Exploring the boundary between what is real and what is not

[working title]

Kristi Elliott is surrounded by friends: among them a high school teacher in San Antonio, a university student in Canada, and a mother of four in Seattle. For the past ten months, Kristi has spent a part of every day talking and laughing and sharing her deep love for music with them. This May, she will travel across the country to meet them in person for the very first time.

Kristi Elliott is going to see Radiohead.

This is a proposal for a 30-minute video documentary that follows the journey of one young woman as she meets face to face with the dozens of people that she has met on an Internet message board. They all have one thing in common: their love for the music of Radiohead. But look a little closer, and you’ll see that they share much more than that.

By following Kristi’s footsteps, our film will illustrate that even the largest distances disappear in the face of common experience. That community breeds creativity. That some things are better understood when not seen. That being alone does not always mean being lonely.

This film will emphasize the blurred boundary between what is commonly considered to be 'real', or 'authentic', and what is not. In the end, nothing in the relationships which we intend to investigate here is unreal, or false. You will watch as Kristi’s ‘real’ world collides with her online - or ‘unreal’ – world, and see what happens when she sheds the mask of an Internet username in exchange for something as common and everyday as eye contact.

Most music documentaries focus solely on the musicians. This film is about the impact the music has on the lives of the fans, the communities which have formed as a result of that shared experience, and the interaction between the band and its audience.

Conceived by artists who both understand and are a part of the world they’re documenting, The Gap In Between will present an intimate look at the ways in which music brings people together. We as filmmakers believe that our personal relationship to the subject matter will invest the film with a level of energy and emotion that could not be captured by an outside film crew. But while the point of view is that of a Radiohead fan, this story spans a much broader scope, and addresses two separate phenomena:

1. The relationship between the band and their fans. We want to discover how Radiohead feels about providing a place and context in which thousands of people interact. The band members have taken part in message board conversations and web chats, provided a forum for questions from fans, hosted interactive games, posted online diaries, and conducted live webcasts, all of which allow them to communicate directly with their audience. They have even solicited original material for the Loophole competition and the portion of their website. These efforts have entrenched the band in the virtual community and offered fans a deeper connection to them and their music. We want to find out what the band takes away from these experiences, how much interest they have in being part of the community, and how much ownership they feel in the community which has been built up around them. We want to know if they have a message to send, and if so, if they feel that their fans are receiving it.

2. Online communities. This story is unique to the past decade, because it exists in a world of digital media, wireless networks, and virtual anonymity. We will consider how these communities fit into our daily lives, and the unpredictable consequences that can result when online friendships cross over into ‘real’ life encounters. Despite the apparatus of recent technology on which these relationships depend, it is clear that this story itself—like any great drama—rests on the foundation of all human interaction: communication. Our film will show that, no matter what physical, cultural, or social distances lie between us, art brings people together, often in the most unconventional and unpredictable of ways.

Great stories require great storytellers. We believe that some of the best stories of the past decade can be found in the music and art of Radiohead. Each song, video, and album cover is a carefully crafted reflection of the human landscape. This film will be a window onto a portion of that landscape—the community that surrounds us as filmmakers and fans.