Childhood is a time you look back at with either fond nostalgia, or gratitude that it’s all over. In either case, all seem to agree on how pivotal all experiences seem to be. I have memories of the drudgery of family holidays. It’s a time you’re expected to fend for yourself, giving your parents a break. The image of a child longing for a friend became the driving narrative motif at the heart of this simple story of connection and acceptance.
Themes of confidence, fear of acceptance, all universal to the childhood experience started to imbue the narrative.
To explore this idea, I became interested in the image of a boy robbed of an integral sense, trapped in an insular silent world, lacking the confidence and acceptance of self to attempt any genuine means of reaching out. Themes of confidence, fear of acceptance, all universal to the childhood experience started to imbue the narrative.
But a tale is best when explored in duality. Enter the idea of a little girl, the inevitable soon-to-be friend, who lives with her own disability. Seemingly wise beyond her years, she offers a counterpoint, she lives at peace with her situation, acknowledging that no one is perfect, and that’s fine. In this regard, through action and choices, she offers him a path out of self-doubt an into a state of self acceptance.
To explore ideas of disability, power, strength and salvation, the superhero image became significant. Symbols such as the boys cape, normally associated with young childhood, serve to show how our protagonist is perhaps stuck in a world of imagination, choosing to live there as a result of some perceived shame. Thus, the ending has added value when he’s forced chose to use the cape to assist and ‘rescue’ the girl.
To explore ideas of disability, power, strength and salvation, the superhero image became significant.
Creatively the film presents wonderful challenges; building a world which emulates the experiences of someone who experiences life a little differently from the rest of us, In his ordinary world, our hero finds solace in his solitude and the detail of his immediate surrounds. Touch becomes a way he feels the silence. Sight becomes a way he imagines the symphonies.
In this regard, the setting itself becomes a strong character. The warm white sands of the beach, the golden dawn and dusk light, the calm tranquil water, the slight coastal breezes all layer the narrative with symbolic meaning. I want this seaside context to offer us a sense of timelessness and simple beauty. The film should be a-contextual. It could be set in the 60’s, 80’s or yesterday. But most importantly, the radiance of warm, seaside light should serve to bring joy to this tale of discovering true friendship.
The film should be a-contextual. It could be set in the 60’s, 80’s or yesterday.
Overall though, in creative terms, the film should be directed and controlled by the desire to create something that is light-filled, simple and beautiful. There is an elegance to childhood I hope to capture. The world has linear clarity and this otherwise simple slice of life piece, which touches on themes of loss, acceptance and the healing power of friendship, should honour that.