Friday, 30 November 2012

My Directorial Debut - Marilyn's Demise

I can add now add film director to my resume. I might have not shown my film at Cannes, or Tribeca but that does not mean I'm not proud of it.
Let me just start off by saying I didn't film a whole film, just the trailer. This trailer was part of my end year project for one of my Multimedia subjects.

For the trailer we had to come up with an alternative ending for history. Being a pop culture specialist I chose to do a trailer featured on the life and death of Marilyn Monroe. The film is called Marilyn's Demise.

During, pre-production, production and post-production, I was haunted by Marilyn Monroe. She was ever where I turned. Because of her everlasting presence in my life I decided to even put her on my tumblr and she has become my new best friend.

The film's poster
For the trailer we had to write a synopsis, create film posters, write android and desktop applications and of course film the trailer.

"Based on actual events, Marilyn's Demise takes a look at the days leading up to the famous stars' death and the conspiracy behind it. Was it a mistake or planned?
The film is centred on Marilyn Monroe's death and her relationship with Robert F. Kennedy.
After Kennedy failed to keep his promise of leaving his wife, Monroe organises a meet and greet where she plans to reveal her affair with the Attorney General. However days before her meet and greet, Monroe is found dead by her psychiatrist."
- synopsis written by Zovuyo Mputa

The easiest part of this whole process was making the film poster. All I needed to do was sit on photoshop and illustrator and make a few changes here and there.
Writing the script was the most difficult part. While writing the script I had to keep reminding myself that I'm just writing a script to a one minute and thirty second script. Other people need to write scripts for films that are two and a half hours long, or longer.
That's when I decided that being a script writer is last on my list of jobs.

As much as I wanted the film to be dramatic and scandalous I also wanted it to be heartbreaking, that's why I chose to use Aston's classical cover of Lana Del Rey's Born To Die for the soundtrack.

Read The Aston Blog Post

If you are wondering why you can't see the actor's faces it's just to add mystery, there is no artistic explanation behind it.

We filmed for two days in and around campus (University of Pretoria) and spent a lot of time laughing and re-arranging the script and storyboard.
The whole process was long but very pleasant. Maybe I'll become a film director now, well just 'films' that appear on youtube.

All the credit goes to my cast, thanks once again!
Xander Shaun Mckillop - Robert F. Kennedy
Daleen Fourie - Marilyn Monroe
Claudio Barrerio - Peter Lawford
Caitlin Browne - Eunice Murray
Cameron Snyman - FBI Agent
Phatludi Modiba - FBI Agent

Maybe one day Marilyn's Demise will be winning an Academy Award but for now it will just be a project I did for University.

I'm glad we had to do this project for Multimedia. Now I know that I enjoy film making. Even though the process is so tedious, the end result is always fulfilling.

Enjoy the trailer. Laugh if you have to, I did!

Video extracts are from Marilyn Monroe's Last Interview and the song is Aston's Born To Die Classical Cover


Anonymous said...

WOW. What an adptation.I couldn't have imagined an Africa, matter of fact a South African student adapting an American story. However, at the same time I regard the globe as one family. Hollywood has smashed and grabbed African stories a lot. I personally find it difficult to tell stories those I don't really related to. As a documentary filmmaker myself, I have been doing a research and filming in Maximum prisons around the Western Cape for the past 8 years and am hoping to release my documentary around mid 2013. Am sure your project will make Cannes or Sundance one day. Keep working as twice hard. Am really impressed. When can we see the feature?

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