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Transcript of Babushka Presentation
Special air-cadet, Gabby 9er, comes of age only to discover that veteran war-hero, Captain Solomon 9er, is not really her father and that she is, in fact, a clone of his dead wife…
Babushka is a meditation on the human soul and the lengths to which future generations may one day go to replace lost love.
Adapted from ‘Babushka: The Warrior’s Angel‘, a collection of five short stories written by Zennis (http://bit.ly/BabushkaSourceMaterial).
Think ‘Old Boy’ meets ‘Black Swan’ in the 22nd Century. THE PITCH THE THEMES The underlying theme of Babushka's narrative – that no two things are ever the same – suggests that we can never satisfactorily replace what we have lost, even with something (or someone) that appears to be identical.
To set up this theme, we open with a credit sequence of a broken family of nesting Babushka dolls spinning, dreamlike, in a moonlit pool of water, deluged in what appears to be a downpour of rain.
Immediately, the audience will therefore be confronted with an image where, without explanation, it will be forced into a position of speculation, left to wonder as to the symbolic meaning of the broken dolls and why or how they have ended up in this position…
Other Babushka themes include loss, secrets, identity and denial. THE PRINCIPAL BEATS
GABBY 9er makes a wish and blows out her birthday cake's 18 candles, setting off a chain of events that call into question the very nature of love…
Later that day the eye-sight of her father, blinded war-veteran CAPTAIN SOLOMON (38), miraculously returns.
Confused by her father’s negative reaction to this event, Gabby follows Solomon to a bordello where she spies him being entertained by her own robotic doppelgänger…
Understandably freaked, Gabby turns detective and unearths a dark secret with which she confronts Solomon: Solomon 9er is torn in two when his vision is restored.
For standing before him is no longer the girl he raised.
Instead stands an identical carbon-copy of the young bride he lost 18 years earlier.
The beloved wife whose death he has never recovered from.
The woman he has never been able to replace.
Until now…. INTRODUCING CAPTAIN SOLOMON 9ER INTRODUCING AIR-CADET GABBY 9ER Gabby spent the first 10 years of her life estranged from her war-hero father, Captain Solomon 9er.
Reunited after he is blinded in a horrific jet-crash, she has since constructed the ‘perfect’ relationship with him.
But everything goes to hell in a hand-cart when his vision is restored.
Suddenly, Solomon has grown cold towards her and begins to drink again - something he promised never to do.
Even worse, he tells her that he plans to return to the war that had kept them apart during her childhood.
But worst of all, ignorant of her true genesis, she doesn’t understand why... Joy is a bespoke robot – or 'JoyBot’ – anatomically designed and programmed to look and behave like Solomon's dead wife.
Joy's presence serves as a kind of dramatised flashback to the loving relationship Solomon once shared with his wife.
Artificially intelligent, Joy will be played naturalistically – not as a robot – as if she is truly Solomon's wife.
She is confidently seductive until things start to go wrong because of her faulty programming.
We begin to sense a vulnerable fragility akin to the replicant lover of Harrison Ford's character in Blade Runner. GABBY 9ER’S DOPPELGANGER Born from the literate romance and speculative fiction genres (not a million light-years from The Time Traveler's Wife).
A futuristic coming-of-age hybrid running just as good on pheromones as plasma during its journey through the characters’ Ballardian* inner space.
A space where – in the 22nd century – our descendants will have to struggle with the same old issues of loss and identity, of lies and of truth… THE GENRE TO VOX OR NOT TO VOX… Relatively ambitious in scale, Babushka incorporates the illusion of certain futuristic 'technologies’…
The most significant is 'voxing', whereby all characters communicate via a form of computer-assisted telepathy, made visible by a glowing 'bindi' attached to the forehead.
These bindis will pulse in different colours depending on the mood of the characters during their 'vox' transmissions (requiring no lip movement).
The actors will therefore deliver mute performances with their pre-recorded dialogue added in post-production to synch with their glowing bindis (the colour of which will be controlled wirelessly, via bluetooth, during the filming of the scenes). PRINCIPAL LOCATION: PORTMEIRION The advantages:
Palms and other exotic trees
Host of TV/film shoots since the 70's cult series, 'The Prisoner'.
On-site accomodation and power-supply. 'JoyBot' Audition Highlights
http://vimeo.com/24584174 Captain Solomon 9er (38) will be played by James Ashton
http://www.spotlight.com/interactive/cv/381389476350 The lead role of Gabby 9er is still being cast so keep watching this space... CRITICAL CONTEXT: THE ELLIPSIS
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) by Francis Ford Copolla NARRATIVE & TONE INFLUENCES THE ATMOSPHERE Much of this dark coming-of-age tale takes place at night in silvery-blue moonlight (ref Pan's Labyrinth).
Sombre, melancholic, nostalgic, romantic, tragic.
To be shot at 5k resolution, at a 2:1 aspect ratio, on the RED Epic (the camera used by Ridley Scott to film Prometheus).
The Epic will 'float’, in a lingering/fluid manner, unless the drama of a scene demands a more agitated hand-held treatment.
Naturalistic acting style, but with mute performances.
Widely scored (http://bit.ly/BabushkaScore), sometimes with diegetic sound removed for dramatic impact, with pre-recorded ‘vox’ voice performances added in post-production. CINEMATOGRAPHIC INFLUENCE THE KEY BABUSHKITES BABUSHKA'S WRITER/DIRECTOR: ZENNIS Born and educated in the UK, Zen’s professional career has been divided between London, Paris and Los Angeles where his consultancy services have benefited major corporations, charities and film studios alike.
Crowned his communications career as the lead external adviser to Microsoft on its global entertainment marketing strategy (including a year-long tenure in Hollywood, product placing the world's largest company in the world's largest film franchise, James Bond).
Worked with the producer partners of Tom Cruise (Paula Wagner), Steven Spielberg (Bonnie Curtis), and Michael Bay (Ian Bryce) on Minority Report and Mission Impossible franchise.
Returned to his native shores in the 00's to attend Newport Film School – under the tutelage of BAFTA-winning director, Chris Morris – where he is now reading for his Master's in Film.
The first fruit of his renaissance as a film-maker was ’Drink?’, a short film he wrote, produced, and co-directed to raise awareness about the UK's fastest growing crime, drug-rape.
His latest short, 'Shine', received the 2012 Silver Prize from Lord Puttnam's Big Voice jury. Picked up for prime-time broadcast by BBC Wales, Zen's first short film, 'Drink?', was aired with a warning for sensitive viewers.
Awarded the 'Best TV Film' prize by leading student film festival, 'Ffresh', providing
Ffresh Festival jury member and BBC Wales programming chief, Sian Thomas, said of Drink?:
Selected from hundreds of entries for inclusion on the Exposures film festival's prestigious DVD, Best of British Student Shorts, providing Can I Buy You A Drink ? BABUSHKA’S BAFTA-WINNING DOP Babushka’s Director of Photography, Huw T. Walters, is a (2x) BAFTA award-winning cinematographer with a background in advertising & photography.
Huw has DP’d for a wide range of projects, from documentaries and features for the BBC and S4C to short films and commercials, working on various formats, from Canon 5D and 7D to Super 8 and Super 35, some of which you can view on his Vimeo page,
Widely considered to be one of Wales’ top cinematographers, Huw recently shot ‘Burton’, a feature-length film for S4C on Richard Burton, the trailer and gallery for which can be viewed on S4C’s website,
‘Burton’ went on to win Huw his second BAFTA for best cinematography - it can be viewed on YouTube (unfortunately not uploaded in HD): In collaboration with the actors, DP and other crew/production members, the Director’s goal is to achieve the following with Babushka:
Create an innovative and provocative drama, evocative of Old Boy and Black Swan, albeit set in the environs of a 22nd century flight academy.
Imbue the story with an aesthetic evocative of Pan's Labyrinth and 2046.
Deliver a piece of entertainment that all participants can be proud of artistically, and that will be recognised both critically and commercially.
Help further the careers of all participants.
Secure funding for a feature film, ‘The Warrior’s Angel’ (based on the same characters and story-world). DIRECTOR’S GOALS The Teaser Campaign ANY MORE QUESTIONS ? Q: What is this story really about?
Q: Why "Babushka"?
Q: So who is Gabby 9er really?
Q: Why the self-harming scene?
Q: How will Gabby 9er be played?
Q: Why is there never two of anything?
A: https://vimeo.com/groups/babushka/forum/topic:241511 https://vimeo.com/groups/babushka/forum/topic:241513 https://vimeo.com/groups/babushka/forum/topic:241514 https://vimeo.com/groups/babushka/forum/topic:241516 https://vimeo.com/groups/babushka/forum/topic:241515 https://vimeo.com/groups/babushka/forum/topic:241512 http://zennis.tumblr.com/ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0910243/ http://danielfloreadp.blogspot.co.uk/ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4227264/ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1978820/ http://wiz-bang.net/ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0402892/ http://whatifloveneverhadtodie.tumblr.com/team Oldboy (2003)
by Chan-wook Park Leon (1994)
by Luc Besson Black Swan (2011)
by Darren Aronofsky Splice (2005)
by Vincenzo Natali Womb (2010)
by Benedek Fliegauf Oldboy (2003)
by Chan-wook Park Leon (1994)
by Luc Besson Black Swan (2011)
by Darren Aronofsky Splice (2005)
by Vincenzo Natali Blade Runner (1982)
by Ridley Scott Womb (2010)
by Benedek Fliegauf Chungking Express (1994) Chung-hoon Chung: Rodrigo Prieto: 2046 (2004) Mood for Love (2000) Se7en (1995) Jeff Cronenweth:
Guillermo Navarro: Pan's Labyrinth (2006) 21 Grams (2003) Oldboy (2003) Biutiful (2010) Fight Club (1999) Guillermo Navarro: Fight Club (1999) Pan's Labyrinth (2006) Chris Doyle: * (adj) 1. of Ballard’s stories, esp dystopian modernity … and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments. PATAGONIA: 2121 AD “The test of any story is how very good the stuff is that you omit.” (Hemingway, 1959). http://www.twitter.com/BabushkaTheFilm http://www.thewarriorsangel.tumblr.com https://www.facebook.com/Gabby9er http://www.vimeo.com/groups/babushka/forum http://bit.ly/Search4Gabby http://www.whatifloveneverhadtodie.tumblr.com https://www.facebook.com/BabushkaTheFilm Film tweet THE SOCIAL MEDIA Se7en (1995) Biutiful (2010) Jeff Cronenweth: 21 Grams (2003) Rodrigo Prieto: Oldboy (2003) 2046 (2004) Mood for Love (2000) Chungking Express (1994) Chung-hoon Chung: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
by Francis Ford Copolla Blade Runner (1982)
by Ridley Scott NARRATIVE & TONE INFLUENCES (Video Links) CINEMATOGRAPHIC INFLUENCE (Links) Chris Doyle: Rest of the team Film blog Fictional character's blog Source material (novel) FAQ forum Fictional character's pinterest Fictional character fan-page The 'real' Gabby's page Film fan page https://www.facebook.com/gabby.niner http://pinterest.com/gabby9er “...a significant indicator of the best new talent in the UK.” filmmaking in the UK.” “...a unique National showcase of the very best student “This winning film had impact and style from the outset. It of text to tell the story and a great use of sound ... It was employed an original use targeted and hard hitting.” Zennis (Writer/Director/Producer) Huw T. Walters (Director of Photography) Daniel Florea (Line Producer) Myles Leadbeatter (Special Effects Superviser) Jonathan Hunter (1st Assistant Director) Jonathan Dunn (Editor) Mark Holownia (Gaffer) Keefa Chan (RED Epic Camera Operator) http://bit.ly/KR6Pj6 http://bit.ly/BabushkaLocations http://bit.ly/BurtonFilm http://www.s4c.co.uk/drama/e_gyfrinach_burton.shtml http://vimeo.com/user4428776 http://bit.ly/MakingOfTeaser As the clone of his dead wife, is it not logical that Gabby should also possess the same soul? The same soul that had fallen so deeply in love with him... The soul that he still loves... The Babushka script incorporates the writer/director's passion for the ellipsis in its 'non-dit' form, leaving the audience to fill in the missing portions of the narrative and join up the dots.
This study of the ellipsis manifests itself in the off-screen gaps left between scenes and the thoughts that remain unstated by the characters.
Such an approach makes for a richer form of story-telling, adding to the intrigue and pulling in the audience to analyse the characters and their motivations, demanding that viewers 'feel' the whole story as they are gripped by suspense and mystery. http://pinterest.com/babushkablush Film's inspiration pinterest