Mobius…hmm I’ve heard that name somewhere before…

When I first read about Vincent Laforet’s new short film, Mobius, I felt like I was taking crazy pills. Mobius, did you say? Hmm..that name sounds strangely familiar. Oh yes, that’s because I came up with it!

That’s right, over a year ago I wrote a script for a short film named Mobius, which I’m quite proud of, but which unfortunately is currently in pre-production hell and hasn’t seen the light of day yet. With all these other filmmakers like Vincent Laforet making short films on DSLRs and naming them cool, mysterious sounding names like Reverie and Nocturne, I thought I’d come up with my own short film with a cool-sounding name. Mobius is set to be a parody/homage of Reverie. The script is about 5 pages and involves a couple hooking up in Vegas with a bunch of beautiful, and at the same time hilarious nighttime shots (hence parodying Reverie). Take a look a this handy dandy timeline to see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together:

Oct 2008 – Vincent Laforet creates Reverie, the first DSLR short film shot on a preproduction 5D Mark II.

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June 2010 – Daniel Bean writes a script for a short film called Mobius, which is to be a parody/homage of Reverie.

July 2010 – Daniel Bean launches Citius on DSLR junkies’ favorite site Vimeo. Citius is a short film edited from footage filmed while location scouting for Daniel Bean’s short film Mobius, which unfortunately soon thereafter went into pre-production hell and has yet to be released. (As of Nov 2011)

Note that Daniel Bean’s Mobius is mentioned three places: at the end of Citius, which was launched July 2010 (above), in the comments on Citius on Vimeo, and on this July 2010 blog post.

Feb 2011 – Vincent Laforet sells some of his used gear, and Daniel Bean buys a Canon 5D Mark II and some L lenses from him, meeting up with Vincent in his studio in Los Angeles to pick up the equipment. The lenses were used to film Laforet’s Reverie and were later used in production on Bean’s Chariot Men and Provo’s First Flight. Daniel Bean is on Vincent’s radar! Wow, I’ll never wash this 5D, it has Vincent’s fingerprints on it…

April 2011 – Laforet and Bloom speak at NAB and Daniel is one of their peons in the audience. Laforet is annoyed that Bloom knows who Daniel Bean is and mentions him by name.

November 2011 – Vincent Laforet beats Daniel Bean to the punch and releases a short film called…drum roll please..Mobius! (“Well if he ain’t gonna make it, I will!” is one of the possible things Vincent may have been thinking) Mobius is Vincent’s third short film that was made on a preproduction Canon camera, after Reverie and Nocturne.

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After watching Laforet’s Mobius, I emailed him to find out his thoughts on all this, but unfortunately he has not replied to my email yet.

Welcome to my world. I feel like I live in the Twilight Zone. As they say…truth is stranger than fiction!

I just wanted to add: I think very highly of Vincent Laforet. I’ve met with him in person and he’s super nice, super friendly. And I really love his work. I just thought it was really funny when this happened. I guess it’s kind of flattering to have someone in his shoes taking ideas from me.

Leave your thoughts on this crazy but true story below!

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6 comments

  1. Sheri Murphy · · Reply

    Dan,
    Isn’t there something you can do, I mean he just can’t get away with stealing your creativeness. Maybe that’s how he came by all his other idea too.

    1. Sheri,

      I understand what you are saying. However, by law you can’t copyright the title of a film. My screenplay Mobius is protected by copyright laws, so he couldn’t go out and film the version of Mobius that I wrote without getting into trouble. But the same does not apply to titles. For example, there are three different feature films called “The Notebook.”

      However, whereas “notebook” is a very common and word and concept that you would expect to be thought of by a number of people, Mobius is a very unique title and concept, and the fact that it was to be a short DSLR film like Reverie (in fact parodying Reverie, a Laforet film), as well as the contact I’ve had with Laforet, would seem perhaps too incredibly random to believe that he just came up with the exact same title on his own. Possible, yes. Probable? Not very. How many words there in the English language? Also, I studied Latin and have a penchant for giving films a Latin, or Latin-sounding title, like Citius for example. While Mobius is a word in English, it is Latin-sounding (ending in “us.”) I gave Citius the title that I did because I wanted to sound similar to Mobius, since it was a tie in with Mobius. (Filmed while location scouting for Mobius.)

      But really Laforet and everyone else out there is free to create as they see fit. Even if he did get the name from me, he hasn’t broken any laws. Who am I to stop someone who gets an idea from me and takes it down a different development road and put a different twist on it? What I really wish, however, is that if that he did get the original title/concept from me, that he would just be honest about it and openly credit me for having created something which perhaps gave him a spark of inspiration which ended up leading him to his version of Mobius.

      I still plan on making Mobius, however, I’m a work in progress, whereas Laforet has obviously gotten father ahead in his career than I. It would be a lot easier for someone like Laforet, who perhaps has access to more resources, to go out and shoot it. (Although I would argue with myself that it is more about making things happen than it is having all the necessary resources to begin with.) My screenplay for Mobius is very ambitious, and requires securing some high profile locations and possibly a helicopter. Right now, I’m just a guy trying to make a living, and I have to put my paying commercial clients ahead of that stuff for the time being. Or maybe I’m just being lazy by not taking on the challenge of finding a way to MAKE it work no matter what. I believe anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Now I just need to swallow my own pill.

  2. Ummmm… you do realize there is a thing called a Möbius strip, which according to the Wiki-ness says, “…a line drawn starting from the seam down the middle will meet back at the seam but at the “other side”” http://goo.gl/aXfA
    If you think about it, that’s kind of exactly what the story of Vincent’s film is about.

    So, maybe he [and/or the actual writers of the film] got the story idea from the Mobius strip, and, strange as it may seem, not from your blog.

    Just sayin’…

    1. Wayne,

      Of course I know what a Mobius strip is; don’t be silly. And obviously Laforet made an attempt to base the plot of his short film off of the Mobius concept. But who gave him the idea to do that in the first place? There are millions and millions of other concepts out there that could be adapted into a short film. What are the odds that he chose the exact same concept I did? If he hadn’t known me, then great I would say it was coincidence. But we had a lengthy back-and-forth email exchange about purchasing his equipment back in February this year. Every email I sent him had my website danielbeanfilms.com in the signature, and the first thing that popped up on my web site back then was my 1 minute film Citius which ends by talking about my film Mobius which I hand’t filmed yet. So chances are, he clicked to check out my web site and watched that 1 minute film.

      Really guys, I seriously could care less if he watched that, thought “Mobius, that’s a cool name/concept” and then got his inspiration from there to go out and make his own interpretation of what Mobius means to him. I know what Mobius means to me, and I still plan on making my film. I actually think that’s pretty cool if he got the inspiration from me. But hey, Vincent, just let me know if that’s what happened so I can at least have a warm fuzzy feeling being the spark that inspired you. Don’t just act too cool for school, as if you are above getting ideas or inspiration from other people. I get ideas and inspiration from other people all the time, but I am not above thanking them or crediting them for the inspiration they gave me. Or maybe Vincent is taking that Picasso quote a little too literally “Great artists steal.” I guess if that’s what he is thinking then yes, he is a great artist.

      When I emailed Vincent about buying his equipment, he always answered immediately, or the same day. I emailed him 10 days ago about Mobius, and he still hasn’t emailed me back. Hmm…

  3. […] it too much before it’s finished someone could beat me to the punchline. (Like happened with Mobius.) So I find myself somewhat constricted to talking about stuff I’ve already made. But what […]

  4. […] to make a no-budget feature, which I shall presently call “M,” for fear of having my film title ripped off again. So stay tuned, more news on Predestination and “M” to […]

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