Casting Director (again): Emily

Hello!

So today I was Casting Director yet again for another film project also tilted “Emily” but this one is directed by Patricia Musakanya and produced by Amnah Pervaiz.

I arrived a few hours after their auditions had already begun as I had work to do beforehand but arrived at a good time because we ended up having the bulk of the auditions all on that day.

My role was to serve as both a Casting Director, where I would offer my opinion on each actor that would come in and audition as well as being Camera Operator, since I would film each and every audition.

It was a lovely day as I got be a part of an audition process that involved children as I have never worked with children in any of my films before and it was a learning curve for me.

Patricia worked well in giving direction to each child which lead them to give their best performance when the audition time came.

I’d say we audition around 15 children that apart from all the potential mothers that also came in. At one point I had to do a cold reading of the script as the child actor, on site, didn’t have a potential mother actress to act alongside her. It wasn’t the most enjoyable for me but it served the purpose.

Overall, it was a good experience as I got to help in obtaining the best possible auditions, being in control of the camera, as well as meeting a lot of potential young talent that I might want to work with one day.

 

 

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Scriptwriting: “Doll Encounter”, script finalized!

Hello!

I have now finalized the script!

The story has developed tremendously and in ways that I didn’t actually expect until I was writing and then re-writing them.

It’s been very enjoyable and am excited to conclude it. The official title is “Doll Encounter”. I wanted it to be a play on words so people could possibly think it was a misspell with “Dull” instead of “Doll” and the obvious metaphor of the future encounter Michael would have with (various) dolls.

The premise of the storyline is that Mr. Turner and Michael possess a comradeship with one and other which consists of Michael visiting Mr. Turner, at his house, and they talk about their days and what’s on their mind and play monopoly together. Yet, Mr. Turner has a secret he’s kept for years that no one, not even Michael, knows about. The story then starts to follow Michael’s small discoveries until he uncovers Turner’s dark secret.

From the beginning the characters’ introduction is presented off the bat and the audience accompanies the evolution of their unlikely friendship with a close eye.

As I have mentioned from the previous post, my intention with the introduction of a children focused television show and the doll would serve to fool the audience into thinking that Mr. Turner could be a possible paedophile or that he killed a child or something along those lines. That is because I love it when television shows that I personally follow have those plot twists that no one is expecting and the thrill that comes from it when you realize you were wrong the entire time and how the truth is so much better (or worse) than you could’ve imagined.

Those are big shoes to fill, admittedly, but I am happy to say that I have given my best to do so.

4 Little Girls: Documentary introduction

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Hello!

Today we kicked off our Screenwriting module with a first glance of a genre we are going to be talking about for the next couple of weeks. Yes, it is Documentary time. When I first started in this module, we learned all that we needed to learn about Melodrama which was nice but I am glad that we can now move on to something different.

We learned that even though a documentary needs to be truthful and “follow the rules” in order for it to be an accurate representation of an actual event in time and space, it can still be creative. We, potential filmmakers, can still let our creative juices flow and let them show through it. It’s just a matter of editing: the cutting, the order in which we put the footage, photographs, locations, interviews, the use of diegetic and non-diegetic sound, amongst so many others. It is in post-production that we can make a masterpiece out of a documentary. And that was interesting to acknowledge.

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And to kick start our classes, we were shown a Spike Lee documentary entilted “4 Little Girls” which follows the story of four young children that were brutally murdered by a bomb explosion while at church in Alabama in 1963. This is the basis of the story yet Lee tells us much more than that, he tells us all the events that led up to this massacre as to show the audience the “why” this happened. He doesn’t condone these events but instead feels the need to justify and to bring a clarity to the world, of who, why and what happened or needed to happen to give a reason for these murders. I don’t know if he succeeded but at least he told a story that deeply moved audiences, well at least it moved me. Lee goes deep into the begginings of racial prejudice in Alabama with the showing of archival footage, still photographs and even interviews with victims or bystanders that were there at those times.

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Later on in the afternoon seminar, our teacher mentioned something that I found quite alluring, when he said “Film is a ghostly medium”, right when he said it, I felt a chill come over me. The complete truthfulness of that statement caught me off guard. It is something so obvious yet it had such a poetic meaning to me. The idea of each film, even the current one’s, are and will someday be mere ghosts of the past is something morbidly fascinating to me. Yet, I always knew that film was such a beautiful medium where some of the greatest stories and pieces and History are forever “trapped” in film stock (or SD cards!) is something beyond precious. That beautiful moment when you can watch your favorite movie from the 1940’s and feel yourself being immersed into the wonderfulness of the acting, story and location. It’s priceless.

Though this viewing, I learned the difference between the different types of documentaries that exist as well as the basis of what type of documents I would need to obtain in order to, try, and give justice to the piece of history I would like to portray on screen.

P.S.- And I also learn that I rant too much. I am sorry.

Here is an interview with director Spike Lee talking about his documentary film.

Melodrama and Night Of The Hunter

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Hello!

Today the film that was screened was another amazing treat, consisting of “Night Of The Hunter” with Robert Mitchum. This class was a continuation of the week before for we delved further into identifying the 3 acts within the storyline and I again wrote down my own review and thoughts of the film while viewing it. I thought this film was quite interesting as it, even in our time, can represent real life tragedies that happen within a family. Today there are still, too many, children who suffer at the end of a parent or family member and either go through life always having to bear that mistreatment or die without even having a chance of trying to achieve a better life when they grow up. This film was a prime example of the life of the children who escape can have, even if they have long-lasting traumas. A quite interesting tale that made me excited to see Mitchum’s further roles as well as Charles Laughton’s work.

We were further introduced to the beginnings of melodrama, it’s presence in folktale/myth and how it can intricately connect to psychological elements. It was intriguing to begin to understand the origins of this genre and how it is represent in the world’s histories and stories. The notion of the opposition between morality and sensation is put on evidence as the basis of the early melodramatic work. And the importance upon recognizing “the body” as the greatest way to achieve physical and emotional self-expression.