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Bella & Monica
A short film trilogy.
"Two lost souls each battling their own forms of loss strive to make sense of the present, whilst being subconsciously drawn towards a future where they may yet meet and help to heal each other's wounds."
An option to download the full film for playback elsewhere is available in the player above.
So. I've written this feature film called 'Bella & Monica', and on paper it's tricky to describe. On the one hand, it's simply about two lost souls from very different backgrounds in life, who are both nursing wounds from the past and stumble upon each other before the healing process begins. On the other hand, one of them sports clown makeup for reasons that aren't initially explained (or acknowledged), and part of the storytelling technique draws from such whimsical classics like Edward Scissorhands and Groundhog Day. I tend to tell people it's a fairytale set in reality, a cross between Sofia Coppola's 'Lost In Translation' and Frank Capra's 'It's A Wonderful Life', and yet also its own thing.
So, I decided to shoot 3 short films that introduced us to the characters, world, and potential style of the feature film - the events of these 3 shorts were to indirectly take us into the main story. Film 1, 'Christmas' , was literally shot as a proof-of-concept to get Bella on screen and see if it sort of worked. Film 2, 'Journeying' , expands on his world and goings-on, drawing out his character and allowing me to practise the kind of storytelling I was going for. Film 3, 'New Year' , was to plunge us into the other character's world and complete the picture of two very different people drawn together by shared traumas, thus setting up the premise for the feature. Those 3 shorts are what's viewable as one whole above, or individually here, here and here.
I shot these over the course of just over two years, and they've been an exercise mostly in my storytelling ability, to see if people could connect with the characters and get a sense of some of the deeper things going on underneath. The story, ultimately, is about dealing with life's blows and learning to connect and heal through others, and rediscovering the joy in the world, and the feature itself strives to be life-affirming and joyous like its inspirations mentioned above.
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