For my treatment I have followed a simple template that I have used before which splits the information into different sections under sub – headings.
Project title and description.
My project currently does not have a name as I have been more focused on my research however once I start my pre production I will begin to think of a film name. The name of my film will be related to the narrative and theme which is domestic abuse. The name I give to my film will also add to the genre as it will sound dramatic and give the audience a type of expectation or imagery when they see / hear it. The genre is a short drama film and it will be between 5 – 10 minutes. The project itself will run from February until May.
My target audience will primarily be people between the ages of 18 – 40+ as the first people to see my short film will be my classmates, tutors and examiners. After my work has been marked I will then upload my short film to YouTube where my target audience will be similar as people of all ages will have access to my video. I would like to set the age rating for my film at 18+ as it will contain sensitive subject matter.
The topic / theme of my short film is domestic abuse and how it can affect a person’s mental health.
The title of my short film is currently untitled.
The tag line is: The past will catch you up as you run faster…
My short film will have a nonlinear narrative and start with a woman running through a street or alley way. The images will be normal and then distorted, the audience will hear her breathing and footsteps and well as ambient outside noise. The film will then flashback to a scene where the woman is with her boyfriend / partner, this is established by their actions and body language. They are both happy and drunk, having returned from a party, this is established by their clothing (fancy) and their body language (dis-coordinated movements, laughing.) The laughing stops as the man grabs the woman too tightly on the arm or wrist and the scene changes back to her running, again the images are distorted and the audience will hear heavy breathing and panting as the woman is out of breath. Another flashback cuts in, this time the man is shown to be on his knees pleading with the woman, she is crying and has a bruised face (eye or cheek.) The film then cuts back to the woman running again, the audience have established that she is running away from the man by this point, however wether this panic has been triggered by a flashback or wether it has happened again recently is unknown. I may include a third flashback, in which the man is stood over the woman threateningly as she cowers. The woman will then stumble as she runs and falls, huddling herself against a wall for protection and to catch her breath. The woman is obviously scared. A stranger sees her and approaches her, placing his hand near or on her shoulder he asks “you ok love?” This sends the woman into her final flashback, in which she sees her abuser grabbing her and saying the same words but in an aggressive tone. She sees the stranger as the abuser and reaches for a nearby object (a rock) and strikes out at the man, as she cannot tell the difference in her fear and disorientated mental state. The stranger falls and is badly injured, another person or people has / have witnessed this and an ambulance has been called (off screen, audience may hear someone asking for 999) the woman is pulled from her flashback and is shaking and crying as sirens are heard in the background.
Characters and Backstories.
My film will have 3 main characters: the woman, the abusive man and the male stranger. I will also have two or more extras during the final scenes. The characters will remain nameless as none of them refer to each other by name. They will all be within the age range of 25 – 40 and the actors do not need to be of a specific race. The backstory for my film will be explained partially through the flashbacks, the audience will not see how the abuse starts but the first flashback is a clue that is happens more frequently when the man is intoxicated. The second flashback shows the man is manipulative and emotionally abusive as he is trying to plead with the woman and beg her to forgive him by apologising and sweet – talking her. The third flashback shows that the abuse continued and that the woman lives in fear of the man and the fourth flashback shows how easily her flashbacks can be triggered and the effect the abuse has had on her mental health and wellbeing.
- Lighting – My indoor scenes will be lit using the dedo lighting kit as I will need to adjust the light in the room depending on the scene and natural lighting provided in each room. I will not be using lighting for my outdoor scenes.
- Camera movements – I will use a variety of shots including: wide shots, mid shots, close ups, tracking shots, a p.o.v shot and an over the shoulder shot. I will also distort footage during editing to represent the victim characters distorted mental state.
- Editing – The editing software I will use is PremierPro. The editing process will be spread over a number of days. I will cut in flashback scenes with the main narrative and use different tools or footage to include sound effects and distorted – looking footage.
- Setting – The main narrative of my film will be set in the present, the flashback scenes will obviously be set in the past (a few months / weeks before the main narrative.) I will film in an indoor location, a house and an outdoor location, an alleyway.
- Actors – I will have two main actors, a male and female who will play the couple characters in my film. My third actor will be the stranger, who approaches the woman in the end of the main narrative.
- Props – The props I will use for my film are a fake brick or bottle, fake blood and a bruise palette (makeup.)
- Costume – I do not have costumes for my characters, however my two main characters will have two – three outfit changes for the flashback scenes as they will all be at different times in the relationship.
- Foley – The use of sound effects is important in my film as they will add to the dark atmosphere of it, build the feeling of tension for be audience and reflect my characters state of mind. For my main narrative I will use lots of heavy breathing sound effects and heavy footfalls. In my flashback scenes I will use the sound of a phone receiving a text message.
- Ambient Sound – I will use lots of ambient sound in my film, especially in the outdoor scenes.
- Music – I am currently looking into obtaining the rights to use the song I Know by Placebo in my film as the lyrics partly inspired the idea for my film and will be parallel to what is happening on screen. During the last flashback scene, and the end of the main narrative I will use dark, tension building music to create an uncertain and tense atmosphere.
I have chosen to make a short film for my final project because I enjoy making these types of films and think that I am good at developing ideas for short films which, with enough research and planning, develop into good videos. I chose drama as the genre as my favourite types of films to watch are gritty dramas or thrillers. The theme of my film will be domestic abusive and was inspired by a line in a Placebo song titled ‘ I Know. ‘ I have made the line the tag line for my film and have been looking into licensing to include it in some scenes.
I think this project is a good choice for my fmp as it will be challenging to create however I think that it is feasible and will not push me over my limits. The idea requires extensive research which will take up a lot of my time for this project however it will still leave time for other parts such as filming and editing as research is an ongoing process as I will always be developing my ideas until I begin filming. The end result will be a short drama film that is interesting, creative and also raises awareness of domestic abuse and the effects it can have on the victim.
Primary and Secondary Research.
My primary research will start with me looking at the facts and statistics of domestic abuse towards women in the UK so that I will have a better understanding of the subject and will be able to provide these facts either in my film or my blog as part of raising awareness for the subject. I will also be looking into local organisations that deal with the subject and see if they are willing to give me any information, or perhaps an interview as part of my contextual research. I will then create a survey and distribute it within my peer group and friend groups in order to receive feedback on my ideas and input on what I could include or improve on. Before filming I will conduct a location reccé and risk assessment to see if there are any issues with where I want to film and if anything can be done to overcome these issues.
For my secondary research I will be analysing a variety of media and creative art and design work including films, tv clips, art and photography to see how the subject of domestic abuse is portrayed in different means of work. I will mainly be analysing films, tv clips and adverts to get an idea of the shot types I will use, the lighting I will use and the dialogue used between characters. I will start my secondary research by analysing the films I included in my pitch: 6 Years (2015) directed by Hannah Fidell, Murdered By My Boyfriend (2014) directed by Paul Andrew Williams and Defending Our Lives (19930 directed by Margaret Lazarus.
I will also do technical research which falls into both primary and secondary. The primary technical research I will do includes workshops with a tutor on lighting, filming techniques and editing. The secondary technical research includes looking at lighting and how I can light an outdoor location, how to use different lenses or camera settings to give my film a distorted look and how to make the props I will need for my film.
Requirements and Resources.
- Hayley Dean (me.) – Camera Operator / Director.
- Emma Newell – Assistant Camera Operator
- Louise Howarth – Lighting and Audio tech.
- Niamh Mahoney (woman)
- Chris Short (man)
- Oliver Moore (stranger)
- Canon XA10
- Lighting kit
- Fig Rig
- Indoor House Setting – Sudell Road, Darwen.
- Outdoor Alley Setting – Kings Road, MillHill, Blackburn.
Constraints and Contingency.
Although my project is feasible, I will face some issues when planning, producing and editing my film. One issue is that I may run out of time to complete my project, however this can be avoided by creating weekly time planners and setting deadlines for different parts of the project.
Another issue I could have is not being able to find actors, or having my actors drop out later on. To solve this I will need to start looking for actors early on in the project, and look for stand – ins should my actors be unavailable later.
I will also face technical issues in the filming and editing process, which can be solved by thorough research and planning. The first issue is making the audience aware that the flashback scenes are flashbacks, this can be solved with secondary research into how to use editing software to do this. The second issue is how to make my film appear distorted in some parts, which I would like to do by using the Canon 700D camera and baby or pancake lens. However this equipment may not be available so I will be doing secondary research on how to create this effect in post production and experiment with using a slow shutter speed as I have been told this could help. Lighting is another technical issue, as one of my locations is outside and may need to be lit if it is dark. This can be solved by filming in natural daylight or by using battery powered lights and reflectors to highlight a person or object.
Legal and Ethical Considerations.
The legal issues I will need to consider are the rights to use part of the song I Know by Placebo in my short film, which I want to do as it partly inspired the idea and relates to my narrative. I will need to do secondary research into how / if I can get the rights to use the song and proceed from there.
The budget for my film will be £20, this will cover travel costs for my cast and includes food and drink provided on set. The budget may increase depending on wether I obtain (and pay for) the rights to use a song in my film.