A story about not living like you’re already dead.
Paul La Roche is left without any food when his only point of contact, Madeline, goes on a holiday. Being a retired pianist, who has turned recluse since the loss of his family, he uses music to shut himself off from the world around him. By chance, a finch flies in and steals his last slice of bread, which makes La Roche realize that he might starve sooner or later. The finch, being a musical creature as well, befriends La Roche and tries to convince him to leave his flat. Leaving us wondering whether this strange encounter will spark something in La Roche.
Note of Intention
Loss, letting go and being left alone are very crucial feelings that everyone has to go through in most stages of life. Whether that is during growing up, moving away from home or losing someone that is close to us. We grow with being left alone. However, we do not want this film to be depressing. We want it to be uplifting. To be that voice of reason during those rough times, that lets us realize that life must go on.
We know most of you must be thinking: A Finch? How are they going to pull that off? Well, we have made an amazing contact with a renown bird trainer: Sue Clark has worked on productions like 50 First Dates (2004), Four Lions (2010) and Peaky Blinders (2013). Therefore, she has got a great amount of experience in working with animals and is currently training six greenfinches for us. One of Sue’s biggest concerns in working with animals is their welfare. Which is why we will have six finches, so they do not get stressed out during long shooting days. For our shoot in March 2020, they will be up to speed to do all the things we need them to.
Working with birds will be a challenge and yet rewarding experience for everyone on our team. We are all highly passionate about making the finch a character and not just “a bird”. This is exactly why visual storytelling is so important. The images must speak for the finch and obviously also for La Roche. Over the last couple of weeks, we have storyboarded extensively to get our vision across to the rest of the crew.
Massive influences for our visual- and story-approach are…
Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth (2015), which also is about a retired musician and uses the musician’s imagination to create an interesting soundscape of the film.
Spike Jonze’s Her (2013), which is great in the way it depicts loneliness on screen. When La Roche leaves his flat, it will be the highlight of the film – this is where his character starts to change. Just like in Her (2013) we would like to show this through changes in colour and depth of field. From being isolated to being more open to the world around him.
Amour (2012), which uses a flat as the main set and depicts the character's living in it in a unique way that works alomst entirely through images, rather than dialogue.
Imagine a Pixar short which is shot with real actors, real sets and real…birds. These little shorts always leave the audience with a pleasing silver lining on the horizon. It is exactly what we are aiming for as well.
Sound and Music
Since La Roche himself is a musician, it will be a very music- and sound-heavy film. There will be an original soundtrack, composed by our Sound Designer Fin Blackett and our brilliant pianist Xaver Nahler. Having different approaches in working on musical pieces, the two bounce off each other’s ideas and further emphasize the two different characters: La Roche and the Finch.
Go have a listen to the weekly updated playlist on Spotify, which serves as inspiration for writing the soundtrack:
We know this is a very ambitious project, but we don’t have to start from scratch. We have done a lot of preproduction already and got some amazing people involved that will help us elevate this story to a whole new level. However, with the birds being of such a high cost, we will need more money to make our vision come alive. It will be challenging. But it will be so worth it.