In the final chapter, the two characters finally meet each other. It’s a great end to the series. I like to take this time to give you my interpretations of trilogy. By no means this is exactly what Keone and Mari’s intention for their story. This is what I just feel as their director.
In part 1 “PLAY” we meet Keone. We quickly see he has a unique imagination and sense of humor when he accidently acquires the ability to freeze time. His playfulness is shown when he gets in the middle of a pick-up game of basketball. Upset by disrupting the flow of the game, the basketball players attempt to give Keone a hard time, but not until he freezes them again (great Segway for a dance number). He then loses the power later in the story, and feels a useless without it.
Now how does Part 1 carry over to the final chapter? Well, Although Keone can’t freeze time anymore. His playfulness, imagination, and sense of humor still comes back in this third film. He is flirty yet also timid at the same time when he see’s Mari. He wants to grab her attention but he’s a bit hesitant and “slow to speak,” hence the subtitles. Keone using the subtitles as gimmick to meet Mari was quite charming and playful. It was nice to see that side of him return in the third installment because it seemed like a quality the character Mari adored in a man.
In Part 2 “FIND” we are introduced to Mari. We see that Mari struggles with self-confidence and appearance, but later finds peace by just being her “true-self.” The soundtrack to the film was “superwomen.” And I couldn’t agree more Mari transformed into a “superwomen” in the third one. Although we see Keone and Mari interacting and getting to know each other, Mari didn’t fully let her guard down until the end of the part 3. Keone’s first words to Mari in the film were “How are you?” What’s so cool about that, Mari didn’t even answer Keone right away. She made Keone wait. WOW! Now that’s a strong women! She didn’t put her guard down that easy. When she felt she was at a safe haven she finally responded with “I’m Good.” I myself totally admire a woman who molds a man to treat them with respect. The transformation to being a “superwomen” was totally evident there. What I also like about making keone wait, is that it showed Keone and Mari complimented each other. Keone is playful when he meets Mari, but Mari is playful as well, playing along side the subtitle gimmick. At first you think Mari had to match keone’s level of playfulness, but we then find out Mari was making Keone match her level of playfulness.
“Oh the things that just make you smile”
Well those are my two cents on the trilogy.
The hardest part putting this film together was finding a location that complimented the story. We both wanted to be outdoors, and we both wanted a place that had a lot of contrast, have colors that pop, and have a park feeling. If its no secret the project was inspired by the pixar short film “Day and Night.” That’s where the silhouettes come to play, but what I also liked about the film was the color contrast between blue and green. Although it’s a cartoon, I wanted a setting that had lots of blue and green to pay homage to the original film. Luckily we found a place. Emotional and visually I feel the colors does something. The contrast between the BLUE sky, and the Green leaves/plants just captures the eye. The backdrop of the bay brought a natural outdoors feel. The tree in the middle complimented the characters. Everything at this location was perfect for the film. When we shot Part 3 there was a problem. It was cloudy. The sun wasn’t out. So my raw footage looked very grey. Having it grey would bring a depressing feeling. So I had to transform my raw footage to make it Sunny and bright during post-production. This is where visual effects came to play. Check out the before and after pictures.
Pushing for a release this week
The Final Installment…
Graphic Design by Jason Patio
In this second installment of the series titled “The Meeting”, we focused on Mari. It’s not so much of a predecessor of the first short film PLAY or a sequel, but more along the lines of another “episode” focusing on another character. There is a huge contrast from the first and second episode. The first was more fun, fast and up beat; it kept you on your toes. As for the second, the music had a mellow tone to the film, so the pace of the film is much slower than the first. That was the challenge, how do you keep your audience attention from beginning to end with the pace being much slower?
Well, Mari had a great story to begin with. We later teamed up to make sure we told the story in a way people can understand, as well as being impactful. In general, the story is a women struggling with how she sees herself by societies standards, and finds herself more at peace by just being her true self. Originally the story was the “insecure” Mari looking in the mirror for the whole film, and in the mirror we see the “true” Mari dancing as a reflection while the “insecure” Mari watches. Having the whole choreography as only a reflection seems so two dimensional, and that would be the easy route just to just split screen “insecure” Mari on the right side of the screen and the “true” Mari on the Left side with special fx. I personally felt seeing two “Mari’s” with the “twin effect” for the whole piece will be too distracting to the choreography; I wanted to maintain the integrity of the dance because that conveyed the most emotion. Again this is a Dance-short, so I felt the dance is a character of its own and the dancing had to be displayed to its full potential to show its full message. So I decided to scratch that original plan and instead of seeing a reflection of Mari, I designed a shot where we go inside of the mirror as if we go into the world of the “true” Mari. Going into the mirror will allow parallelism with the “insecure” mari, and enabled shooting the choreography to be more flexible. This allowed the choreography to carry the film.
Visually I had to keep the audience attention. With a slower paced song, I had to focus on emotions with visuals. I then used color tones to interpret the story i.e. “color grading.” When we first see the “true” Mari, I wanted to represent hope. Notice that the color tone is more golden than some of the opening shots of the film. That golden look allowed a brighter look. Bright comes from light. Light represents hope, which I wanted to depict the “true” Mari as. As we later see the “insecure” Mari transform into her TRUE self, the ending becomes really brighter; that just symbolizes the big leap into the light. This golden color tone was inspired by the movie DRIVE. It’s totally a film that inspired me with cinematography. Well, in this film, I noticed that the golden moments in the film were when the main character was happy. It’s a dark film, but when its golden, its when the main character is in love. I wanted to bring the Golden look to this film as well. I also used a tactic used from the LXD. They backlit the windows to accentuates the lines of the choreography. The windows weren’t heavily exposed in the raw footage, so I brought out the exposure during post-production.
You can do so much with a shot, and enhance it to give more artistic value. When looking at the shots, I hope it doesn’t just SHOW you something, but make you FEEL something. I want to take the next step to have lighting, color grading, and compositing more substance to a scene. This stuff does require a lot of labor. Constructing a shot has to be well planned out and executed. So to all my future working partners who want me to direct, all I say is give me TIME, and… FEED ME. Haha
We find out after Mari leaves her house, she went somewhere to read. It leaves us right where the first epilogue ended: Keone sitting down. DUN DUN DUN. I’m hoping you are putting together the “pieces of the puzzle.” This should reveal what’s leading us to the final conclusion of the series.