"Life never tasted so bittersweet"
Morana, a young girl in her 20's learns to cope with her eating disorder as she lives independently at home, with her father constantly overseeing her. He plays an influential role in her recovery, but this resorts to her referring back to childhood traits of only consuming jam on toast.
Jam on toast? The same breakfast, the same four walls, the same morning routine, but she wouldn't change a thing! She lives at home like a queen, but it all gets interrupted by echoes of a doorbell ring…” Jam on toast?”
Conserve was created as a simple narrative not intended for production, which Vanessa Ribeiro had written to explore personal feelings of isolation and insanity of doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. Vanessa utilized this concept in the creation of Morana’s character.
The narrative challenges perceptions of the male gaze, society's expectation of being “normal” and the twists and turns of life. Acting as a reminder that everything is not always what it seems, this is especially true with the current climate. The film is a reminder that you should slow down and take time out of your day to check up on each other with an open mindset, avoiding being patronizing, as life is hard enough.
An immersive experience marrying the styles of Wes Anderson and Tim Burton. The stylized surrealist approach that is playful, yet dark in nature will allow exploring mental health visually through symmetry, reoccurring easter eggs hinting at the narrative, and grotesque theme associations.
The film will explore an array of colour schemes to set a handful of moods and specifically looking at the colour scheme of a wallflower hinting at Moranas shy, excluded personality.
Overall, the film will steer away from the cliches of Hollywood. Playing with aspect ratio, cutting from a widescreen anamorphic to 1.85, in order to represent the character's state of mind at different moments in the film. This will propel the film into the character's headspace, alongside creating a facade, as we often paint a perfect picture despite only seeing a fragment of each other's lives.
Following a visual punch of an auteur-driven indie film by exploring a retro style in set design and costume that is geographically indistinct and timeless. Seeking inspiration from British dark comedy-drama; “The End of the F***ing World.”
The piece will also be shaped by music providing a sense of emotional texture linking the beats to the mood and in itself creating a mini-narrative.
Vanessa Ribeiro- Director
Vanessa, a final year student filmmaker who has previously directed 2 short films and is only at the start of her career. Her desire to entertain and inform the world of the untold truths through exploring the themes of mental health with a cinematic edge drives her to use film as a platform to use her voice. Conserve is her most ambitious production yet, taking on a completely different approach to prior work. This is what makes the project so exciting and why we need your help.
Hana Bevan- Producer
Hana is in her 3rd year at Oxford Brookes and is currently specialising in social media. For this production, Hana has taken the role of producer and social media which she is excited to excel on and further develop her skills in leading the production as well as share it with as many people she possibly can!
Theodore Ryan- Head DOP
Theodore is a 3rd-year Digital Media Production student at Oxford Brookes University and a working camera trainee. Since his selection (aged 17) as cinematographer for the BFI’s Film Academy, he has built up a wealth of experience in the camera team, collaborating on numerous shorts, feature films, music videos and commercials. Most recently he has worked on online content for British Vogue and music videos for rapper ‘KSI’ and Oxford-based musician Willie J Healey.
Ricardo Galarza – Assistant DOP
Ricardo graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2019, since then he’s been working on a variety of projects during this year, including social documentaries for the School of Arts, and short films. These include Unbalanced, Knock Knock or Realisation among others. Ricardo is very excited to take part in this project, which will reach new horizons as well a different approach in psychological films using new techniques for the visual.
Henry Crowther - Lead Editor
As the lead editor, Henry is in charge of managing and arranging video files, audio files, graphics, and special effects, to produce the final film. Henry has a deep fascination with how tension and psychological undertones are created through film editing, which led him to become part of the group as an editor to bring the final product together.
Lydia Reeves Cook- Art designer/set design
Lydia and is a 3rd-year student at Brookes university. She is excited to be working on this project with her colleagues and can’t wait to put the skills she has learned into action while working as a Production Designer on Conserve!
You may be curious as to where your pennies are going… due to this being our final student production we wanted to go out with a bang and make it the best of the best but this comes with a cost! Our goal is £800 and this covers:
-Set design and props
Once we reach our target any more donations will be put forward to help with entry into film festivals to share our vision with even more people!
From as little to a £1 any donation truly does count, and we are so grateful that you can help us make our dream production come to life.