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a short motion picture business plan
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction Story Outline Production Plan Marketing Plan Budget Cash Flow and Financing Investment Considerations Director’s Statement
p.3 p.4 p.5 p.8 p.13 p.15 p.17 p.19
A good story can make a lot of money. Film production is a lucrative way to go from having a great story to owning part in a bountiful revenue stream. Ideally Planned Productions, LLC (“IPP” or “the Company”) is currently seeking investors to finance the production of a short film entitled “The Irresistible Offer” (“TIO” or “the Short”). “TIO” probes the depths of the human condition, contrasting our potential for the best and the worst within the span of 17 thrilling minutes. The short film seeks to maximize ORIGINALITY, ENTERTAINMENT, and PRODUCTION VALUE and is designed to achieve success at the highest levels of international festival competition in order to be a contender for an Oscar. This high concept film deals with cutting edge debate topics that will serve to provide word of mouth advertising - the bedrock of a good marketing campaign. In addition the Short’s innovative marketing plan will utilize the latest developments PROJECT LOGLINE in Internet promotion as well as more traditional A homeless man is offered means of promotion such as festivals and print. $100,000 and a new identity Furthermore shot on HD and ready for Internet and in exchange for participating mobile distribution, this film takes advantage of all in a terrorist plot to detonate an explosive device in the the emerging digital technology. Research is middle of Times Square, NYC. showing that there is a lucrative niche for wellproduced short form entertainment. While the internet is flooded with “shorts” they are done by amateurs and do not have inherent commercial value, in other words customers are not interested in paying for them, while they don’t object to being subjected to advertising messages. Currently companies like Apple, Fox, and Amazon are moving into providing feature length films, to buttress and test their models they also require well done, high quality shorts. Aside from the Internet and mobile devices, the traditional modes of distribution such as home video, television, and theatrical are also part of the marketing plan. IPP has extensive contacts in all these branches and will utilize them to get the project in the best possible commercial vantage point. Another potential and lucrative revenue stream may come from sale or optioning of the story rights. The film as it stands now is planned to be a mini-blockbuster, with the possibility of expanding it into a full feature using footage shot (like the British Oscar nominated short “Cashback” – now a feature) for the short or allowing another team to re-imagine the story in a remake, a currently popular trend in Hollywood. Aside from the story and the talented human capital, the project’s greatest asset is the relationship with an established production company that will serve as an umbrella providing use of it’s office space, production and post-production equipment, and insurance. Investment in IPP’s production of “The Irresistible Offer” will provide good returns because the film will look as if it was made for considerably more. In the entertainment industry, this greater percieved value directly translates to greater sales.
CHARACTERS CHARLES: Homeless man in his late 40s early 50s. Diabetic, drinking problem, intelligent but has given up hope. OFFICER MICHAELS: NYPD beat cop in his mid to late 30s. Likes his job, whether it means saving the day or being aggressive in order to maintain status quo. SYLVAN VERLOC: Man of ambiguous Balkan descent in his mid to late 30s. We don’t know if he’s a spy, mafiosi or terrorist. He could be any combination of these things. VERLOC’s COHORTS: 5 men in their 20s who comprise VERLOC’s “cell”. PLOT The film starts off with our hero, CHARLES, unconscious on the pavement of a midtown street during the morning rush hour. He is confronted by a cop, MICHAELS, who uses intimidation and mild physical violence to force CHARLES to get up and move out of the area. CHARLES’s situation is further worsened when he is beat up and robbed by another homeless, PETE. At the end of his line CHARLES is approached by a charismatic stranger, SYLVAN VERLOC, who keeps feeding CHARLES $20s and invites him to dinner. In a deserted restaurant undergoing renovations and staffed by VERLOC’s cohorts, the “irresistible offer” is made to CHARLES. Even though CHARLES is hooked after he accepts the first $20 bill from VERLOC, his resistance and acquiesce serves to build dynamic tension and segway into the last scene – the execution of the plot to detonate a bomb in the middle of Times Square. CHARLES follows the plan, but at the last moment has an epiphany, a moment of frozen time where he has a vision of the LADY IN WHITE. When time revs back up, he has changed his mind. Too late though, the bomb is triggered remotely by a cell phone. VERLOC’s men begin dialing in to detonate – but they can’t get a signal! CHARLES takes off running away from the Times Square crowds. A thrilling chase/man-with-a-bomb sequence follows. Just as the bomb is finally about to go off, MICHAELS appears on the street. He’s on the beat, patrolling. He senses that something is not right, and reads CHARLES’s body language (CHARLES wants to get rid of the bomb, but can’t decide where). MICHAELS yells to CHARLES to throw him the package, CHARLES does when it starts beeping. Fortunately, there’s an open truck double parked on the street, MICHAELS throws the bomb inside and closes the doors. The film ends with the bomb going off.
This section seeks to outline for the lay investor the general process of film production. Special considerations and challenges to the production are outlined towards the end of this chapter. Film production falls into three categories: pre-production, principal photography, and post-production. Pre-production is the process of preparing all the elements involved a film. In the film industry, pre-production usually only commences once a project has been developed and is green lit. At this stage a project will generally be fully financed and have most of the key elements such PRE-PRODUCTION as principal cast, Script Breakdown director and Budget and Schedule cinematographer in Casting and Rehearsals place, as well as a Script Rewrites screenplay which is Storyboards satisfactory to all the Crewing and Contracting Scouting-Location financiers. During pre-production, Insurance and Permits the script is broken Wardrobe and Props Prep down into individual scenes and all the locations, props, cast members, costumes, special effects and visual effects are identified. An extremely detailed schedule is produced and arrangements are made for the necessary elements to be available to the filmmakers at the appropriate times. Sets are constructed, the crew is hired, financial arrangements are put in place and a start date for the beginning of principal photography is set. At some point in pre-production there will be a read-through of the script which is usually attended by all cast members with speaking parts, all heads of departments, financiers, producers, publicists and of course the director.
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Principal photography refers to the phase of film production during which the movie is actually shot. It is usually the most expensive phase of
film production and generally marks a point of no return for the financiers. Once a film concludes principal photography it is said to have wrapped, and a wrap party may be organized to celebrate. ON-SET PRODUCTION HIEARARCHY
Post-production is the general term for all stages of production occurring after principal photography and ending with the completed film. The footage is brought into the editing computer (usually running Avid or Final Cut Pro) and is synced with the recorded POST-PRODUCTION audio. Following this a rough assembly is made Editing where the director and editor start to actually put Soundesign the film together. A digital effects specialist also Composing the Film Score starts working on creating Special Effects and compositing elements Color Grading Benefits of Tapeless HD that were not done in Production for Short camera. After a rough cut, there is a series of finer Films and finer cuts based on feedback. Eventually a final • Stock is reusable and cut is made. This is sent off to the composer who cheaper. writes a unique score to fit the mood and purpose of • Looks like film @ 24 each scene. Parallel to this work is being done on frames. sound design – adding effects, ambience, etc. Once • On-set WSIWYG the picture is locked (no more edits) it is color monitoring. corrected. Finally there is a sound mix and audio is • No processing lab fees or married to the image. The final result is laid off to mess-ups. digital tape masters. • No logging or capturing, SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE FILM HD: The film is going to be shot on HD. Recently, projects like Michael Mann’s “Collateral”, George Lucas’s “Revenge of the Sith”, Roman
content instantly ready for editing. • No camera noise. • Same pallete of lenses and camera accessories as in 35mm.
Polanski’s “Oliver Twist”, Bryan Singer’s “Superman”, Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto” and Robert Altman’s “Prairie Home Companion” have all been shot using this format. As can be glimpsed from the selection, HD now is not just a sensible solution for CGI heavy productions, put works great for any story. In general, the artistry of Cinematographer working in concert with the Art Director is what results in that feeling of high production value that people have to expected from Hollywood entertainment. HD just means the expense of working with emulsion film is illuminated. The debate of HD vs. 35mm is moot at this point and will not affect the commercial desirability of the product. FX: As maybe gleaned from the script there are going to be a number of special effects shots, the most elaborated ones being the frozen time with the Lady in White and the explosion. A green screen studio will have to be rented, but that will be the only expense as the actual special effects labor will be done for free as part of IPP’s coproduction deal with Run Cycle Productions. NYC: The film was written for the city. While shooting on location in Times Square will be no doubt challenging, the director has 6 years of shooting on the streets of the city and New York City’s Film and Television Commission is extremely accommodating to insured productions (MTV shoots in Times Square daily). Furthermore, NYC has a great source of acting talent willing to work for free to get a chance at exposure. The numerous film programs offered by New York’s universities provide a sizeable pool of behind the camera talent as well interns. RESTAURANT: New York has a lot of restaurants, a number of which are always under renovation. The fact that the script calls for them to be under renovations and hence unusable will add further savings to the production and will make scouting and negotiations easier, the production will offer the restaurant to make some money even when it is closed down. POST: Woo Art International has modern post-production facilities that will be used to edit the film and lay off to HD tape.
Film marketing is an art onto itself. It is standard practice for studios to budget 25%-50% of the film’s production budget in order to promote and sell to the public. Indies, whose budgets are considerably smaller, had to come up with innovative “guerilla” tacticts to get the word out about their productions. But the truth of the matter is, like with any product, a good project speaks for itself and nothing beats word of mouth advertising. IPP has come up with an innovative strategy to promote this unique short film. The backbone of the campaign will be the festival push towards the Oscars, but a hedging strategy, using the internet in conjunction with the founding partners’ extensive connections with media industry and NYC cultural and nightlife luminaries, will also be implemented. The film will have a site and a blog, as well as a promotional trailer/teaser will be made available. The film will be promoted to other blogs in order to get a buzz going about the project. Furthermore, screening parties will be held at stylish spots in order to directly promote the project to the trendsetting audience. All this, of course, can be done without any expense to IPP. One good write up in the right place will launch the project into the mainstream creating interest from established distributors. CURRENT MARKET OVERVIEW
Global Filmed Entertainment Market
- in US$ Millions
$0 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
The Global Filmed Entertainment Market is forecast to continue strong compounded growth of 7.5% over the next five years, reaching $103 billion by 2008 in box office and home video/DVD sales alone. With approx. 450 theatrical releases per year, the US cinema business
is worth in excess of $1.45 billion a year in box-office ticket sales alone. Home VHS/DVD sales and rentals account for an additional 250% of box office receipts. HDTV households continue to grow in numbers and are projected to reach 20.3 million by the end of the year, jumping 5.3% from 15 million in mid-2006. U.S. and Japan account for 91 per cent of worldwide HDTV households. Furthermore as of 2003, there were 3851 features and 1809 shorts films being produced annually, worldwide in a $75 bn market. Along with 1687 made for tv films, 1355 tv series, and 1660 direct to video movies there were 25,253.5 hours worth of content. These figures indicate that in 2003 on average each minute of distributed film generated close to 50,000 dollars. Each minute of Titanic made 9.5 million in worldwide theatrical gross alone. Apple’s iTunes sold over 1 million videos for $1.99 each in the first 20 days of the service being offered. And as of writing this, Amazon has launched their own analogous service as well. Youtube gets 80 million visitors a month. And there are currently 100-200 sites that offer video on demand. "In EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) online subscription services and video streaming services are entering the market. Together they will reach $2.2 billion by 2010 from only $216 million in 2005, averaging 59.1 percent growth compounded annually." Source PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP REVENUE POTENTIAL There was a time when shorts were screened in movie theaters before features. This changed in mid 80s when advertising replaced this classic entertainment and shorts were relegated to festival slates and an occasional appearance on television. They became merely calling cards for aspiring directors and most were the results of film student productions that lacked the maturity and production value of the long-form Hollywood fare. Fast forward to 2006 where thanks to digital filmmaking and emerging internet and mobile device distribution models the Short is making a comeback, and in a big way! Due to The Irresistible Offer’s high concept and budgeting for a high production value the film will be poised to take advantage not only of the traditional successful path for a short – festival screenings, major festival recognition, followed by television and DVD distribution, but will also be sold as a high resolution internet download and a scaled down and trimmed down 5 minute version that can be purchased for viewing on a video capable cell phone (like Verizon’s Vcast phones) or a portable media device like Apple’s iPod. But that is not all, the film will also become a calling card for the feature length project that can incorporate the already shot footage, on the model of the Oscar nominated short Cashback. IPP will own the story rights to the project and naturally whose sale or optioning revenue will go to investors.
SHORT FILM DISTRIBUTION POTENTIAL
P s ib D t ib t nM r e s o s le is r u io ak t
1% 0 2% 5 2 % 1 %
C b &P y P r V w a le a - e - ie W rld id T / a le o w e VC b T e tr a h a ic l In rn t te e D ms H m V e o e tic o e id o In rn tio a H m V e te a n l o e id o P r b E c o ic o ta le le tr n s
Short films fall under the category of short form content. This is the predominant form of video content on the net and mobile devices, it has advantages over the long format such as features because download times are smaller and the content can be digested without commitment, say over a coffee break. IPP is planning on pursuing traditional distribution routes along with emergent ones whose reality is being made possible by technological advances – cheaper LCD screens, cheaper bandwith, faster wireless and wired data transfer speeds, etc. BUZZ What we are looking for is a catalyzing word of mouth moment where exposure and distribution potential can start to snowball creating more and more income revenues for IPP and its investors.
FESTIVALS The last stop on a short film’s journey to major exposure is an Oscar nomination. In order to be considered for the Academy Award the film has to be ORIGINAL, ENTERTAINING, and have PRODUCTION VALUE. In addition, the film has to be recognized by a festival on the Academy’s list. IPP will put apply to dozens of these festivals on the Oscar route and will work off the momentum to generate buzz.
Ann Arbor (Michigan) Film Festival Aspen Shortsfest Athens (Ohio) Intl. Film Festival Atlanta Film Festival Austin Film Festival Berlin Intl. Film Festival Bermuda Intl. Film Festival Cannes Festival Intl. Du Film Chicago Intl. Film Festival Cinequest Film Festival Clermont-Ferrand Intl. Short Film Festival Cracow Intl. Festival of Short Films Flickerfest Florida Film Festival Foyle Film Festival The Hamptons Intl. Film Festival India Intl. Film Festival Locarno Intl. Film Festival Los Angeles Film Festival Los Angeles Intl. Short Film Festival Melbourne Intl. Film Festival Montreal Intl. Festival of New Cinema Montreal World Film Festival Nashville Film Festival Oberhausen Intl. Short Film Festival Palm Springs Intl. Short Film Festival Rhode Island Intl. Film Festival
San Francisco Intl. Film Festival Santa Barbara Intl. Film Festival Short Shorts Film Festival Shorts Intl. Film Festival Slamdance Film Festival St. Louis Intl. Film Festival Sundance Film Festival Sydney Film Festival
Tampere Film Festival Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival Turin Intl. Film Festival of Young Cinema Uppsala Intl. Short Film Festival USA Film Festival Venice Intl. Film Festival
TELEVISION The following excerpt from the New England Film journal sums up IPP’s strategy:
“Most of the short films DeVine licenses on behalf of IFC are negotiated directly with the filmmaker. IFC recognizes lots of "up-and-coming talent" through short film submissions, which can lead the channel to seek to other projects from a filmmaker. Because IFC and its competitor, the Sundance Channel, are the largest markets for short films in the U.S., the variety and volume of short films they are able to showcase is larger than other outlets. This is good news for filmmakers of short projects, who may find a shortage of appropriate ways to submit work, especially for television. "Filmmakers should feel more relaxed about submitting short films to IFC, because there isn’t the kind of network for short films that there is for features," says DeVine. Because competition is less intense in the short film circuit (between filmmakers, distributors, outlets, and promoters, for example) filmmakers should not feel as if they need connections to get exposure for their work. Creators of short films have a much more equal footing in this quest than in the selection process for feature films; credentials and networking mean less, while talent and originality mean more.” – New England Film
Al Gore’s CURRENT TV is also a good target for the effort, TIO’s capacity to spark political debate will be appealing to CURRENT TV’s programmers. In addition start-up cable channels are known to license shorts as a cheaper alternative to features. INTERNET The Internet is in the middle of a video on demand boom. The two main differences are the Youtubes vs. Amazons. While YouTube content is mainly DIY with low production value or content legally ambiguously recorded off TV and offered for free (just as the providers of the content themselves are not compensated for their submissions). The Amazons and iTunes on the other hand license their content and sell it at a fee. It has been recently leaked that Apple plans to sell features by end of the month for $14.99 keeping $1.00 for themselves. Services selling video content are growing by the minute. Currently there are between 200-300 sites on the net aggregating, giving away or selling video content. IPP will have numerous opportunities. While
iTunes prefers to deal with major distributors, it has a precedent of dealing with independent music distributors and it is probable they will adopt the same strategy for licensing desireable video content from indies. Revver, Google Video DVD and HD DVD Films that win the Oscars always get to be on DVDs currently being distributed by Magnolia Pictures. Furthermore there are several prominent DVD collections of shorts and magazines that are interested in licensing shorts for home video. THEATRICAL “The digital projection of alternative content—ie, forms of large-screen content other than feature film, represents the greatest new revenue potential for cinema exhibitors.” Global Information, Inc. Over the next 3-4 years, Technicolor plans to digitize 5000 screens. PORTABLE MEDIA While devices like Sony’s PSP and iPods can handle fairly long and highrez content and will have no problem playing the full version of the film, IPP intends to have a shorter version of the film made especially for cell phones. This shorter version will be recut and reframed for cell phone screens. Currently companies like Mobizzo and Verizon offer content for cell phones. STORY RIGHTS - ADDITIONAL INCOME REVENUE Due to the high concept of the film and its potential for buzz we are including this revenue stream in case another producer wishes to develop the idea into a feature or we get financing to incorporate the footage into a feature length project. The writer has several ideas about expanding the film’s themes and characters and framing the key events in an equally exciting feature length script.
THE IRRESISTIBLE OFFER
Fringe assumptions: Payroll Tax WGA DGA SAG AFTRA Agency Fees SUMMARY BUDGET 02-00 03-00 04-00 05-00 Script Producers Unit Direction Cast
0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
THE IRRESISTIBLE OFFER Shoot Days: 4 Location: Local Unions: None Production: HD Nonlinea Off/On-Line: r Finish: HD
0 1,100 0 0 TOTAL ABOVE-THE-LINE 1,100 0 725 1,860 950 500 650 425 2,625 9,100 485 3,300 600 0 0 TOTAL PRODUCTION 21,220 80 550 575 25 TOTAL POST-PRODUCTION 1,230 0 0 TOTAL OTHER 0 1,100 22,450 23,550 2,355 $25,905
10-00 13-00 15-00 17-00 18-00 19-00 20-00 21-00 22-00 23-00 24-00 25-00 26-00 27-00 30-00 33-00 34-00 35-00
Production Staff Production Design Set Operations Set Dressing Property Wardrobe Make-Up and Hairdressing Electrical Camera Sound Transportation Location Expenses Picture Vehicle/Animals Film & Lab Editorial Music Post Production Sound Titles & Graphics & FX
37-00 Insurance 38-00 General & Administrative Total Above-The-Line Total Below-The-Line Total Above and Below-the-Line Contingency @ 10 % GRAND TOTAL
IPP will be co-producing this short with Woo Art International and Run Cycle Productions. Woo Art International will contribute general & administrative support (office space, etc.), certain production equipment +
expendables, and the use of its facilities for post production. Furthermore, at a big savings to the production, IPP will use Woo Art’s umbrella insurance for securing locations and equipment rental. Run Cycle will provide special FX consultation and implementation. IPP will acquire IFP sponsorship for the project. IFP sponsorship provides a means for individuals and companies to grant tax refundable donations including cash, materials, and services. This will further allow for a decrease in expenses. Furthermore, staff will be encouraged to defer whole or part of their salary until the film recoups the money for principal investors. 10% Contingency prevents the chance of film running over budget, if the film is underbudget investors get return on investment of unused funds. Marketing will be done by the founding partners with additional help from ThinkPR and Three21 Productions.
CASH FLOW and FINANCING
In the following scenario the “Director’s Purse” represents a 20% ownership of the comapany by the founding partners. While the time and energy invested by the Producers warrants such a stake, in reality the 20% will be parlayed into deffered payments to the crew, hence it is a means for investors as well to minimize their investment.
Year Ended DVD Television Internet Mobile Device Story Rights 2007 $15,000 $5,000 $10,000 $10,000 $2,000 2008 $2,000 $2,000 $5,000 $5,000 $2,000 2009 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $1,000 $25,000 2010 $2,000 $2,000 $1,000 $2,000 $0 Totals $20,000 $10,000 $17,000 $18,000 $29,000
Total Gross Revenue
After investors submit their money, it will be kept in a bank account and will not be touched until all the funds are accumulated, all the accounting will be with proper monthly reports. As can be seen from the scenario, the first revenue of $30,000 (120% of the investment) will be split between the investors only, allowing them to recoup their money and take a good profit. All the moneys coming in after that point will be split between the 20% “Director’s Purse” and the investor’s 80% share of the company. Pay outs to investors will be made quaterly from a dedicated bank account. All Accounding will be transparent.
The following points sum up some of the benefits of investing in Ideally Planned Productions, LLC production of “The Irresistible Offer”: • Participating in a rapidly expanding industry. • Exciting story that will generate a buzz. • Project headed by experienced and talented crew. • Business takes advantage of technological developments and niches in entertainment market. • Two products for price of one 17 min “theatrical” version and 5-7 min “portable” version. • Support of the artistic. • Access to the independent segment of the film market with favorable risk/reward dynamics. • Each investor will receive a monthly progress statement outline how much has been achieved and how much has been spent. • Credited as Executive Producer and receive DVD copies of the project. THE LIMITIED LIABILITY COMPANY Investors will be Members or shareholders whose obligations will be limited to their initial investment. There involvement is purely as a passive investor as per certain stock purchases. Andrew Yakovlev and Tina Mohanty will be the Managing Members of the company and will be responsible for making any and all creative and business decisions regarding the motion picture project, The Irresistible Offer. Many business professionals believe LLCs present a superior alternative to corporations and partnerships because LLCs combine the best advantages of both. With an LLC, the owners can have the corporate liability protection for their personal assts as well as the tax advantages of partnerships, much like a Subchapter S-Corporation without the management restrictions. In summary, there are several advantages of the Limited Liability Company: 1. Protection of personal assets from business debt. 2. Profits are not taxed at the corporate level (flow-through tax capability). 3. Greater flexibility in management and organization of the business. CLASS B INVESTOR TERMS • USD 1,000 per unit • Investment units of $1,000 are available for purchase in Ideally Planned Productions, LLC (minimum purchase 5 units).
PROFIT ALLOCATION Investors will receive 120% of the company’s financial returns up to the break-even point (the budget plus 20%) WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO RECEIVE A RETURN? In the profit participation deal, the time frame depends on the purchase of the short by the outlined distributors. Since IPP will be licensing the film to these companies, the money will be received as soon as negotiations are finished, money is received and masters are delivered. SUBSCRIPTIONS Offers to purchase Membership interests are subject to acceptance by the Managing Member. A questionnaire must be completed by each proposed investor. Contributions by the prospective investor are to be made by check at the time of the signing of the Limited Liability Company Operating Agreement as well as The Securities Subscription Agreement. All funds will be kept in a separate bank account until applied towards company expenses. The securities represented by the Limited Liability Company interests are being offered pursuant to an exemption from registration under the Federal Securities Act of 1933, and as amended in the New York Corporations Code. As such, company interest may not be resold or transferred without registration under federal state securities laws, or an exemption from the provisions thereof. RISK TO INVESTORS Investing in the film industry is a high-risk venture. The sole business of the limited liability company Ideally Planned Productions, LLC will be the production, promotion and distribution of the short film. In such a venture, the risk of loss is especially high in comparison with the prospect for any profits. Company interests should not be purchased unless the investor is prepared for the possibility of total loss of investment.
For lay investor this is a great opportunity to invest in a great little project and make a modest $ while also supporting art. For industry investors this is a great opportunity to test the waters to get involved in something that really seeks to take advantage of those buzzwords that people here all the time, but don’t really now what to do. Well as this proposal shows, well planned out and acted a short film can be great way to make money, but also to inject fresh blood into the industry. NOTES The dramatic triangle of this story is between the three men: CHARLES (motivated by desire to get back into the social pyramid, the status quo), VERLOC (motivated by desire to shock the status quo for personal material gains), and MICHAELS (motivated by the desire to maintain the status quo and preserve the social pyramid). Furthermore, CHARLES goes through an important transformation through the course of the story. In the early pages he is on the lowest levels of the social rungs, and by working with VERLOC, he sinks even lower – his desire for material gain and revenge on society motivates him to agree to commit mass murder. The historical source for this scheme came from the terrorist acts in France and Russia. The bomb in the garbage can has been a staple M.O. in those two countries. What makes this story unique, and the Russian tragedies different is that in certain terrorist acts, there is a record of participation by Russians. This contrasts sharply with the current image of Al-queda trained jihadists and fanatics. In acts like the Nord Ost and Beslan, bribery was used to secure complicity of Russians. Furthermore, in Russia, there is a law that offers a pardon to anyone involved in terrorist activity who changes their mind and prevents an attack from happening. This coupled with a personal belief that sometimes a wisest decision a man can make is to change their mind and be flexible, are the reasons why CHARLES makes his decision in the frozen time landscape. In that nick of time, CHARLES comes from being a socially worthless traitor to a real hero. He proves it, because he holds on to the bomb and tries to get it away from the crowds. A good story should give the audience what they expect, but not in a way they expect it. Our twist is MICHAELS helping CHARLES save the day. In the beginning and the ending of the film MICHAELS does his job which is being a cop, sometimes it means using the threat of violence to maintain social order, in other times it is sacrificing himself to violence in order to maintain social order. I think a nice aspect of the script is that our perception of MICHAELS changes, and that can be just as rewarding as a character going through a transformation. The LADY IN WHITE is a symbolic element; it can imply a number of things and is there for the audience to ponder. For dramatic, stylistic, and visual purposes she is a means to pause the tension in a feverish climax and redirect the story towards a more satisfying, and even more intense ending. Furthermore, it’s a good opportunity for some special effects work to
heighten the production value of the short. The final sequence is an intercutting of the cell phone dialing, CHARLES actions, and the recording of the terrorist’s video camera. Terrorists often record their acts ad proof and means of securing further finances, for the purposes of a film it is a great stratagem to show off the explosion without actually going the expense of blowing up a truck in the middle of the city. Using the pixilated and grainy image of an exploding truck (miniature) will give all the BANG of an expensive shot, without sticking it to our budget.
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