Production Diary 1

Three weeks to go!

I’m currently in the process of storyboarding the film and writing up a shot list, this process has got me thinking about the story in a deeper way. Analyzing each detail and action, each bit of dialogue, and thinking about what I want to portray in each shot.

During this process I have looked to other directors. Firstly looking at the films of Pedro Almodóvar and I found this quote by him which I really like:

“The little snippets of films you see in my films are not just about paying tribute to another film or director they are part of the plot”  such as his use of All About Eve at the beginning of All About My Mother, the film not only references the title but the use of the dressing room scene of All About Eve tells the audience Almodóvar’s  film is all about women.

Siren references Rebel Without A Cause in a scene where the two female characters discuss the film, however our budget won’t stretch to actually having a snippet from Rebel in our film! Siren also references Rebel through shared themes in the films such as the triangular relationship between Elizabeth, Serina and Tom which reflects the relationship between Jim, Judy and Plato in Rebel and the conflicts it creates. In Rebel Jim has to make a decision in his life of who to be with, and to become an adult. Elizabeth, although not at school anymore does lack emotional maturity in some sense and she must also make a decision to move on and more importantly who to be with.

Almodóvar goes onto say “I like to set out the main themes straight away in the first sequence of any film I’m making”. The opening of Siren should express the key themes of identity and desire, its a quiet moment of contemplation and self-reflection between Elizabeth and the camera.

Anna our Production Designer has discussed the use of the aesthetics of Pedro Almodóvar’s films for the character of Serina, Siren’s Spanish character and her surroundings. I see it as Almodóvarian style bursting into gritty British realism, injecting a much needed splash of colour into Elizabeth’s world, spice, warmth, sensuousness, movement, not necessarily kinetic movement but softer movement like waves lapping on the shore. Time should feel like its slowing down when Elizabeth first meets Serina.

Elizabeth turns and walks straight into Serina, a beautiful Spanish woman carrying a vintage suitcase and wearing a turquoise fifties sun dress. Time feels to slow down around Elizabeth in a whirl of colour as Serina’s scarf swirls around them both as though encasing Elizabeth with this exotic stranger. Serina’s shiny black hair flows around her like cascading waves.

Hopefully these two aesthetics styles will come together in the end in perfect symbiotic harmony. The final scene of the film takes place outside on a beach in complete stark contrast to the opening scene in the main characters confined bedroom. And it’s my hope the use of an exterior location and the soft camera movements and dawn light will be a balance between the dullness of Elizabeth’s world and the chaos Serina’s world creates.



Author: sirenfilm

Siren is a new short film written and directed by Louise Marie Cooke. I am currently looking for funding for this project and hope to film around May.

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