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CT5DIVEA - UNDERWATER FILMING UNIT: CONCEPT

DEVELOPMENT NOTES
18/11/2015
BRIEF:
Unit blog: http://portsmouthunderwater.tumblr.com/
Hand-In 23rd March 2016 by 3pm CT Admin Office

PITCH NOTES:
All groups will need to present for 10 minutes with 5 mins for Q&A.
The pitch should cover the following key points:
*ALL GROUPS TO SUBMIT A 1-PAGE 'PROPOSAL' THAT COVERS THE
FOLLOWING POINTS AS SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION - TO BE
SUBMITTED TO CS/BT AT THE PITCH SESSION.
1. What is the STORY? - hook / spend two minutes pitching the story!
2. What are the key THEMES you want to explore?
3. What is your working HYPOTHESIS or POSITION as the filmmaker
(informed by research process)?
4. Who are your PEOPLE or CHARACTERS & why should we CARE about
them (social actors/contributors or dramatic characters)?
5. How will you REPRESENT your people (ethical issues - trust, truth,
consent, issues of representation)?
6. What is the proposed narrative STRUCTURE?
7. What FORM & STYLE (use of camera/sound/editing) do you intend to
adopt?
8. Where is the DRAMA or CONFLICT in your story?

What you need to focus on is pitching your ideas so the audience can
VISUALISE your film and understand your INTENTION & POSITION as
the filmmakers....story, story, story!
HOW TO START
Perhaps the most obvious place for any of us to start is with our everyday
observations of the world around us. Following on from this you will need
to discover what concepts others have also considered important to the
subject in question. How can you do this?
You start by developing a project proposal, the format of which is the
following:

Title
Concept (background and need)
Preliminary creative rationale
Form/structure/length
Script
Target audience
Initial research sources/shooting schedule.
Preliminary budget (as required)

Research Primary and Secondary Sources


There are two kinds of source material that you will encounter:
In simple terms, primary sources are original source material such
novels, photographs, art, short/feature films or television programmes.
Secondary sources are written works that discuss and analyse primary
sources, in a summary and/or critical manner.

Visual Research Primary Sources:


You will need to engage in initial research using programmes/films and
other visual sources,
exhibitions or anything else you think will inform your position.

THE TREATMENT (2 page proposal document)


NB. All projects require a treatment that was approved by your tutor.
Although the format of treatments will vary from genre to another, the
treatments purpose is to present or pitch your concept and
script in brief (approx. 2-4 pages of A4).
The treatment is written after the initial proposal stage.

Your treatment should include the following:


1. Log Line (one sentence detailing the overview of the story)
2. Short Synopsis (200-400 words story & structure outline)
3. Long/Full Synopsis (600-800 words) - for fiction the entire story
breakdown scene by scene
4. An insight into the thematic intent of the piece and any underlying
issues related to
the principal content, as well as aspects of identification or
connection for the audience.
A. There must be evidence of thorough research: names,
locations, historic references all of which bring the
content of the project to life.
B. You must take into account what lies beneath the surface,
and what questions or challenges the work hopes to raise.
A STYLISTIC TREATMENT, outlining the use of staging, location,
Cinematography (i.e. mise-en-scene), editing etc. but not in shot-byshot detail

The treatment establishes structural associative


patterns, and the significance of sound and image through
your use of motif.

The treatment is written in the present tense, and in


the chronological order that the images, sounds
(including perhaps some spirited quotations from the social
actors or script) and themes present themselves in the
film. It is intended to convey to the reader-perhaps a
commissioning editor something of the excitement of
watching the final film, and is intended to indicate clearly
the viability of the production in terms of resources,
time, cost etc.

Remember a treatment is a sales document, and must


therefore be written in an accessible, vivid manner.

SCRIPT PROFORMA
Working Title: ______________________________________________________

1.

WORKING HYPOTHESIS and INTERPRETATION. What are your


persuasions about the world you are going to show in your film, the
main statement that you want to emerge out of the films
argument or dialectic?
Write a hypothesis statement incorporating the following wording:

I believe that..
My film will show this by exploring
The main drama or conflict is between
Ultimately I want the audience to feel
And to understand that..

2.

TOPIC. Write a concise paragraph about:


a.

Your films subject (person, group, environment, issue, etc.)

b.

The necessary background information the audience must


have to understand and be interested in the enclosed world
you intend to present. Be sure how this information will
emerge.

3.

ACTION SCENES. Write a brief paragraph for each intended scene


that shows an activity. (Action scene/event/incident: one location,
one continuous chunk of time, montage to show one topic.)
Incorporate the following:

SCENE 1
What the activity is and what
conflict it evidences.
The expected structure of
events.
What the scene should
contribute to the whole films
theme/ subtext and to the
hypothesis.
What facts the audience must
gather from watching it (ie
what is the function of the
scene).
What key, emblematic
imagery you hope to capture?

SCENE 2
What the activity is and what
conflict it evidences.

The expected structure of


events.
What the scene should
contribute to the whole films
theme/ subtext and to the
hypothesis.
What facts the audience must
gather from watching it (ie
what is the function of the
scene).
What key, emblematic
imagery you hope to capture?

SCENE 3
What the activity is and what
conflict it evidences.
The expected structure of
events.
What the scene should
contribute to the whole films
theme/ subtext and to the
hypothesis.
What facts the audience must
gather from watching it (ie
what is the function of the
scene).
What key, emblematic
imagery you hope to capture?

4.

MAIN CHARACTERS. Write a brief paragraph about each of your


main characters. For each include:
a.
b.
c.

5.

TO-CAMERA INTERVIEWS. For each interview, list: (if required)


a.
b.

6.

Who wants what of whom?


What conflicting principles do the characters each stand for?
Does your film put different principles in opposition?
How will we see one force finally meet with another?

AUDIENCE EXPECTATIONS. What stereotypes does your expected


audience carry that your film must deliberately set out to alter?
a.
b.

8.

Name, role in life, metaphoric role in films structure.


Main elements (information) your interview will seek to
establish.

CONFLICT. What is at issue in this film? Consider:


a.
b.
c.
d.

7.

Who (name, relation to others in film etc.)


Where (where does this person belong in the scheme of
things)
What (what is this characters role, what makes the character
interesting, worthy of special attention and significant? What
is this character trying to do or to get?)

What alternative views, facts, and ideas do audiences need to


understand?
What evidence will you show to get the audience to see those
different truths?

STRUCTURE. Write a brief paragraph on how you intend to


structure your film. Consider:
a.
b.
c.

How you will handle the progression of time in your film.


How and at what point information important to story
development will appear.
What you intend as the climactic sequence and where this
should go.

d.

How this relates to other sequences in terms of the action


rising towards the films projected crisis or emotional apex
and the falling action after it.

9.

FORM AND STYLE. Any special considerations in shooting or


editing style that might further your films content. Consider
narration, lighting, type and amount of inter-cutting, juxtaposition of
scenes, parallel storytelling etc.

10.

RESOLUTION. A brief paragraph on how you imagine your film will


end and what you would like the ending to accomplish for the
audience. Comparing an intended ending with the films beginning
also exposes what it must accomplish as a story to get there. The
ending is the last word to the audience and has a disproportionate
influence on what the film will mean.