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View Full Version : My short film idea-HELP PLEASE!



payne45
02-17-2014, 09:19 AM
I'm making a short film for my film studies coursework, here is the general gist of it:

My film will be a surreal/avant garde film and the basic concept is that a teenaged boy finds an old film camera and when he looks through the lens things appear differently to 'reality'. E.g. if he aimed it at a clock and looked through the viewfinder, the hands might move quicker,he may see people who aren't there, he might see a sock on his floor and when the camera is on it, it moves (through stop motion), cutting meat at dinner he may see blood coming out of it and it moving (homage to eraserhead). the short film 'ghosts before breakfast' is the kinda thing we're aiming for when it comes to stop motion.
There will also be a nightmare scene using my underwater camera where the protagonist dreams he's being pulled underwater by one of the mysterious figures he sees through the lens.

I'd make it clear when he's looking through the viewfinder through after effects on final cut pro. However...i cannot think of an interesting ending to the film as it doesn't have a typical story narrative, it just kind of interesting, surreal shots. Any ideas would be appreciated and any general opinions :)

Littlemonkey
02-17-2014, 09:32 AM
It could be that the boy is transported into the cameras world and he can't get out or he wants to stay there and when he looks through the camera there everything is normal to him. That could happen when he wakes up from the water scene or if he takes a picture or something.
Or you could end it on the water/nightmare scene.
Good luck with it

filmmaker6563
02-17-2014, 10:05 AM
Complete non-sense and madness. Avant Garde doesn't have to be clean and wrapped up nicely, it can just be complete chaos.

Vance Baryn
02-17-2014, 08:53 PM
Complete non-sense and madness. Avant Garde doesn't have to be clean and wrapped up nicely, it can just be complete chaos.

I disagree with this, actually. Avante garde is not a synonym for nonsensical. Avante garde art is often more complex or obscured in its themes than pop art, and that can lead to people not understanding it and then thinking that it is nonsensical. And there are some people out there who make nonsense and try to pass it off as avante garde art...

But not having a point does not make your art avante garde. It just makes it pointless.

filmmaker6563
02-18-2014, 01:42 AM
I disagree with this, actually. Avante garde is not a synonym for nonsensical. Avante garde art is often more complex or obscured in its themes than pop art, and that can lead to people not understanding it and then thinking that it is nonsensical. And there are some people out there who make nonsense and try to pass it off as avante garde art...

But not having a point does not make your art avante garde. It just makes it pointless.

Sometimes art can be pointless. Sometimes forms of surrealistic art are layers upon layers of complex systems of stunning visuals or beautiful sounds that amount to... nothing. Perhaps seemingly-nonsensical art is made so that the viewer can pick apart and examine the art to find meaning in it themselves? Perhaps the artist just made the work because that is what he/she was feeling. Perhaps there wasn't a message or theme, he/she just wanted to express what they felt. David Lynch bases many of his works off of well, whatever he's thinking! Sometimes his films get hectic and nonsensical and chaotic, but that doesn't mean it's pointless. Eraserhead defied the basic structure of telling a story, and creating a unique experience with a style that no other film has ever come close to.

This could be what the OP could do. Express his emotions, thoughts, or current state, or a collection of tones from everything seen in the film, and bring it all together to create a hectic and wild experience.

a·vant-garde
ˌavänt ˈgärd,ˌaväN/Submit
noun
1.
new and unusual or experimental ideas, esp. in the arts, or the people introducing them.
"works by artists of the Russian avant-garde"


Now, seeing that we can say that avant-garde is "new, unusual, or experimental", I believe it's safe to say that you don't have to follow rules. You don't necessarily have to follow a clean structure, you don't even have to tell a story. You can experiment with a visual style, and have strange audio design.

By the end of the film, as the story is growing and evolving, perhaps he could break any sort of structure, pattern, or theme, and just do whatever he wants with it. If there's a theme behind the film, he could just bring all of the elements together to form an intense and ever-growing mountain of visual and sound intensity through chaos and nonsense.

I'm not saying to make something pointless, but to ignore all of the rules and normal story structures when you have the chance to do whatever you want. Play around with it and make complete madness if you want to.

Vance Baryn
02-18-2014, 03:04 AM
Sometimes art can be pointless.
No it can't. I would go so far as to classify anything pointless as not art by definition.


Sometimes forms of surrealistic art are layers upon layers of complex systems of stunning visuals or beautiful sounds that amount to... nothing.
No they aren't. If it is indeed art, there is something there that it amounts to. It doesn't have to be a story. It can be an emotion, a state of being, a shape, a color, a rhythm. The point can be all kinds of things, but if it is to be considered art, it cannot be nothing. (unless the point is actually to somehow represent nothingness, in which case again, it amounts to something which is a representation of nothing.)


Perhaps seemingly-nonsensical art is made so that the viewer can pick apart and examine the art to find meaning in it themselves?
This isn't art. This is just laziness on the part of the "artist." Unless the point of the art is to demonstrate the differences in human perception, in which case there is a point; It's not nonsense.


Perhaps the artist just made the work because that is what he/she was feeling. Perhaps there wasn't a message or theme, he/she just wanted to express what they felt.
Then the point of the art is to capture that feeling. It is not nonsense. The theme is the feeling being expressed.


David Lynch bases many of his works off of well, whatever he's thinking! Sometimes his films get hectic and nonsensical and chaotic, but that doesn't mean it's pointless. Eraserhead defied the basic structure of telling a story, and creating a unique experience with a style that no other film has ever come close to.

This could be what the OP could do. Express his emotions, thoughts, or current state, or a collection of tones from everything seen in the film, and bring it all together to create a hectic and wild experience.

a·vant-garde
ˌavänt ˈgärd,ˌaväN/Submit
noun
1.
new and unusual or experimental ideas, esp. in the arts, or the people introducing them.
"works by artists of the Russian avant-garde"


Now, seeing that we can say that avant-garde is "new, unusual, or experimental", I believe it's safe to say that you don't have to follow rules. You don't necessarily have to follow a clean structure, you don't even have to tell a story. You can experiment with a visual style, and have strange audio design.

By the end of the film, as the story is growing and evolving, perhaps he could break any sort of structure, pattern, or theme, and just do whatever he wants with it. If there's a theme behind the film, he could just bring all of the elements together to form an intense and ever-growing mountain of visual and sound intensity through chaos and nonsense.

I'm not saying to make something pointless, but to ignore all of the rules and normal story structures when you have the chance to do whatever you want. Play around with it and make complete madness if you want to.

I think you have misunderstood what I was saying a bit. You said before that avant garde film can be "Complete non-sense and madness" or "complete chaos." Those are statements that I disagree with. You seem to think it follows that I believe avant garde films have to follow traditional narrative story structures.

Rather what I said was that the film does actually have to have a point. Avant garde films play with "new, unusual, or experimental ideas." Have those ideas very clear in your head before making anything avant garde or you run the risk of making something that is not avant garde but rather just silly. What is new in the movie? What is unusual? What exactly is the experiment? ...and most importantly of all: why? If you have no answer to "why?" you probably shouldn't make the film.

EDIT: as an additional note, I will mention that years ago, when I was going through film school, I did make a quite a few films that were completely pointless. At the time, I considered them to be avant garde. I do understand the type of thinking you are putting forth here. I have just come to realize that thinking is mistaken. In fact, my "avant garde" films from my film school days were just bad films. That's all there is to it. They were bad because there was no reason for them to exist and no reason for anyone to waste time watching them.