This documentation post is written in a chronological manner:
Our group wanted to use utilitarian objects to present a narrative. Through discussion and brainstorming sessions, the overarching concept for our first idea is:
A significant development from Naomi and Kai’s assignment 2 where the male lead, Pierre Tan, left her. Lead actress wants to tell –
- The story of how it happened through the objects she obsessively collected from her ex during the relationship and what these objects mean to her.
- To tell the story of their 1 month relationship through these objects. The short time frame is used to highlight her obsessive behaviour.
Read more about idea 1 here
Unfortunately, the feedback we had received was that our story was too convoluted. There were too many ideas brought together — Craziness, sadness, sense of lost, etc. Furthermore, we wanted to present our idea in a non-linear manner. To bring so many ideas together and present it this way, our idea no longer evokes the fuzzy feelin’ we were looking for but instead seem rather haphazard. Our story was also lacking substance. Oh yes, and our request to use the dark room was rejected too.
Major Brainstorm 1:
Story/Plot: We had to defined our break-up story and we decided that our main characters remains as a pair of young adults– an enlisted boyfriend and a undergraduate girlfriend– that broke up due to inherent problems of our society. This story is largely based on Naomi’s personal experience where the differences between the duo was pulling them apart. Some inherent problems the characters faced are the clashing schedules they have that resulted in less time together, the different goals they have in life and the income gap between them. While these problems may sound materialistic, they are the reality. As an undergraduate, the girlfriend is all eager to get things right to prepare for the future whereas the boyfriend may learn to see life beyond the paper chase during his enlistment.
Space: With our request rejected, we were forced to pick a new space. This was a blessing in disguise as we downsized from a room to a cupboard. Firstly, it was easier to fill up a cupboard. Secondly, the limited space creates a greater sense of intimacy which was a big part of our work. Furthermore, we ditched the idea of a shrine in order to better focus on what was necessary. Hence, creepiness was no longer a factor of consideration. Creating an intimate and private space was our main objective.
Props: Instead of the original 30 objects, we had also reduced to only the necessary objects because 1) it wasn’t necessary to talk about every single day of their 1-month relationship and 2) a cupboard is smaller than a room. Also, instead of merely displaying the objects, some of the objects are of different state from its original state in the film. Eg: the graduation was painstakingly taped together, the fresh flowers had dried and wilted. These changes in objects was to show that a phase had passed and also reflects the girlfriend’s obsession with keeping these objects despite they are pretty much useless.
Presentation: We had decided to do away with the non-linear film in order to convey our story clearly.Instead, we would add a voice-over in order to show that these whole project was from the girlfriend’s POV.
Okay, so we are not going to bore you with the finer details of our plan. The plans on google doc are up here for read if you’re keen! So now, let’s move on to the next exciting step – filming.
All thanks to Kai steady filming skills and Naomi and Chris amazing acting, we’ve managed to film all that was necessary within a day. The first half of the scenes were filmed in school and the second half at Naomi’s house. The key scenes we filmed were:
MC: Main character aka the girlfriend
GC: Guy character aka the boyfriend
Scene 1. Object: Letters and graduation cup
Have a few shots at our school first. GC and MC at school, GC made the first move to write a letter to MC, passed the letter secretly to the locker. (this is how they first met and from there, take a shot of them studying and spent time together”, Graduates but then GC has to serve the army. MC went on to uni to continue study.
Scene 2. Object: Cologne and t-shirt
One shot of the guy preparing to go out, to celebrate their anniversary (maybe 1 year anniversary?), wearing his cologne, MC hugs him from behind, smelling the cologne.
Scene 3. Candles
GC just books out from army, MC visited him at his house and changed into his t-shirt), but GC just ignore cause had a long day, MC get pissed cause MC is also tired from a hectic day (?), broke out into a fight. (dramatic transition to when the watch stopped……. To symbolically show that from this point onwards everything goes downhill)
Scene 4. Object: Cup again
Different scenes of them arguing of small things and eventually the end.
While setting-up we tried to arrange them randomly but not messily. We wanted some form of order amidst the mess. The key objects had to be touched, letters could be read and photos could be seen. It’s tricky to re-create a mess.
We also added fairy lights to re-create this cozy atmosphere in the cupboard space. We wanted viewers to feel that opening this cupboard is like entering the mind of the protagonist.
With the projection on….
…and a final group photo.
Naomi, Kai, YuQing, Natalie