User:Daan Bunnik/Documentation of Process

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The beginning of this year I started writing about an adolescent guy living on himself in Rotterdam, feeling isolated, alienated and not able to make contact with other citizens. He went for a night out drinking in a city he felt has a disharmonic character, which causes the indifference between citizens of Rotterdam and causes him to feel singled out from his environment.

There have been a lot of changes since then, first several changes in the screenplay. A girl was introduced, because I hoped meeting another adolescent who has less problems with the city, would shine a different light on his opinions about the disharmonic character of the city. Divorced parents were introduced, thus the guy has an argument with his mother and had no place to go besides his father in Rotterdam, which he hasn’t seen in years. This created a sense of essence for having no other place to go and for his miserable feelings. After struggling for a few months with screenplay writing I decided to move away from the written word and move back to the image again. During writing the screenplay I made a lot of photos. The photos shared a lot of similarities even though the subject changed. I went for a week to Schiermonnikoog, an island in the north coast of Holland, to take a step back from my work and to be able to analyse my own photography. In this week I made a thorough analysis of my own working methodology in my photography. Although the week was meant as a week of rest, I couldn’t help myself making a short film. Afterwards I realised that my working methodology in my photography is similar as my working methodology in filmmaking. Back at school I started editing and from the edit derived a ghost story of two lovers hunting each other. The guy was literally hunting the girl, with the camera in hand when he runs and the girl was hunting him in his mind. When I teacher pointed out the similarities it shared with Tarkovski’s Solaris, I watched the film as well as Sodenberghs remake. I enjoyed seeing both films and understood the similarities, except in my film someone would never commit suicide, because somebody else inflicted harm upon the character. Instead my character would commit suicide if she feels she inflicted harm on her loved ones, because she could not live up to the expectations of them and therefore lost her sense of rationale.

I want to re-shoot the basic narrative of this film in a city environment, with the same working methodology as used on the island, however now I would like to work with dancers as actors. Together with the dancers I hope to expand the narrative and I expect their input to help me on a more direct interaction between the main characters. The city of Rotterdam will play an active role in the story, because the two main characters will be alienated in a big city, the city décor thus emphasis the fact that they only have each other in an empty city. It also creates an atmosphere of questionable realities; it’s not clear if her presence he is confronted with is a reflection of his own imagination, or she is a new version of her, or if this is his new reality. I plan to work with a +-/++/-+/++ scheme. This means that first seeing her makes him strangely delighted. He wants to see her again, yet he is confronted with only her back. She will not give in, because she feels everybody is still mad at her and the reason why she committed suicide is because she can’t confront her beloved ones anymore because she is too ashamed, she can’t stand the by her mind invented ‘eyes’ of her beloved ones. Therefore she can only show him her back (+-). When she is ready to look him in the eyes, because he persuaded her by his dance, there is a moment of reconciliation (++). However this moment makes him aware how much pain she caused him by committing suicide, which causes him to move away from her, from this ghost figure and now it’s up to her to persuade him (-+). After her dance, persuades him, they are both ready to reconcile with each other (++).

My aim is write a practical-based thesis about the short film I plan to make in Rotterdam. In the winter I shot a short film on the island Schiermonnikoog, after editing it turned out to be a ghost story of two lovers hunting each other on the island. The film’s narrative shares similarities with Tarkovsky’s Solaris. The relationship of my characters in my film is similar to that of the relationship of Kelvin and Hari in Solaris; the girl has committed suicide and that the guy cannot forget her. Except the reason why they committed suicide and the space in which they are confronted with their past away lover is different. My plan now is to re-shoot the basic narrative of this film, but then located in a city environment. My working methodology with regard to cinematography will be similar as used on the island; depersonalization and alienation of my actors through my framing and by the use of light. What is different is that this time I would like to work with dancers as actors. Together with the dancers I hope to expand the narrative and I expect their input to help me creating a more direct interaction between the two main characters. The city of Rotterdam will play an active roll in the story, because the main characters will be alienated in a big city by the use of cinematography. The cinematography in this city décor thus emphasizes the fact that they only have each other in a seeming less deserted city. In my thesis I hope to guide the reader through the development of this project. I’m reading Tarkovsky’s book Sculpturing in Time at the moment, which is interesting because here he explains his motivations and developments throughout the years and also argues his own viewpoints on film. The book is a mixture between practice and theory without becoming to academic, which I hope to achieve as well in my thesis.