Film Journey in the Now

Return to Hope

Production of a Portfolio Film – Post #4 Concept Development

Just like story books, films normally have a layout consisting of a beginning (Setup), middle (Confrontation) and end (Resolution). The portfolio film “Return to Hope” will follow this format, except that it will bend the conventional formatting rules. And hopefully, it will bend the rules just enough to turn some heads and open some minds. This being the first film I’ve ever produced, and due to the fact that my admission to the college is dependent on its various qualities, intuition is telling me that I must push some boundaries in order to create something special and unique; something the admissions board will appreciate and respect. In this journal entry, I’ll be disclosing the basic format of this film and the way the concept will drive the contents of each of the three sections.

One of the first places that “Return to Hope” will break from the norm will be in the way that the beginning, middle and end relate to one another. I intend to enhance the distinctive qualities of each section until they are almost detached, in terms of visual and audio, while also maintaining a unified cohesiveness, binding the three sections together through the use of an underlying theme and the expression of a strong moral message. In most contemporary films, the middle is lengthy and filled with happenings, while the beginning and end are usually shorter, and yet more impactful, as they are the place where the writers are hoping to setup a conflict for the audience at the start, and then resolve that conflict in the end. For “Return to Hope” the three sections will be very similar in length, perhaps being exactly three minutes each. Many readers will recall that this film must be no longer than ten minutes, per order of the great and honorable Admissions Board. So, that will be nine minutes for the film, and I’ll leave the last sixty seconds available for credits and outtakes.

Railroads Once Crossed It” First river, Hope, June 2022

The setup (introduction) for “Return to Hope” will be narrated from the viewpoint of the trees. Yes, I realize how bizarre that may sound to some of you, but I’ve been communicating with many trees as of late, and they never fail to deliver a viewpoint that is far outside of the understandings of our collective human intellect. The trees are very aware of our dysfunctional behaviors and yet they have an undying belief in our capacity to heal the damage we have inflicted on the ecosystem of their home planet. Trees are serene and enduring. Most of the stresses trees will encounter are perpetrated by mankind, and still, they continue to filter our air and water without complaint or even mild opposition to our actions. They know that the human tendency toward destructive behavior is non-sustainable and irrational, and they know that ultimately it could lead to a disastrous collapse of the biosphere we all rely on for life itself. But always, the trees wait patiently for us to see the error of our ways. These are just a few of the many important reasons that I intend to give them a voice in this film.

“Hear Me, Know Me” Anonymous tree friend

In the next journal entry, I’ll continue to focus on the first section of the film. I’ll likely dedicate one or two entries for each of the three sections. Although they will only be three minutes each, in length, they will be complex enough in terms of visual and conceptual content that I expect they will require adequate explanation on my part. It is a win-win situation for the ego and the observer though, because all of the writing I do here is intended to be an integral part of the creative process for the final product. Now I ask you, how fun is this?!!!

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