Case study from script to film. “Sunmoon” fantasy short on love mechanics.

From script to film experience: “Sunmoon” case-study

From script to film experience: Sunmoon case-study

Film number: 1 (made during the first lockdown of the pandemic)
Status: Produced (2020)
Creator: Georgia Mihalcea
Film Language: English (with Romanian subtitles)
Genre: experimental, hybrid, sci-fi, fantasy
Duration: 7 minutes
Actors: Marcela Motoc
Music: Scott Moodie
Format: short form
Official selections: Goa Short Film Festival, India; Reykjavik Visions Film Festival, Iceland
Expenses: 200 Euros on software and apps
Production Value: 10,000 Euros
Published on Cinepub: 3 January 2022
Cinepub is the Romanian platform for the legal distribution of the works of independent filmmakers or those who are part of the national and/or international heritage
If my work is useful to you, helps you, or inspires you, watch “Sunmoon” for $3.88 below. Otherwise, you’ll find the film free to watch at the end of this post.

SUNMOON | TRUST YOUR STAR from Films by Georgia on Vimeo.

About “Sunmoon”: A film that didn’t know will become a film.

What if love was never part of your story?
Trapped between life and death for 6 minutes (the film duration without credits), bionic Piper meets her alter egos from different realities, Sunmoon, her human star, and totem Phany, her spirit animal, who help her make the ultimate choice.

“Sunmoon” short hybrid movie is an immersive speech on existence and love crafted with experimental graphics, music, poetry, and integration of existing applications and creative technologies in new ways. The story speaks of life’s most important questions on an authentic and playful note aiming to make us reconsider our own choices.

“SUNMOON” – SHORT MOVIE SCRIPT

Note: There was no script for this film, as it started as one of my exercises of learning computer-generated animation and new software. It was more a matter of following a flow, a journey that chose its story, line of thought, and characters with the means available. I wrote the characters’ lines very late in the process, but for the purpose of this post, I looked back to put together its script. More about the process and the production value here.

The script.

ABSTRACT REALITY. A heart’s last beatings. Piper falls dead, exiting a layer of reality towards a new layer of reality. She wears a white shirt and a mask on her face. A virus put her down. She’s a bionic/AI being.

Her alter-ego animal spirit Phany, an animated green elephant with a white rabbit tail, intervenes and runs fast to her from another layer of reality. He sees she is in between worlds. What if he can buy her more time? By pointing his hand to her, Phany gives Piper life from his own vitality. He activates the misfit thinkers from a website called exit crisis on a suspended tablet. The misfits scan the situation and try to solve in the background Phany’s request for Piper’s life.

MISFITS (TABLE’S VOICE)
You activated exitcrisis.com
Totem: Phany
Subject: Piper
Time left: 6 minutes
(and leaves her a clue)
Trust your star. Sunmoon.

Piper wakes up. She now wears a green shirt (Phany’s color). It worked. She is confused. Looks at her body, looks around. She sees another layer of reality marked by a solar eclipse and heads towards it. Phany’s shadow follows her. Piper stops in front of the solar eclipse (sun/moon) and asks it:

PIPER
My sweet Sunmoon, am I dead?

The solar eclipse transforms under Piper’s eyes, searching Piper’s truth in the new layer of reality which is nothing else but the world and life on Earth.

SOLAR ECLIPSE
Not yet. But let me ask the sky, and the moon, and the sun, and the stars…
Wait! You left a question unanswered. Ask your question.

The solar eclipse becomes Sunmoon (her human alter-ego) who’s singing a song in her own world, Piper’s human spirit who seems dissociated from Piper, not hearing or seeing her. Piper signals her with her hand, trying to make Sunmoon notice her.

PIPER
Hello! Are you my Sunmoon?

Sunmoon seems to hear something. She’s trying to make sense of what’s there, beyond the layer of her own reality. After a moment she sees Piper and smiles at her with joy. She searches in her deepest forum and brings to the surface the question Piper did not yet answer (the one for which she received 6 minutes and the one the solar eclipse found left unanswered).

SUNMOON
Do I want to live?

PIPER
I don’t know. I love life very much you know… but I don’t know how to feel alive. Tell me, how to live?

Phany comes beside her. She cannot see him because he’s already part of her. This is strenghtened also by the fact he is mimetic.

SUNMOON
Only love can take us home.

Piper is a bit disappointed.

PIPER
Only love, my Sunmoon? What a pity! I have no memories of love.

SUNMOON
Oh, silly! But you can imagine it! Love matters in any form! Did you know that?

PIPER
In dreams, too? I used to daydream so much about it. And one day I even wrote something. I believe it was poetry. Or… maybe just a fantasy? Oh, my Sunmoon, how I dreamt!

SUNMOON
Well then, tell your heart that poem.

PIPER
Oh, no! I lost all my recollections! No, no, no… This cannot be.

SUNMOON
Love can’t be lost, my dear. It is everywhere. Listen.

A beautiful piece of music begins. It seems it has an effect on Piper. She has a panic attack.

SUNMOON
Fear not. I’m here.

Piper calms down and keeps listening.

PIPER
Wait! I remember.

SUNMOON
It’s the other way around. Love remembers you. Now… Let it be!

Music that reminds Piper of life begins. Phany sings it on a guitar. Sunmoon moved from her layer of reality where Piper and Phany are. They are now falling together into one through music and poetry putting an end to fragmentation. Piper remembers the love poem she once wrote.

PIPER
I dreamt your love for me
bloomed in your heart
It warmly melted all my walls
It softly lighted all my darkness
It tenderly woke me up
And then
It took my breath away.

The poetry sung by Phany and spoken by Piper is also transferred to the Sun Moon, closing the circle, uniting them without any cracks in between. Piper now wears her white shirt from the beginning of the story, the love she says to her heart that unites all broken parts of her in her brings her back to life.

SUNMOON
I dreamt your love for me
bloomed in your heart
It warmly melted all my walls
It softly lighted all my darkness
It tenderly woke me up
And then
It took my breath away.

One by one, they all disappear into life.

“Sunmoon” – the movie
And this is how the script had been implemented into an 8-minute short film.

Sunmoon short film (2020) by Georgia Mihalcea

If you liked “Sunmoon” storyline, you may also want to watch something totally different, my 2021 dramedy featurette “The Locationist” and its making-of documentary, two stories that intertwine and meet in a 2-hour experience meant to help us feel hope and the joy of life :)

Excerpt from the film production documentary

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