My thesis is comprised of three components: the first is the short film, “State of Grace.” The second is a Project Portfolio of my films produced from May 2016 – April 2017; this document includes concept notes for each project, visual inspirations, shot lists, storyboards, and budget breakdowns. The individual video URLs are included at the end of the portfolio. The third component is a video showcasing each of those projects in a demo reel.
The short film, “State of Grace,” is about a woman who reminisces about a past relationship on a night drive. The memories of this relationship compel her to show up at his door. The title, “State of Grace,” is a reference to the character’s emotional state. She is unable to move forward with a new relationship because she is still in love with her ex-boyfriend; however, her ex-boyfriend has moved on and she cannot reclaim that love. The title also refers to the struggle of reconciling love with heartbreak. The film is predominantly silent, accompanied by a piano driven score that reflects the character’s state of mind. The project is highly imagistic, intercutting between happy memories of the couple and the woman driving alone. The piece ends with the character at her ex-boyfriend’s door, intending to tell him she’s still in love with him. She changes her mind when she realizes he isn’t alone. The production influences are described in greater detail in the Project Portfolio.
“ACT1” is the brand I’ve assigned to my films. The Project Portfolio includes concept notes for each of the seven projects I’ve produced, directed, and edited in the past year (May 2016 – April 2017). In addition to a written description of the creative influences on the project, I’ve included my visual inspirations for each piece. All of the films are silent, feature slow motion photography, and are accompanied by original music. The visual expression of emotion inspires most of my work, along with connections in human relationships. Overall, my films have a cinematic, surreal aesthetic, experimenting with ethereal lighting and high frame rates. The shot lists and storyboards are included for most of the projects, along with an itemized budget breakdown. Since I’m most inspired by imagery, my shooting style is improvisational—none of my films have formal screenplays. Intercutting and jump cuts are frequent editing techniques in my projects, including the demo reel.
I edited the reel, connecting the different projects via match cuts whenever possible. The match cuts are on similar composition, content, or camera motion. The music is original and synth-heavy. The title animation features parallax overlays and lens flares to reference the surreal aesthetics in my films.
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