Notes from Class Brainstorm today:


Working Title: Matched Set

In this collaboration, Acting for the Camera Students will propose characters and Visual Narratives students will propose locations and visual moods. Students will work together to create stories and short scripts that integrate: glassware object, Glensheen Mansion, Duluth settings. Scenerios will be brainstormed and developed. 5 teams will shoot 5 different scripts, each featuring at least 2 actors in speaking roles. Each storyline can vary in time period and core conflict, but must integrate the glassware object.


Filmmaking students have been scouting locations around Duluth. See 2 pages of images here...

Locations / Scenerios that you may want to expand into a short film project. What location are you most interested in? What era? What time of day? How might this location connect to Glensheen mansion storyline?

What film genre inspires you most? What conflicts or human interactions would be at the heart of the story? What mood or visual look are you interested in creating? How might you integrate the antique glassware object?

What characters would you like to develop? How might you interact with the glass object? What conflicts or motivations would most engage your character? How might your character change over the arc of a short narrative? What era or setting most appeals to you?


My senario for this short film project is a senario that allows for all groups to have a more unified storyline, while also allowing for their own creative interpretation. Let's say that every time someone touches the glass they become obsessed with the person who touched it before them based on whichever emotion or mood they are experiencing when they touch it. For example say that someone is feeling jealous, no matter who or what they are actually jealous of they become obsessed with being better than whoever touched it before them, hilarity or tragedy ensues. Other emotions could be like love, sadness, greif, drunkenness, etc. I think that this senario would be good because each group could make their part serious or comedic, as well as original, and it also would explain why the glass ends up at all these different locations that each group is filming at. Some character from another groups' scene gets rid of the glass, and then another in a different groups' finds it. Also this senario would make it easier to play off of the characters the other class comes up with. Just a suggestion.

What I think might be interesting is starting with the idea that the glass object is one of a set. There could be multiple groups of people who each find out about the set of glasses and how they once belonged to one of the wealthiest men in the town's history, Richdude Moneybags Nocopyrightinfringement The Third. One glass might have been in someone's personal collection as a momento of time gone by, one might have been photographed at an antique store for their grand opening as documented in a paper that's a few years old, one might have been used in a prior student's art project that projected them to photography fame. All these kids knows is that finding the whole set could possibly get them a hefty reward. Eventually, after the various treasure-hunts, they all end up at Pleasedontsueus Mansion where they learn that the one glass on display there is the only surviving one. But the memories the kids have made and the lessons they've learned from talking to these people as they've tried to find the other glasses will last them a lifetime. Each group would, of course, have different characters going to different places and talking to different people. It allows for a lot of variety even though the connection they all share is, admittedly, kind of tenuous.

The film genre that I absolutely love and would love to expand on is suspense or horror. I love dark things whether it be the mood or literally. I think darkness and light are the most interesting elements to play with when it comes to creating an image. I’d love to create a story involving interactions between characters either lost or locked in the “basement” of Glensheen. I’d like to have a small group of friends wonder down there to find something to sell at the auction, but end up getting interested in the scenery. Since the Glensheen is need of “renovation”, the lights in the basement could flicker a bit and spook the actors. I’d like to create an eerie feel to my short. Instead of actually shooting in the Glensheen basement, I would create my short in the basement of the Marshall Performing Arts Center. There are some interesting places and tunnels in the basement of the Marshall Performing Arts Center. I especially loved the caged areas where they store extra seats and weird furniture. It’s extremely creepy and would really set the mood for my short. The lightening can be adjusted to be dark or really bright creating a sterile color, which could add to my thought of doing horror. I will have to experiment with the space before making any final decisions.

It is likely my scenario would be something akin to either a post-apocalyptic setting or a dystopian setting. I imagine the weather in early April will be quite accommodating for those purposes, whether there is snow or it's already melting. There are no particular locations yet that I plan to film at but I find some locations in Superior to be quite interesting. Any era would do for me, though near future seems the most natural. I could shoot whenever, but I would like to try more nighttime shooting.

Nighttime shooting fits my love of both noir and expressionism, darker and more ethereal tones that require special kinds of lighting. As for the integrating the glass, I feel I would need to know what kind of characters the actors want and try and fit the story to them, rather than the other way around. Conflicts will likely rise from the characters themselves, though if I go the apocalyptic/dystopian route than the conflict becomes that in and of itself. For integrating the glass I would like to see how the others stories do it and try to tie them together in some way thematically beyond just the glass, though using that as a focal point.

The Glensheen mansion was built during Duluth’s heydays (18802-1920s) and this is era I hope we can explore because we have old buildings/industrial scenes from that era readily available. I think we should have multiple different times of day in our film. Other locations for filming might the prop shop (possible attic), outdoor shots of our parks, shots of the train yard and maybe the inside of a box car or aboard a train, which could be a way to travel back in time. I would like to have a purpose for sharing this story. I have a college friend who is living in an old mansion that has been sold to a company that will start demolishing it in a few years. The housing situation in Duluth is interesting to me: the foreclosure rate and the amount of people in Duluth without a home living in a place that use to be the ritzy place for millionaires to live, we can compare and contrast these two times/moods and social economic statuses to actually make a comment on our current situation. I like historical fiction and documentary style films, but this story might be more interesting as an adventure or mystery. The glass could be a metaphor or a symbol for the wealthy times of Duluth and could “break” towards the end.

I would really like to shoot outdoors in places like Chester Bowl. Specifically places like the bridges and rock walls. I also have explored the spaces along the cliffs on Kenwood Avenue. I think the boathouse in the back of the Glensheen mansion would be a great setting and would be a great way to transition inside to the mansion itself.
I would be most interested in the present era taking advantage of both night and day.

A film genre I would be interested in exploring would be an adventure/thriller type film. A few films that might inspire me would be The Edge, The Grey, and Into the Wild. I really enjoy films that really pit man against nature. I think having the transition from the luxury of the Glensheen mansion to the brutality of winter in Minnesota could make for an interesting film. For the look, I really like shots that capture the stillness, silence, and eeriness of nature in the winter.

I want to do a fictional day or days in the life of a homeless person and I would like to shoot in the alleyways and streets of downtown Duluth and hopefully a bar (if we can get access to one). I want the start of the movie to be a homeless person waking up next to one of the glasses (after a bad dream) and there's $5 in the glass. The person takes the $5 but leaves the glass to go get a drink. The person then gets drunk and passes out somewhere, when the person wakes back up (in a different location) the glass is there again with $5 in it. The homeless person then walks down the street to go spend it and runs into rich people and gets pushed around/called lazy, stuff like that...skipping ahead of some stuff...the homeless person is standing over a ledge looking down, contemplating suicide, they hear behind them the rattling of change inside glass and turn around to see someone holding the same crystal glass with change in it. The person gets off the ledge and comes over to the person holding the glass...(find a way to not make the proceeding part not cheesy)...They don't kill themselves. Message of the story: you never know how far a small act of kindness will go.
I want to shoot it all in black and white.

Hey, guys,

Thanks for coming in and your excitement for this project. I'm one of the students in the acting for the camera class, and I thought I would leave a comment about an idea and such.

I mentioned it in our class meeting, but I've had this vision of a man who has this seemingly 'perfect' life. A job he's good at, a significant other and has sort of risen in the community as a leader or person of importance. But he has this drug habit. The story isn't merely this battle between his addiction and keeping it hidden, but rather, his feelings and attitude towards taking drugs, knowing that he is letting so many people down. I read this article about addicts and how most of them know the consequences and still partake in drug use anyways. Because it's a problem and addiction and he can't help it, even though he may have tried to seek help. I see this man, about to use and not wanting to, feeling guilty about it, but in the end uses to escape from that feeling of guilt. It's more about a drug addict who isn't a stereo typical addict, about a man who wants help but doesn't know where to turn. It probably seems jumbled, it's more of a thought than anything else and I haven't written anything down yet. But I will within the week. Just an idea.

Side note: I think it's also important to maybe know what I'm interested in. I enjoy tackling tough characters. Characters that may be hard to find good in from the outside, and showing people a side of these characters so they maybe go away thinking they can relate to them in some mystical way. Not necessarily simply a villain, but a flawed human and making that person seem regular. Again, probably not much help.

I'm excited guys, can't wait to get to work!


My idea for a shortfilm is a pseudo-documentary comedy called "The Making of: Shaniqua Becomes a Vampire". It would be about pitching this horrible sounding film to this class. The class would not like the politically incorrect character of Shaniqua (The stereotypical sassy black woman turned vampire). Despite the overwhelming negative feedback I would go ahead with the making of the movie. I would try to cast a member of the acting class as the titular character. I would interview a few of the actors and ask them questions like, "So... How do you feel about black face?" When everything falls apart and no one wants to work on the movie. I would try to make the movie all by myself. I would then show the movie to the class it would be horrible. They would be generally disgusted and disappointed by the whole thing.
I think a comedy fake documentary would make good use of limited resources. The movie would be mostly dialogue. As for the glass I would probably complain about needing to include it. I would say something like, "Why would Shaniqua need a glass she is a vampire."

Hello everyone! So I am just going to throw a little bit of my brainstorming out on the table. I hope it makes sense.

This idea of two actors (maybe two girls) They have never met before. They both pack up and leave to find their niche in the world. Girl #1 will have packed the glass to remember and be grateful of her past. Girl #1 will pour everything she wants to drink into her special glass throughout the story no matter where she is.

As the story continues, they both go on adventures and discover the world, their lives soon intersect possibly on a train ride? The whole story will be about girl #1 but maybe girl #2 is the one telling most of it. They will continue to share stories of their past and finally find their niche in the world.

The story will have a lot of dry humor and the last scene will reflect on why the glasses.

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This page contains a single entry by Joellyn Rock published on February 4, 2014 9:36 PM.

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