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NO. 15 387

FROM THE CREATORS OF GOOD MEN

PROD. 2024

THE NEW  FILM EVENT FROM  PATRICK RANSON  AND  LUCY TIMMINS

NO. 15 387

REFERENCES AND PALETTES 

READ ALL ABOUT how the new film Diary of a Possum will be filmed. See the stylistic vision of Director Patrick Ranson, to be brought to life by producer Lucy Timmins. 

EXCLUSIVESCENE BREAK-DOWN

From Undisclosed Parties to Attempted Murder  -  Every Scene from Upcoming Film Diary of a Possum Has its Own Nuances and Visual References for a Unique Cinematic Experience. 

THE PARTY SCENE

Single Tracking Shot • Lavish • Dazzling, Gaudy Lighting •
Fitted Three-Piece Suits and Ball Gowns • Bustling Atmosphere

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The finest mansion has been decorated in the finest manner, to dazzle and entertain only the wealthiest and most powerful people from around the world. No expense has been spared, from the hors d'oeuvres to the fine liquors everybody is merry on. We push through the jovial and bustling crowd, every person on display in their most affluent clothing and jewelry.

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PART I

Left: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)   Right: Batman Returns (1992)

Scene One will be shot in a single location, brightly lit with chandeliers and fairy lights to expose the well dressed caterers and guests. A wide foyer area will be dressed minimally but "expensively" with the likes velvet couches and a small stage area for a classical band. The life of this scene will come from the costuming and blocking of the many actors and extras.

A single tracking shot will capture the party, pushing through the merry guests and catching only glimpses of their strange conversations. Punchlines of jokes between weapons traders, strangely flirtatious propositions, and urgent whispers follow the camera through the crowd. We gradually move away from the bustle, following a guest into and through an empty hallway, where it suddenly falls silent. The camera tries to keep up as he approaches a closed door, flanked by two masked men.

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FOR YOUR REFERENCE

■ EYES WIDE SHUT (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)

An excellent reference for the set design and costuming for the first scene of Possum, as well as the feeling of catching a glimpse of a version of reality that you are not invited to. 

Left: Eyes Wide Shut (1999)   Right: Batman Returns (1992)

For Scene Two, the Dungeon Scene, we move downstairs into a starkly different environment. The dingy, dark dungeon will be filmed across multiple different locations (such as a spacious basement littered with surgical tables, a strange viewing wall-space, a theatre, and a furnace filled with film reels), appearing to be one labyrinth of a room through invisible cuts. This scene will continue on from the first scene as a single one shot

Costuming will be a key disturbing element in this scene also, contrasting against the previous scene to show the extremes of these people's behavior. In Scene Two, men will be barely dressed, sweaty, and wearing strange animal masks.  Clive Dalton, who we see at the end pocketing a film reel exposing the sins committed in the basement, wears a grotesque possum mask.

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MEANWHILE... Downstairs

FOR YOUR REFERENCE

■ TBC

THE DUNGEON SCENE

PART II

Single Tracking Shot • Sparse, Surgical Lights • Sinister •
Masked Faces and Glistening Bodies • Dark, Shadowy • Depraved

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Men in masks congregate around surgical tables in the dim, dingy lighting of the parties basement. Here the party-goers get what they really came for: the thrill of some old shed tools and some victims. We see only glimpses, pushing through the barely clothed legs and around table legs, following dutiful staff collecting the rolling film reels, burning them immediately after they have been watched.

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PRT I N II
PRT III AND IV

THE APARTMENT SCENE

PART III

Dim Lighting from Desk and Floor Lamps • Wide Angles • “Brooding” • Dark, Rich Colours • Antique, Affluent Set Dressing

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It’s dark, it's striking, it’s intense, it’s obscene, and not just in tone, but in every aspect. Visually I want to play around with dark darks and pale whites, using heavy shadows to create startlingly unique imagery. Long drawn-out wide angles filled with subtlety tense, often comedic, actions from the actors as they interact with the bizarre and gloomy world that has been built around them.

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FOR YOUR REFERENCE

■ A CLOCKWORD ORANGE (Stanley Kubrick, 1971)

Kubrick will be a huge influence for much of Diary of a Possum, especially seen in this scene. The set dressing of the apartment will feel other-wordly and surreal, with unusual furniture and art pieces that nobody that you know would own...but tasteful enough that you believe somebody out of your social ranking would.

THE BRIDGE SCENE

PART IV

Striking Silhouettes • Bright Back Lighting from Spotlights and ‘Moon’  • Details Lost in Darkness • Details Lit Selectively

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The Horror! The Horror! Feral eyes stare at you through the darkness, an overwhelming sense of panic takes over, fear of the inevitable. Most people wake up in cold sweats with the quiet comfort of knowing whatever terrible thing was upon them, is quickly retreating back into the far recesses of the mind from whence it came. Unfortunately for Clive Dalton, this nightmare only begins once he is awake.

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Left: RocknRolla (2008)   Right: A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The lighting in this scene will be heavily backlit, with most of the scene being shrouded in darkness. Silhouettes and facial features will be highlighted depending on the shot. A full moon will be established as a light source, and will be used to explain the blue backlight selectively flooding the riverbed. Industrial ‘Lamp posts’ will be set up in the bushes along the riverbed, allowing the actors to run in and out of brightness. Uplights will be used to throw dramatic beams up the side of the dam, to make the location even more impactful. 

As with the all scenes, shooting will follow a predetermined storyboard.

This scene abandons the controlled stillness of the Apartment Scene, and will be shot entirely handheld. During the first act, while Clive is heavily affected by the tranquilizer,  the camera will be used to show his lack of bodily control. Cutting between POV and CUs, drifting shots will show his struggle to hold attention on one spot, while comedically cutting back to his delirious, focused face. An excellent reference for this scene can be found in the “drug scene” from The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013). The handheld camera will continue as the chase ensues, showing the struggled movements with dragging camera movements, transitioning into clean, methodical running, the camera keeping pace. The fight scene, the climax scene, is intimate, using tight OTS shots of each man as they are lost in the struggle. As the scene ends, we return to still shots, the chaos ending and quiet returning as the credits roll.

FOR YOUR REFERENCE

■ ROCKNROLLA (Guy Ritchie, 2008)

For camera work and coverage, the chase scene in this film is perfect reference. Shaky hand held movements, close on each character with the other visible on the peripheral of the frame.

■ HEREDITARY (Ari Aster, 2018)

The barely visible bodies hidden in darkness will be inspiration for how we shoot the final moments of Shannon's life, letting the audiences eyes adjust to the darkness as the horror of his caved in head is revealed.

■ SIN CITY (Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, 2005)

Extremely dramatic lighting and sillouhettes will be utilised throughout this scene, almost cartoon as they are backlit by the bright moon.

BACK TO TOP

Left: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)   Right: A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Pages 6 - 18 will be filmed in a high class Auckland apartment, house, or hotel. 

Clive Dalton's apartment, while not his largest property, is a more than comfortable pad for him to crash in while he is in the city. His furniture and decorations are exotic and expensive, tastefully chosen to match his dark wood floors and broody dark wallpaper.

This scene will be lit using an exotic collection of lamps, enhancing faces and throwing the apartment into shadows. They represent Clive Dalton’s materialism, his worldliness, and give source to the brooding style of lighting.

 

The shooting plan for this scene includes a majority of static shots. Extremely wide, shot on sticks, with occasional panning, letting the affluent apartment be established as a character in this scene.

 

Static close up shots will be used to highlight both people and objects such as the afternoon tea, or the bird cage.

 

As the tension in the apartment grows, the static shots will begin pushing in, slow zooming in and increasing a feeling of claustrophobia. 

Cast & Crew | to work on production
    Funding & Support | to make the production possible
 

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     INVOLVED

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