An assignment for Bournemouth & Poole College. Student Films – A team project involving the research and development a short form video for presentation on the Internet and DVD.[youtube.com/watch?v=vyvEwjB95sg]
1.1 Develop a concept of moving image sequence
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
The Hook (logline)
Dave a Serial Killer confronted by and judged by his victims in his dreams is found guilty and is dragged down and into hell.
Dave is sleeping fitfully at a table when he begins to hear voices. The voices grow more distinct and suddenly he finds himself standing at a lectern surrounded by darkness when a face appears before him. This is the face of his prosecutor and judge.
Main Character – Dave
Dave an ordinary looking guy, who is assumed from his appearance to be leading a perfectly normal life and to be working in a boring 9 to 5 job etc But he is in fact a Serial Killer who lives out his fantasies at night stalking the streets looking for his next victim. Six years later and he’s killed his 6th victim he now finds it’s easier to kill the 7th and now he’s up to 12 in just 7 years.
But he’s haunted by his victims who talk to him in his sleep until the night it all becomes real.
Dave has fallen asleep at a table it is a fitful sleep the voices torment him as usual their overlapping voices crying out and begging for mercy but they are impossible to hear clearly. Then there is silence until suddenly there is just one voice calling his name over and over again.
Dave awakes but instead of being asleep at a table he finds himself standing at a lectern in semi-darkness. The voice comes again from out of the darkness and then a disembodied face appears before him.
The face unknown to Dave does not give a name but begins to inform Dave that he is on trial for his soul.
One by One the faces of his victims appear out of the darkness in turn accusing Dave of their murders. Only the disembodied faces of Dave’s victims are ever seen and they appear to float in the darkness.
The verdict is guilty and the judge tells Dave that his soul will be collected and taken to hell.
New voices come out of the darkness darker and menacing. Hands appear from out of the darkness encircling Dave from behind and begin dragging him struggling into the darkness. A final cry from Dave as the darkness envelopes him.
An alternative end is to have Dave dragged invisibly into the darkness where the hands then reach out to grab him and drag him to Hell.
Fade to end credits.
Voices – Script (First Draft)
Dave is sleeping at a table in front of his Wall of Newspaper cuttings showing all his crimes, his murder victims and how the Police are still baffled by the “By The Numbers Killer” – when he begins to hear voices. The voices grow more distinct and suddenly he finds himself awake and standing at a lectern/dock in near darkness when a light suddenly comes on and in the surrounding darkness a face appears before him.
Judge: David Wake up – Wake Up David
Dave: What’s happening – how did I get here – who – what are you
Judge: David Tiberius Gregorshi you stand here now to face your accusers – to account for your crimes and to receive our judgement for the final destination of your immortal soul.
Dave: I must still be asleep – I’m just having a bad dream – I’ll wake up soon and this will not even be a memory.
Judge: This is no dream you are here to defend yourself – you are accused of the murders of so many people – each one an innocent victim chosen at random by you. Behold the first one comes.
Amanda: I remember the eyes – no emotion – dead eyes – yes he’s the one who killed me.
Dave: It’s not true – I’ve killed no one – it’s a lie I tell you – all lies
Judge: David you have not understood why you are here – we know you are guilty of all the crimes you have been accused of – that you have killed all these people to satisfy your evil desires your only hope of salvation of your soul is the forgiveness of your victims. That there is some small hope that there is something good in you that will save your immortal soul from eternal damnation.
Amanda can you ever forgive him – to save his soul – forgive him for his crime against you.
Amanda: I’m sorry but I cannot – I only met him that one night – and then there was the horrible things he that did – no I can never forgive him – I can remember every second of that night as if it had just happened – no I can never forgive – let him rot in Hell.
Judge: Thank you Amanda – I’m sorry you had to go through this – you may leave us now.
Dave: This is insane – I don’t need this – I’m leaving – What the hell I cannot move – what have you done to me – why can’t I move.
Judge: You have no choice – you cannot leave – a judgement must be made – you must hear from your victims.
Behold the next one comes
Mary do you know this man before you – is he the one
Mary: I did not want to come the memories are too painful – yes he’s the one – he’s the one who killed me – may his soul rot in hell for all eternity.
Dave: It’s not true they are all liars – anyway I do not believe in all of this – there is no Heaven just as there is no Hell – this is all a trick to get me to confess – but I won’t you see – there’s nothing you can do that can make me.
Judge: (The Judge turns to his left and looks into the darkness). My brothers have we heard enough or do we still need to call the other witnesses. (He nods as if answering someone although there is no sound)
A judgement has been reached – my brothers and I have no doubt that there is no hope for you – you have shown no remorse for your actions – indeed I can even now see into your mind that you plan to go on killing.
Our judgement is that you will indeed suffer for the evil that you have done – that your soul suffer the eternal horror that is hell – the demons have been summoned, they will be with us soon – do you have any last words.
Dave: Fuck you and your demons – I’ve told you before I do not believe in any of this crap – now let me go before I break free and do to you what I did to all those others.
A Terrible noise comes from behind Dave
Dave: What was that terrible noise – it sounded like the screaming of thousands of people
Judge: They are here – the demons from Hell have come for you – they only wait for my word before dragging you to Hell.
Dave: Wait, I’ve changed my mind – I take it all back – please don’t let them takes me – I beg you, just give me another chance.
Judge: I see now that you realise the truth – you have no understanding of what awaits you in Hell – your imagination at it’s worst cannot even begin to compare to what your immortal soul will have to endure for all eternity – the time for remorse has passed there can be no appeal.
The camera turns towards Dave. The Lectern has gone and Dave is on his knees seemingly praying.
Dave: Don’t let them take me – please, I can make everything right – please don’t let them take me – just one more chance.
Judge: Demons – The final judgement has been made – follow your master’s orders and take him now.
Dave is grabbed invisibly from behind and dragged kicking and screaming into the darkness. Hands reach out from the darkness to drag him down into Hell.
FADE TO BLACKOUT
Shot List – (provisional)
|Shot Order/Storyboard and Dialogue Ref|
|Shot No:||Storyboard No:||Dialogue Reference:|
|1||1c CU – Dave||Wake up Dave – Dave Wake up|
|1c||1 XCU – Dave as eyes snap open|
|2||2 WS – side on shot Dave & Judge||What’s happening|
|3||4 CU – Dave standing on left||I must still be asleep|
|4||7 MS – Looking over Amandas shoulder||It’s not true|
|5||11 MS – Over judge shoulder||This is insane|
|6||11 Zoom in||It’s not true they are all liars|
|7||11 Zoom out||Fuck you and your demons|
|8||11 Zoom in||What was that terrible noise|
|9||11 Zoom out||Wait I’ve changed my mind|
|10||14 CU||Don’t let them take me|
|11||15 to 16 Zoom out as Dave is dragged||kicking and screaming backwards|
|12||2 Wide side on shot Dave & Judge||David Tiberius Gregorshi|
|13||5 CU – Side shot of Judge||This is no dream|
|14||8 MS – Judge facing David||David you have not understood|
|15||9 CU – Judge||Thank you Amanda|
|16||8 MS – Judge facing David and then pan to show Mary has appeared||You have no choice|
|17||9 CU – Judge – turns head||My brothers have we heard enough|
|18||9 CU – Judge||They are here – the demons from hell|
|19||9 CU – Judge but zoom out||I see npw that you realise the truth|
|20||9 CU – Judge but more side on||Demons – The final judgement|
|21||6 XCU – Amanda||I remember the eyes|
|22||10 CU – Amanda||I’m sorry but I cannot|
|23||13 WS – Side shot over judges shoulder showing Mary looking at David||I did not want to come|
|Cutaway and Additional Shots|
|29||CU Dave side on|
|30||CU Judge side on|
|31||CU Amanda side on|
|32||CU Mary side on|
|33||CU Amanda hands in front of face – Crying?|
|34||MS Amanda looks away|
|35||MS Mary looks away|
|36||MS side shot of Dave being dragged|
|37||CU Hands on Dave being dragged|
2.2 Research Content – Film Influences
The original inspiration for the Film Voices comes from an award winning Theatre production called ‘The Verdict is Yours’ produced by the Festival Fringe Theatre Company rather than from a Film. In the play the main character the man accused of murder is visited in his jail by the ghost of his victim. A trial is played out on stage with the audience acting as the judge and jury, deciding the fate of the accused murderer from evidence provided by a live prosecutor and the ghost of the alleged murder victim. The audience was left to decide whether premeditated murder was committed or was it an unfortunate accident? A key part of the original production was the magical appearance of the ghost who appeared to be floating on the stage.
Film inspiration comes from the iconic film ‘Silence of the Lambs’ the characterisation and visuals associated with and played by Anthony Hopkins. The idea that a relatively ordinary and sane looking man could have perpetrated such violent crimes. A serial killer and cannibal a terrifying idea and against the moralities of modern civilisation. The idea of making the Voices character to appear as ordinary as possible would add to the effect of Film on the audience implying that no one knows who anyone really is.
For the trial, inspiration comes from the 1957 film ‘12 Angry Men’, the scenes in the jury room with a fly on
the wall camera positioning and zoom operations etc. The films narrative also offers ideas on how to develop the script for the film Voices.
Another influence comes from the 1990 film Ghost in the scene where the murderer of Patrick Swayze’s character Sam Wheat by the character Willie Lopez played by Rick Aviles who having been killed in a road accident is pursued and caught by the shadows (minions of hell) in a New York street witnessed by Patrick Swayze’s character. The scene ends with Willie Lopez being dragged backwards into the darkness and presumably to Hell. The sounds used in the film an angry growling type noise was particularly effective and it would be worth attempting something similar in the film Voices.
Another example includes the Film Franchise ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ where there are multiple scenes of victims being dragged invisibly across walls, ceilings and corridors. A simple similar effect could be achieved by tying a rope around the actors’ waist and dragging him backwards ensuring the rope is not visible on camera.
In general the visualisation for the film will use many of the techniques familiar to Film Noir in particular lighting effects. The aim is to light sparingly as there will be little set and target lighting to the faces of the ghosts only leaving the bodies unlighted. This will give the effect that they are disembodied – voices only. Using the 1994 Film ‘Double Indemnity’ as a good example of Film Noir in particular it’s lighting which mainly concentrates on the faces of the characters. This effect could be achieved by using hand held torches; experimentation would be needed to see how effective would be including the possibility of mounting a light on the camera or tripod so that light only appears where the camera lens is pointing.