In my previous post I discussed receiving new information on kidney transplants and diabetes from our medical researcher Tosin. She opened my eyes to some vital information which would ultimately effect the validity of our film if not corrected. So we carried out our corrections and gave it to our lecturers for further feedback.
Here is the feedback:
- The narrative makes much more sense but it still feels jumbled and forced
- There is a lack of character development between Billy and Daniel
- Pointless scene with Shanice and Taylor, they are also flat and stereotypical female characters
- Angie being in a relationship with the doctor who is also called Michael is far fetched and not very realistic. Surely she would’ve known something.
- Billy most be extremely stupid for the entire transplant idea to work.
As the weeks go by we have less and less time to complete our film to the level we aspire to. So feedback like this only motivates us to do better. We will begin shooting our remanding scenes in the following days but whilst I can still make small changes her is what I have decided to do.
In the scene where Billy is being picked by the doctor I have added some text to help cover up the flaws in the script. In this new text he will be portrayed as stupid, misled and desperate. The doctor will be seen as controlling and deceptive as his intention is to now use Billy for his Kidney. The dialogue will be brief and to the point but also explanatory to our audience. This scene will help move the narrative along and again highlight to our audience what the characters overarching objectives are. There is also an interesting conflict which occurs in this new scene. ‘The more there is at stake the more dramatic in every sense of the word – the conflict’. (Pat and Ken 2005: 52) .Billy is under immense pressure at the fear of losing his life and motivated by the fear of losing his father, Frank. Which is such a dramatic position and one that will only lead to some sort of success or failure. These motives create emotion, entertainment and drama which is what we aim to produce.
We have also changed the opening and ending sequence of the film. Before there was a short scene of Angie getting ready to see Michael the Doctor who is also her boyfriend, for the first time after Billy’s death. The entire narration was a phone conversation of Angie explaining to Michael how her son died. She finally meets him which is the ending scene where the pair meet at the graveyard where Billy had been buried the day before. The doctor soon realises he killed his girlfriends son but does not tell her, Angie is none the wiser. We added these two scenes literally to give Angie more of a story line then just ‘the returning mother’. We wanted to give her character more depth and purpose. Although after the feedback I received we have reverted back to her just being Angie, Billy’s mother. So instead of the graveyard scene and the initial opening sequence we have added a scene at the beginning and the end where she is breaking the fourth wall and talking directly to the audience from the comfort of her own room. I will go into further detail in the next post.
The second reason for us scraping the grave yard scene aside from the criticism is because the doctor who is played by Dean Hickey has been behaving weirdly in the last week or so. Just over two weeks ago I explained to him in detail what was going on with the production and why it had not been completed and he was very understanding and said he would be willing to help in any capacity. So I was pretty confident about telling him we was shooting shortly but then he said he was busy. A day or so later he said he wanted nothing to do with the project. I then convinced him of his importance and offered to pay him an hourly wage and cover his food. He still refused which is why we came up with the ‘breaking the fourth wall’ scene. He then went back on his word and said he would participate. Which is great news, but now we are worried that he will pull out again so we will film both opening sequence just incase. To simplify things we will just use him to shoot the car/ pick up scene with Billy, to avoid some sort of outburst.
After all is said and done I will live and die by all of my executive decisions especially being the fact that I am the director, writer and one of the producers. A lot of the pressure falls on my shoulders and even though I am apart of a team at times I feel like the brunt of the pressure is not shared equally. I look at this film like I would my child and it now feels like my child has been changed, manipulated and there is not much I can say or do about it. Which is frustrating. I am aware that ‘when people write about film personal opinions and tastes will become apart of the argument’. (Timothy Corrigan 2001: 15) Which means upbringing and personal experiences come into play, making plausibility and believabilty such a key aspect of my film especially when you’re dealing with such sensitive themes like death, kidney failure, drama, and relationships. Before I could fully identify these themes I had to ‘step back and ask what is the film about’. (Timothy Corrigan 2001: 42) I want people to love, respect, and understand my film. I want them to feel something. I feel like this will be hard to achieve with all these last minute changes, cuts to the script, and a lack of medical research when influential. In the future I will spend more time in the pre production section of film making. Making sure that the planning, research, and character development is where it needs to be in order to leave us with a good chance of creating a great film. I am not accepting defeat, but I am accepting a challenge. On to the filming we go.
Pat Cooper and Ken Dancyger (2005). Writing the short film. 3rd ed. U.S.A: focal Press. pg 52.
Timothy Corrigan (2001). A short guide to writing about film . 4th ed. London: Longman. pg.15.
Timothy Corrigan (2001). A short guide to writing about film . 4th ed. London: Longman. pg.42.