For my film I plan on exploring the ideas of paranoia in a live action film, in particular the difference between the reality of the situation as well as the twisted imagination of the main character, who is suffering from persecutory paranoia. My film will be a type of psychological thriller as it will present psychological issues and it will present them in a way that really presents the fear and anxiety of the main character through close ups of the face and other points of interest. I will also increase and decrease the pace of the film and lengths of shots in order to create a sense of tension and drama.
The film will follow my main character from the start of his paranoia through its development and highlight its impact on his life. I aim to show how extreme paranoia can distort everyday aspects of somebody’s life into something terrifying. My characters job will become jeopardized, his home no longer a place he feels safe and a walk down the street becomes a daily ordeal. It will begin with how his paranoia develops from simple feelings of inferiority, followed by a growing feeling that nothing he does is good enough. This will rapidly become the feeling that people are out to get him, first at his place of work, then every day strangers (persecutory paranoia). From there it will stem into a condition that controls his life as he becomes completely paranoid and agoraphobic, ending with the breakdown of the character and his acceptance of his situation when he finally realises that all the problems are in his head – ending the film with half closure as he acknowledges the paranoia but does not really show how/if he deals with it.
My film will implement some of the stylistic techniques used in Del Toro’s ‘Pans Labyrinth’ but in different ways. I will still be fairly expressionistic in my filming techniques in that I will use colour correction, in particular blues and greys, to create a dark and cold atmosphere as well as accentuating greens and reds at other times in order to highlight the unreality of the main character’s delusion. However I may use some elements of realism in the ‘real life’ areas of the scene, particular in the long shots (establishing shots etc) in order to really differentiate between the two different sides of the film and to show the reality of the situation.
I plan to use sound sparingly in the more expressionist parts to my film, particularly in a scene near the end where I plan on having my character walk along a deserted street, attempting to conquer his fear. The idea will be to have the scene as quiet as possible so every sound is crisp and clear so I will have to think especially carefully about the placement of every single sound in order to maximise its effect. I will contrast this with the use of surface realism in the other parts of the film, in particular naturalistic colours/lighting and overlapping sounds such as everyday background noise in order to make it look and sound more like reality.
I will also implement a number of after effects (such as numerous uses of masks for effects such as ‘time freeze’ and ‘day to night conversion’, colour correction) in my film in order to bring out the real paranoia of the character as well as to highlight the characters emotions. In some cases it is also helpful in creating a more intense atmosphere. I also plan to change the surroundings using different props for the reality and fantasy shots to further exaggerate his delusions.
I have been testing out the effects of breaking rules such as the 30-degree and 180-degree rules in order to see if I can create a slight jarring effect without really damaging the continuity of the film. To an extent I think that it has worked, but only if used sparingly. I think that for my final film I will stick to both the rules except for moments of extreme tension in order to give them maximum impact and to give the majority of the film a good sense of continuity.