From the crazy mind of Pedro Morelli, written for the screen by Matt Hansen, and produced by Niv Fichman, these three creative geniuses collaborated to create the distinct universes of ZOOM. Hansen explains that “originally, the film was similar to INCEPTION in that it started with one reality point and went further into one’s consciousness. This changed when I suggested that we do the film Escher staircase style where we would have different worlds affecting one another. Conceptually, this idea sounded really cool, but we soon realized that realistically the idea was fairly complicated. We then decided cut the film down to three stories, which led us to create ZOOM.”
Emma The Cartoonist
Emma works in a factory that makes love dolls. But when she looks in the mirror, Emma tends to compare herself to the dolls and becomes dissatisfied with her own flawed body. And so, she decides to invest her savings in breast implant surgery. The surgery endows Emma with enormous breasts, just like the dolls. But she has a hard time getting used to their presence and begins to feel like a stranger in her own body. Emma questions her decision and ultimately tries to get the implants removed. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have enough money left for the surgical reversal.
“The thing about Emma is that a lot of people know a girl like this,” says writer Matt Hansen. “She’s nerdy but not in a pejorative kind of way. She’s caught up in this society of perfect appearances, but unable to see her own inner beauty.” Emma’s inner beauty captivated producer Niv Fichman as well. “Emma is someone who I would love to meet,” says Fichman.“She’s a secret artist, she draws really well. I feel sorry for her because she has this problem where she is not as confident as she looks and wants to be augmented. But this unrealistic image of beauty is something society has imposed on all of us and that is one of the main themes of the film.”
In her free time, Emma likes to draw cartoons and creates a comic book about the life of a filmmaker named Edward.
Edward The Filmmaker
Edward is designed by Emma to be the perfect man. Charming, handsome and sexy, he is a successful action film director. Immersed in a world of fame, fortune and vanity, he craves to be recognized for his artistic sensibility. Edward’s problems begin when his penis dramatically shrinks overnight – the result of a derisive practical joke by his creator Emma, who holds his destiny in her hands. This sudden and senseless mutation leaves Edward in despair.
The character of Edward is far too familiar to those in the film industry. “Edward’s a caricature of a variety of directors in movies that both Niv and I have come across over the years, in that he’s a commercial guy who is trying to make something meaningful or arty,” says Hansen. “He’s a parody of that type of filmmaker, the process of making a film as well as having various people influencing the work, for better or worse.”
Edward’s latest project is a movie about a successful Brazilian fashion model who strives to be a novelist.
Michelle The Novelist
Michelle is a Brazilian fashion model living in Toronto. She dreams of becoming a novelist despite the discouragement of her manager (and boyfriend) Dale. But when Michelle shows an incomplete manuscript to a respected publisher, he thinks it has great potential and encourages her to complete it. In order to concentrate on finishing the book, Michelle escapes to Brazil so she can focus exclusively on her work.
Michelle’s character was created around the concept that one should not judge a book by its cover. “Michelle is that kind of girl who people think is just beautiful,” says Hansen. “She has all these advantages in life: she goes to the front of the line; she can get what average people can’t and she sees the benefits and disadvantages to that—one of them being that she is not taken seriously as a writer because she’s only seen as beautiful.”
Throughout her story, Michelle is writing a book about Emma, an insecure woman who works in a factory that makes love dolls.
And this closes the circle between the three realities of ZOOM.
ZOOM is a multi-dimensional interface between a comic book artist, a novelist, and a film director. Each lives in a separate reality but authors a story about one of the others.
A film by Pedro Morelli, starring Gael García Bernal, Alison Pill, Mariana Ximenes, Don McKellar, Tyler Labine, Jennifer Irwin, and Jason Priestley
“Zoom” opens in Philippine cinemas August 3, 2016 from Solar Pictures. Rated R-16 by the MTRCB.