Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Does anybody go bowling anymore?

Im at the SAIC library pretending to work on my Art History readings- Im really watching 'Experiments in Terror' which range from from scary shorts similar to Combat Shock or Phil Solomon territory. It got my mind wandering about my film again and particularly the look of it. I feel fixated on this because once I have a look Im in love with, the tone and characters are much easier to write consistently. I think Im going to be leaning towards having the Lilin have subtle light pale gray skin tone- just enough a difference to signal the dead side in them. At first I thought completely normal would be better- but it keeps me at a distance- I relate more to dead things, so dead things they will resemble. I feel like I am taking more of a page from the humor of early Tim Burton (something I have been afraid to admit lately since his new stuff is a damn shame). Beetlejuice and that kind of comedy is what I think Im going for, especially in the look of the Lilin (No character specifically- just cut from the same fabric)- I feel this also gives me more an outlet to let loose on the gore like I want- seeing as how these girls are immortal and so-called 'cat fights' are bound to happen when your roommates with the same bitches for centuries. I keeping in mind to write scenes with violence for comedic effect (Death Becomes her style Im thinking). It feels weird to just keep randomly throwing out influences- but I guess thats just this is how this one will get made. In my previous projects I had maybe only 2-4 influences at a time- I just hope this thing dosent become overwhelming come shoot time. The comedy of Death Becomes Her, Beetlejuice, My Demon Lover, Heathers, and Rockula are all part of this humor- I guess I just gotta keep that in mind- Stay in touch with the darkside.
If anything the influences for each girl might help me see things more clearly:

1. Louise: Winona Ryder from Heathers/ Louise Brookes/ MSM from Some kind of wonderful
2. Charlie: Woody Allen/ Adam Sandler- although the way I have written him dosent feel like this at all- men are hard to write.
3. Emily: Ty from Clueless/ Madonna 'Whose that Girl"
4. Jane: Jane Fonda from everything I guess- more like jessie from saved by the bell maybe.

I feel at times my lack of dating experience has made writing the love story (the most important part!) extremely difficult. I have weird dating/relationship anecdotes Ive heard over the years from friends- but feel uncomfortable incorporating them- Ill think of something. There will be a date in a cemetary- I guarentee it!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Soft Core Cell

The lighting in Soft Cell videos has been on my mind a lot lately. It is similar to Liquid Sky, and there is something to the romantic hazy quality it emits. Principle photography will not be for awhile (ideally Summer 2011), but this is a look I keep coming back to:

I have started experimenting with the VHS camera at SAIC- mainly shooting straight off of the computer screen from youtube videos: pornography, vaginal births, exploratory surgery, neon lights, sperm. The camera naturally creates a fuzzy color scheme that is similar to the soft cell/liquid sky color scheme. I plan on using this footage as a backdrop to the film- I want these images to bleed in and out of the main plot- Im not sure exactly what I mean by that yet, but things like this have a way of working out once everything is shot I am free to experiment.

I am also planning on experimenting with some stop-motion animation. When I started thinking about this project (almost 2 years ago now), I never thought animation had any place in it. But I am now approaching this project with the big guns- I believe animation is one of my greatest skills and also very easy and fun- so Im just going to have fun with it. It will be paper cut outs of either my characters or historical painted figures related to the work (such as Lilith, Adam/Eve, 1920's flappers, Nosferatu, Louise Brookes etc.) that will move in any way I find necessary- only the backdrop will be a Television screen (it will be easy to manuever the pieces by just taping then to the glass of the screen). I will experiment with Static, neon lights, still moving image landscapes, and pornography on the TV (Im very curious to see what effect animation will have on the final image). I will start on these as soon as possible (getting a free TV tomorrow!), and will know if this is a technique that should be in the film or not by the time principle photography comes. Ideally they would be similar in context to the animated sequences in Tank Girl- only extremely lo-fi and more suggestive then explanatory.

I am trying to stay away from using final cut effects as much as possible (mainly color contrast) since I have been developing a bad habit of over color correcting, leaving the image in a raisen state- life sucked out with no where to go.

Liquid Sky High


Descended from Lilith, Adam's first wife. A race of immortal women must impregnate themselves instead of menstruating each month, or else they will bleed to death.  The catch is, every man they have sex with dies. Louise, a young Lilin who has been around since the 1920's, keeps seeing the reincarnation of her first and only love, whose death she was accidently responsible for. Will she be able to stay away from the love of her life, or be doomed to repeat history?

I am pulling from a variety of influences for this project. I plan to post trailers and scenes from other films that stick out to me and I feel are related to the potential style of this film. One of the biggest would be 'Liquid Sky', mainly in the color scheme- although the themes do share similarities.

I don't plan to mimic the style of Liquid Style- if anything I want a dirtier, even more grotesque neon look. Liquid Sky's use of Glow in the dark/black light is what Im most interested in. I would like to experiment with those techniques in a specific scene in my film. It would almost have the appearance of a film within a film context. The story of Lilith can a bit confusing and all over the place, so to simplify things in an interesting way- I want a short video that explains the story of Lillith, but of course in my own visual terms. It will be silent, shot on VHS and/or Canon 7HD:

-Black Room
-White/ faceless figures, nude- 1 female, 1 male
-black light experimental- bodies touching eachother/ struggle for sexual dominance
-dirt to crawl out of
-fake blood/ preferably glitterly blood

The sequence of actions that will happen with the two figures I have not figured out yet. These are tools I am just thinking of using. I am also influenced for this particular scene by Zulawski's "On the Silver Globe". I am limited from shooting at the beach this semester, since it is cold in Chicago, and I dont ever want to film at the beach in those kind of conditions again. Im thinking green screen might be an interesting variation within the dark room. What I could do is film in darkness and black light in the green screen room, then slowly turn the lights on and mess around with the transitions etc. Im not really sure, but writing about it helps me get more ideas out.

I don't want to use just 'this' post for my influences, I feel I should build a bit more as time goes on. I will however through in one more trailer to a film that may be a bigger influence mainly from my subconscious. It is Brian de Palma's "Phantom of the Paradise", and this film will always hold a special place in my heart, and the heart of Video Diary of a Lost Girl. If anything, the epic tragic romance and sensational style of humor I hope will make its way through my script writing process: (having trouble uploading a trailer/picture- damn)