The “Badges” system has been enforced for many generations. Governing bodies market it as a solution to the fear in which our society has for crime orchestrated by unknown parties. When in reality, it has become the only factor in prejudice, discrimination and hatred to those who differ in badge.
There is no racism. Sexism. Homophobia, or anything that naïvely divides us in this world. There is only Badges.
These badges vary in three different colours that you are randomly assigned at birth; red, yellow and blue. Over many years each colour has slowly fit into an unspoken social hierarchy in which 'Reds' find themselves at the top of the pecking order and 'Blues' are destined to the bottom.
Badges follows JACK, a young man in his mid-twenties, worn down by circumstance and bound by the constrictions of wearing a blue badge. He finds that his interactions almost always result in verbal attacks and discrimination
After a horrendous day at work, Jack finds himself wandering the city streets contemplating the day’s events when he runs into his childhood best friend STEVE. Steve is much higher on the badge scale and being blissfully ignorant to it all, persuades Jack to go to one of the most prestigious clubs around, “TOWN HALL”.
In the queue, Jack faces prejudice from people with higher badge colours and lo and behold, when he finally reaches the front of the queue, he is refused entry. Defeated and bursting for a wee, Jack finds himself in an alleyway with the opportunity to swap his badge to yellow. He takes it. Now able to gain entry into the club, his mission is to find Steve and un-do his crimes.
However once inside the club, he is seduced by the comforts higher badges receive. Trying to hide his secret he follows a spiral of bad decisions in which friendships are tested, new loyalties are formed and hidden agendas revealed.
The story of badges contains very strong visuals, which is why the cinematography is such an intense part of the film. Drawing inspiration from photographers such as Josh K Jackson and Liam Wong, we want to achieve a vivid nightlife whilst also subtly reflecting the gritty dystopian aesthetic of the world.
The underlying themes of the story are very dark and morally challenging which is why we want to use iconic neo-noir shadows which will juxtapose the vivid colour palette and neon lighting. The world we are creating requires a very cinematic approach to storytelling, so any additional funding will really help the cinematography department to access specialist equipment and achieve our vision.
The main goal for the aesthetic of this film is for the set and costume design to harmonise with the cinematography, from the lighting of the club to the colours of the costumes. The characters costumes will subtly reflect the colour of their badges. Our intentions are to achieve this through accessories, make up and items of clothing. The more a character plays into the stereotype of their badge, the more they dress in their badge's colour. The set design will also take inspiration from the film ‘Only God Forgives’. Our aim is to design a lavish set, filled with hanging lanterns, glitter and beaded curtains and textured fabrics. The light and colour will be the main focus of the set and will allow the cinematography department to play with the composition and depth of their shots.
The sound design for every film is essential, but for badges it has special prevalence due to the tone and themes of the script. We are crafting a completely new dystopian world, which not only needs to be visually believable, but must sound real too.
With the score, practical sound effects and the work of Foley working in unison we hope to pull the audience into the world and its characters. As the tone changes throughout the film, the music will mirror this. When a character walks into an area we haven’t seen before, a whole new range of unique sounds will create a believable environment. Our goal is for the sound design in the film to not only mirror the visuals but also mirror the emotions of the characters.
The narrative for Badges focuses on themes of discrimination and inequality within society. As such, it is crucial that these important messages are effectively translated during the final edit and this will be the main focus for much of the post-production process. As well as presenting a well-established narrative, we also intent to utilise a variety of post-production methods to ensure that the film also looks great and reflects the sci-fi genre. We intend to achieve this futuristic look through the use of stylised colour grading and Visual Effects.
We are planning on using an actual event space and using production design to bring the dystopian nature of the world to life.
Badges features 3 main locations:
- An excluded and run down factory in which 'JACK' our protagonist makes blue badges in.
- A vibrant and buzzing club that contrasts the dark world around it.
- A dark and dismal alleyway in which life changing decisions are made in.
This is our final film project at The Northern Film School, so we all have big aspirations and hope to make it the best it can be... A cinematic masterpiece that combines all the skills we have accumulated in the last 3 years and results in a graduation film we can all be proud of. Although partially funded by the university, that money only goes so far, which is why we are asking for your support in sharing and donating to this page.
I know you may have sponsored student films in the past, but I can promise the outcome will not only reflect our hard work but also the generosity of everyone who has contributed.
We have the story.. We have the skill.. Now all we need is the support to make it happen. So please join the 'Badges' team and help make our vision a reality!