Planning Documents

Script

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Narrative Inspiration

Click is a 2006, comedy-drama, science fiction film. It is about a man who is able to control his life with a remote control, it leads to him then skipping big parts of his life and missing out on actually living.

The reason I am looking at this film is because I am inspired by the narrative structure. At the start he falls asleep in an apartment store and then the whole story of the film takes place. However the twist ending is that he then wakes up again in the apartment store and the whole thing was a dream. From watching this film it has really inspired my story and what I want to do in my film, its going to be very similar.

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Below is my final storyline of what I want to create and my idea.

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Film Review – Dunkirk

For my dads birthday we decided to go to the cinema to see the drama/thriller film Dunkirk. I have recently been studying WW1 in English so this film was very beneficial for looking at the war aspects as well as the technical side.

It is a war film about the soldiers who were stuck at Dunkirk waiting for a miracle in order to cross the sea before the enemy completely close in on them. The film shows the perspectives from the land, sea and air, three different perspectives of men all experiencing the harshness of war. We see soldiers desperately trying to get onto a boat but even when doing so, getting blown up and sinking. The film included constant drama and shocking twists.

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There are some amazing special effects in the film which, as a media student, I just could not get my head around how it was completed. Whilst my family were engulfed into the story, I was sat questioning all the editing and technical aspects to it, it was truly incredible. This is the trailer for the film below where you can see a bit about what I mean. The angles on the boats and the fires are all shot so well.

 

The director, Christopher Nolan, also directed Memento and Inception which are 2 of my most favourite films, he has a very intricate and creative mind which I really admire.

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I really enjoyed this film, the storyline was extremely captivating and the acting also made it realistic and shocking to watch. I had high expectations for this film and I wasn’t at all disappointed. I am just looking forward to the next film that Christopher Nolan directs, I am also now going to watch other films he’s directed because I have come to realise that I am very fond of his work.

Drama Directors

I wanted to do some research into successful and famous directors of drama films and consider why they are successful.

Josh Boone is the director of the ever so popular romance-drama film, ‘The Fault in our Stars’. Before this film he had experience writing and directing his own film ‘Stuck in Love’ and had many, not as popular films, before he got this big break. What makes this film so popular is the realism. Josh Boone said, its not like a lot of ‘young  Adult’ films which include magic and vampires but it tells a very important story.

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Another successful director is James Cameron, director of the well known film ‘Titanic’. When looking at both of these films I realise that the stories are real, they are inspired or recreate real events which took place, I think this is important for a drama film and is something I want to do. I want to create something that my audience can relate to.

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Being a director is a very challenging job, all the decisions are on you, if the film isn’t good then the director often does get blamed. From looking at these directors I also realise that the story is important in order to make the ideas come alive, having a clear thought out plan is essential to creating any film.

Target Audience Research – Survey

Before I start making any planning documents or finalising any details about my short film it is essential to do some research into what my target audience enjoy and expect from a drama short film. I decided it would be easy to collect this information in an online survey.

On my survey I got 109 responses so I can now get a really good idea about what my target audience would like to see in my film, this will be very helpful with my future planning and filming.

As you can see below, my target audience would be teenagers who use social media and relate to the issues in my short film so by using social media to advertise my survey I was able to get the right audience to complete it.

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The first question about the film was to ask what they’re favourite sub-genre of drama is.  The results I got are all pretty even so I think I could use any of these sub-genres in my short film. This result isn’t what I was expecting as the 100 people who completed my survey were all very similar so I expected them all to have the same response, however I wasn’t sure which one it would be.

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I then questioned what sub-theme would be best and the most popular was mental health which is what I was expecting as it is a very common suffering amongst my target audience which isn’t talked about enough. I want to include mental health aspects into my short film, not directly but subtly implied with the character.

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The next question was important, most short films I have looked at have a closed narrative but I was unsure wether or not my target audience would want this in a film as other endings could also make the film work really well. However, closed narrative was the most popular. This was a surprise as I though my target audience would like the mystery of anon narrative, I was obviously wrong.

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The next question is pretty even between the answers, I think this will be a case of what actor I believe is best for the role.

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The next two questions confirm for me that some elements I was thinking of using in my short film are definitely going to be effective. An unnerving silence and breaking the forth wall will more than likely be used.

The final question was a brainstorm of ideas for the name for my short film, the most popular was “Escape” and “Escape Reality”. However, I also added an “other” option where someone came up with the idea “User: Online” which I also really like and I may use, I can’t currently make a final decision for this.

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After doing this survey I have discovered a lot about my target audience and what they expect in my short film. The survey has allowed me to brainstorm title ideas which is a very important aspect of the short film.

Research Summary

I have now watched many different types of short films so I think I have a good idea of the common codes and conventions of drama short films.

The short films, more often than not, had simple white text which was used for the titles however most of the films didn’t actually display the title of the film on screen at any time, I prefer the ones which did do this. This short film ‘The Return” had the titles at the bottom of the screen which I think worked really well for telling this story but I think I would prefer to put my titles on a black screen at the start of the film, like in the film “Break Free” except the titles was put at the end of this short film.

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I also noticed that the short films all had only a few characters, or sometimes even only one character which is typical of all short films, as an audience we want to feel connected to the characters and its harder to do this if there is a vast amount of characters in a short time. Most short films were 5-7 minutes long.

Some drama short films had twists at the end such as “Love at First Sight” or “Alone time”, the twists both created different effects on an audience from comedy to shock, but both worked really well for the storyline. However, I really enjoyed the majority of films which had a closed narrative. I am going to do target audience research in order to find out what my viewers would prefer to see as the ending.

The shots in the short films were very varied from close ups to long shots, there was a large range so I think I am going to use my own judgement on this matter.

I also did a lot of research looking at different drama film posters. They were all quite different as I didn’t see a trend in use of colours, however the colour schemes all related to the films content whether it be light, calm colours or dark and gloomy like in “The Woman in Black” which is a thriller, drama.

I really like the colours and text contrast in this poster for the film “Loving”. The picture used in the poster also represents a lot about the film and this is something I want to do in my poster. This is similar to the LaLaLand poster which has a soft blue sky with white writing, I think the colours go together really well.

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I also plan to create a website for my short film so it was essential that I analyse websites in order to establish what is successful in a website as well as whats essential to include. Some websites were quite simple with just the trailer and options to buy the film however the majority of websites had many different pages which included a lot more information about the film and made it more interactive for a visitor.

 

 

Sky Work Experience

I was recently lucky enough to get a work experience placement at Sky. I was shadowing a man who worked in the Sky Sports section of the studios and I spent the day watching him do his work which involved getting clips of sport putting them in folders for the next people to use and alter, it was very confusing but extremely interesting. The room was filled with what seemed like about a hundred people all who worked on one TV channel. Live TV was just a few meters from where I was sitting all day, I was shocked about how close I could get to the presenter and how real everything was there.

This isn’t the exact studios but I was sat in one like this working behind the presenter.

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At the end of the day I also got a tour of all the buildings where I got to see the set of ‘Thronecast’ as well as seeing where BBC News is filmed. It was very interesting and shocking that I was able to get so close to everything that I am so used to just seeing on TV.

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The day was very beneficial for getting an idea of the atmosphere for a workplace which I would like to work in, in the future.

Everything, Everything – Website

Everything, Everything is a new drama film which only came into cinemas a couple of weeks ago. I had previously read the book so knew the storyline of the film and wasn’t expecting much from the film as the film of a book never seems to live up to the standards in your head. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how this film was made and really enjoyed it.

It is about a young girl who is allergic to everything so can’t leave her house, thats until she meets a boy who moved in next door and runs away with him, she sacrifices her life for one day of freedom.

The website is very blue, as expected, as the girl in the film is obsessed with the sea so this matches that theme. The ellipsis in the tagline “Risk Everything… For Love” makes it very dramatic, much like the film. It also gives us an insight into what the film is about. The layout is quite simple with a big advertisement at the top and you can simply scroll down to view the trailer.

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The navigation was in a side bar menu which had options to go to many different places. It was bright blue which matches the film aesthetic and allows a visitor to easily navigate the website. I like how the menu comes out of the side, I think this works well.

The website, like most websites, has the trailer, the synopsis, an option to buy the film, however, it also has something which I haven’t seen before which was ‘My Everything, Everything” so I decided to look at this.

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In this section of the website it asks you to log into Instagram to create your own ‘Everything, Everything’ and it then creates a collage of your pictures along with the title of the film. After doing this you can then share it on social media. This is a very clever way of advertising the film, its modern and I really enjoyed it. This makes the website very interactive and enjoyable for a viewer.

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Argo – Website

Argo is a historical drama film released in 2012. It is about an operation to rescue six americans, it is a life or death situation which makes the film very tense especially as the audience is aware that it is based on true events.

The home page has the dramatic red title, the red signifies the danger in the film. The text is sans serif which emphasises the danger and action in the film, theres no sophistication. This is also emphasised by the black background which allows the text to stand out. When entering the website the trailer starts playing immediately so the viewer becomes pulled into the video with the intention to then get them to want to watch the film. The awards are also displayed to the left of the homepage to imply that this film is very good. The layout is interesting as the trailer overlaps the awards but this just allows us to be drawn to watch the trailer.

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The website has many different pages in order for us to learn more about the film, when on a page the lettering turns red which continues the theme of the website and the film. The pages are located at the top of the page which makes it very clear to see and click to get to each page which you want to see.

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This page has the synopsis of the film on it along with a picture from the film of a man looking very worried and scared. His body language contradicts this as he is standing tall and strong, trying to be brave. The red background for the text matches the colour scheme of the film across all aspects it, signifying danger.

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The website allows the viewer to find out all about the film before making the decision as to wether to see it or not. The website is used to advertise the film and push us into seeing it. I quite liked this website and its layout, the controls and menus are modern and different to other websites which made the visiting experience enjoyable.