The short film that i would pick to direct is ‘ The Magnificent’ written by Alex Sovax. This film plays lightly on the concept of death with a touch of illusion or magic. I feel the film is basically trying to describe the mortality we all have to face and the great escape we all are looking for despite our age. When i make this film, i want my audience to be captivated with the main character, Eric the magician. I want them to feel the loneliness he feels, the sense of being prisoner in this nursing home and his joy when he his finally free to be part of the stars. This film does exactly that as his i can see the character of Eric change especially in his final act in the nursing home. The film does need a rewrite but i would love to modify the montage in the final act. I would like to add more scene in the nursing home of them running through the hall with the nursing staff strapped to wheel chairs. I would have the montage in a playground surrounded by trees as it will bring more meaning when seeing an old person and their younger self on swings, sliding down and even climbing and sitting on trees.
This film will have a comedic satire which will set the tone for this drama. There will be a lot of focus and close ups of Eric to capture the drama of this film but also a lot of visual humour to maintain that comedic element. My directing will be more like ‘ The Negotiator’ where i will use both ideas from the production team and actors to shape my film. This style will deal with a lot of rehearsals, at least 3, to get a general idea for what the actors have to prepare for their performance. I feel this style is much better suited as majority actors on screen will be older and they can share their insights on how older people are on a day to day basis. Casting for this film is tricky as i will need to match the older resident to the younger selves. However for Eric and Joe, i will definitely be focusing on how well they take direction and their potential to go the extra mile to act as 80year olds.
For the look of the film, i would want to make all the out door shots bright with orange and yellow being the main colour palate. In the nursing home, i would want a dingy and bleak atmosphere so would have a lot of dull colours like grey and pale green to reinforce that feeling to the audience. The locations i would pick will be a nursing home, a park for the end scene and the house for Eric. I would also include another location at a city location for the opening scene to help increase the production quality. There will be a lot of moving shots that i would have on the dolly and try not to have any hand held as that might spoil the visual story. Props are especially important as the cart and other magical items are essential to Erics Character. The props in the nursing home like wheel chairs, walking sticks, oxygen mask and other nursing home equipment is also essential to make the film and the scenes more genuine.
Lastly and most importantly is the score of the film. Since the script has very little dialogue, the score will play heavily in carrying the films story. Ideally, i would have a piano score with 90’s theme to it and a violin as well. These 2 instruments will be vital in carrying the tone of the story and delivering the clear message of helplessness and the rise to freedom.