So this is where I'm going to explain my film idea, so take a seat, grab a coffee and enjoy.
The film is called Distance, it will be stop motion, set in the Arctic and use Inuit art as inspiration for the art style.
Distance is a story about missing someone you love, whether it be a partner, brother or sister, friend or parent. It shows how missing someone can really, really mess with your head.
The tale follows two Inuits, a girl, Aluki and a boy, Anik. Aluki is forced to say a tearful goodbye to Anik as he is leaving on a long hunting trip. Anik gives her his necklace before he leaves and we see the pendant is a carving of a strange face. Once Aluki has waved Anik off into the distance, she sadly returns to her igloo. But when she opens the door she is confronted with a strange creature staring at her. The creature has the same face as the one on Anik's necklace. Aluki rolls her eyes in an 'urghhhhh not again' type way and pushes past the Creature.
We then see Aluki picking berries and putting them in a sack. Something hits her in the back, making her stumble forward. She turns round to see the Creature standing some way off behind her. It slowly bends down and forms a snowball, readying to throw one at her again. The Creature's facial features never move, it can only tilt its head, making it more creepy and strange as well as making it seem like it is constantly staring at Aluki. The Creature does everything very impassively and there will be lots of awkward type stares between Aluki and the Creature. The Creature is always about, standing there, staring at Aluki.
There will then be a montage type scene where Aluki is shown doing her daily tasks and constantly being prevented from doing them by the Creature:
Aluki rubs flint together to start a fire, as soon as she gets a spark and the fire alights the Creature walks over and pours a bucket of water over the fire, quenching it.
Aluki fishes in an icehole, as soon as she gets a bite the Creature comes over and cuts her line with a knife, sending the fish falling back into the sea.
Aluki tries to sleep, but the Creature is there poking her every few seconds, keeping her awake.
Aluki is chopping wood up with an axe. As she raises the axe, the Creature quickly unties the axehead, so Aluki is only holding the shaft. She swings and due to the changed weight, falls in a heap in the snow as she overbalances. She is at this point incredibly angry. She is sick of the Creature's incessant presence and just wants it to leave her alone. She gets up and tries to make the Creature leave, brandishing the axe shaft and gesticulating angrily. The Creature, however, just continues to stare at her. It takes a step towards her. Aluki gives a cry of despair and runs off. If the Creature won't leave her, she will leave it.
Aluki has run very far in her state of anger. She comes to a stop, panting. She hears a noise and turns to see a polar bear emerging from the water. But instead of a polar bear head, it has the head of the Creature. Aluki runs away from it.
Aluki reaches a rocky area. There are lots of birds sitting on the rocks, watching her. She blinks and opens her eyes to find the birds all have the face of the Creature. She runs off into a nearby cave.
Inside the cave, the Creature's face begins to appear all over the rock wall, staring at her. Some of the faces extend out of the wall towards her on stalks, thrusting their faces at her, she falls to the ground, surrounded. She scrambles up and runs away. No matter where Aluki goes, she cannot escape the Creature.
Aluki runs out into the open snow. Everything is white. Snow is falling. She is in a state and she is angry and sad and scared and confused, all these emotions swirl around inside her, consuming her. As she stumbles around the snow falls faster and heavier, it is a blizzard, engulfing her, just like her emotions. Aluki is lost, physically and mentally. She collapses. Our view is obliterated by snow. And the Creature is, finally, nowhere in sight.
We now go to Anik, who is in the forest, shooting caribou with his bow and arrow. But it turns out that he has a Creature following him too. The Creature looks the same as the one following Aluki, but with a different face, the same face as the one carved into the wooden bangle that Aluki wears on her arm. Just as Anik looses his arrow, the Creature nudges him, making him miss. Anik tries again, but as he is about to shoot, the Creature disappears into thin air, with an explosive sound. This startles the caribou, causing it to run off. Anik, cursing, gives chase and follows the caribou through the trees and out of the forest, into the snow. He loses sight of the caribou, but spots something lying in the snow. He realises it's Aluki and runs over to her. She shows weak signs of life and Anik bundles her up in his arms, carrying her off into the Distance.
The last shot we see is of the two Creatures sitting side by side, watching Anik carry Aluki off.
Ok so now I'm going to explain where I was going with this. I wanted the film to be ambiguous enough so that the audience could take their own slant on the story, so that it is relevant to them. So I wanted to keep the Inuits' relationship with one another open for interpretation.
For me this is what the film represents:
Aluki is missing Anik so much and this causes her a lot of sadness. The Creature represents Anik's presence in Aluki's mind, she just can't stop thinking about him and how much she misses him. No matter where she goes he is there in her head, just like the Creature. She is unable to get on with her day to day life as thinking about Anik distracts her and causes her to not be able to carry out simple tasks. So the Creature gets in the way of Aluki's tasks, just as thinking about Anik does.
Aluki grows annoyed and then angry at the Creature, representing how her sadness has turned to anger and resentment towards Anik for leaving her and putting her through the pain of missing him.
Aluki decides she has had enough and decides to leave Anik/ the Creature, to distance herself from Anik emotionally and the Creature physically. But this is hard to do and so no matter where she goes she sees the Creature's face, representing her inability to just cut Anik out of her life.
The blizzard represents how her emotions have escalated, leaving her in a state, as all the contradicting emotions she feels towards Anik writhe around in her head.
Anik has a Creature following him that represents Aluki's presence in his mind, as he is missing her intensely too. This Creature purposefully scares the caribou, which causes Anik to find Aluki and help her, as it represents the bond between two people, where in your time of need the people closest to you can often just sense something's wrong, kind of like a sixth sense and no matter where they are, no matter the distance between you, they will be there for you.
The film is slightly abstract in style. I wanted the viewer to be unsure of what the Creature was until the end, so there is a weird, mysterious atmosphere through the film. The film is slowly paced to start with, but picks up as Aluki's emotions become more intense. There is a quiet awkwardness to the film (I hope that makes sense!) enhanced by long stares between characters and stillness of characters juxtaposed by fast movements.
If you read all that then fair play to you, it was incredibly long and rambling, but it hopefully gives an insight into my film.