Themed Film – Planning

Creating an idea for this film was difficult, because compared to previous briefs this one is very open. We had to immediately agree on the theme that we thought had the most potential because when we tried to do research for all five (walk, fly, swim, edge, mirror) we were overwhelmed, and had too many ideas at once. So we settled on edge, because that brings so many ideas to mind immediately. It makes me think of the edge of the world, the edge of life, the edge of your seat, feeling on edge.

Because getting themes like this leaves you with so much room to let your creativity take over, we didn’t want to go safe or easy and make our film really obviously linked with the word ‘edge’. We thought about taking it literally and making a film that takes place on the edge of something, like a pavement or a table, but we wanted to try and look at the word in a different way. After a bit of discussion we came up with the idea of being “on the edge of a decision”  and as we liked this phrase, we made it our reference for the rest of the film. We imagined a guy, who had lived his life the same way everyday, with the same daily patterns and who stayed safe and quiet in his house. The biggest life-changing decision he could make would be to leave all that behind, break all the routines and patterns he had, and start a new life somewhere else in the world. It’s quite a common thing that people do, because they tire of the mundane lives they are living and crave something different, something exciting. There’s even a series called New Lives in the Wild, which follows people who have done just that. They leave behind council flats, jobs, mortgages and instead move to islands, forests, anywhere they can find that’s as far away from their previous life as possible. Our film would follow the character as he slowly comes closer and closer to making the decision of either staying in his routine life, or leaving it behind and starting again.

The most important thing about our film idea is that we need to introduce as much about the character’s life so far as possible, because we need convey to the audience how big this choice is and how repetitive the character’s life has been up until this point. That’s why we are going to be relying very heavily on Amelie to influence our film. During research we realised how useful narration can be, for example this scene where we meet Bretodeau. Within the first 30 seconds you are fed a lot of information. “Every Tuesday morning Dominique Bretodeau buys a chicken”, “he loves picking the hot carcass with his fingers.” Just from that, we know he is a man of habit, someone who has a very set schedule and a set mind. We know he enjoys simple pleasures, and also, we can assume that he has a childish schoolboy attitude, as eating without cutlery is something a child would do. “But not today.” With only three words, the narration has told you that something big is about to happen to the character, and we know it’s big because whatever it is has to be important enough to cause the character to break his routine. So we can learn from this scene that narration is important, but we can also learn something else. The character needs a good motive. If someone is as set into a routine as our character will be, there needs to be a good reason why they should choose to break it.

Instead of our character just going away out of their own choice, we decided to add in another character, his mum. The mum would be introduced in the same way the parents are introduced in Amelie, so we can show what kind of person she is. she will be a free-spirited, adventurous person who traveled when she was younger, and who is the opposite to her son. Our film will show how she tries to get him to follow in her footsteps and get away from his life, and she will ultimately be the reason he ends up leaving.

Here is the shot list we made for our idea:

  1. wide shot – establishing the front door
  2. Low mid shot – Luke Chance on bed, doing sit ups, feet over the edge
  3. Wide shot – Luke with bird book and a travel brochure, mum peeping through the window (change of focus to show her)
  4. Close up – Luke
  5. close up – mum (narrator saying what mum likes: yoga, knitting, maps)
  6. Over the shoulder shot – Luke pouring cereal & finding a compass in it. Mum behind the door
  7. Low angle mid  -Luke in shower groping for towel and finding a map
  8. Establishing wide shot – the river
  9. Wide shot – Luke on his bike with binoculars & notebook
  10. Portrait high angle shot – Luke looking through binoculars
  11. Establishing shot – river
  12. wide/mid shot – eating trail mix by the river
  13. close shot – trail mix
  14. Close shot – Luke’s face on right side
  15. Close shot – Luke’s face on left side
  16. Zoom – into his face (moment of realisation)
  17. Establishing shot – train station
  18. Tilt shot – Luke at train station with haversack. Turns and smiles at the camera
  19. Zoom – into smile

As well as narration, our research also showed us that we can tell the story visually as well. So we made sure that throughout the film we’ve kept the idea of him being on edge by keeping him close to the edge of things. He’s on the edge of the bed, he stands by the edge of the river, and he stands on the edge of the train platform. He’s putting himself in these places without realsing, to show that this idea of leaving may have been growing in his mind for a while, and his mum, rather than planting the idea in his head, is instead just making him aware of it.

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One Response to Themed Film – Planning

  1. kendalcollegefilm says:

    I think your group had an excellent plan with some great development work and real potential. I’m not sure you totally pulled it off, but that’s part of the learning journey—your research and ideas generation were excellent. I also think you’re right about too many themes. Next year I’m only going to offer students one theme!


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