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This has been our third shoot and I must say it has been the most fun as well as the most interesting. Apart from playing with Samaria swords dressed in robes while french farmers drive by in bewilderment Divorce papers plays an intriguing role in questioning the relationship of our personal lives and relationship to those we create through social networks. For those who have seen the original update in which this weeks video was based from (which can be found in the Inspiration category of this page) you will notice that this particular post sparked quite the debate, some expressed support and even celebration while others choose to take a more defensive approach while still trying to remain neutral. While others feel completely uninhibited in their comments there are still few how choose to address the statement with sensitivity, yet the urge to comment on issues in which one is even indirectly affected seems to be human nature. From a directorial and writers point of view this was a very interesting shoot, mainly because one of my lead actors was in fact the person who made the initial update. I don’t want to say that the first update used was easier to apply to a new situation because it wasn’t, the it certainly was a lot more impersonal, not only was this weeks update dealing directly with a huge aspect of someone’s life I am left with the responsibility of directing that very person with my interpretation of their own life.
I included this screen shot because it highlights the irony of facebook. As always I post my scripts here before the final video because I want viewers to be able to follow the development of how a creative thought evolves from start to finish. My actors posted a link to the strangestatus page and we got an interesting response to the script, from someone who wasn’t even involved in the initial update. It would seem that he found the script enjoyable and dare I say even impressed at how a simple facebook update could evolve into something far beyond it’s intentions, yet keeping the real names of those involved seemed to be unethical. I must say as a director I did feel a bit strange with this level of involvement in someone’s life but to change names of those involved would be an injustice to this project, and I can only assume I’m going to catch more heat once people start viewing the video. But that’s the point isn’t it, to invoke a reaction, I’ll like these to be entertaining but it’s not the over all goal, whether or not people like it is irrelevant, so long as it is provoking a reaction. Who knows, facebook will be forced to rethink how they structure their content due to this project, or at lease the people who provide the content.
Anyway this was by far the best shoot we have had and production will only continue to get better as I continue to hone my craft.
Open music playing. slowly fading in. Reveling a pair of pink soft toes laying in the cool snow. Camera slowly pans over following the curves of her body stopping at her face.
A slight line of dried blood stains her mouth
Above shot looking down. The woman laying on the ground of the white snow, blood drenched all around her
EXT: Apple Orchard: A light fog rolls over the fields.
The cameras low, slow panning from left to right. Slowly passing an assortment of weapons that are standing up out of the ground like soldiers at attention.
Just beyond the line of weapons and past a row of apple trees we see two fuzzy figures standing between two rows, about 50 feet apart from one another.
On the left stands a tall slender man dressed in all black except for his un-normally high socks in which his pants are tucked into. He is smoking a cigar.
On the right stand a shorter, man. dressed in more formal gowns.
Both men have swords on their back/in their hands.
CUT: CU of tall man with cigar
CUT: CU of short man grasping the handle of his sword
…You’re right, but she took my best friend away from me for about six years.
CUT: CU of the cigar landing on the ground, putting it out with his foot.
Thanks for reminding me.
But that makes me a terrible person for allowing it…
Anyway, moving on…
As the tall man speaks the camera focus on the small man. He looks insane, furious, white knuckles grasping his sword before the tall man can finish his sentence he rushes
Bringing his weapon over his shoulder chopping at his opponent who simply steps aside.
I didn’t say she did the right thing!
Swinging his sword over his shoulder. Again is opponent just ducks the blow
But that’s NOT the reason why you guys aren’t together!
The small man hold his sword in front of him arm extended, the other tucked behind his back, charging his opponent.
(dropping his sword so it lands perfectly upright in the ground and stepping INTO his attackers strike, wrapping his arm around the other mans and delivering a mighty blow to his throat)
When I decided to try and work things out
SHE was pregnant with him!
(small man tries to throw in a punch that is easily blocked)
Not much to defend there
(tossing his attacker to the ground grabbing his weapon and getting ready to strike when all of the sudden he looks up)
Far across the field we see another figure in the distance running a full pace. Brief case and papers flying everywhere. He finally makes his way over to the two men, handing a stack of papers over to the Tall man
Divorce paperwork… finally..
(trying to catch his breath)
I’m sorry, but this is a VERY good thing
(still laying on the ground)
It wasn’t just Lauras fault why your getting a divorce!
I don’t like how she’s made to look like she’s the only one who did something wrong
(looking down at the man on the ground)
sternly: Laura was a bitch BEFORE I met her, WHEN I met her.
Yah.. and you guys didn’t have to live with her
It’s done now, so not much more to say
(getting aggravated with the small man, shouting in his face)
There is SO much more I could say…
but I won’t
The Lawyer pushes back his glasses and knees down to speak with the man on the ground
Ryan is a better parent and a honest fella… he didn’t cheat on her, she needs to up and start being a mother
He stands back up looking at the Tall man. Giving him a nod. The Tall man nods back then brings his sword down fast
CUT: CU of Lawyers face as blood splashes all over it
wiping off his glasses and putting them back onto his face
Ryan, if you need some more legal advice let me know
Looking down as blood starts to run across his shoes, stepping back
we are all rooting for you and cam
The lawyer turns and start to walk off into the distance as the camera slowly pans back further and further away
You can’t see it because I took a screen shot before I made my own post on this, but as soon as i read the context of this update I thought “this is Gold” and that’s what I wrote. This is a perfect example of facebook serving more then just place for brief, no committing, encounters to keep up to date on highschool friends and old relationships but an open window in someone’s life, those whom would shy away from certain kinds of confrontation or normally keep their thoughts to their self while among the general public seem to have no problem and at what could be interpreted as gratification by posting bold, controversial, responses. Why is this? probably because in real life when you say something to someone (especially a friend) you can’t just walk away and brush it off, you need to stand your ground. But the net makes things so impersonal, it’s as if they were typing a paper or writing a note. I think Jon Ippolito put it nicely when refuring to the architecture of Facebook, we treat it like any other webpage that we can just throw something up then walk away with absolutely no disruption in ones day, the differences is what you throw up there isn’t being seen by a bunch of random people who have no idea who you are and probably never will. It is your friends, family, bosses, employees anyone you feel compelled to befriend simply because you happened to know one another at one point.
Anyway I’m rambling. The script if this weeks inspiration should be up sometime today/tonight. Filming starts tomorrow. Video should be up by Monday or Tuesday. Make sure pay special attention to the contributors to both the initial update and this weeks actors. To read more on the topic of Social Networks and personal privacy check out this article by Elizabeth Bernstein entitled: HOW FACEBOOK CAN RUIN YOUR FRIENDSHIPS
The second installment of Strange Status. In this video we go from gritty underworld to awkward first date. If you watch both videos to get a sense of how things such as body language, gestures, and influx can create a whole new atmosphere using the same words. What impact do your status updates have? are they inspiring? if so, then to who, what are they getting out to them? And what are you getting out of your friends updates? How well do you really know them?
In this Video
Special Guest Alexander Marquis
Scene Written by Alexander Marquis
Original Score by Alexander Marquis
Cut and shot by Alexander Marquis
Female Character: A snob, very self involved, more concerned with keeping her “home girls” up to date rather then engage with her date.
Hair is up, big hoop earrings, and necklace with long dress and matching high heals.
Male Character: Passive aggressive, a bit of a day dreamer. Is trying hard to be involved and engaging but ends up being rude and sarcastic.
Nice white shirt with tie. Black pair of pants with black shoes. Sleeves rolled up to his elbows.
Camera is low panning left to right.
There are two people sitting across from one another at a candle lit dinner.
CU: Male character sitting in his chair with fork and knife in hand.
Waiter Passes in front of camera placing a plate down in front of the Male diner.
He looks down at his plate, then up across to his date
Looking down at her phone, in disgust
Facebook on my phone isn’t working.
It’s the start of the end of the world…
letting his voice drag off
oblivious to his comment
What were we all doing before facebook and myspace?
CUT: Male character, just after inserting a piece of meat into his mouth looking off into the distance
CUT: CU of male character’s face, struggling hard, looks like he has to take a major dooky. bitting his lip.
CUT: Long Shot of male character sitting in front of a computer furiously masturbating.
CUT: Back to male character that continues to chew his food
Shrugging off the question
I was playing solitaire.
again disregarding his statement
Snood for me, (light laugh to herself like it was some inside joke). And living life, not making a fake farm on a computer. catching herself as if she said something offensive
CU: Male character giving her the WTF look at the irony of the situation.
CU: Female character is still trying to connect to FB
CU: Of phone/itouch not being able to connect
Female character frowns and puts it back in her purse.
OH my, what are you going to do?
shaking her head
Life isn’t worth living.
(laughing) Right! I guess I’ll do something
She picks up her glass and gestures for the waiter to refill it
Can you draw some thing up for an old friend?
Male character picks up his glass for a pour as well
I need to add to this cross….
Voice over of female character as Male chugs his wine and goes for another glass. Taking the bottle from the waiter
Cell phone starts to ring
Yah, I’m down at altered image if you’re not busy. Come by tonight, or tomorrow and we can plan something out.
Someone once said, good artist borrow, great artist steal. I don’t know who else out there shares this sentiment, but I for one am a true believer. Imitation is the highest form of flattery is it not? Well like all great artist out there I was stealing before I even knew it. As you all know this project steals dialogue from people’s facebook conversation and transforms it into a creative, engaging, and totally messed up interpretation. And as it turns out I’m not the only one. Turns out artist Odessa Begay had a similar concept, the differences hers where confirmed to 140 characters and are in the form of what I believe are Illustrator, um, ah illustrations? Why not, the point is they are brilliant and completely hilarious, like her image of our favorite cook, and money launderer Martha Stewart eating a heaping pile of spaghetti off the stomach of Chazz Palminteri over her Twitter post stating “the bowl of freshly grated reggiano Parmesan cheese – we boiled the pasta in salted water, put it on a giant platt..”
Yet another example of someone taking seeming meaningless content and turn it into something creative. I suggest everyone take a look at this site.
Final video from our first shoot Sunday! I got to say I’m pretty pumped about it. hope people enjoy. Check out the inspiration page to see the S.U.D that this weeks short was based off of.
Craig Gardner, Crystal Allen, Brian Daigle, and Brandon Kyajohnian