For my grade 11 film summative, I will be combining the summatives of "Cup, spoon, pencil" and "Forest of Dreams" into one 3 minute film. The film will be heavily based on Lewis Carroll's poem, "A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky", which describes the deteriorating relationship between him and Alice Liddell. Alice Liddell, a girl who Carroll babysat and befriended, inspired Carroll's most noteworthy works including Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. The poem, "A Boat Beneath a Sunny Sky", provides vivid imagery of Alice and her siblings lying in a "Wonderland" with streams, boats, and trees. As Alice and her siblings grow old, Carroll reflects on their departure from the "Wonderland", which saddens him. Given Carroll's fascination with Alice and the first letters of each line of the poem spelling, "Alice Pleasance Liddell", there are theories surrounding whether Carroll was a child molester or white-haired reverend with a fondness for children . I want to intersperse close-up shots of Alice using cups and spoons at a forest tea party with shots of an irritated Carroll reflecting on her departure. During the tea party, Carroll's unrequited feelings for Alice and mania translate into the appearance of various Alice in Wonderland characters including the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar, and the Chesire Cat. In the end, the characters scare Alice out of the Wonderland and in spite of the urges Carroll may feel to contact a grown up Alice and continue the controversial relationship, he puts his anger into words and writes the first line of Alice in Wonderland, "Alice was beginning to get very tired..."
The poem my summative is based on
Alice, a twelve year old girl, giddily runs through a forest and stumbles upon a tea set. Carroll stares at a mirror and examines his grey hairs. Alice pours herself tea and admires the clouds in the sky. Carroll rehearses a conversation with her in the mirror and recounts his shyness when speaking to her. The White Rabbit frantically runs at Alice and stutters as he informs her of the time. Carroll reads a book and remembers trying to impress Alice with his knowledge. The Dodo approaches Alice and rambles words. Carroll looks at the photographs he took of Alice and smiles. The Cheshire Cat crawls up to Alice and smiles. Carroll contemplates whether to call Alice on the phone, but decides against it as he wants to play hard to get. The impolite Mad Hatter mocks Alice. Carroll stares at a bottle of liquor and remembers when Alice and him would stare at the sky in relaxation. The Caterpillar crawls up to Alice; at this point, Alice is overwhelmed by the characters surrounding her at the tea party. Lastly, Carroll angrily stares at headlines of him being accused of an inappropriate relationship with Alice. The Queen of Hearts runs at Alice and the trail of characters chase Alice out of the forest. Carroll sits alone in the forest, grabs a pencil, and starts writing the first line of Alice in Wonderland.
Lewis Carroll - William Ngaw
Alice Liddell - Jenna Purther
White Rabbit - Nina Zhu
Dodo - Elena Tranze
Cheshire Cat - Kat Lukin
Mad Hatter - Eric Venis
Caterpillar - Richard Webb
Queen of Hearts - Katherine Jelich
Colour palette: The left side represents colours emphasized in present-day scenes with Carroll and the right side represents vibrant colours emphasized in flashback scenes with Alice and characters.
I am keen on using a Cinestyle preset to film all scenes with Carroll to achieve an unsaturated look and underline the melancholy he faces. Conversely, shots in the forest/Wonderland will have bold, vibrant colours.
The shots used will be mostly limited to close-ups in order to stick with the "Cup, spoon, pencil" objective of telling a story using only close-ups of those key props. Character appearances however, will be easily identifiable through iconic costuming and careful framing (the Cheshire Cat's appearance may be indicated by a pink and purple striped paw touching a cup, the Mad Hatter's appearance may be announced by a spoon coming out of a hat, etc.). The cup and spoon will be emphasized in close-ups shots of the tea party in the forest, while the pencil will act as a resolution to the story.
The following are considered for forest scenes:
Scarborough Bluffs Park - 61 Under Cliff Dr
High Park - 1873 Bloor St W
Edwards Garden - 755 Lawrence Ave E
Mitchell Field - 89 Church Avenue
My backyard - 96 Church Avenue
Ontario Historical Society - 34 Parkview Ave
Ravine behind Cummer Valley Middle School - 70 Maxome Avenue
Carroll scenes will be filmed at my home.
The film will likely feature one acoustic song on a piano/guitar, incorporating both major and minor keys to emphasize the unsettling plot line.