thought experiment. This wasn't a zombie takeover, or a war with an invading alien species. To him, the answer was much darker because it was a human cause - in fact the cause of this imagined apocalypse was something very real: fracking.
This became the seed of Everything's OK, a "cardboard punk" epic web series that is a wild, surreal, zany, hilarious, inventive, disturbing live action/animation sci fi hybrid, and makes its premiere this month at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.
Everything's OK Trailer:
Everything's OK follows a disillusioned young woman as she searches for her father amid the ruins of New York City ten years after fracking has caused the apocalypse. 90% of the city's population has died, poor people live at the bottom of the "East River Gulch."
Ace Salisbury comments,
I've never been a political artist. When I first heard there was the possibility the U.S. could free itself from its dependence on foreign oil with its own natural gas, I was thrilled. I played SimCity 2000 as a kid, and this seemed on the level of that Fusion Power Plant that gets invented in the year 2050. Once we saw hydro-fracturing in practice, however, it was clear corners were being cut to protect companies' bottom lines. Leaving the chemical water to sit at well sites, the breaking of pipes due to shifting of the earth's tectonic plates, and the sheer amount of water needed to excavate the gas, all place a very real threat on the environment.
Salisbury continues -
Particularly disturbing was the contamination of drinking water in the areas around the gas wells. When I've been to places like Honduras, Cuba, or the Dominican Republic, it's always a given that you can't drink the tap water. I thought, what if the potable water we take for granted in the US became a thing of the past?
Everything's OK's parade of strange characters includes the reanimated head of Orson Welles played to perfection by Arkansas comedian Michael Brown, who Salisbury found on Youtube delivering perfect Welles impressions.
To create Everything's OK's world, Salisbury teamed up with producer Cameron Bossert, sound mixer Ian Turner, musician Rob Crow, David Haladjian (D.P.) and production designer Christopher C.J. O'Connell, a talented and industrious artist with a MacGuyver-like ability to turn garbage into intricate miniature sets.
The fact that all 8 episodes are done, and look exactly like the original plan, is kind of a miracle. As dark as our premise may be, we present our world through comedy. By treating disturbing trends with a satirical eye, our aim is to create awareness of this important issue without being preachy. We need to be telling stories like this before they become reality.
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