In Progress: The Greener Grass

"The grass is always greener on the other side", suggests both our better nature as well as our darker impulses. Inspired by a chain of characters seeking ever-greater horizons, we plunge into a flow of human yearning and aspiration.

What is this human desire to want more? Why do we always strive and need? And what does the striving, wanting, needing have to do with the conditions that we live in, our desire to conquer, our capacity for dreaming, creation and invention - or our inevitable death? These questions are the foundation for a project that will culminate in a 6-part TV and web series which daisy-chains the lives of distinct characters into an exploration of human yearning and aspiration.

"The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" is a proverb which we rarely consider deeply. But a version of it exists in languages and cultures around the world, speaking to the universality of our impulse.

The proverb makes use of fundamentals of Nature – nourishment, growth and survival. As powerful as those drives are, they can also be destructive. The grass is always greener suggests both our better nature as well as our darker impulses. We are highly social creatures, also susceptible to envy, greed, or blindness to what we already have.

The series mechanism of The Greener Grass is simple – a daisy-chain. Each episode will explore the particular world and characteristics of two intriguing individuals. During each portrait we will ask the subjects, “What other life would you like to live?” Or, “Where would you like to be?” Or, “What does the grass is always greener suggest to you?”

If they say an African hunter gatherer living in a society without violence, an astrophysicist exploring interstellar space, a Buddhist monk meditating in a mountain cave, even a member of the opposite sex, or in the case of Peter Mettler’s 90 year-old mother, a California surfer, we will travel to visit that surfer or monk, explore their life, and ask them the same questions. As the chain grows, an associative network evoking the human condition emerges.

Now in development, we are establishing themes, teams, strategies and possible trajectories. The series production will be strategized but not scripted. It will be shot in cinema verité style, catching people’s lives as they unfold, graced with insightful observation and deft, poetic qualities.

It is our goal that this daisy-chain of yearning and aspiration, will generate an awareness of human commonality. The question: Is the grass really greener on the other side? will never be far from the viewer’s mind, along with the possibility that while dreams power the human imagination, we also flourish when we open our eyes to the present moment.

6 X 50 min

  Peter Mettler

Peter Mettler

Known for “The innovation and audacity of his work, his dedication to the cinematic art form, and his ability to conjure up images that remain permanently etched in one's mind"- (Piers Handling TIFF Director). Mettler bridges the gap between experiment, narrative, personal essay and documentary, engaging in a range of artistic activities, internationally recognized with awards and retrospectives.

Becoming Animal, 2018
The End of Time, 2012
Gambling, Gods and LSD, 2002

  Stephanie Barbey

Stephanie Barbey

MA from London School of Economics and Political Sciences. Studies documentary film at Ateliers Varan, Paris. Since 2006 associate at Intermezzo Films.

Traces, currently in development
Broken Land, 2014
Magic Radio, 2007

 Isabella Salas

Isabella Salas

Isabella has made a full round in the creative industry for the past 16 years.

Reinventing herself alongside technological advances, her experience reaches from features—factual and fiction, web and mobile content, animation and large scale video creation for live shows.

Anticosti - Vice Essentials, 2015
Burgundy Jazz, 2014
Come Worry With Us, 2013

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