I want this film to look old, displaced out of time, even though the script indicates that it is set in the future. One of my recent inspirations has been David Lynch’s Eraserhead; I like how uncertain everything is within the world he creates, where large, clunky machines do unknowable things just out of view. Stillness, low-key lighting, long takes sometimes punctuated by quick cuts, and occasional handheld and subjective-camera techniques will be employed during production and editing. I would like the style of the film to foreground the protagonist’s feelings of hurt and betrayal, and the antagonist’s icy obsession with youth. I’ll be shooting on black and white regular 16mm film, using an Arri SR1 camera.
This film takes place in the near future in a dystopic environment. Everything looks old and worn down. The divide between rich and poor is even greater than it is today, and people are re-using old appliances and hording things in great numbers. Dishes don’t match, furniture looks threadbare and patchy, and outside there is trash everywhere. There are also advertisements everywhere, as big corporations are the sole unifying force in the economy.
Josh wears plain-looking exercise clothing that show off his body (which is his obsession) and Rick wears outdated “designer” clothes from decades past, as nobody but the very rich can afford anything modern.
I plan to use a lot of organic sounds to highlight the fragility of people in this world, such as labored breathing (when Josh is jogging), sucking and chewing sounds for the flower, drinking sounds when Josh ingests Superfood, liquid pumping through tubes in Rick’s hydroponic nursery, water dripping, wind outside. I want to create the feeling that there are wild things waiting just outside the door. When electronic sounds are used, such as the TV in Josh’s apartment, or cars and machines in the background during the jogging scene, they should sound old and frail, like they have been stitched together from other old machines that barely work.
Trip to the Prop Shop at SFSU was interesting… thank God I’m filming in black & white! Soooo many mismatched shades and patterns… it’s just junk junk. But gorgeous junk. I mean, being in the Prop Shop during fall semester was what made me wanna use it to dress the set in the first place, so I’m not complaining. I’m going back today and asking if I can spray paint some of the larger props (doors, windows) so they match the set. That would make things a lot easier, cuz it’s doubtful I’ll have time to build stuff from scratch.
Then later today I’m making the master props list, broken down by scene and location, and drawing a diagram of the set. Also gonna pick up my 3 cans of unexposed film from Alex Steinhaus and try to convince him to be the art director or set decorator or at the very least just donate stuff to the set. He was the Production Designer for my first film and did a fantastic job, so I’d kill to have him back in any capacity.
Had a dream last night that carried over into my waking moments this morning, about how I can construct the killer flower out of pre-fab silk parts and coat hangers. Eureka! Strange how devoting myself to a project actually turns me into a morning person: I got up and started designing at 7:30 am.
Busy busy day - gotta get locations nailed down for Rick’s apartment, plus meeting with Director of Photography and start planning shot list. Also sending script and general information email to Assistant Director and Production Designer. Gotta figure out how to unify looks for both main sets (one being a practical location probably filmed in my apartment, and the other being built on a soundstage and dressed with the items from the SFSU scene/prop shops).
Gonna start writing letters to friends and relatives in earnest asking for small donations. Not the most fun part of the process, but absolutely necessary for this production. Hopefully I can convince a large volume of them to donate between $5-$10 each. That would make a huge difference.