There was a school of film-making that emerged in the 1990s called Dogma 95 (or Dogme 95, if you were Danish.) The intention was to strip a movie back to the barest essentials so the focus on the characters that emerge.
The creators wrote a manifesto of ten commandments that needed to be adhered to by directors in order for their films to be certified “Dogma 95″.
This video goes through ten commandments, and also shows the changes that this would impose on a movie.
[Personal note: I haven't any found a Dogma 95 movies comfortable to watch.]
Fast forward a decade and a half. People were bugging me to go see some enormous blockbuster you may have heard of: “Avatar”. I lamented that some of the best science fiction stories don’t need millions of dollars of special effects. My favourite SF movie of the past ten years is a brilliant indie film call “Primer”.
At the time I was working with people to make their own videos for the internet. What I saw was a host of creativity that was finding audiences through online video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.
I also talked to a lot of creators (mainly students) who wouldn’t follow through with an idea because they didn’t have the expertise in making believable special effects. And also the general notion that SF was the domain of strange people.
So I came up with SF Dogma 10. In the vein of Dogme95, it lays out a list of commandments in order to liberate creativity.
Let it be known that to attain SF Dogma 10 compliance, the script and finished film must accede with the following ten commandments:
- The film must contain some element of Weird or so-called Science Fiction.
- The title must not contain any made up words.
- Filming must be done on location. Sets must not be constructed.
- Computer Generated Imagery is forbidden.
- No soundtrack music.
- No visually alien/temporal settings.
- The film must not contain any elements from other works, save those in the public domain and under Creative Commons licence.
- Not to feature any labcoats, save for locations or circumstances where labcoats are actually worn.
- The film and script must be made available under the Creative Commons license.
- The final film must be no longer than 10 minutes.
Then myself and a friend came up with some example scripts that could comply with SF Dogma 10. We also licensed them under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license, which lets you share it, remix it, and share your remixes, provided that you do so on a noncommercial basis.
Cat’s in the Cradle Written by Sean M Elliott
The Antichrist, now AWOL for many years, gets an unexpected visit from his father.
My Greatest Love is Patented Written by Sean M Elliott
Which is greater: a parent’s love for their child, or a companies love for their patent?
Old Man Mirror Written by Sam Wilson
A young man is haunted by the image of an old man in every reflective surface he passes.