Monday, 27 September 2010


Over the last few days I've been spending time sketching out shots for the entire film. Almost right from the inception of the project I've had a pretty clear vision of what I want from the film stylistically, so it's been interesting to sit down and actually try to flesh those ideas out properly. I had some notes and sketches that I'd jotted down during the scriptwriting phase, and it's been interesting to revisit them. Some of them were good, some of them were corny, and some were simply no longer relevant to the latest draft. Even though my new ideas have stayed true to my original intentions, I feel like the style has evolved and developed over the last few weeks. In putting together the talk I wrote about previously, in which I outlined my ideas to the crew, I was forced to really think my ideas through, and having to articulate them in that way was certainly a helpful part of the process.

I feel good about my ideas, though I know there's room for improvement. Tomorrow I'm going to meet with Yosuke and Murat to talk through the film, shot-by-shot, and make sure we're covering all the scenes in the best possible way. It's great that I'm able to include Murat in this process, as having his input and advice (from both an editor's and a filmmaker's perspective), means that we can go into the edit room prepared. I always think about editing when I sketch out my films, cutting the shots together in my head as I draw them out.

I'm really excited about the style that we're going for with this film. We're aiming for a total synthesis of form and content, which I believe should always be the aim of the filmmaker. Hopefully we're going to create something a little different, something which draws the audience in and really takes them all the way into the characters. I've written pages on all this, but I'll spare you that and just give you the paragraph we used on our one page pitch sheet, so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about:

'Life Just Is' will be understated and naturalistic, shot largely in long tripod-based takes punctuated by carefully planned camera movement. The editing pace will be meditative, while the soundscape will be calm and unaffected with little use of non-diegetic music. By using this style, the film will go beyond the realm of surface narrative and delve directly into the lives of its characters.

As anyone who knows me knows (and no doubt much to my crew's dismay), drawing isn't my strongest point – but I wanted to include one page of my sketches to give you an idea of my process. After the meeting tomorrow these sketch pages will be turned into an illustrated shot list. Whether the images are redrawn or not will depend on time and how many changes we make to them. We're still fairly early on in this process, so no doubt there will be many – starting tomorrow.
- Alex

The first page of sketches made for Scene 7 (page two not shown)

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