EDEN. A man who lost his brother.
NAOMI. A woman who lost her husband.
CALEB. A son who lost his father.
Eden, his sister-in-law Naomi and her son Caleb are on a journey to Navaadi, a planet lightyears away in another star system. Eden has not heard from his brother Zane for seventeen years and is now tasked with scattering his ashes on a distant world. He is stuck in a dilapidated spaceship with a family he barely knows.
As the film progresses, so do their relationships with each other but like the ship, it is not going to be a smooth ride. Eden cannot understand his brother's desire for leaving all those years ago until he finds himself forging new memories, relationships and experiences millions of miles away from home.
As the spaceship lands on Navaadi, Eden steps out of it a better man than when he walked in. He is now ready to move forward and eager to see what the universe has to offer him, with his newfound family by his side.
STARGAZER explores the quintessential theme of existentialism by projecting it through the lens of the science-fiction genre. We find Eden, a working-class man, afraid to leave everything he's ever known on Earth because he does not know if anything better for him lies in the stars - or if he feels like he deserves or is meant for any better. This theme of searching for and understanding his purpose in the universe is intertwined with the traditional themes of family, brotherhood and loss.
In the film, we want to create a tight, cramp space where the performance of the actors can really shine through in a scene where the spaceship can also feel like a character itself. Visually the film intends to utilise a widescreen anamorphic format to truly bring the isolation between the characters to life.
We want to portray the grittiness of a future dystopian Earth and its working class through the use of muted, monotonous colours and the breaking down and aging of sets and costumes to reflect a lived-in world environment. Metallic and earthly colours will be used throughout production design, costumes and set builds to create a brooding atmosphere for the film. With all these elements in hand, we aim to create a truly immersive experience for audience members when they watch the film.
<<INCOMING TRANSMISSION FROM THE WRITER-DIRECTOR ARVIND JAY>>
"When I first came to university, I did it without having stepped foot on the continent of Europe before. My entire life in Singapore, all 23 years of it, was uprooted so that I could pursue what I loved, film. Before I left, several people had discouraged me from leaving as they assumed that I was taking Singapore for granted - that I was the kind that believed “the grass is always greener on the other side”. Fast forward two years and I can proudly say that coming to the UK was the best decision I ever made. This film is both a love letter to my past self and a sign of defiance against the ones who would limit self-exploration. There is a whole world out there for us to discover and with this film, I want to push people to escape their comfort zones and metaphorical boxes, I want them to feel what I have felt.
I had to let go of most things I loved back home but in doing so I found new loves and new purposes, I found a new home. With loss comes a desire to find yourself again, a rebirth. That is why I want to tell this story."
The main inspiration for cinematography style comes from the Director of Photography Bradford Young. He created the visuals for Solo: A Star Wars Story, Arrival, and Mother of George. Young has been praised for his lighting techniques that showcase dark skin tones. As our film has a BAME cast, it is important to research these techniques to be inclusive and effectively and accurately represent the characters’ skin tones. He favours high contrast, low-key lighting often separating the character from the background.
The colour palette for STARGAZER focuses on purple and orange tones. Using contrasting colours we will be able to separate the character from their background.
The use of layered coloured lights will add depth to the visuals and create a more immersive film experience. We wanted a rich colour scheme that steered away from the generic sci-fi blue and clinical white spaceships.
For lighting, Arrival, High Life, Ad Astra, Moon, Annihilation and other modern contemporary sci fi films serve as a large inspiration for this project. This is because the aesthetic of the mentioned films is not only appealing to the eye, but this overall look helps with the engagement of the cinematic experience for these films, that same philosophy will be applied to STARGAZER. This is a redemption story set in the near future, thus meaning the colour palette of this project must consist of distinct and realistic gradients (colours like purple, green, blue and red) to help the audience the characters and settings that surround them.
However, this no easy task, the collaboration with production design and the director of photography must be consistent throughout the pre-production and production process. This will be achieved by before fulfilling my roles obligations everything must be agreed on first. The variety of actions mentioned will help the audience gain a better understanding of the characters and the project therefore creating a better overall film.
Inspired by the art movement Neo-futurism seen within architecture we plan to create a futuristic and high-tech style through using lines, shape and curves within the set. We plan to create a set which uses a high level of futurism in the design, taking inspiration from geometry and combining these ideas with the curved fluid movements in Neo-futurism.
The style of the set will be industrial looking, using metals and a greyscale colour palette to capture the industrial feel and model of the spaceship. A range of greyscale colour will be used throughout the set to create added depth of field, combining undulated walls will add a texture and depth to the spaceship.
Films that have inspired the style and aesthetic of the set design are ‘Event Horizon’ by Paul Anderson, ‘Interstellar’ by Christopher Nolan and Sir Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’, ‘Alien’ and ‘Prometheus’. Inspired by the different structures of the spaceships in these collections of films, we want to create a set that appears believable to the audience.
The main task for Production Design on STARGAZER is to create a set build which is ambitious and believable as a spaceship but also achievable with the time frame and budget we will have. We want the audience to be thrown into this alternate reality and space, which is set hundreds of years in the future. By creating the visual style of the film we want the audience to connect with the characters, story, and surroundings.
The budget for the Costume Design will be utilised in the realisation of the characters’ casual wear and space suits. We want to create something unique and exciting to sit within the world of ‘Stargazer’, so we will be working closely in conjunction with Production Design to ensure that the costumes complement the overall aesthetic of the film.
Cut and fabric choice will be carefully considered to create texture, and the layering of modern pieces will be used generate an aesthetic that implies the futuristic setting whilst also remaining grounded and believable. Breaking down techniques will be utilised to distress the costumes, which will make them look ‘lived-in’ and gritty, aiding in the creation of the character’s working-class identities.
The palette will largely be neutral and monochromatic, in keeping with the sci-fi genre of the film, with colour being used to juxtapose the relationships of Eden, Naomi, and Caleb and show their initial disconnect. We plan to put emphasis on the tonal transition from cold to warm, as we see Eden go through the stages of grief towards acceptance, using accessories and pops of colour to accentuate the familial bond that grows between the characters.
Our first inspiration for sound was the Razor Crest from The Mandalorian. It has a run-down, beaten up spaceship aesthetic that fits the description. We wanted the sound to feel like an old rust bucket aircraft that barely held together, which match the look and sound of the Razor Crest really well. Our second inspiration was Interstellar, which also has great spaceship sound, both interior, and exterior. In the scene where they enter the wormhole, you can hear the ship rumbling and shaking as if the ship was being torn apart. That is what we want our spaceship to sound like. Makeshift, low-class, robust yet fragile. So fragile that you can hear the rattling of steel plates, nuts and bolts, and low bass humming. We wanted you to feel unsafe, uncertain, which adds to the stake of the story.
We also looked into Cyberpunk 2077. In their recent promotional video, they released the trailer showing the process of how they make the sound for the vehicles in that game. They recorded multiple components of the actual car, whether it is the engine, exhaust pipe, interior sound, or the motion of the car. Since our spaceship is a lower-class model, we wanted it to sound like a diesel engine, rather than a pulse drive energy-based engine which we see in most futuristic sci-fi films. We are planning to adopt the same method of recording sound as they did, to make our sound as authentic as much as possible. For the soundtrack of the film, one of our biggest inspiration were No Man’s Sky and Interstellar. No Man’s Sky soundtrack is full of synth, pads, keys, and beats that screams space odyssey. The soundscapes are also breathtaking, filled with atmosphere and ambience that is truly out of this world. We wanted to combine that with the orchestral composition of Interstellar, which we think would help driving our emotional scene close to home.
We are planning to do some collaborative sessions throughout the process with a few musicians and artists that we know of. Our goal for the sound is to enhance the storytelling and makes you, the audience, emotionally moving along throughout the film. It is going to be fun bringing the story to life, but we also need your help to make it happen too.
At the core of this film we have a man who must give up his way of life to fulfil his brother’s final wish. Driven by the actions and desires of Eden, the final crafting of Stargazer’s storytelling will rely on the way in which its complexity of emotion can be depicted throughout the editing. Due to emotion being such a pivotal factor within the storytelling, I intend to slow down the overall pacing and linger on these moments of conflict, maximising tension and engagement. If we can perfect the pacing, the masterfully crafted story of Stargazer will dare to enter the complex sub-conscious of Eden and allow the audience to begin unravelling Eden’s inner self. With the right amount of precision, Stargazer may begin to make audiences question how we exist and what will happen to us when we don’t anymore.
STARGAZER is a university graduation film that aspires to be so much more than that. It is going to be the tangible manifestation of the ambition and the abilities of young filmmakers brimming with exciting new ideas. It is the poetic amalgamation of the experiences of its crew and a gargantuan task awaits us in the production of this film.
The majority of the budget will be going towards the Art Department in order to fully create a world within a film that is believable, relatable and of a high standard. This is not just a film that's made for university by university students. We are approaching this as filmmakers who need your help to tell a timeless story supported by intricate production design and stellar visuals.
Please support our dream of making this film become a reality.
STARGAZER will be brought to life by a talented crew who will pilot this production all the way through. In this section, you will meet one of the most diverse crews in a film production. We all hail from different backgrounds and are strong advocates for equality and representation in the film industry and we're ready to show you what we've got.
Arvind Jay takes on STARGAZER with a wealth of experience. He has worked on international productions and his resume spans feature films, documentaries, cartoons, TV shows, short films, music videos and even nationally broadcasted events. He always believes in never settling for the ordinary. Film is the gateway to the extraordinary, so he says, and this is why he always pushes the boundaries in his film concepts. While always aiming for the extravagant spectacle, he never forgets what is most important to film - story. With STARGAZER, Arvind aims to deliver a story set in the stars but grounded in human emotion.
In 2018, the British Council in Singapore presented Arvind with the local IELTS Prize, which is "awarded to high-calibre individuals with the motivation to develop their career, and who demonstrate the potential to contribute to society what they have gained from their undergraduate or postgraduate study experience". In 2020, when he finished his mandatory military conscription of 24 months, he was awarded 'Outstanding' for both Performance and Conduct, along with a glowing testimonial from his then Commander LTC (Ret.) Jackson Tean - a feat he achieved by delivering several professional and slick videos for the Singapore Armed Forces.
This is an individual who has delivered time and time again, not just in film but across all fields. He is now part of a team of incredible creatives that together, aim to materialise their most ambitious project yet. Arvind is raring to go and can't wait to get started.
Our producer Anj was immediately intrigued with the project due to the story’s interpretation on how starting a new life somewhere else does not mean leaving the past behind and forgetting your roots. She herself left her home country Bangladesh at a very young age and her life was uprooted here in the UK. At 14, after leaving all her friends and family she had behind, she was very reluctant towards the idea of starting anew here, but as she grew up, she realised that just like this story signifies, starting anew isn’t about leaving everything and everything behind but its about giving yourself the best chance and becoming a better version of yourself.
Having produced numerous aspiring short films in the past two years, Anj brings strong problem solving, communication and organisational skills to the team which is exactly what we need for an ambitious project like STARGAZER. Anj had previously collaborated with the writer-director Arvind Jay on their previous project 'SLIVER'. Their working relationship blossomed and together they became a force to be reckoned with. With her resilient spirit as a leader, her vast production knowledge and the ability to thrive under pressure, she is a great asset to the team and the perfect fit for the role of this films producer.
Jack is the First Assistant Director for STARGAZER. He is responsible for keeping the production moving to schedule once we enter the production stage of our adventure. He was instantly drawn to STARGAZER from the beginning due to its unique story revolving around the relatable themes of family and self discovery. Jack has worked closely with Arvind, the director, for some months now, developing the script and ensuring the film is the best it can be.
Sarah is the Director of Photography for STARGAZER. After pursuing art and media in college, she decided to study film as her niche at Arts University Bournemouth. As a specialist cinematography student in the university she has worked on a number of short films over the years and has a wide range of experience. She believes that working on this film is the perfect platform to showcase that experience and elevate her skillset.
Sarah’s background in art means that she has a confident understanding of colour and composition. She pays close attention to detail and has clear ideas for the visualisation for STARGAZER. When she first read the script, it was the only film that really caught her attention. She connected to the script and deeply empathised with its universally relatable themes; which she is determined to materialise through the cinematography of STARGAZER.
Growing up in South London, Alex discovered his love for film organically. Applying for a course that delves into many avenues of the media sector, he studied a unit that explores the wide spectrum of film, after this he concluded that this is the career path for him. This led to a passion for the behind-the-scenes aspect of the cinematic experience, an important part of this experience is lighting that foreshadows characters and thus aids in story telling for the narrative.
This enthusiasm paired with the with previous experience of lighting the director's film 'SLIVER' , he jumped at the chance to work on a bigger, bolder and more ambitious project. Alex is excited for the new challenges that he will face ahead for this graduation film.
After Connor's first year working on a handful of productions, he managed to work on some feature films which later got him work as a spark for a local video production company in Bournemouth. This in turn led to him being interested in cinematography. He occasionally shoots with a Lumix G7 which has helped him film personal projects like documentaries and other videos under his brand BaskeyVision.
Connor has operated on previous university productions using various cameras, including the Arri Alexa Classic 35mm and the Sony FS5 cameras. Working on STARGAZER is something he is looking forward to as he believes in the characters' journey and it is something that relates to him. He feels that the film has a setting which allows all departments to reach beyond their creative limits - which he attributes to the film being in the Science-Fiction genre. He believes it is an ambitious project and not your regular student film, so he's keen to get started.
Having always had a very keen interest in Art and Design, Athena found herself drawn to the storytelling world of film. Her interest in film began first with Photography when she received her first camera at a young age, this interest then developed into the moving image world of film after experimenting Fine Art Film in her Art foundation year in Bristol. Within her time at AUB she fell in love with Production Design which what she believes to be the Architecture of the Screen. The beauty of Production Design is to be able to immerse the audience into a different reality by creating the visual style. A passion for cinematography and aesthetics has aided Athena in her chosen specialism of Production Design where collaboration is essential!
With her keen eye for design and a high attention to detail, working on STARGAZER presents Athena with the exciting challenge of building a sci-fi spaceship set - one that Athena is relishing and she is definitely looking forward to designing it and bringing the film to life! A clear visual style is the most important aspect to convey in STARGAZER, Athena’s excited to work with the director and the camera department to immerse the audience into an alternate reality.
Ohm found his passion for sound after arriving at Arts University Bournemouth, where his love for film and video-game soundtracks elevated his interest in world-building through the art of sound. Being a fan of the sci-fi genre, he naturally gravitated towards working on STARGAZER. He hopes to enhance the emotional impact of the film's narrative with engaging sound and score. Ohm's ability to operate at any stage of the sound process makes him a vital member of the team. However, his attention to detail with the post-production process is what makes him critical to bringing the world of STARGAZER to life.
Among the many people in AUB, Tom Christie is considered to be one of the most passionate and skilled Location Sound Recordists, Boom Operators and Foley Artists in the entire Film course. With his knowledge and understanding of sound equipment, you can always find him around the set assessing, planning, and capturing sound efficiently and effectively. His creative and enigmatic mind, combined with his love of sound, makes him a great addition to the team. If you want good audio in your film, then you can always count on him.
James is an aspiring film editor and after spending several years gaining experience as an assistant editor for short films, documentaries and educational programmes, he feels ready to combine all his knowledge and implement it into the crafting of STARGAZER. With a rich knowledge of editing softwares such as Avid, Premiere and Resolve, as well as a keen eye for precise detail, James will begin to unveil the true power of STARGAZER in the edit suite, assuring the intimate and irresistible storytelling is depicted to the best of its ability.
Selma is our co-costume designer for STARGAZER. She has previously helped out with a charity event to support the creation of washable hygiene kits for girls and women in Ghana, Africa to help end period poverty. She has a passion for film and small details within designs that wouldn't necessarily be noticed straight away. She connects with the film as her first language is Turkish and she says that it can sometimes feel like she's on another planet. She is excited to collaborate with such creative individuals to tell this beautiful and moving film.
Ellé is a third-year costume student and is co-Costume Designer for STARGAZER. Having worked before in designing and making for theatre, she is excited to be on board for her first film. She hopes her passion for video games and cosplay will aid in the creation of the science fiction world. She is especially excited to take on the challenge of creating a range of dystopian costume designs for the film, whilst remaining true to the themes of family and letting go.
Becky found her fascination with SFX makeup from a young age and how it visually transforms a performer to the desired character. She enjoys problem solving and bringing unique makeup to life. This is shown in her past work, re-creating the Fembot characters famous gun assets from the Austin Powers film. Becky was drawn to STARGAZER by the passion and determination of the team to bring the amazing script to life. She grew up appreciating the world of cinema and found herself absorbed into the different fictional universes that films and TV shows offered an escape to. She now hopes to offer that similar escape to audience members with her first foray in to the film industry. This opportunity brings her new challenges and she can’t wait to learn new experiences and make memories on set.
Caitlin is joint makeup designer and is enthusiastic for being a part of this thrilling science-fiction film STARGAZER. Specialising in TV, film and prosthetics. She has collaborated on numerous projects such as ‘Oh Little Spark’ and ‘SLIVER’ and hopes to use her knowledge in order to bring the writer-directors imagination of the characters to life. She was drawn to the whole concept of the film which the storyline highlights a clear theme of the most important factor ‘family’ which she believes the audience will all be able to connect with especially at a time of loss.