Production PhotoSecond Year Project — Luna (Pupil Gobble)
Seasonal happiness & concrete mayhem; where’s this journey heading? Luna’s glued down by winters blanket, but it’s time to ramble on; there’s always a way forward.
For our second project of second year we were asked to create a 5–7 minute non-linear film, this is where a film does not have a straight forward timeline in which the story takes place. Before we were given this project I already knew I would be working with my good friend Tomas Walmsley who I worked with on a film last year. I already know that I want to be a sound designer on this film as I fel most comfortable in doing so, also I think it will be a great opportunity to develop my skills as a sound designer.
Examples of non Linear Films
Rashomon is a great example of how non linear films can captivate an audience. Because of the multiple storylines told by different people, it always keeps the audience guessing on who is telling the truth. Also being highly critically acclaimed it’s none linear film at it’s highest quality. We watched Rashomon in a session with Chris Daniels and it was my first time watching the film and after watching it I still could not decipher which light to shed on the different characters. It was also interesting because it was a different style of non linear film than my previous experiences of the film making technique as instead of being a jumpled time line, everything was set at the same time however the story was told with wildly varying accounts from the different characters and it made for an interesting viewing and gave me a few ideas about the film I am going to make.
Pulp fiction is probably the most famous of the non linear films as well as one of the most famous films in general and it is quintessential Tarantino with it’s jumbled storyline, stylish settings and acclaimed soundtrack. However not only does it have a jumbled timeline but it also has a split timeline, it follows multiple characters in multiple time periods all culminating into one ending, it’s like multiple paths joining into one.
Memento is a great example of a backwards storyline and it is brilliantly set up with a character that loses his memory after 10 minutes, meaning he has to write down information and tattoo himself with information in order to piece together his situation.
Aswell as Tom in the group Ryan has also joined the group as a cinematographer. Our roles are as follows;
Tom — Script and Director
Ryan — Cinematographer and Editor
Myself — Sound Recorder and Sound Designer
After an initial meeting we were set on creating a surreal film with a jumbled storyline. Tom had an idea about a young person that had moved to a new city and was in a cycle of depression and anxiety, he also mentioned using a bicycle as a metaphor for freedom, this was a huge change from the original idea that myself and Tom had about a drunken bar fight that was being described by two friends that happened the night before and both friends were drunk so they could not recall properly the events. Myself and Macca (Ryan) also really liked this idea and we began to brainstorm on how to create the storyline, character and how to make it non linear. We can up with the idea of an ambiguous story line so that the audience are not sure whether the character is emerging from a horrific cycle or is spiring into it. We came up with the name of Life Cycle as the character use a bicycle as a means to escape from her situation.
Final Development and Pre Production
After deliberation we have decided to rename the film Luna after the films main character, a girl with SAD or Seasional Affect Disorder which is described as “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. As the synopsis suggests Luna is leaving or entering a state of depression due to the receeding or oncoming winter. Seasonal happiness & concrete mayhem; where’s this journey heading? Luna’s glued down by winters blanket, but it’s time to ramble on; there’s always a way forward. Is what we decided to be the synopsis as it gives a good impression of the film without giving too much away, it also does this in a poetic way.
Luna’s character and story is Heavily influenced by Allen Ginsberg’s Howl an epic poem from 1955 and in particular the part about his friend Carl Solomon who is far away from Allen in Rockland where he was committed to a mental hospital for insanity. Luna may not be insane but she is not living the life of a normal person, far away from her friends and suffering.
Here is the finalised scripted written by Tom
Risk Assessment is shown below
Involvement in the shoot
During the shoot I was mostly carrying equipment and making the teas, as well as having various creative input in the shot angles and lighting. I took a backseat role as my role as a sound designer was very much to do with post production.
Involvement in Post Production
In post production is where I came alive, during production I had recorded an exstensive library of Ambiance and Sound Effects, the film was quite intricate in places, such as the very first shot where the door opens in reverse, it took me a while to get the echo and creaking on the door right. Also the scene where Luna starts to lose her mind while doing the washing up was as I referred to it “A nightmare” as there was so many intricate diegetic sound bytes that I had to get perfectly. Luckily because it was a surreal scene I could add echo’s and wave slowing to get the desired affect.
Not having very advanced editing software at my disposal on my own my own computer I made do with what I had, I used the program Audacity to master all of my sound clips to fit the vibe that the group wanted, adding reverb and echoes to simulate memories and unclarity. I also played around with the sound clips on logic pro X which I found very useful in linking clips together to create a more wholesome sounding atmosphere.
Ryan had a keen creative eye and was always coming up with new ways to obtain great looking shots, Ryan always thought of a way to improve the look of individual shots with his well rounded knowledge of cinematography and set design. Ryan was also instrumental to the films story development and non linear structure. He would regularly contact myself and Tom with new ideas on how to improve what we had and how to make the story flow smoother and with more clarity. Ryan was also a big help to me when I was editing together the sound, giving me great ideas and assisting me when I was doing Foley work.
Tom radiates creativity in everything that he does and it was his ideas that gave birth to the idea of Luna, directing is something that obviously comes naturally to Tom because he was so clear in what he wanted the film to look and sound like. Tom was constantly updating the script with new and exciting ideas such as, colour grades, sound distortion, angles, dialogue and music in which he helped create. Myself and Ryan knew exactly what we had to do because Tom kept his exceptions clear and concise.
Overall I think the film was a huge success, we all played our parts well and each contributed a huge amount. We hit all the points in the brief efficiently and effectively and we created a piece of work that is great to look at and great to listen to. I am very proud of my work on the sound and I think I am hugely improving from my last project and I am certain that Sound Design is the path that I want to take.
We are hoping that Tom will be sending the film to film festivals very soon and creating a film poster as we gave him creative control over that, however due to his circumstances we wanted to give him some space and time.