‘A Fluorescent Sky’ is a story about parenthood, independence, loneliness and the changing landscape of our own high streets. The film follows Hector, a widower who owns a corner shop with his young daughter Cleo. Hector has a great fear of the outside world and the dangers it poses. As a result, he confines Cleo to the corner shop and their apartment for much of her life, homeschooling her and letting her help around the store instead. With the threat of a new ‘Hypermark’ opening, Hector battles for the store’s survival while Cleo longs for the world beyond.
The film is set to have a run time of 80 minutes, predominantly contained within the shop and their apartment above. It aims to adopt a very conversational structure, displaying the interactions of customers and allowing this to develop the characters as well as the narrative.
A Feature Film is something that has never been tackled at our University, we have all built up the knowledge and experience on ambitious short films and so are now making the leap to a feature-length production. This film goes beyond being a student production, we want it to have its independent place in the world, calling attention to these issues and creating a poignant drama within it.
The high street is dying as we know it. More and more stores close every day leaving a wasteland of empty shops. Around 5853 high street stores closed down in 2018, that's 16 every day! And not enough new ones are opening in their place. We've seen here it in Bournemouth and across the country. Independent businesses struggle with new consumer habits, the internet, and corporate chains bulldozing over them. And so we feel it is the perfect time to make a film like this and showcase these issues.
There are a lot of key themes in this film aside from the important high street backdrop. Discussions of loneliness run throughout all the characters in this film, the different ways they cope with and discuss it. It's something we all experience and struggle with so this film becomes an engaging platform to tell these stories and connect with audiences socially and emotionally.
Inspired by the works of European and Independent Cinema, the film’s style will focus on being as naturalistic as possible. We aim to stray away from the general conventions of scene coverage, by covering the majority of the scenes in a single thought out wide shot. By doing this we aim to create a sense of realism, eliminating the manipulation of a scene through cuts. While it will be naturalistic, we still want to create some really distinct frames and experiment with the duality of a shop like this and all of the customer interactions that inhabit it.
Aspects such as camera movements will be limited, making a simple yet beautiful visual style. The film’s lighting will follow suit, with a heavy emphasis on using practical lighting within a scene, rather than manipulating light to suit our needs. The shop will be lit with fluorescent and tungsten lighting in order to give it a run-down impression. We aim to create a unique and memorable visual style that will remain in people’s minds after the film has finished.
There was an incredible "own brand" design that Sainsbury's launched for their products in the 1970s. This has inspired the whole look of the shop. We don't want to try and copy existing corner shops but rather create something wholly original to the film. Although there will be this vintage influence, the film will still appear to be set in the modern-day. These two aspects combined will produce a timeless quality to the film that stays with people long after the film has finished.
We also have the amazing Laina Deene working with us to create original illustrations for the film. She will be designing some exclusive promotional content as well some of her work featuring in the film. If you love her work as much as we do, check her out @lainadeene on Instagram. We also have a limited edition ZINE she will be making for us as a crowdfunding perk.
This money will help us so much! With such an ambitious project, it will likely make or break the end result. The funds will be split between various departments and stages of the production process. We have carefully designed the budget to ensure that every penny will be put to its best use. We want to get some great locations and cover all the expenses of our talented cast of actors! A lot of the money will also go on the production design (we have a whole shop to fill!). If we can hit our goal we will be able to pay for all this as well as catering cast and crew on the day and the endless other small costs such as transport.
We understand not everyone has the means to give money to the film. But every like, comment, share is crucial to the project's success and we really appreciate your support in whatever form. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter (@fluorescentskyfilm). By spreading the word you are helping us make this a reality.