A 5-10 minute psychological-thriller/suspense short film set late in the evening. We follow a young adult’s routine, seeing increasingly strange actions that lead us to believe they are hiding a body, in which our suspicions are later confirmed. The killer gets interrupted throughout, by birthday wishes (people visiting/letter deliveries/accidents) as well as the character’s own conflicting feelings inside. The film will be focused on cinematic/intentional shots and sound design.
Original Proposal document:
Concept & Development
As my film will be heavily focused on cinematic, intentional shots including the mise en scene and most importantly the props we see. From this, my moodboard is compiled with examples of movie settings, items and characters that evoke mystery and some sort of terror:
– Knives stacked quite prominently in the background or foreground seem to create a sense of danger and tension, especially if they’re easily accessible as it sometimes makes us question if someone might use one in someway. In the cafe scene (top right), we are shown a contrast between the sharp cutlery and the way the characters are intimately holding hands. The subtle placement of the props and cast can entirely change the feel of a scene; without the knives, it would just appear happy and safe.
– Unsettling imagery through the setting is an element of a film that can push it over the edge of creepy and even become a memorable part of the film, like many of ‘The Shining’ scenes (bottom right). I will be trying to incorporate more thought-out colour palettes as well as looming background elements (such as the door at the end of the hallway and mysterious door to the right).
– A lot of the time. lighting is a huge dependability in thriller movies as the temperature, intensity and source of the light all play a role in creating a specific mood.
– I also included a few movies’ titles as reference for the fonts and colours that seem to appear scary and set the tone. All of these examples use capital letters a lot and use fonts with sharp edges, some of which are done with serifs.
My intention is to present the main character as relatable, and one of the ways to do this is through their usual environment. A typical kitchen, outside room and garden – however this does encounter the issue of Covid-19 restrictions, which I will be looking into, seeing exactly what I am able to with certain indoor locations and alternative places that I can film and still get the same feeling of the environment.
At the moment, it’s not possible to really film in a crowded inside location due to restrictions of Covid-19 (6 person rule outside), so I definitely need a backup action plan. Although my short film concept is built around the character’s home and the items we will see within it, it’s less important to have a specific overall location, but rather to focus on the props and actions of the character. If I have to film all the scenes outside, it won’t hinder the project too much and it is possible to rework the script to fit a garden setting, by having a more direct image of the character hiding the body.
Risk Assessment & Precautions
A large issue with filming around this time is the restrictions of the pandemic, originally I wanted to have an actor from the acting course at college, allowing me to collaborate and have experience with directing someone that I don’t particularly know and who has practise with acting classes. This would not be feasible, however, so I am casting two friends within my own course; Jack Harper (as Noi) and Gareth Edwards (as Barry). Having crew and cast that are in my class and my ‘social bubble’ will cut down on the risk of spreading the virus as well as giving me more flexibility of where I can film, making it a lot safer for those travelling to my house (filming location) and filming inside. Although this is the case, I will be opening all windows doors possible to increase airflow, and only allowing the people inside that are needed for that shot.
- Panasonic camera (incl. cage & handle)
- External monitor, arm & connector
- H5 Zoom recorder
- Shotgun microphone & boom
- Mic muffler
- Tripod (Full size & miniature)
- Extra camera & Zoom batteries
- 3x SD cards
- A few umbrellas
- Plastic bag (as a camera protector from the rain)
- Lens hood (to prevent lens flare & water droplets from getting on the lens)
- Story plan, screenplay & script
- Kara photograph
- ‘Poison’ container (food colouring)
- Grocery list
- 12x Cupcakes & red candle
- Fake blood spray
- Baking tray & bowl
- Bag of ice
- Slightly filled opaque binbag
- Stack of letters & letter from Barry
- 2x cupcake wrappers
- Mercedes car keys
Crew & Cast
- Director/Cinematographer/Editor – Ellie Simpson (myself)
- Audio Recordist – Adam Vincent
- Runners – Leo Humphrey & Charlie Gentle
- Noi Anders (main character) – Jack (Quest) Harper
- Barry – Gareth Edwards
- Voice of: Radio/News Presenter – Adam Vincent