In this initial page the audience is seeing our protagonist walking home. I’ve included no major signifiers that anything is wrong or out of place in his life, in fact, I’ve deigned him to look normal and happy, wearing normal work clothes and smiling as he walks home. This is to portray his “perfect” life, he has a loving husband, a good career, and lives in a nice area (as depicted by his surroundings). He receives a text from whom the audience assumes is his partner, and smiles as he reads it. I will be using mostly close ups for the initial opening in order to create a sense of friendliness within my character that my audience will find him a likeable character. Of course here there are no obvious signifiers of his sexuality, because I believe that my audience will assume that he is straight, however the text from the ‘mystery’ partner allows the audience to question this, if the audience do not consider his sexuality at all and simply assume that he is heterosexual, this allows the audience to be surprised later when they see he is married to a man, and allows them to question why they would assume his partner would be a woman in the first place, as I purposefully left all signifiers of the gender of the texter completely neutral.
I next have further footage of him walking home, entering the home and meeting his husband. This is where the audience notices a ‘twist’, as there was nothing in the establishing shots to single him out as a gay man, it is likely that the audience would see this as a turn of events. Even now that the audience knows that he is gay, there is nothing stereotypical of the characters in order to portray them in this way, for example by expressing that there is a masculine and a feminine partner, or by using flamboyant decor in the home. However, through my use of shots, or example the over the shoulder shot of the two men, and the two shot showing the proxemics of them being far from one another, we see how there is discourse in the relationship. We also see how despite his happy and positive portrayal earlier, he is deeply unhappy with his partner. I have included a television shot in here also, of a short miniature advert of a body spray commercial, with the voiceover saying “for him and for him”. This is somewhat satirical of body spray adverts today that often sport the line “for him and for her”, as well as how even now media uses advertisements like this to push a ‘norm’. This also is included for dramatic purpose, so that the audience sees how normalised gay relationships are in this dystopian fiction, although this is very different from what we would normally see in a body spray advert, I feel that this type of technique allows the audience to understand the society in the narrative while maintaining verisimilitude as it is simply a twist on a normal television ad. I will be filming this separately and adding it in in post production so that the image looks like it is actually on the screen. I may be adding in more mini shots like this in order for the audience to understand what this fictitious society is like, for example by using small shots of newspaper articles or by having some extras play as couples in the background.
On this page we see how the lightheartedness of the film goes away, the television cuts abruptly to the news, broadcasting that there is a public safety hazard of a straight couple being seen in Birmingham. This is a final signifier of the society in this dystopia as the audience now learns that not only that gay is the norm, but straight is illegal. This has been done to a rather dramatic degree, but of course as a drama film sometimes real life is exaggerated. As well as the news showing how society is very heterophobic, we also see how the protagonist and his husband strongly disagree on the subject, with the husband flying into a fit of rage shouting “that is disgusting” and the protagonist stating that “they don’t do any harm”. This will be done in a series of cuts from one partners face to the next as one argues the other retorts. With their conversation being very quick and the shots matching their pace, the audience will likely feel as if they are also in the middle of the conversation. This is also a means of getting the audience to consider the side of the argument that they sit on, and perhaps reconsider when they see their own arguments used against them. This is not a very comfortable position to be putting the audience in as they are watching an argument between a couple, an already very difficult situation, as well as this they are also watching their own beliefs on a sensitive topic being argued. They are mid way though an argument when they are distracted by the doorbell, accompanied with a shot of the door. This is to include a some suspense as the shot of the door implies that another character is about to enter, and the audience is allowed to ponder for a moment who this person will be.
Finally we find out who is at the door, it is the police, or as my narrative calls them “The West Midlands Family Security Department”, establishing them (I included two officers to make the scene appear more ‘serious’ as two officers wouldn’t be sent out for a regular or petty incident) in a two shot in the doorway. Of course this is serious, with the two shot in the doorway promoting nervousness in the audience, they are sympathising with the couple, as any person met with officers at their door would be worried. Clearly the news report that we saw earlier was warning the public against our protagonist. Of course initially this looks like a mistake as we have just seen the two men as a legitimate ‘legal’ couple. However the police reveal a woman, whom the protagonist confesses to knowing in a solemn mid shot with his husband in the background. This is the part I feel lacks the most verisimilitude as police officers wouldn’t normally announce the suspect at the door, as well as this they wouldn’t stand around asking questions, and the protagonist wouldn’t simply confess at the door to such a serious crime. I may change this so that the West Midlands Family Security Department simply announce themselves, tell the protagonist his rights (“you have the right to remain silent, anything you say will be held against you in a court of law…”) and show him a photograph of the woman he has been accused of being in an adulterous relationship with. This way it is more similar to what might happen in real life, and by using a picture, although not as dramatic, is more practical as I wouldn’t have to find another actor. I will be drawing this alternate ending, as well as some smaller, less prominent shots in my creative post with a full explanation of my ideas, costume choices, sound choices, editing decisions and creative process.