My film opening is designed to capture a small section of my film while making introducing my audience to my main themes, ideas, setting, characters, narrative and tone of the film. My film opening would be less than 5 minutes of my entire film and in order to understand the opening in more depth the entire film needs to be made known. First I will discuss in some detail my narrative and characters and settings.
This is set in the UK, almost exactly like how we see it today, in a dystopian future, there are significant economic problems. Due to overpopulation there is strain on recourses, jobs, education, healthcare ect. The richer are better off and the poor are much worse off, the gap between middle and working class is huge. Roughly 100 years before the time that the film takes place the government decided that the best way to combat overpopulation would be to advocate, and later enforce homosexuality through benefits, laws and the media. This is because it allowed the government to better control the birth rate, as couples have to go through a long process in order to be allowed to use genetic engineering to have their own child, while couples can adopt freely to reduce strain on the child care system. Since the laws have been enforced and media has actively pushed people to reject hetrosexuality, the strain on the system has gone down significantly and “breeders” have been blamed solely for the economic crisis. Hetrosexual couples are punished socially and lawfully, and must be made infertile in order to be able to marry, while sex outside of marriage has been made a punishable crime for straight partners. This echoes the laws of other countries that have existed, such as China’s one child policy, and Russia’s ban on gay rights.
The story follows one family and one mysterious figure who is only briefly seen in the opening. Callie and Jessica are a typical couple of the time, married rather young Callie is a full time uni student and Rose is a secretary for a reputable law firm. They make a fair living together and have had a happy, if fairly rocky marriage. Joe, Callies brother who models for companies such as Lynx and Sony, is fairly well off and is a close friend to the family.
There is another character, inspector Rice, modeled off of the typical British detective Sherlock Holmes, wears a large overcoat and smokes a ‘vape’ (an electronic cigarette, a more modern pun off of Holmes’ recognizable smoking pipe). He has a double intention. He is hired by the British government to spy on people who are suspected ‘hetro’s’. He checks phone records, tracks cars and bugs houses in order to collect evidence. He uses his position to save people from imprisonment by planting evidence in their favor or helping them to escape completely.
The film itself is set in the UK, Birmingham to be exact, where the divide between rich and poor is great. Locational connotations, such as Birmingham city center may be used however no direct links will be made to Birmingham itself as it is more important that the film is set in a ‘modern’ European country, where such injustices could never be seen to be possible. Places such as houses, parks and cityscapes may be seen, to suggest that this is a big, largely populated city.
Now I will discuss in depth the plot my story follows using the narrative theory Equilibrium Theory suggested by Todorov as it follows a specific pattern that suggests that all narrative media should follow.
The State of Equilibrium:
Callie and Jessica are a regular couple who have a normal, if dissatisfying life. Problems are arising in the relationship and it is clear that it has become very one sided, with Jessica desperately trying to keep the marriage together and healthy, and Callie becoming distant and ambivalent to her wife. This is because Callie knows that she is straight, and although ashamed by herself she has begun an illegal affair with a man who has a husband and two children. At the same time Inspector Rice has been put onto her case with a partner detective who has found evidence of Callie’s hidden double life.
After a heated argument with her wife, Callie is arrested at her home for being suspected of being in an illegal relationship. Inspector Rice begins desperately trying to save her by trying to find evidence but so far has come up short, hoping that he can manage to clear her of all charges. While Callie is arrested her wife and brother desperately try to come to terms with her crime they also begin to fight for information and fight for more information as they believe that she has been arrested and held unfairly.
Callie continues to plead her innocence while her wife and brother begin digging for more information. They get no luck and it appears to her family that Callie has been wrongfully accused. In the mean time Inspector Rice begins to plot a plan in order to make Callie plea innocent in court, and with the right judges be cleared of all charges. This however looks risky when he see’s that Callie’s partner has also been caught and is willing to plea guilty to his crimes. Callie is called into interrogation with Mr. Rice where he tells her of his plan and what is happening with her boyfriend.
New state of equilibrium:
Inspector Rice manages to have Callie and her boyfriend escape the country to a sanctuary for people like themselves, a small island near Italy that is safe from government enforcement and is run completely to house hetrosexual refugees fleeing from Britain. It is here where Callie finds out that Britain was the only country that held these laws and in most other countries her relationship with her boyfriend would have been completely legal. They begin to form a new life on the island while planning to move to Australia to start afresh. Callie’s family is told of her whereabouts and they contact one another regularly and Callie and Rose become friends while Rose divorces Callie by law and begins another relationship.