It just started with the title. Just a silly little play on words – I have more but I won’t share them here in case I plan to make a habit of it but this was the one that stuck with me the most. There’s just something patently ridiculous about flying scarecrows (hence the ‘AIR’ for those who haven’t caught up yet!) that it just needed to be explored. But yeah, once the title was there, the whole thing arrived fully formed really.
It did go through a few incarnations though. Originally, it would have been a feature and tonally would have been a bit different – not massively but it would have more resembled Texas Chain Saw Massacre with flying scarecrows than it does now. The scarecrows would have been a bit more calculating – the victims would have just been driving through the country when a cow was just dropped onto the car, destroying the car but not harming the people inside but leaving them with no easy way to get out of the area. Problem with the feature is that it would have taken a lot longer to sort out and scAIRcrows isn’t paying anyone (as much as I’d really love to) and I didn’t want to piss on people’s good will with a protracted production schedule. Plus, I don’t think it could have been effectively realised on the budget we currently have.
So then it was just going to become one or two scenes from the feature that we could use as a way of getting interest and hopefully some sort of backing to do the idea justice. That wasn’t really a viable idea however – I weren’t really too comfortable putting my own money into something that was incomplete by design.
So, following along those lines, the best way to do the idea justice was to create a fake trailer. Just something where I would be bound by the loosest of narratives but able to throw in a lot of outlandish stuff in a short space of time. And again, hopefully get that interest in furthering the concept somehow.
That idea I still like but like shooting two scenes from a feature, it didn’t really feel like something that I wanted to be left with if I didn’t hook anyone.
Really, it had to be a short in the end. Which, at the moment, is possibly the best format for flying scarecrows to make their debut – if the worst happens they at least won’t outstay their welcome.
It’s a long short, the script runs at 27 pages which is longer than I would’ve liked but I felt that it needed characters that you follow rather than just scene after scene of scarecrow mayhem. It does feel like there’s more going on than just mindless slaughter which I felt was important – the scarecrows bring a greater sense of threat with them if you (hopefully) care about the people in the film.
And the story in a nutshell – four friends are idling a day away in the park whilst flying scarecrows are making their way across the park, killing everyone in their path. Inevitably, the two groups meet and the results won’t be pretty.