Continuity in Filmmaking

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NAGRAJ RAO

SIGHT AND SOUND FILM – BASKIN

ASSIGNMENT 2 : CONTINUITY

PROPOSAL GONE BAD?
What if a guy is about to propose to his girlfriend but forgets the ring?

OBJECTIVES

The narrative objective of this film is to tell the story of a guy named Daniel who wants to propose to his girlfriend Theresa in the park but forgets to bring the ring with him. While frantically searching for the ring, he decides to call his flat-mate Veronica to bring the ring for him. His girlfriend is feeling left out because he is leaving her to attend calls and eventually pick up the ring from Veronica under the pretext of getting more water for her. When he does not return for twenty minutes, Theresa gets angry and starts looking for him. She stumbles upon Daniel hugging Veronica and gets angry him for presumably cheating on her with Veronica while pretending to get water for her. Daniel eventually explains his situation, gets down on his knees and proposes to a shocked yet happy Theresa who accepts the proposal.

The stylistic objectives were as follows:

1) To ensure that the action happening on the screen is fluid and continuous, despite the obvious discontinuity emerging out of the composition of a number of shots.

2) To pay critical attention to the change of angle from shot to shot, the overlap of action, planning the cut-aways and shooting from the proper axis.

3) To ensure that a coherent storyline propels the characters into a self contained conflict as the subject of action which can be explored in a short film and also garner interest of the audience.

SCENARIO

The film opens with a view of a street intersection which eventually leads to the entrance steps of Union Square Park. We observe the couple, Daniel and Theresa walking hand in hand, and Daniel planting a kiss on Theresa’s left cheek. This is the establishing scene – both holding hands and the kiss gives the viewer a confirmation that we are dealing with a couple.

In the next shot, we see the couple walking towards a bench in the park and placing the items they are carrying in their hands on the bench. The couple sits with their backs facing each other, with Daniel pulling out a newspaper to read and Theresa opening a novel. The third shot continues this vision, with a close-up of the couple.

In the fourth shot, Daniel wants to propose to Theresa when she is least expecting it. He tries to search for the ring in his pockets but is unable to find it. Realizing that he must have forgotten the ring at home, he makes an excuse to Theresa that he has to make an important call and rings up his roommate Veronica asking her to bring the ring. During the brief interaction between Daniel and Theresa when he walks away to make the call, we observe that Theresa is visibly upset at him ruining their afternoon in the park by making a call.

In the next shot we, see Daniel hanging up the call and coming back to the bench but Theresa is furious about Daniel making the call. Daniel tries to calm her down and even offers her water, but to his dismay, there is very little water left in the bottle which annoys Theresa even more and she starts arguing with him about it again. Daniel decides to grab another bottle of water from nearby and walks out of the frame.

We cut to the sixth shot, which is twenty minutes later. Daniel has not returned and Theresa is frustrated waiting for him. She decides to pick up the bag and go look for him. In the seventh shot, we see that Veronica has arrived, and Daniel and her greet outside the metro stop and she hands over the ring to him. The eighth shot focuses on a close up of Veronica handing over the ring to Daniel and Daniel hugging her as a thank you.

In the ninth shot, we notice Theresa walking down the steps that lead to the exit of the park, where she notices Daniel hugging another girl. Furious over Daniel abandoning her for twenty minutes, only to meet his roommate without her knowledge who also...
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