Monday, November 9, 2009

Hi again.
Yay hooray, I finished transcribing all my chicken scratch into one cohesive script/ meaning key behind the various weird visuals and metaphors I wish to present in this piece. Below is the first draft of the script for my senior thesis piece. I am far from finished proof reading and still have some extra clarifications to add but I hope that this first darft helps flesh out a approximate understanding of my pieces main storyline.
***Update***
The version below is no longer the version that was originally put with this update, but instead the newly edited and further proof read version in the newer post above. Even though I suggest downloading the .doc version, I guess if you feel like straining your eyes by reading the less formatted version below, go for it.

(the image above is one of my conceptual sketches for a scene of my piece where the main character traverses his daily walk to work. The illustration depicts the scene as it transitions from the mundane into a dark alter reality filled with mysterious masked individuals who represent elements of vivid fear and negativity that live within the far reaches of his mind and now are emerging into his everyday life.)



whygod
By Thomas Gigliotti


This is the script and basic shot technique outline for my video installation senior thesis project entitled whygod.


Script Structure and Terminology Guide:

In bold lettering consists the primary storyline of the piece, while in parenthesis is various notes further explaining the given scene in particular, whether it be the techniques utilized to shoot the scene or additional background information pertaining to the piece’s narrative.
The two Capital Letters at the beginning of a side note stand for what type of information it will contain. Below is an explanation of these abbreviation’s meanings:

SN= Shooting Notes. These are additional comments further explaining the shooting techniques to be utilized in a given scene.

AN=Action Notes. These notes explain possible options for the storyline’s narrative that as of yet have not been definitively decided.

BN=Background Notes. These notes further explain a plot element of the storyline and may explain themes that otherwise are not directly conveyed through the piece. At times these ideas expressed may be subject to the viewer’s personal interpretation.

Also in addition to the abbreviations put before side notes in the plot, there are some specific terms that will frequently appear in the script. Some of these terms are explained below:

The main protagonist or simply the protagonist= The unnamed main character of the piece.

Real World= When the script states that a particular scene is taking place in the “real world”, it is referring to a depiction of the main storyline and the world which it takes place through a mostly unaltered vision of reality. As explained in previous explanations of the piece, this portion of the plotline and the portion explained below will for the most part be displayed on two separate television screens up until the very end of the piece.

Alternative Reality= Juxtaposed to the real world portion of the piece explained above, the alternative reality is the depiction of the piece’s plotline through the skewed view of the main protagonist’s disturbed thought process. As with the real world sequences of the piece, the alternative reality portions of the piece will also be played on their own assigned television screen up until the end of the piece.



Below is the actual content of the script:

SN (The very beginning of the piece begins with serene shots of the setting. These shots consist of well thought out and visually interesting establishing shots. These shots consist of interesting lighting situations, possibly of static, found objects in the room. These shots are meant to help set the solemn mood of the beginning of the piece)

The opening scene begins with the piece’s main protagonist waking up in his bed, staring out of his bedroom window. The camera slowly circles around the individual. This is when “reality transition” one begins.

SN (Reality transitions would be when the visuals switch from one television screen to the other, depicting a different view of the plotline, specifically switching between the real world and the protagonist’s alternative reality)

From light shining on the protagonist’s face, to a dark shot evoking themes of negativity and desolation, the scene undergoes multiple aesthetic changes to illustrate the transition between realities.

SN (This scene goes from light to dark with red tints and a scratchy/ static heavy effects added on to the piece. This effect will reoccur with each following reality transition. Each time as the plot progresses, this effect will intensify)

After the shot becomes very dark/disrupted/contrasty to the point that the picture is practically visually unreadable, the plotline quickly cuts back to the real world.

SN (Thus quickly cutting back to the other television)

We find the individual standing in front of his mirror with a blank stare plastered on his face.

AN (Possible activities for the “in front of the mirror” scene=
Shaving: transitions between the real world and the alternative reality are gory and dark. Consisting of transitions between the protagonist just shaving and depictions of self-mutilation.
Blank Stare: The shot cuts in and out of the alternative reality while the group of “masked individuals” are lurking over the protagonist.)

BN (Explanation of the masked individuals:
This bathroom scene is the first time that the “masked individuals” appear.
The masked individuals are visual interpretations/ manifestations of the dark thoughts and emotions being experienced by the main protagonist. The masked individuals are mysterious looking figures, usually cloaked in darkness, who are adorned in evil looking masks.)

The focus of the plotline transitions back to the view based in the real world after the masked individuals make their first appearance. The piece then shows a quick montage of the main protagonist finishing up his morning routine of getting dressed, adjusting his tie etc. etc.
Then the piece switches to the main protagonist walking down the street, all dressed up for work toting his suitcase.

SN (A side note, this could be one of the first times that the distortion type of effects that are applied solely to the alternative reality video sequences up to this point start to slightly appear in the real world sequences too. Also this would essentially be the first time the real world plotline that is displayed only on one television set is slightly seen to have the same visual effect treatment from the alternative reality plotline applied to it also. This shows the main protagonist’s division between actually reality and his distorted view of his reality beginning to break down. This is only a subtle aesthetic foreshadowing tool at this point and will relatively fade away fairly fast in this scene, returning the viewer to the unaltered viewpoint of the real world.)

When walking down the street it seems like the protagonist is the only person in the world. The atmosphere is very bleak and barren, similar to the opening shot of the protagonist sitting on his bed. The video then switches to the alternate reality. Here is when there would be the return of the masked men, walking down the street along with the main protagonist, looking like evil businessmen rushing off to work. The scene progressively becomes more chaotic, with the masked men becoming more disruptive, jostling in and out of the protagonist’s way. Eventually the chaotic nature of this scene, both through the characters actions and video effects (aka scratchy distorted effects applied to the alternate reality video display) intensify more and more until the story just quickly transitions back to the real world, where we find the main protagonist has arrived at work and is sitting at his desk.
The protagonist yet again has a blank stare plastered on his face, as the camera shows a straightforward shot of him.

SN (There are then shots that are interspersed in between showing the protagonist sitting at his desk and other static objects around his workplace.
Examples include: still shots of office lights or shots of other coworkers around the workspace for means of setting the atmosphere of his workspace)

Yet again the “feel” of the workplace is similar to the previous street shots and the opening bedroom shot, bleak and barren. After the couple shots of the main protagonist at his desk and the workplace surroundings, the plotline then switches back to the alternative reality. The first shot of the altered reality office is the same front shot of the protagonist sitting at his desk, except now seen through the gritty dark aesthetic of the previous alternative realm shots. The main character, now instead of zoned out and distant looking, is seated at his desk, looking panicked and distraught.

SN (These shots are similar to the various static shots of found objects around the office implemented to set the atmosphere in the real world office scenes, but now are close up shots of different parts of the main protagonists body. By this I mean, extremely close ups of his brow with beads of sweat rolling down his forehead or of his hand clenching a pencil, further illustrating his angst and distress in this particular scene)

Around him is then the masked men appear again, looming over then main protagonist. As the masked men crowd in around the protagonist closer, as if to attack him, he becomes more and more distressed. Parallel to this, the video effects also continually darken and distort as the plot reaches a similar transition as before, quickly flashing the plot back into to unaffected and bleak real world. The main protagonist’s blank stare is finally washed away when the ringing phone on his desk catches his attention. He answers the phone and the camera then begins to switch back and forth between and extreme close shot of the main character and a new female character on the other end of the line as the have a conversation. As the focus continues to switch back and fourth between the two individuals two or three more times, the real world scene begins to slowly distort, and sure enough within a few moments, the viewer is returned to a skewed dark perspective of the same conversation conveyed now through the alternative reality.
Now instead of just a seemingly non-eventful conversation with the mystery woman, both of the individuals seem distressed and emotionally affected by the content of their conversation. The main protagonist seems to be panicking and hurt at first, while the mystery woman seems blatantly angry and vengeful. This conversation scene then consists of flipping back and fourth between the main protagonist’s distressed and now continually angered state and the mystery woman yelling through the receiver at him. When the camera shows the mystery woman it also occasionally will quickly cut back and fourth between her enraged state and a look of pure ecstasy plastered across her face. This is meant to make the audience presume two things; ONE- that the mystery woman is actually the significant other of the main protagonist and that the scene that we are witnessing is a vivid depiction of two quarreling lovers and that TWO- that either in real life or in the main protagonist’s mind, this mystery woman/ his significant other has been unfaithful. As the argument progresses, with both parties becoming more livid and again the distorted alternative reality video effects mirroring that progression of negativity, eventually the plot quickly returns to the real world again as the tension in the scene reaches its climax. The conclusion of the conversation between the main protagonist and the mystery woman shows that the conversation ends seemingly not on a negative note, but in actuality with the previous intense argument solely taking place in the main characters mind.
The plot then follows the main protagonist on his journey home through a montage of him walking down city streets as before and also and maybe boarding a train or catching a cab.

SN (Possible ways to shoot this would be different filming techniques such as varying playback speeds and more random static shots of the protagonist’s surroundings on his walk home interspersed into the scene. Also the effects seen in the alternative reality begin to creep their way in again even more into the real world shots of the protagonist's journey home, yet again foreshadowing the breakdown between the two views on reality in his mind.)

Before the protagonist arrives home there is a short scene where he stops in at a bar to grab a drink. Sitting alone at the bar with his drink, the plot quickly switches two or three times between the real world and alternative world. Besides just the visual treatment of the shot, it is also shown that in the negative world the protagonist is joined at the bar with the masked men, in a way displaying them as now becoming companions on his downward spiral. After the bar scene, the plot shortly returns to the “journey home” montage of the protagonist, concluding with him returning home.
Now back at home, the real world viewpoint has reached the epitome of bleak. The house seems very empty and is shot through low to the ground, wide-angle shots, conveying a strong feeling of emptiness and loneliness.

AN (Shot ideas list for the protagonist’s arrival home scene;
1st shot- interesting angle, presumably low and wide, as stated above, of the protagonist entering his home.
2nd shot- another montage type of shot sequence showing the main protagonist getting undressed out of his work cloths.
3rd shot- back and forth shots of the protagonist drinking heavily, and zoning out in front of his television. )

At this point in the piece the “creeping” in of aesthetic elements from the alternative reality is occurring a sizable amount of times, even as much as to quick 1 or 2 second flashes depicting the alternative reality disrupting the scenes being displayed in the real world and its respective television screen.
While sitting on his couch, still zoning out and drinking, the protagonist’s phone starts to ring, and similar to the office scene when his phone rings, his point of view and the camera’s both focus on the phone. The protagonist picks up the phone and begins speaking through the receiver. On the other line again is the mystery woman. Unlike their previous conversation, where in the real world view of the conversation both parties seemed relatively calm, now the mystery woman has a look of concern of her face, while the main character has a despondent and sad look (presumably exacerbated by his drinking.)
Eventually the plot transitions again to the alternative reality display of their phone conversation. In a way picking up where the last conversation left off, both parties are already in the midst of the previous argument. This time though after showcasing the argument for a little bit of time, the piece focuses on the protagonist as he now falls into an intensifying rage. The shot then switches from an extreme close-up of the protagonist to a wider shot of him slashing and beating something or someone (this sequence is presumed to be the depiction of the protagonist’s enveloping rage finally exploding as he murders the mystery woman). With the gritty distorted film treatment increasing more and more as this scene progresses, the camera then focuses back and forth between the now lifeless face of the mystery woman and the practically possessed looking evil smile of the protagonist. When the scene ceases to focus back and forth between the two, and focuses solely on the protagonist, the camera backs out revealing the masked men, now definitely representing a direct manifestation of the main protagonist’s dark side, standing around him.
Returning to the real world once again we find that in actuality the main protagonist and the mystery woman are still speaking on the phone, with no murderous actions carried out. But, the mystery woman’s concern has progressed into visually apparent sorrow. As a tear runs down her cheek the phone conversation concludes.
With the end of the phone conversation begins the final portion of the piece. Grounded in the real world, but showing multiple elements of the alternate reality, the piece shows one last montage type sequence, this time even more sporadic then before.

AN (These shots may include; The protagonist continually drinking hard, staring at the television, praying intensely, writing furiously, laying sprawled out across the floor, holding his head in desperation and screaming out in emotional agony with his arms outstretched to the sky.

SN (These shots are displayed continuously back and forth between the two televisions, for the first time displaying at times the real world on the alternate reality’s respective television screen and vice versa, breaking down the confine of the real world to one set and the alternative reality to another.)

BN (This also signifies the breaking down of these worlds for the protagonist in the plotline, showing that the negativity and pain of this alternative reality is now overtaking any vague semblance he had left of an unaltered reality.)

This is when we reach the climax of the piece, with all the confines and unaltered portions of the piece now slowly disappeared and being replaced with increasingly distorted depictions of the protagonist frantically praying harder, drinking harder and falling deeper into despair and now even insanity.
With all of these events practically flashing on the screen like an intense action movie sequence, interspersed very quickly is two shots, now simultaneously broadcast on both televisions, amongst the storm of other franticly displayed imagery. The one shot is of the main character slowly lifting his hand up to his head in the shape of a gun, while the other is almost the exact same shot, but with the protagonist holding an actual gun in his hand. The two shots consistently flash back and forth until there are almost the same shot over laid atop one another.

BN (This sequence shows the complete break down of the two realities for the protagonist, even so much that the viewer is unaware of if he actually has a gun up to his head, or if he is symbolically killing himself by giving up on all hope completely)

Right before the protagonist pulls the trigger, there is one last shot overlaid with the other final two alternating shots. This shot shows one of the masked men in the same pose holding a gun up to his head overlaid on the visuals of the protagonist doing the same. This visual shows that now the main character has either forfeited or even become the dark entity which the masked men embody.
When the main protagonist pulls the trigger, instantly both screens go white as the soundtrack is silenced and replaced with just a singular high pitched ringing. As the white and the ringing both fade, the final shot of the piece is revealed, unaltered or affected with all the filters added to the previous shot, displaying the very last scene on just on one of the television screens.

SN (The screen that this final sequence, unaltered by effects, takes place on is the screen that up until the end, was the display for only the real world portion of the piece.)

The shot consists of an angelic like figure (presumed to be God) standing over the protagonist lying lifeless on the floor. Even though the Godlike figure’s face isn’t directly shown on screen, it is assumed that he is staring down at the protagonist. This shot is held for and elongated period time in silence until the Godlike figure walks away, leaving just the lifeless body of the protagonist lying on the floor. This shot is held until the screen fades to black, concluding the piece.


1 comment:

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