Catharsis is an Aristotelian term. “Fear poisons life with anxiety” “Catharsis can flush the feeling from our minds; clears the air” “Catharsis is the sense of purgation or relief.”
It can be put as the “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh” moment. Watch either of these examples which show some of the biggest a-ha! moments out there.
Considering that a catharsis can be as minute as possible, and many can occur in just one text, what moment in the Iron Giant clip was the catharsis?
The realisation of his powers as an alien robot you say, superb! Well it’s important to notice that a catharsis is a device that truly makes a film.
Why are we interested in catharis? Short films are short by definition and we feel that for it to be an enjoyable short, it needs some sort of key catharsis.
Another reason why we chose the Iron Giant clip was because it is an example of a Sci-Fi text. Why is it?
The advanced alien robot character might be a hint.
Science Fiction is defined as a genre having conventions of advancements in science or technology.
Because of the broadness of this genre, having such a wide scope for writers and directors to play with, there are so many different uses of the term science fiction – and it’s easy to forget that.
Most people, in thinking about ‘Science Fiction’ might sigh and think of tinny products like Doctor Who, Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica. On the other hand, people may leap straight to the bigger Sci-Fis; Star Wars, Blade Runner, or Alien.
Many forget about controversial texts whioch are less-conventional, i.e. Inception, Frankenstein, The Handmaid’s Tale, Ex-Machina. These are texts which don’t fully adopt the many conventions of Sci-Fi, and only focus on one.
The Iron Giant is again, an unusual Sci-Fi, as it’s only defined as being so because of its sole robot element.
Sci-Fi is a genre that allows for so many ‘cool’ things to happen. It’s a genre that is entirely speculative, most of the Sci-Fi’s out there present issues which could happen/have already happened. The iconic ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….’ tagline is a way for nerds to uphold the slightest possibility of some form of Star Wars situation happening at some point somewhere – it simply can’t be disproved. This way, Sci-Fi films can complete the utmost form of escapism – by creating situations so far from our own, that we may temporarily forget that our own issues exist in the 90 minutes whilst watching a film.
For short film purposes, much of Sci-Fi is based around an idea that is simply developed over and over until you’re left with something so epic that the idea is lost under all the layers of Hollywood ganache. With a short, you can explore an idea, and only the idea. The actors won’t distract you from it’s meaning, and there isn’t enough time to ruin the idea, unless you’re a remarkably bad filmmaker.
Short films are used as devices to showcase a particular artist’s style. Our short film will need a particular style in order to follow conventions of the format.
Looking at films like Under The Skin and Ex-Machina we can see a bleakness in the way that the stories are presented both visually and dramatically. This is in stark contrast to many of the over-sensationalised Sci-Fi blockbusters. Some directors and artists carry their styles across their films. Wes Anderson for example is famous for his almost-symmetry, his technicolour wash palette, and his slow, calculated humour. Michael Bay on the other hand is famous for his over-use of slow motion, shiny objects and explosions. Each of these will have picked up their styles from other directors, authors and artists alike. Now it’s our turn to do the same.
Moonrise Kingdom provides our character material – the humour between them.
Stranger Things gives genre and setting, the retro-futuristic 1980s charm. We’d love to explore an 80s style in our short film.
E.T. gives the relationship between an alien and a child.
Donnie Darko provides thought-provoking dialogue useful in shorts.
Hunt For The Wilderpeople is genius for it’s use of comedy between the two lead characters, Taika Waititi knows best.
Her has a palette which is a bleak entanglement of Blade Runner and Donnie Darko.
True Detective provides both stunning and sinister visuals.
The Iron Giant gives the perfect sweet narrative and relationship that we aim to create in our short.
What will influence our style?
Our idea goes like this: A young girl and her friend encounter an old alien man who appears to have no recollection of where he is. His only method of communication is through the use of electrical devices.
We decided that some of the themes that should come out of our short film will be:
Coming of Age,
It’s an ambitious idea, but between the four of us, we’ve had a lot of practice. All we need to do is have careful time management, to be respectful of our actors and crew, and to think about the story the whole time. We are lucky in having access to a wide range of technologies, such as high-end Nikon DSLR cameras, lenses, and film-quality sound equipment. The fun side of the production can come in practical and visual effects, which will be used sparingly, but even so – practice with these will be fundamental.