The story is seen through the eyes of one of the bands on the concert tour, a 6-piece called The Visionaries. The two lead singers, Clay and Mary Jean, are attractive, talented, and artistically activist vis-à-vis the fate of society. They espouse the traditional Aquarian values of brotherhood, harmony, peace and love abounding. They are extremely entertaining and with a romantic edge. The Visionaries are all played by actors who can sing and play appropriately, but in large measure are interpreting the soundtrack visually.
The casting of the Visionaries might be done through a TV reality show format in some cases, which would build excitement leading up to the release.
The story begins by following the band as they rehearse and gig in their small midwestern hometown, and then find themselves winners of several “Battle of the Bands” reality show type contests that take them to Chicago and then NYC. From there they are catapulted almost overnight on to a celebrity tour that takes them around the globe to both huge and small stages; from New York to a rainforest concert in Rio, down to Cape Town, up to socially conscious venues in Paris and Moscow, then off to Istanbul, Kabul, Mumbai, and Lhasa (they are booted out of Tibet by the Chinese for cooperating with the audience in a chant to bring back the Dalai Lama), up to fragile Seoul, and then back down to Manila, happy Tonga, before hitting Africa again, and finally culminating in a tumultuous Peace Concert in Tel Aviv.
The message of the “Stop The Madness” tour is neither religious nor political, although famous political and religious figures will be invited to share the stage to offer strictly humanitarian messages. It is neither left nor right, but simply a call for love and brotherhood around the world.
CNN meets Jesus Christ Superstar meets Robert Altman’s Nashville
The songs do tend to tell much of the story impressionistically, in tandem with the gorgeous flow of cinematic images within the music video sequences. Nevertheless, approximately 50% of the film will be traditional storytelling. There will be room for ad-libbing and improvisation, especially during Act II, similar to the groundbreaking techniques used in Altman’s “Nashville”, but more coherent and vital.
TV, radio, and Internet news will occur regularly throughout the film, and in a very authentic portrayal.