After pitching our idea and receiving some valuable feedback, we had a meeting with our lecturers, they suggested we think through our idea more as there are a few plot holes, so we went to the pub to brainstorm. We came up with 2 more ideas, these were:
Idea 1 (Jake):
A father and son are playing in a wood/playground/beach. They are playing, having fun and doing things that boys do. The little boy starts to ask odd questions like, where is mummy, when can we go home etc. At the end of the film, we hear a news piece about a missing child, who was taken by his father. We realise this is the child in the news piece and the child was taken without his mother saying so.
Idea 2 (The letter):
A homeless man breaks into a house, he hunts for food and valuables and in doing so, comes across a letter written by a child. The letter touches the homeless person, and he scribbles a response on the other side. He leaves the letter in the boys room, kisses him on the head and leaves. We realise he broke into his own house and the letter was written by his son to him when he was serving in Afghanistan.
We have decided to take both ideas forward, because one is a bit trickier then the other and we don’t want to have to go back to the drawing board if this idea falls through.
Once we had our brief outline of each idea, I looked into father and son short films.
https://vimeo.com/18482493 – Psalm from Jack Coleman (Dur 4:50). This was about a young boy growing up. We see a lot of toddler footage of him and his dad, they are having a great time together. This then merges with what I assume is the present day, the boy is alone and visits a grave, we realise his dad must have died. His dad was wearing war uniform at the beginning so he must be in the army and died serving. I liked the raw footage of the toddler, giving it the home video feel. It was warming and no dialogue was used in the whole of the short, which I think is pretty impressive. The story came across clearly, so I will watch this again when we start looking into our script for ways to show our film instead of tell it.
https://vimeo.com/52403882 – Let Go from emirerbes (Dur 8:50). Beutifully shot. This is about the loss of a boys father and the special bond a father and son have. We see the teen take his first sip of beer and joke with his Dad at meal times. This was a heartwarming story and well put together. Again, there are no word, which is very impressive as we are told the whole story. It gradually leads into the death of his father nicely, and the transition from light to dark works well. I love the shot at the end with the two empty chairs at the beach, and how this links to the beginning so we have come full circle.
https://vimeo.com/19705053 – Soft (Short Film) from Simon Ellis (Dur 14:10). International Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking at Sundance (2008). This is about a father and son who get terrorised and how the boy grows up throughout the film. Well written and intriguing all the way through, didn’t get bored whilst watching, with I did with previous shorts. Very good acting and realistic punches and beatings. I liked the teenage relationship with the father and son, with him having his music too loud and his bag being in the way, made it more realistic.
https://vimeo.com/2521215 – What is that? From MovieTeller (Dur 5:30). A grown up son and his father, who is now elderly. Interesting story about the difference between a young child and how their father treats them and an old man and how his son treats him. This story is the one that has been stuck in my head the most, because of its simplicity and how easy it was to follow and react to. Good acting and this also included a letter or journal from the father when the son was 3, so was interesting to see how this was written and read.
https://vimeo.com/9407693 – Recoil (Staff Pick) from Amulet Studios (Dur 13:14). This was very well put together, with brilliant acting. There was a good conflict between the main character, we see him as a killer then as a father. I wonder if they did it this way round on purpose? Didn’t feel like it was 13 minutes long because it flowed so well and was paced perfectly.
Now we have our 2 ideas, we will think through the narrative more thoroughly, come up with provisional scripts and treatments and think about how we want our main character to look. We also need to think of locations.