Tuesday, February 21, 2012

First finished shots

Here are two finished shots for my film, I'm using the process I used to make these two as the template for all of the rest of the scenes so getting these just right took a while. The pipeline for my film had been a bit ridiculous until now.

Thursday, December 8, 2011



Right, haven't updated in a while, so here's the 2nd rough draft of my film. It is completely different than my first draft. For the better I think. I'm really enjoying where its going but the end in particular needs a lot of work.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Actor

Here's the (nearly) finalised designs for my protagonist. A classmate suggested that I should change the geometrical nose as the rest of the character is very organic. Made a lot of sense and I hadn't considered it before. So the nose has to be changed. Also the light in the film will cause the characters colours to change, thats why there are several colour experiments.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My film has finally settled itself

Whoa. I’ve had a head melting couple of weeks. I've re-hashed my film about 6 or 7 times to try and make it feel right. I think I might have just gotten it right.
A weird thing happened.
I'd have an idea that would be just about right and someone would say to me "But what about this?..." and go on to point out something about the setting or the character that I had not considered before. So, I'd change the film to make that element fit. The same would happen with someone else's advice or my own edits and tweaks. It got to the point where I had a particular 'bit' of the film that was relevant three iterations ago, but didn't make sense anymore. Or the setting would change. Or the sound design now didn't make sense.
All of this was happening as I was considering visual design and film language too so that added to the jumble of elements I was thinking about and affected the story. This kept going until I settled on an idea I liked. Something that felt right. A story I thought I could relate to and knew I would enjoy working on. But there was one particular thing that I would have to fix that I didn’t want to have to deal with. I went so far as to change the story again. And only after a slap-myself-in-the-face-moment I reverted to the story I liked. This isn’t the film I first wanted to make, it’s not the story I wanted to tell, but I think it’s the right film to make. It feels far more organic and different than I thought it would be. But this change in approach could help me get over the intellectual side of the film making process.
Anyway, the following is the first rough draft of the film I will be making...you know, with a tweak here and there.

The protagonist, an actor, is on stage waiting for the audience to stop cheering. They interrupt him almost like static. Colours, noise and patterns of movement form them. He tries to perform but they don’t seem to listen at all. Applauding just as he is about to act or deliver a punch line. The camera reveals an applause box that the audience are watching, not the actor. He begins to get agitated and nervous. He mops his brow, shaking, dropping things. He even seems to give up and tries to walk off stage. But someone in the crowd catches his attention. A muted character, in sound and colour. They lock eyes with him and look around the audience. Sitting back they wait for the actor to perform. She asks with body language for the actor to perform. He gestures to them all as being impossible to control and fed up she rises to leave. He quickly steps forward and accidentally blurts out “Wait!”. The audience suddenly stop and stare at him. She sits and waits for him to perform. He begins to perform and as he impresses her the audience become quieter and lose colour which makes them more focused on him, and more like real people, breaking out of their trances. While they become quieter the actor gains in confidence and fully bares himself to the girl who now is the only person in the crowd who is somewhat brighter than the others. She will stand and applaud as the actor realises he has finally received what he has wanted. A connection with someone in the audience and a realised performance.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Productive Day

Weird kind of day for my film...its been analysed by five or six quite different people over the last few days, including a few of my tutors. Got interesting advice and insights to how I need to shape it and aim it. The big problem so far has been the uncertainty I have with exactly what it is I want to say with this character in this world.

The problem being that I focused on the design of the character and setting so much and developed them to the point where the story isn't really a story - its a character in a world and things happen without any underlying reason or coherency.

Someone gave me some very good advice recently - the story should dictate exactly who the character is and you should have no doubts about his motivations (especially when you want to make a performance heavy project like I'm trying to). And that character should then define the world he occupies.

So how I've been approaching the film has been completely wrong.

In the last three days the story has gone through more changes than it has all Summer and all last year if I'm honest. The design of the character and the world I've been clinging to has to go so I can focus on what the character needs to be and look like instead of trying to force a character and attitude onto a character design that wont be able to achieve what is needed.

I am certain of one thing though - he needs a beard.

I made this widget at MyFlashFetish.com.

First Draft Synopsis

This is the first rough draft of the film I wrote this morning, I have been having a lot of trouble working out the goal of the film. With a lot of help from classmates and friends to bounce ideas off of I think this draft is just what I was trying to get at with Stagefright. After finding exactly what it is I want to say with the film, the title will definitely be changed. It isn't really about overcoming the fear like older drafts were. It's about expression, and the difficulty of doing so and the bravery needed to bare yourself like the actor is trying to do.

The film is about an actor who is not satisfied with his own performance and lack of real connection with the audience. He gets applause for his routine but it never feels right; it never feels like he has earned it.
During his usual performance he hesitates, falters and stops and a kind of visual metaphor takes over. He acts as if the audience are not there, pacing the stage and feeling his way through the balances and nuances of the performance, stopping to think and consider his actions. The performance will be a silent personal physical response to his frustration.
As he moves about the stage the audience will be ever present and will move as one, recoiling from his frustration, drawing in close scrutinizing his mistakes, flowing back and forth as he paces. The audience react more to this genuine struggle than to anything he has performed.
He reaches a point where he has no other choice but to face the audience again and as he turns to confront them he is washed over by the looming audience. He fights and struggles at first but finally adapts and sees a glimpse of the connection he could be making before being washed off of the stage. Both the actor and audience have disappeared we are left with an empty theatre and unsure of the ambiguous fate of the actor.