About this project
Production design is the biggest expense of this film. Because the story takes place in a fictional art deco, german expressionist world of the 1930s and 1940s, art direction and set construction is a must. The flats that will be used can not just be plain painted walls. Molding will have to be added to give a certain look to the world. Also to differentiate between the two characters, their respective areas will mimic there personalities in the film. I.E. The Giver represents life and hope, so there will be positives on his side of the office with the addition of light to make him look saintly. The Taker represents Death, and there will be a sense of doom on his side of the office mixed with a dark atmosphere and an ominous tone.
In the office, a window looks out onto the world below and the results of what happens in the office is seen below. This is where the green screen will be used, to later insert historical footage in the window in post. There will also be a life and death scale that sways towards life or death to mimic what is happening in the window. In the film, death will be a big part of the scale, but will sway towards life as well when hope is present.
Also, the costumes must accentuate this period as well. 3 piece suits will be worn to give that office look from films such as His Girl Friday and Casablanca. The Taker will be dressed in a disheveled suit while the Giver will be dressed in an extremely clean and tailored new suit. The Giver will be pure, while the Taker will be mismatched in a sense, looking as if he in fact were death itself. This will be achieved with special ghostly make up to make it look like he is dying.
SInce I want this film to have the look of a film from the 1930s or 40s, a Fisher 20 jib arm will be used to better utilize dolly shots, panning shots, and tilting shots. This will show the often monotonous routine of what working in an office emphasizes. With the movement of the dolly and jib combined together, the movement of the piece will be like a play where the life and death characters are constantly battling one another, moving back and forth, shifting the action, and eventually ending with the life character killing himself, which will teach death a lesson, about the true nature of life and death. To add to how the film opens, the Taker will also have the opportunity to revive death.
One big expense of this film will be the use of a life and death form dispenser, which will distribute life and death forms to the taker and to the giver. After the Giver has made the decision about letting Hitler live, and after the form gets processed, many forms will rain down in a special overflow slot, representing the people being affected through in the window.
Finally, a window will have to be built with sugar glass, as the giver will eventually smash it with a chair and eventually kill himself.
As you can see, production design is very important here, and without this intricate set, this film could not be possible nor very believable.
Risks and challenges
If the funds are raised, I can pay my production designer handsomely as the set design is of the utmost importance. Also things can be set into motion much quicker because I will know that I have the funds to complete the project and finish it in a timely fashion. We are shooting over three days and this time will allow for all the shots needed to tell the story in the film. After shooting is done, I will have to get down to business, syncing the footage, editing, sound mixing, color correcting, composting, rotoscoping, doing the titles, and ultimately finishing in black and white. As you can see I can't do all this by myself and this is where the help of an editor will come in. As a filmmaker I can tell you that post production is just as important as the production. All in all, it is a challenging film to make, but I believe in my crew and everyone that is working on the film.
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