Visual PlanDirector: Shana Furlow
This film takes place in a single location, a German square and market place. But within the film's seemingly normal neighborhood environment, we subtly sense that something is not completely right here - we're not quite safe. As it is all shot outside with very little dialogue, camera movement and composition will play an absolutely vital part in striking the film's emotional tone.
The film will begin with a dramatic and very long crane shot, first showing the whole marketplace, the universe for this story, then moving slowly into the action, into the quiet, private gestures of our characters. This opening is slightly reminiscent of the opening moments of The Conversation. Throughout the film, movement will be used to underline the emotional state of the main characters either through dolly, steady cam, or crane shots. The film will begin moving more quickly and incorporate more compound shots (one character's examination leading to another character's examination of the same encounter often cued by sound). This movement and energy will increase as the sense of violence thickens until the emotional climax of the film, when the two children, Eva and Leo, share a profound understanding of the horror they are witnessing. This shot will be completely static and will step outside the real time of the piece.
Color and Light:
This film will be shot with natural light, possibly screened to diffuse the light greatly. The color scheme is going to be mainly traditional colors of the period. Costume and set design accordingly. The German city scene of the time is mainly grays, browns and greens. However, red will be inserted as the color for the Nazi flag which will be subtly displayed in a distant corner as well as for armbands for a few passersby. Red will also be used for the traditional red-white checkered table clothes. There will also be some signs and posters with splashes of red dressing the cafe itself. Red is our warning color but also a symbol for what is about to happen, and for how Eva, our main character, is about to be changed by this experience.
The story will be fundamentally told through the visual connection of the characters. Composition is going to play a great part in this. Through compound shots (ala Bobby Fisher), we intend to create both a sense of connection as well as a sense of mounting tension over the threat of violence. Since POV is absolutely essential to this piece, we will use long lenses with shallow depths of field and rack focuses from Eva to what she's viewing. This will infuse the film with a sense of shared space. However, this in/out use of focus will also highlight the contrast between what is literally witnessed and how individuals emotionally interpret the scene. The marketplace itself is a major character; It must feel like an authentic neighborhood space and composition will play an enormous part in filling the space with a sense of life and culture. Also background action will be mainly out of focus to lend an illusion of normal life. The last shot will be a crane shot that pulls out from the tight close up of the child's hand pulling away from her father, to the family, to the crowd beyond, to the café and part of the square, until Eva's diminishing form will just be seen pulling farther and farther away from her father below. The final shot creates a sense of macrocosm once again. This could be anywhere. Could it be any of us?
This film is thoroughly cinematic. It is at its heart an utterly visual piece. Since our set is fixed, we intend to completely exploit our time and make the film visually stunning.
© Copyright 2006 - Shana Furlow