Salvador Dali likened his paintings to “hand painted dream photographs” — the same can be said of Sawyer Hartman who gets to bring a project, which started out as a literal dream, to life on Vimeo soon. The Parallax Theory, a six-part miniseries, tells the story of a young man who alone has knowledge of a devastating meteor strike — and his journey to warn the rest of us. Let’s just say, some folks don’t take kindly to world-altering messages of doom.
Hartman, who like PJ Liguori, director of forthcoming Oscar’s Hotel essentially “won” a filmmaking contest put on by New Form Digital, a Ron Howard/Brian Grazer company on the lookout for brilliant filmmakers. They definitely found one in Sawyer Hartman, who has long been a YouTuber creator exploring immersive storytelling. His winning film, Parallax, is now receiving the expanded treatment when it comes to VOD on September 22.
We got excited at the idea of asking Sawyer some immersive questions of our own — and he was kind enough to oblige. Though his subject matter scares us (we don’t want to die!), we can’t wait to see what The Parallax Theory has in store for us all.
How did the idea for The Parallax Theory come about in the first place?
I had a reoccurring dream where I was driving down the 101 in an old beat up truck. With the view point of the dream from the backseat, I watched myself drive for 3 minutes uninterrupted down the empty highway. At the end, effortlessly and beautifully, a meteor ripped through the sky and tracked down in front of me until it touched the earth, at which time I would wake up. From there the story just grew on its own.
Your series asks some pretty heavy questions about mankind — are we a doomed species?
That’s a hard, but needed question. I think humankind’s need to conquer and expand will at some point come into conflict with our need to survive. The real question though is, If humankind was to be paired against one enemy or obstacle that threatened the species, could we come together despite our differences and fight for a common goal?
What’s been your favorite element of the series to film/bring to life?
The discovery. That’s why I love creating films and telling stories. Nothing can beat the discovery of another human life that never existed until that moment.
What do you think it was about yours and PJ’s pilots for the new Form Digital Program that made them stand out and receive longer format deals?
I don’t know actually, I think PJ and myself really got lucky. We both care very much for the characters and stories we try and tell, maybe some of that passion and love comes through on a subliminal level? Either way, it was an honor and a privilege to get to bring The Parallax Theory to life!
Any good Ron Howard stories?
Only met him briefly, but both him and Brian Grazer are absolute geniuses and innovators! Hopefully there are many more RH and BH stories on my horizon!
Will you be done with The Parallax Theory concept after this? Or is there still more story to tell in some capacity?
There are always more layers to discover in a project as intricate as The Parallax Theory. I think for me however it has been a great learning experience, I am excited to take my lessons and knowledge into my next project and keep honing my craft!
What comes next for you?
More movies!! without a doubt… or downtime hahah. I’m Currently developing two new feature scripts on my own as well as reading the many prospects I have been receiving lately! I just want to spend every second I have left on this beautiful earth on set, telling stories and doing what I love.
It has got to be a lot of fun to be Sawyer Hartman right now. Be sure to check out his Twitter feed for any updates, and of course be sure to check out The Parallax Theory on Sept. 22.