Cultural Critique

Our creative piece, Daydreams, aims to discuss the idea of using ones imagination to escape a dull reality. We aim to portray this through an elderly male character who slips into a Daydream while travelling on a train. Its human nature to explore the worlds within our minds, creativity is a strong pillar at the foundations of what it means to be human. It is this need for imagination that we are discussing within our piece. The surreal Daydream will contrast heavily with the character’s dull reality in both visual style and feeling. We aim for the contrast itself between the two sequences to be the driving force of the idea of difference between reality and imagination.

 

Genre and Theme

The theme of using imagination to escape reality is a universal idea that can be expressed and understood worldwide. Art itself in all its forms is an expression of people’s desire across the world to explore their imagination and express it to other people. For this reason alone the theme discussed within Daydreams is largely accessible and relatable to all audiences across the globe. Everyone is able to identify with what the character is feeling and what the piece is discussing even if they aren’t able to identify with the character himself. Furthermore imagination is also seen very commonly seen as a means of escape, just as we are portraying within the film. Many people choose to use their imagination and artforms to escape from the world for a while, which can so often be disinteresting and miserable. The Genre of the film for these reasons can be said to be based on a surreal commentary of everyday life and the human condition.

However, although we are aiming for the short to be on the topic of imagination it is entirely possible that our audience has a different interpretation of the piece. The featuring of two characters within the dream instead of one may suggest that the dream is an expression of the longing of companionship whether in love or friendship, especially so when juxtaposed against the lone character within the reality scene. It may be viewed that this dream sequence is not a chaotic and surreal visual creation of the characters imagination but instead a moment of reflection and reminiscing on his past, to a companionship he once had but now has lost. An audience with this perspective of the piece has the potential to see it as a surreal love story.

 

Narrative

The narrative within Daydreams is largely expressive and will be based upon each individual’s interpretation of the piece. By putting forward an elderly character in a dull world and getting a glimpse into his lively and vivid mind, we gain a sense of understanding of how the character is feeling but not necessarily why. The aim with this approach is to in turn provoke emotional responses within the audience as they build their own perception of the short. There are however key elements we wished to express, this character is alone, bored and looking for something of interest. This escape from his reality is found by the character within his own mind which takes place in the second sequence.

The second sequence is set in a surreal world based very little of any part of the real world. The use of stars within the background is one of the few largely recognisable feature of the real world. The idea of space and the night sky are a visual element to which people across the world associate with wonder and the unknown, a feeling similar to what the dream is aiming to produce. These scenes offer even less to the audience in terms of their meaning, offering only dream like imagery of the imagination of the character. As afore mentioned this dream sequence is not without its concerns in terms of its narrative. I believe it is quite likely that the audience will find a love story within this sequence where we have intended none to be.

Aesthetics

It is important for the purpose of the short that the ‘real’ world and dream world contrast greatly but still fit together. Our choices when it came to the progression of colour in the piece will help to illustrate how the two worlds effect and feel to the character, which hopefully will be mirrored in the audience. Beginning in the first scene with dark and dull colours using minimal saturation it is our hope that nothing stands out in this scene, that everything feels ordinary and dull. This was a choice to put a filter over the audience’s eyes so we are able to see this world as our elderly character does. In great contrast to this scene the second sequence will make use of bright colours and dark backgrounds to give a surreal feeling to the environment. Interesting choices in the way Shaders are constructed and transitions flow, will go a long way to shape how the piece will feel to the audience. The camera movement and cuts we have chosen to implement will also add to this effect, we found when discussing the storyboard that the first sequence would make use of many cuts and still shots. In contrast the dream sequence will have more dynamic camera movement possibly all being one shot. The colour scheme and cinematography in combination suggest two extremely emotionally contrasting realities. One in which the audience feels constricted and the world feels dull and another in which the audience feels free to move and the world seems interesting and surreal.

Conclusion
There are many elements to consider in the development of this project and it is important that we weigh our options to ensure we are able to achieve the most positive outcome possible for the piece. After a group discussion reflecting upon each of our Cultural Critiques changes in the piece may occur but I believe the major theme discussed: Imagination as an escape, still remains strong in the short. However I do believe our major concern lies in the possible interpretation of a love story. I do not believe that the theme of a love story itself is necessarily a negative one that we should avoid, but so far it has not been the intention of the piece and it would be best to avoid allowing the room this misinterpretation.
References

Macdonald, G.M (1867). The Imagination: It’s Function and its Culture. The Golden Key. Retrieved from http://www.george-macdonald.com/etexts/the_imagination.html

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Cultural Critique

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