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My Shadow and Me

I already came into this class wanting to create and explore the relationship between two characters I had created: a girl and her shadow (shown in my digital painting). Other than that, Im trying to stay very open to the process!

Initial Brainstorm

Monsters, folklore, the supernatural, the paranormal, anything Halloween, Death, light, enlightenment, spirituality, courage, fear, heart wrenching/emotional stories, feelings, suffering, freedom from suffering, sacrifice, quirky things, bats, horns, girl protagonists/heroines, list making, suspense, colors/colorful things, a single tiny light shining in vast darkness, being lost, adventure/action, anything fantasy (creatures, races, weapons, armor, etc), accepting yourself, The Shadow, nursery rhymes, childhood scars, cute things, magical books, catacombs, wells, haunted forests, jewel shards, magic, tombs, tomes, crescent moon, spirals, crypt

Now onto keeping a diary, and research, research, research! :)

Obsession: self-love/self-acceptance, an unyielding curiosity for the unseen

Treatment

Primary Theme

Accepting all sides of your self.

The dark nature of people has always struck a chord in me. What makes some people good and what makes some people bad? Aren't we all capable of darkness? Aren't we all capable of greatness? Are we naturally bad? Or naturally good? What makes one person one way and the other another? There have been (and are) pure, self-sacrificing people who only care about humanity and suffering and do whatever they can to bring some form of peace into this world and there have been (and are) evil, murderous people who commit mass genocide, bringing this world into a darker place. Through my curiosity towards the dual nature of human nature, I happened upon the theory of Carl Jung's Shadow Archetype that we all have which has had a heavy influence on my writing. Basically, we all have bad traits (because humans are flawed) and instead of identifying with these bad traits, acknowledging them, bringing them into the light, and thusly releasing them (if we consciously work towards bettering ourselves), we live in what is called a “waking dream” where most people run on instinct, impulse, and reaction through they subconscious based on experience, instead of consciously identifying our choices and choosing who and what we are. Most of the world is so identified with their ego (thus separate themselves in their own identity from the collective leading into self-centered identification and actions) that they can not, will not, and do not identify their negative traits, thus repress and hide them so deep within their subconscious, eventually a shadow complex is formed. Until that shadow is brought to the light, where it so much wants to live, grows, expands and multiples within the dark space of the sub conscious until it is able to fight for it freedom, becoming an angry monster in the process. According to this theory, most people who have committed history's greatest atrocities are prime examples of those who have completely succumb to the control of their shadow archetype (becoming pure, dense darkness incarnate) and become nothing more than a vile, savage, animal-like monster committing inhumane, heinous offenses towards the collective. To raise the level of one's self-awareness and consciousness is the first step in identifying the shadow for what it is, and self-acceptance is the only way to unify and absorb the shadow, rather than allowing it to grow and succumb to it's eventual terror. And once absorbed, you realize that it was nothing that was so terror filled at all, but nothing more than a child having a tantrum, crying out to be accepted and loved.

Secondary Themes

The Paranormal

I have always been heavily interested in the paranormal or the unseen. Whether it is true or not is not my concern but the idea that there is more than what we perceive (in all aspects of life) and to me that includes the unseen as well. I can't speak if there is anything out there and if there is what it may be, but my curiosity can't help but imagine. I guess that is why I've always been drawn towards it as an artist and writer, that my imagination has the opportunity to fill in the blanks and there is so much inspiration to feed off of: magic, witches, ghosts, angels, demons, leprechauns, fairies, gnomes, monsters, changelings, etc– the lore in all of these subjects are always so dense, interesting and other-worldly.

Waking Consciousness/Revelation/Enlightenment

I speak of those moments when one's perception is opened to the broader spectrum – that sort of moment of revelation when you see the situation a little bit more clearly. Oftentimes, you feel a little bit foolish afterwards for your thoughts and emotions you had before you realized the actually reality of a situation rather than your limited view on it. It sort of feels like an enormous burden lifted right from your shoulders, or a sense of freedom from a situation that had bogged you down.

Quirky Habits

I love quirky habits about people that sometimes individuals like to hide because it makes them 'weird' but I think it just makes them an individual. As a writer, it's those types of habits that make a character unique and feel more real than just an archetype. Maybe it's because I was weird as a little kid and possibly still am. I got picked on a lot for it, but I couldn't help but be who I was, think how I did, and feel how I felt. I am what I am. Some quirks that appeal to me for my two character's on this project are using mundane items as toys (like clicking pens), doodles all the time on any type of paper, always stands with hands behind the back, humming songs all the time, constantly finishing other people's sentences, always early to things, always running late, always speaks their mind, always submits to the ideas of others, readily puts themselves in the way of danger without careful consideration, overly honest person ( telling the truth even to their own detriment), takes stupid bets, talking too fast, talking to themself all the time, laughing out loud for no apparent reason, hating/afraid of the dark, hating to be touched.

Setting

Catacombs/crypt – Nothing is creepier or more representative of the darkness as a dark tunnel of millions of skeletons I feel. I recently visited Paris this past summer and walked through the catacombs and there is just an eerie sadness (the best way I can explain it) that hangs densely in the air. It also left such an imprint on my visually that I felt that I have to put it into one of my art pieces and dealing with the shadow and darkness I felt this was appropriate.

Spooky forest – I chose a type of haunted/foggy/magical forest because when I was little, I used to go into the forest all the time – whether I was alone, with my dog, or with friends, day or night. There was something so curious about wandering through the forest and my imagination of what could be there and making stories up. Creepy things can also happen in forests – anywhere from Sleepy Hollow to the Blair Witch Project.

Other Headings

Tone – Spooky/Adventurous/Magical/Fantasy, sometimes tense, other times funny

Pacing – Fast, climactic, dynamic (Scott Pilgrim was listed in the example but Edgar Wright has one of my favorite styles of directing/editing).

Sound – I think of fantasy music in RPG games I used to play as a kid, (like Final Fantasy or Kindgom Hearts). I think some creepy foley for the scary parts, or foley just to enhance what is there visually.

Aesthetics – 2D Animation (maybe more illustrative and cut out animation through After Effects)

References – Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas, Alice in Wonderland, Coraline, Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, Goosebumps,

Imagery References

Brainstorm

  • Adventure
  • Acceptance
  • Books
  • Catacombs/Crypt
  • Crystal
  • Courage
  • Darkness
  • Death
  • Fantasy/Magical
  • Forest
  • Freedom
  • Fear
  • Halloween
  • Heroines
  • Light
  • Lost
  • Monsters/Creatures
  • Moon
  • Opposites/Yin and Yang
  • Paranormal/Supernatural
  • Quirks
  • Spirals
  • Skulls and Skeletons
  • Sadness
  • Sacrifice
  • Shadows

Devices

Doubles/Repetition – because the shadow is essentially a double of the girl, this is a theme can be explored throughout. Parts of the forest or catacombs can look the same even though she is trying to escape, repetition in the environment that makes the audience feel just as confused and scared as the girl.

Light/Darkness – the girl is the light and the shadow is the darkness so the film itself should be shaped entirely around this visually. The more light represents the more enlightenment the girl undergoes - the more darkness, the more fear and confusion.

Monsters/Creatures – hiding everywhere watching the main character but the girl does not see them even though she feels like she's being watched. Used to pair with the darkness and feelings of fear. They make up the world.

The Shadow – the double of the girl. Her dark side. A trickster who is misunderstood for being evil until she gets in trouble and needs the girl to help her.

Physics – I want it to feel Alice in Wonderland-ish at times (not in terms of setting but in terms of physics). For example her falling, but she's falling up. Things that are strange and don't make sense. For example, the girl's shadow comes to life and moves independently.

Quirks – I want both the girl and the shadow to have unusual quirks (like the ones I previously listed) that help them out on their journey.



Act One

Elise ventures through the woods with a book, searching for a crypt. Creatures and monsters watch her. Elise has flashbacks of her nightmares of being haunted by her Shadow.

Act Two

Elise journeys into the crypt. She finds an altar and performs a ceremony from the book to rid herself of Shadow by opening a portal. She is sucked into the portal and ends up in her own personal Hell, surrounded by monsters and creatures. She's terrified. Shadow defends her. The monsters drag Shadow away and begin ripping her apart. Elise runs after Shadow even as monsters push her away. Elise and Shadow reach out to each other and touch hands and everything bursts into light.

Act Three

Elise and Shadow are in the forest. Shadow transforms into Elise, only covered in scars and tears up. Elise hugs her. Shadow cries. Elise comforts her. They stand and look up at the full moon and hold hands.

Characters

Elise

Shy, reserved, and timid because she hides her strong, rebellious, intelligent, exuberant self (Shadow) and cares so much of what people think of her. Since she represses her self-confidence, she becomes a victim of fear and anything of the darkness or supernatural terrifies her, because she fears the unknown.

Want – Her Shadow torments her through nightmares. Even though she is terrified of the supernatural, she goes through supernatural means to rid herself of her tormentor.

Need – To accept her Shadow and integrate it into her personality, because it is apart of her that she is keeping in the darkness and causing it to suffer.

Quirks – Books are her friends. Always stands with hands behind the back and difficult for her to maintain eye contact. Hums songs. Always early. Small voice, almost a whisper. Silent a lot and listens rather than speaks. Doodles all the time on any type of paper. “Lost in her own world” type of girl. Afraid of the dark. Hates to be touched.

Shadow

She is composed of Elise's personality that she represses. She is strong, rebellious, confident, out-spoken, energetic, proud, powerful. But due to repression and imprisonment in Elise's own created darkness, she has become hurt, lost, neglected, and furious.

Want – Freedom from Elise. To escape. To know true freedom. To not be hurt and forgotten and tosses aside.

Need – To reach out to Elise and reveal her true nature because this is the only way she will ever know true freedom.

Quirks – Eagerly finishes people's sentences and corrects people. Uses mundane items are toys (kind of like Ariel from the Little Mermaid) because of her little understanding of the world. Always running late. Speaks her mind. Confident voice. always submits to the ideas of others, readily puts themselves in the way of danger without careful consideration. Laughs out loud for no apparent reason. Talks to herself out loud because she was her only friend in the darkness. Talks too fast. Speaks before she thinks. Motor mouth. Always submits to the ideas of others. Readily puts themselves in the way of danger without careful consideration.

Monsters

All the shadows that have been ripped from their human counterpart to live in the shadows forever. Without any chance of freedom, they numb themselves to the pain of being alone, neglected, forgotten and thrown away by feasting off of new shadows that come to them and consuming anything of the light.

Want – To numb themselves of their eternal imprisonment in the darkness they feast and rip apart anything of the light, purity, or innocence.

Need – To see the light. To be apart of the light. To know true freedom.



Locations

Magical Forest

Alludes to the supernatural. Seeing things move in the corner of your eye. Small figures, faint voices and giggles, but can't perceive what's there. The feeling someone's watching you but you cannot see them. Fireflies/wisps. Shadows move.

The Crypt

A graveyard leading into a tunnel into an underground crypt/catacombs. The first real step into the supernatural. Shadow comes to life from Elise's shadow. Pentagrams. Monsters rise from shadows in the room and dance around in the open. Elise now sees the source of what's been watching her and chasing her. Light and darkness defies physics (the pentagram lights up, the portal lights up, flame from candles move independently and dance. Shadows move independently.)

Portal

A sinkhole appears under the pentagram (like Bunnymund from Rise of the Guardians). Kind of like Alice in Wonderland when she falls down the rabbit hole but darker. Things are floating up than falling down. A swirling vortex. Motions blurs. Squashing and stretching.

Netherworld/Personal Hell – Stalactites/stalagmites. Fire. Lava. Lava rock. Smoke everywhere. Possibly an inverted colors look with only black and white. Eclipse (for total darkness). Smoke-Monsters, Shadow-monsters, Lava-monsters, all sorts of monsters. Water floats up. Elise emits light. Elise can draw with light (which attracts the monsters).

The climax of the supernatural. The supernatural world itself.

Physics

Shadow's physics – Shadow can float, fly, fight with dark magic in all worlds because she is a magic being.

Elise's physics – normal. In the Netherworld she can fight with light magic.



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