To what degree are we free to create our own destinies? Has fate already determined the lives we live from the beginning? Daniel's Set For Life seeks to address these questions through the strange and obscure world of our eponymous protagonist.
Daniel lives alone in his apartment, believing that life and the many facets within it are beyond his control. His future is determined, his fate already decided, the life he will lead etched in stone. After purchasing a lottery ticket on a whim, and subsequently winning, Daniel is left with the decision: let fate play its course, or take control of his life.
Daniel's Set For Life is for anyone who has ever felt that their life is out of their control. That no matter how hard they try to escape the monotonous routine of suburbia, they just cannot seem to break the cycle. For many, a lottery ticket could be viewed almost as a miracle, a blessing that would change your life forever. But what does that say about the world we live in? A world where the only way to actualise and break the mould is through a ticket that we have a 1 in 45 million chance of winning.
Find below a selection of images curated by the director, cinematographer and production designer that encapsulate the visual tone and style of the film.
We would like to try and incorporate a naturalistic and gritty aesthetic to the film that also incorporates elements from more experimental techniques and influences to create a film with an almost poetic realist if not dreamlike quality about it.
We have looked for influence from filmmakers with a variety of styles and backgrounds to create a unique aesthetic approach for the film. The dark yet ethereal work of Wong Kar Wai for example, and his ability to combine colour and space to create onscreen environments that not only further the stories of our characters, but which live in breathe within their own right.
Some of the largest sources of inspiration from our director Jake McKenna come from filmmakers such as the realism of Mike Leigh and the experimentalism of Harmony Korine, the works of which have always walked the line between realism and experimentalism to a degree that we are very much looking forward to incorporating into the final film.
The money raised from this fundraiser will all go towards the budget for the final film, broken down into the various departments as needed. In order to make the best version of this film and of Daniel's story, your donations will be more important than ever!
We are all so excited to bring this unique story to life on screen.
Jacob Barton - Writer/ Producer
Originally from Kent, Jacob has worked under the role of both producer and director on almost all projects in collaboration with AUB, hoping to lead the often questionable practices of industry producers to a place of more open kind heartedness and environmental sustainability. "The idea of fate is one that I have always questioned within my life, and one that I have had the pleasure to explore and reconcile with across the duration of writing Daniel’s Set For Life. I have found there to be a fine balance between accepting the lives we are born into, the people we are already to some extent determined to be, but also the ways in which we are able to break free from those moulds and stereotypes in order to become the people that we want to be. In many ways, film has opened my mind to a multitude of new ways of thinking, cultures and ideas, providing me with a platform to share my own moral understandings of them with other people. I am excited to continue working alongside like-minded individuals who share the level of passion for this art form and who will inspire me to create a film that will not just make people reflect upon their own lives, but also question to what degree they are truly free.'
Jake McKenna - Director
Coming from South East London Jake has amassed a wide appreciation of the arts ranging from being actively involved in theatre to being a co-founder of the art website 'Dogfight'. His true passion lies in film and he has directed three film projects at AUB as well as being a 3rd AD for short films outside of University. He hopes to draw upon all these past projects to direct and write feature films that hopefully challenge convention and expectation. "I'm not sure I believe in fate. Whilst it's a pretty label to wrap around those circumstances we believe are too good to be true, I'm always struck by the fact you rarely hear it when it comes to the bad things in life. Alluding to fate in times of distress has the same effect as when Bart opens up to Homer by saying 'This is the worst day of my life' and Homer replies with ‘So far' (Side note - there is nothing wrong with quoting the Simpsons to make a serious point). But this film has made me question this belief. The story for me explores how one of the most important things in life is to be understood - and how that comes from being able to understand those around you. I'm still not convinced that fate is real, but I do now believe that once you close your eyes to the things you don't like, you might miss what you needed to see. These complicated themes have prompted in what is a truly dynamic team the desire to get creative, to push boundaries, and to present something you weren't expecting. I know I may have made it sound like a film with rose tinted glasses but, trust me, none of us are trying to make pseudo Oscar bait (that comes when desperately searching for jobs after uni). Daniel's Set for Life is going to take you to the 90s, inside the head of a man pushed to the edge - and we aren't afraid to make things a little dirty along the way. '
Gian Claudio-Calipa - Director Of Photography
Spending the last 8 years behind a camera filming and editing his own skate videos (featured in online magazines such as Vague Mag, Sidewalk, and Kingpin) has pushed Gian to spend many hours with his craft learning the framework of film. He has used his creative techniques across multiple projects at AUB and in industry, shooting music videos and short films. In order to hone and further his skills, he has worked in lighting departments for NFTS graduation films and industry shorts. He intends to keep telling stories by finding innovative and emotional ways to convey them on-screen in hopes of connecting to an audience.
'I can’t help but think that chance, luck and strange coincidences have brought me to where I am now and who I know today. I used to believe that I could never shoot a “real” film; in the past I had only made silly skate videos with my friends, and even though some of them had been featured online in skateboarding magazines, how could I possibly shoot music videos, short films and more? After a 5-year break from education, one of my best friends knew how much I hated my string of dead-end jobs and pushed me to go to university. I quickly fell obsessed with moving image and breathing life and meaning into shots serving a story I cared about. Above all, it felt great to not only enjoy what I was doing, but see other people enjoy my work.
The universe offers plenty of strange situations, perfectly timed jokes, or tragic events whether we notice them or not. Since I’ve picked up a camera I find myself staking these out, compelled by every opportunity to capture them. This film is just another way to explore these moments, and translating this story visually gives me the pleasure to allow people to feel something they can relate to.'
Allia Georges - Production Design
Having studied sculpture in Paris before turning to film, Allia utilizes her art history and practical knowledge to influence her design work. She has gained experience designing a range of short films in her time at university, art directing two NFTS graduation films, as well as trainee-ing on commercials and hopes to continue designing worlds for stories she cares about to live and thrive in. "I came down into the kitchen one morning last year to discover my housemate paused for what seemed like a ridiculous amount of time staring at his open food cupboard. As I put the kettle on and started preparing my oats, I waited for him to confide in me what he was waiting for, and finally ceded into prompting him. ‘I can’t hear what the universe wants me to have for breakfast' - ‘Choose for yourself’ - ‘I can’t’. Since then, I’ve tried to be a little more conscious of what the universe wants me to do, but I seem to be the same completely impulsive person I was before (‘GLOW IN THE DARK STARS’ I shouted at the director of photography a couple of weeks back when talking about the set – still not sure whether he’s sold on that).
Decisions have never been easy for me but choosing this film was, because it’s headed by great people who care passionately about their craft. So even though our main character Daniel would say the universe made me choose it, I would have with my own free will anyway."
Tom Haines - Editor
'The role of the Editor has always been a joy to have for me, as you are the one moulding and creating the final film, Leading post production editing can be hard as an Editor but it is also an honour from a creatives point of view. The best moments in a film or story can't be preconceived. I've spent a lot of time in editing rooms, and a shot or scene can be technically exquisite, with perfect delivery and acting performance and timing, but if it is cut poorly all of that is ruined that is why editing in the film production processes is so crucial and you need to have the right passion and attention for detail to be able to master this wonderful craft. Which I believe I have in me, but will always be learning and striving to enhance my skillset.
Quote by Francis Ford Coppola:
"The essence of cinema is editing. It's the combination of what can be extraordinary images of people during emotional moments, or images in a general sense, put together in a kind of alchemy."'
Tomé Ferreira - Gaffer
Originating from Portugal, Tome moved to the UK seeking to increase his knowledge through the films he has had the opportunity to work on. With his experience working in both lighting and camera departments on various short film sets as well as directing documentaries, he has the ability to quickly adapt to any situation on set as well as having an understanding of the collaboration necessary with every department. "Fate. It is what drives Daniel in this film, and he only believes in fate. But unlike Daniel, my fate has been a choice, it has always been like this. I firmly believe that choices we make allow us to produce our own “fate”. Nothing has been set until you make a choice. But I’ve made the choice to give in to fate on this film. A type of fate, even though I’m not a believer of it, that might change my life. This film brings passion from challenging Daniel’s beliefs, it’s a film that brings a change and it’s something that’s remarkable. Understanding this and previously collaborating with both Gian and Allia, I will work closely with them to merge and match ideas to visually transform this film into reality. By heading the lighting team I aim to incorporate a variety of creative solutions to support the set and transform it into a more immersive and realistic environment for the audience. Through my passion will your fate change too? "
Ethan Holden - 1st AD
Ethan studied TV & Film Production at college in MediaCityUK before enrolling at Bournemouth Film School where he has been apart of the production teams of over 20 short films – developing his skill set from a range of different shoots. From this, interning in the corporate media sector & most recently having experienced working in locations on high-end TV – he brings a level of professionalism but also maturity to the set.
'Hiya! I’m Ethan, the First Assistant Director for Daniel’s Set For Life. I’m a producer here at Bournemouth Film School with over five years experience of working on short films, starting at [email protected] My passion for making films happen grows stronger with every project I get to work on; supporting a crew through the successes and the stresses of telling cinematic stories. I’m delighted to be working with such a talented team on such an interesting shoot. For me, running a set floor isn’t just about ensuring we are on schedule, it’s about creating a level of calmness and positivity from the call time right through to the wrap. My background in producing documentaries here at BFS has instilled an understanding of the ethical responsibility we have has filmmakers to protect our crew and our cast within me. I look forward bringing this to the production team to create a nurturing environment on set, something which is very much needed with the film’s sensitive themes. Another thing which I look forward to bring to the shoot is my northern accent, there is something different hearing a Rochdale lad call:
“riiiiight…. can we ‘av quiet on’t set floor!”… thinking Peter Kay with a walkie talkie and high vis jacket on.
Having your support in this production will open up a world of opportunities for us. We will be set for life.'
Olivia Morrison - 1st AC
Having worked within the camera department both while in education and within industry, Olivia is excited to bring her AC experience to this short film. Being a member of Primetime and a current mentee of the ScreenSkills x Illuminatrix mentorship programme, she is determined to use her professionalism to help support the camera team achieve its goal. " I’ve always looked at what I consider the moments of fate within my life with nostalgia, “What if I hadn’t decided to go to that college? What if I hadn’t commented on someone post? What if I didn’t go to that specific McDonald’s at 3am?”. The older I get the more I think about this in every step and decision I take, how will this affect me in 10 years’ time? All of these moments of fate that changed my life without realising it. Sometimes these changes aren’t always positive and that’s why calling it fate has always been more comfortable than accepting our lives are purely chance. That’s what Daniels Set for Life represents to me, the complexities of how each person explores and approaches life and fate in different ways. How being present for the creation of work will be there with you later in your life, and I want to be apart of that. "