In my film I took a lot influence from my favourite film Requiem for a dream. So I thought it would be fun to breakdown and look at all the nods and references I made to Requiem for a dream in my short film.
The first one I want talk about is the drug sequence, as this is one of the first ideas that I came up with. When coming up with the idea for having someone trying to escape a life of drugs. I wanted to show the something that showed the effect of drugs more visually. Looking towards Requiem for a dream because I wanted to do someone getting away from drugs and that life, and I knew that the film’s story was about that.
This scene gave me the idea to have Ethan preparing the bong sped up so it contrasts against the slowed down smoke cloud. I felt that this really portrays the visual aspect of taking drugs. I wanted to get the feeling across of Jasper being high through visuals and music without just showing Jasper hitting the bong. I feel having a more stylised approach and not just straight up showing someone hitting a bong was more creative and added a lot to the film.
This happens a lot in Requiem for a dream. Having more having more stylised sequences creating mood and atmosphere, this being something I wanted to reference and show in my short film.
Nathan’s line one line in the film may seem a bit off and some people might not chose to have those certain words. The line I am talking about is “Are we gonna waste sometime or what?” The reason I chose to have this extract line is because its what Jennifer Connelly says before getting high in one of the scenes. I wanted to have this line because I think it shows us that the character know what they are doing is pointless and doesn’t help them, but they want to do it anyway.
It wasn’t a extract copy but here is the line that inspired it:
The Girl in the dream
When coming up with the idea I didn’t have anything for Jasper to aim for, or anything to let us know that he is going somewhere. This is where I came up with the idea for him to have the dream of the girl on the beach. I thought this was really cool in Requiem for a dream because its such a happy and bright dream contrasting against such a bleak and dark world. This is something that I wanted to have so the audience has some mystery at what is happening, with becoming interested in what the dream is with also the story of him and Scott. With how that all ties together.
I then wanted him to actually go to the beach because I feel that show he has made the right choice. That he is now on the right path in his life. Having the dream feeling like the story is leading somewhere. With also creating a foreshadowing, as without the dream I don’t feel the ending will have the same effect.
As when I came up with the idea I just came up with the ending on the beach not the dream. This isn’t until I saw this scene again I decided to have a dream of the ending half way through the film. Adding an aim and goal for the character without the audience really knowing what it is. But keeping the film going and having a direction to go, rather than just Jasper aimlessly hanging out and then just ditching his friends. The dream almost being a metaphor for the seed placed in his mind that he should leave Scott. Before he even knows he is selling.
The split screen
When watching the film I really liked the effect of the split screen, and I really wanted to place it somewhere in my short film. However I didn’t know where.
Then Fay mentioned how I should maybe get Dan to text Jasper after the selling scene. This gave me the idea to have the split scene appear as Dan is texting him. I felt that this really added to the visual story telling as it shows that they are two worlds apart in the same shot. Dan’s character Scott is out once again, however this time Jasper is doing something productive, trying to better himself. This is also shows how Jasper has changed.
Overall I feel that Requiem for a dream has helped me a lot with this film, being a source for lots of creative and fresh ideas of present feelings and emotions. When coming up with initial ideas I should look into more new wave films due to the fact that they have done things that haven’t really been tempted before.