ASU script #2

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Still struggling with the story itself, next revision

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Interior of a bedroom, it’s dark and we can see the moon/streetlights coming in through the thin curtains, a mobile phone starts to ring in the foreground, lighting up the bedside table and we see a shape in the bed.

Roused by the noise, a hand reaches out from the covers ( towards us) and grabs the phone, the figure in the bed puts it to his ear but then turns his back to us and has it on his left ear.

We cannot hear what is being said, but it’s a male voice, urgent, slightly angry and the figure in the bed sits up, away from us and we ….. where? (close up on his mouth, lit from the light of the screen, his face is stubbly)

The phone call ends abruptly with our character punching the red end call button (close up on the button on the phone and the screen turning off).

He looks out of the curtains and we see him from behind, his hair is straggly and he rubs his hand through it, and over his face in a pulling down motion, and then flicks up his hood.

We hear him say… I can’t do this again…. Shaking his head

As he sits there, he reaches down and – you assume – he pulls on his boots. Then he stands and exits.

We see boots on the stairs in near darkness and  they quickly go downstairs, as they exit shot we hold and hear the door slam and then footsteps going away as we are left with the sound of a clock ticking, and starting to chime.

Cut to outside and we see our hooded figure going down a lit alley/street away from us.

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A new visual storyboard for the story here…Ideas

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so this has changed direction slightly, it still keeps the darkness but is now trying to be more literal in the search. Is the last place they go to find themselves, where a tragic accident happens, in the end do we see a carer talking aside from a pulled back shot, saying ” he does this every night” and we realise he is compulsive about his search but to complete his therapy they let him follow the last steps in the hope it aids his mental recovery….

maybe the phone ringing isn’t what it appears, perhaps it’s an alarm that he sets every night and the reveal could be where we see the phone is not taking a call but he is turning off the alarm, which could be simply called Danny.

Liam didn’t like the phone idea, suggesting it could be a ghostly call from beyond the grave and we hear a disembodied voice talking to our character, is this his conscience getting him up and out every night, on a cycle of spiraling madness…

An internalised conversation, ending up with him by the river, head in hands in tears, then we see a newspaper cutting of a headline ‘ tragic accident by the river ‘ hinting at a fatal accident for our characters friend… maybe he’s a ghost…

It still comes down to why is he looking, all the different alternatives for a search, based on a slight mental problem, an unhingement… perhaps you could see fragments pointing to a hidden story, or that explain more than we hear. The sound could play a major role in hinting at more to the story than just a search, more background.

as they say on the TV… to be continued…

AV Analysis ASU4

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‘Cirrus’ by Bonobo

Animation by Cyriak

This 3 minute video for the band Bonobo caught my attention a couple of months ago for it’s spectacularly clever use of repeating animation that grows and becomes a colossus by the end of the song.

It catches your attention at first for it’s simple rhythmic start, the old footage puts you into ‘fond memory’ mode, it’s sunny, the sky is blue, a boy is joyfully jumping on a trampoline, what could be more idyllic…

The style of the film cuts with the beat and we are then presented with some industrial footage and a domestic goddess of years gone by in her ultra (then) modern kitchen with it’s gadgets, this puts you in mind of those promotional videos that were used in the seventies to advertise ‘new towns’.

The pieces of footage are cleverly cut to reinforce and visually represent the beat of the song.

At this stage the sound elements are simple, a drumbeat, a wooden xylophone, what could be a muted cowbell, all with their own space in the score, again represented visually with individual unrepeated footage remaining in the same fifties advert style. This is further reinforced by the flickering black border and the centralisation of the film, giving you the feel of watching an 8mm home movie projected on the wall at home.

Then they add a dry snare or clap to the song filling in the spaces and the visuals pick up on this by taking the main element on screen, a girl jumping a bicycle, and repeat only her, over the original footage, precisely mirroring the audio tempo, adding onto the baseline of both the visual and the audio.

When this visual effect starts, it is an unexpected delight, having fun with the sound and picture, playing with time in both mediums, it’s a perfect marriage between the two. The fact that the song in itself is simple and melodic at this point, it’s like a short pause on the song so you can enjoy what’s happening on screen, if it were any more complex, it would totally overwhelm ones senses.

It makes me smile as the main character gets repeated visually, it is such a clever technique that the animator ‘Cyriak’ has perfected over the last ten or so years.

Then the song moves on again and the visual feast really starts…

Now we have elements of all of the different pieces of the footage all mixed up and interacting with each other, and as the song grows, so does the screen size.

The musical elements increase and the animations complexity just goes up and up and up as the animations then take on their own life and start to represent striding legs and enormous trees in a fantasy landscape that puts me in mind of Jan Svankmajer’s surreal environments, but also Escher’s optical illusions.

It is a phenomenal piece of audio visual work and it sticks in my memory because of it’s cleverness, the utter jaw-dropping content and attention to the details of the song. It works wonderfully together and I have never seen anything like it before.