Developing The Narrative


The weapon:

The main element I’m planning to use to drive the narrative in my short film is the interrogation/torture weapon, this will be an object that is shown to the audience from the beginning and then throughout until the end of the film. Whilst researching, I came across a ‘MacGuffin’, this is often an object or device that is placed in the film and used with little or even no narrative explanation. Alfred Hitchcock has been known to famously use a ‘MacGuffin’ in his suspense films in the past, he used these in ‘The 39 Steps’ as “secrets vital to your air defence, and in ‘The Lady Vanishes’ the MacGuffin is a coded message which is embedded in a piece of music.

I plan to use a ‘MacGuffin’ as an essential plot element that catches the audiences attention in my story, it’s going to have more significance to the story than what Alfred Hitchcock’s approach was, however, I’m still going to use this to build suspense but not as secretive as Hitchcock. The audience will be aware of my this type of MacGuffin through sound and set design.

I plan to use a beer keg as the torture weapon in my film, the reason why I have chosen this is because I’ve never seen a keg that has been used in films for torture or interrogation.. The sound of a keg is distinctive because there of it’s material and also from our local communities where there are pubs all around us, it’s a known loud sound that can be acknowledged and I would like to use this sound throughout my film to create tension.

I’m influenced to use a keg as a weapon in my film because I currently work in a pub as a bartender. This pub previously used to be a bank and the staff areas are all underground, the cellar was previously the banks vault and it’s surrounded by plenty of narrow corridors, this layout is how I imagine my film to look, I imagine it to be tight, enclosed and claustrophobic, to make the audience feel as though they’re being trapped in with the victim and the objects used to drive the narrative.


I am choosing to use a voiceover to narrate my film because I personally enjoy it in films that I watch, I like them to set the scene and describe a character if the visuals don’t particular instigate a certain element. Working with a micro-budget means that this applies to me more as it is feasible, this is because I would like my characters to be convincing and having no budget and certainly no budget for actors means to me that I would get more from my characters if they didn’t have to undertake any dialogue.

By using a voiceover I am looking particularly at Martin Scorsese’s auteur approach. In ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ he uses the narration of Jordan Belfort to emphasise on the fact that he was superior, especially with his way with his words. This is the same in Goodfellas, because the use of the voiceover enhances the audiences personal engagement with the characters, it helps to guide the viewers attention towards the directors perspective of what’s currently happening and how the audience should receive this is by the voiceover itself. Voiceover is often criticised as a lazy use in scriptwriting, however, in Goodfellas I think this element is crucial to the films success with the story and narrative demonstrating power amongst the ganagsters, this is the same style that I would like to undertake when writing my narrative, so then I can engage the audience more.



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