my BCM325 DA is a short film entitled Chaos Versailles. it is an dark absurdist piece that metaphorically depicts my mental health struggles (especially during covid).
the piece itself has gone through multiple reworkings. originally the plot was supposed to see Chaos being haunted by a shadowy figure. who would consistently be seen hiding in the background. the original script / pitch sought to have Chaos’s narrative depicted within vignette form. with each vignette respectfully being titled as an act, with each signifying Chaos losing control over her intrusive thoughts. which would’ve been illustrated by foreign voices taunting her. the film was set to confuse audiences as to whether it was all in her mind or if there was foul play at hand.
the project almost instantly faced technological issues. and the shadowy figure effect was unable to be utilised. thus, the script went through multiple rewrites. at one point i even emailed Angus to see if i could rework my last DA project into possible footage. the main issue was running time. i didn’t want the project to go over twenty minutes. but i also didn’t want the project to be incredibly reminiscent of previous works. (in the sense that yes this is a series of works, but i don’t want it to just be the same thing over and over again)
the issue was trying to find the balance between working with an absurd genre yet having a plot that could be, at the very least, understood / interpreted. but also, as the first act had been filmed almost instantly. it then became an issue ensuring that the following footage flowed.
the vignette / acts were consistent with every iteration. i decided to go back to my original pitch and rework it, which resulted in the final project we have now. i reworked the original script (act ii) which had the shadow standing behind Chaos while she spoke to Voice. i put it in as an homage to the original idea, but instead cut out her crying when she sees it.
i decided to turn the shadow into a private metaphor. Chaos Versailles is almost a scathing review of my own trauma, so i decided to write / portray Chaos (and the general vibe of the film) as though there was a shadow hanging over. an almost voyeuristic audience interaction. i also then reworked the idea of Chaos’s intrusive thoughts by having Voice be an actual character, rather than just a script notation. i decided to switch the roles around, and break the fourth wall. with Chaos and Voice interacting with each other, no longer questioning what’s reality but rather questioning themselves, the audience and creator.
Chaos was also very, very loosely inspired by the English speaking version of Celestia Ludenburg. i imagined her (had this been a big budget project) as having her aesthetic
this is why anime girls / Celeste were heavily used on the promotional bangel_angel posts / youtube covers ~ ~ ~ ~ twas a cheeky lil homage:
the main purpose of Chaos Versailles in regards to the subject focus was my three focuses on the future:
- the first being the challenge of mental health depictions in cinema. as i said, Chaos Versailles is an almost scathing review of my mental health, existentialism and intrusive thoughts. the film does not seek to glorify or vilify mental health. but rather depict the raw and honest sensations of one’s stream of consciousness and how it can feel / be absurd but also very thought provoking and intensive. however, my mental health, and my views regarding my mental health, are neither universal nor the default. hence, it was incredibly important to me that i approach this project with sensitivity. as i didn’t want those who did share similar struggles to see this as an attack. and i also didn’t want it to allow neurotypical audiences to assume they could use this material as an attack. which is another reason why Chaos Versailles went through so many rewrites.
thankfully i got so much amazing feedback from my fellow peers! which i helped aid my writing process:
(sorry my wordpress canNOT for the life of her imbed well)
if you’re further interested in other works that inspired Chaos Versailles please, please, please read this extensive blog! it features all the intertextual references / inspirations that inspired my unofficial short film series. as they played a big role in the themes of this film too! and you’ll be able to see how the other works tie into each other! i also incorporated a scene from Possibly In Michigan (1983) in ACT II , check that out below:
- secondly, and simply put, i wish to have a future in the film industry. and want Chaos Versailles be apart of my résumé / portfolio
- and finally the other aspect of the future being how i documented the progression of this film. however, with reflection and absolute honesty. i think i could’ve done much better here. while i think the accommodating art piece of my instagram (bangel_angel) did a good job of interacting with this project / adding to the lore / documenting my progression. i wish i had been able to do a bit more, especially with proper blogs. but as i said, i went through so many script reworks it was hard to find creative ways (or truthfully, effort) to highlight the changes. as having to rework the script so much felt like developmental hell and was at times very disheartening. but i am proud of the work i created on bangel_angel to promote Chaos Versailles as i think the art piece is really cool. and helped add to the creepiness / fourth wall break of the project.
finally, a massive challenge that i think is universal to BCM students is struggling to obtain interactions and audiences. as i discussed in my blog comments part 2: often times so much work goes into our DAs and rarely do we ever get interactions from fellow peers or outside audiences.
and it’s honestly no one’s fault. It’s hard to keep track of each other, and what does blow up is often pure algorithmic luck. i honestly think so many of my peers will agree with that being the general consensus. however, i’m not too pressed with the lack of interaction during session.
i actually think my audience interactions are going to start now. because when i made and released It’s Rude To Write In Red Pen my friends and (especially) family shared it around. currently it has 139 views. which i honestly think is pretty insane / incredible for just a humble university project. so i honestly think the same could happen with this project.