I suppose it was fate that depicts the outcome, you can say that for almost anything because eventualities are you’re right. Fate is on my side this time, my desired outcome for my creative practice piece has been a rocky road of re-writes, re-casting and re-assembly to name a few of the steps I’ve taken on the road to finish the film.
From the beginning it was intended as a one scene, one shot sequence between man and wife, at Christmas arguing for some unusual reason, that in the twist has the women portrayed as hostile and aggressive and the guy as weak and defensive. Altering the stereotype of gender in couples’ spats. That concept still lives in the final film, it’s the way that it’s told has completely changed.
At first, it was supposed to be, like I said, one scene, one shot. Because of scheduling with actors and locations that changed to filming as an animation, I thought to myself that it would take too much time to learn to animate and to put it into practice, so I’ll stick with live action because I’m better at it. From there it lingered on a few ideas but became an almost flip of the original idea, how about not showing the actors, how about having them read as though it’s a radio drama. The imagery on screen supporting emotion, visually portraying a mood and establishing the scene as if it was after an event that is hinted at in the dialogue.
So there was the idea.
Filming took place over several days, not scheduled but days that I had free. Working through my shot list to capture all the footage I planned to use in the edit. The amount of time on filming was equal to how much time I spent storyboarding them. It was a quick process because I had an idea of what symbolism in imagery that I wanted implementing into the film. The audio was the representation, the footage was symbolistic.
In the edit I became stuck in routine of following the shot list. Something I know isn’t the best thing to do, but then I remember how it feels to lay your soul on the screen and how the first piece of the puzzle are the edges, to give a sense of the pacing, nothing more. So I have an inclination that I should move the clips around and create something with what I have shot, without using the storyboards or shot list. Be free of creative restraint and try to piece the footage together in such a way that fulfils my intentions in the beginning, but also doesn’t stop anything new from developing through creativity.
The end result is accumulative of an idea that was set in stone, but one that changed throughout the production. My choices became, how can I make this look better, how can I make it so that the shot’s I’m picking are going to fit the story, the atmosphere. Everything I used was to effect the narrative without having any characters to identify with visually, except from the fact that you can only hear them and have a basic idea through symbolism that you have an understanding of the drama that has unfolded.
I wanted the music to be the overlaying audio that sets the tone for Christmas, juxtaposing the dialogue. This adds a cheery but melancholy tone to the season in which the film is set in, the lack of disturbing imagery throughout the first two thirds of the film eventually becomes ever more sinister and satanic towards the end, which the music helps to build up by being manipulated to the imagery. Staying the same cheery tune, but edited to extrapolate the feeling of dread and uncertainty, the music becomes hysterical.
The mise-en-scene involved shows the season, the more I could show Christmas the more it would show no matter how happy of a time it can be around the holiday season, weakness in the human condition can be brought into the fray. The destroyed pillows; the innards of the soul. The burning fire that rages through to the very end leaves the viewer with a sense of anger and hatred that the girl is feeling in the narrative. Most everything has a purpose which can be interpreted, and others are there to denote the setting.
The editing in the first half is intense to keep the mood calm and build of curiosity slowly, and completely switches to frantic at the end, the ultimate symbolic support is the use of imagery that cut together rapidly shows an increase in the peculiar nature of what this woman has done. The quick cuts between the same shot only changing the scale and positioning of the clip makes for a ritualistic, montage edit of mysterious imagery relating to the occult, something which connotes the beliefs of the woman changing all of sudden on the most festive of times.
I feel like the story is told in a way that the viewer can interpret from the imagery. They have a choice in how the outcome is perceived. There isn’t an unlimited amount of tangents people can come up with, but the interpretation of the scenarios forms a multitude of endings from many different perspectives.
Wayne Russell –
Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed working on this project. It is totally refreshing to work with someone who a) fully appreciates the importance of sound to any movie of any length and b) someone who clearly is prepared to go that extra mile to achieve his ultimate aim.
Its beginning to sound like a mutual admiration society but it is really rare for Director and actor to be so in tune.
The finished piece has been beautifully shot and edited and its been an all round magnificent experience from start to finish.
I hope to get to work with you again really soon. Happy New Year and thanks for casting me.”
Rhiannon Franks –
“Thank you so much for sending it over.
You’ve done an excellent job! Really impressed with your work.
It’s been great working with you and hopefully we’ll work together again in the future.”