I first met Tim Maupin back in the nineties when we both attended Jersey Community High School in Jerseyville, Illinois. Back then I was singing in a punk rock band and Tim was the shaggy haired, doughy eyed, poet/singer who dated the little sister of my former girlfriend. Tim kept a low profile; rarely sticking his neck out the way my freaky friends and I had made a habit out of doing. He was an Emo kid before the term had truly been coined. Born to local farmers Tim was most likely expected to get married young, start a family, and then take over the family farm. As you might imagine Tim Maupin had bigger dreams to conquer. Over the years that passed since we graduated JCHS I would occasionally catch wind of Tim’s trials and tribulations with the entertainment scene.
Word reached me that he had moved to Chicago after attending Webster University and now was firmly focused on film. However what alerted me to Tim’s newest film project was a Facebook link share by Chad Ruthsatz, a friend I went to high school with at Principia Upper School in St. Louis before transferring to Jerseyville. Maybe it was the juxtaposition of my two vastly different high school experiences mixed with the oddity of seeing friends from different worlds supporting each other….either way I was intrigued. I reached out to Tim online and asked him about his recent Kickstarter campaign to raise money for his new short film that Chad had recommended. Here is what he submitted. I think Tim speaks for himself just fine. If you ask me I think you should support this dude’s project. I do.
Tucker Booth: What’s the story line of “The Last Generation To Die?”
Tim Maupin: “ The story takes place roughly 30 years in the future at the moment when science has first figured out how to stop aging through genetics. It is framed around the gulf between generations that would occur with the first release of this technology. A daughter who works for a company called Aperion Life- the first to bring this new technology to the public- wants to save her aging father. She starts him on the trials but he soon stops coming. The film continues with the conflict rising between them as she wants him to live on with her while he feels a natural ending is more human.”
Tucker: What was your inspiration?
Tim: “Inspiration for this film started with a little short I wanted to make a few years ago that was primarily visual. It was set in the future and simply about a father who had lost a daughter and finds an old 8mm film reel and finds a scene with him and his daughter playing in a park. So the past met the future and he sort of “time traveled” in the final scene. After several years, I came back to this story when I arrived at a new inspiration through reading a book called Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku. It gets into the future of technology of the next century and I after reading a chapter on medicine and aging, I realized a way to add some complexity to the story would be through a daughter trying to save her father when anti-aging technologies begin to surface.”
“I found the all the implications of such a technology to be very fascinating, especially considering that this isn’t necessarily science fiction. The ground work and base research is happening now. The idea that I might life long enough to reach this technology, while my parents will die naturally is a very personal and moving thought. I realized this was a good natural conflict for a film. Upon developing this story, I’ve asked many people and I’ve found a pretty even 50/50 divide of opinions strongly on one side or the other- either they want to die naturally and believe there is beauty in finality, or they want to see what the future holds and have more time to explore and learn more in life. I’d like to turn the question to you… Which side are you on? Would you want to live on or die naturally?”
Tucker: Can an introvert make a successful kickstarter?
Tim: “I must admit that I am somewhat of an introvert and I wondered upon starting this if it would be possible to get the money through social media. I was actually off facebook for about 6 months before realizing I had to get back on to connect with people. Now that I have something to say and promote to the world, it feels a little easier. So this will be a process to see if someone who doesn’t necessarily like announcing themselves to the world can do exactly that and succeed in people believing in them. I think it will be very good for me though and I can already feel it’s making me better at that. “
Tucker: What’s your ultimate goal?
Tim: “I definitely plan for film festivals for this film as I have several other future based/sci-fi concepts and I want this to be sort of a ‘foot in the door’ to show people that I can successfully make something that looks good and believable in the future all with a good story.So in a nutshell, I just really want to make a great film that helps me hone the craft and make even better films in the future. That said, we are shooting it in 4K, so I will definitely be exploring some of those options and I’ll be seeking distribution through various online and video on demand outlets. From a bigger picture standpoint, I want to make a film that asks some of these big and truly soon to be relevant questions. I feel this is a film that needs to be made. Asking these questions in the form of art and story will help start the discussion. Our world is changing very fast and the rate of technology is speeding up.”
Tucker: What does all of this mean for humanity?
Tim: “Everything we know, from a book to a play to a song, ends… What does it mean when there is no ending? Would we be more complacent? Would life be as meaningful? Is there more of a beauty in the way it has always been with our passing or is there more beauty in our bodies and minds staying fresh and alive for many, many years to come? What about social justice and overpopulation? Would life become boring after living on indefinitely or would you find it exhilarating to have time to learn new languages, instruments, subjects- to read more books, to love more- to live several lifetimes? Would it be worth it if some of your most loved friends or relatives passed on and wouldn’t live on with you? Are you interested in seeing what the future brings in technology and social evolution or are you happy to have contributed and be a part of it for a short time? The film seeks to ask these questions rather than answer and provoke thought.”
Kickstarter campaign >>> http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1956082973/the-last-generation-to-die-a-short-film
Tim Maupin official website >>> http://timmaupin.com/