When setting myself the task of writing multiple films for Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2017, I formulated many of my ideas not by thinking of a social issue I’d like to tackle or a theme I’d like to convey, as had often been my method in the past, but by picturing a striking image and then forming the film’s plot and theme around that. It’s a method I now always consider as it produced great results; showing memorable imagery is equally as important to a film’s success as meaningful substance. Bob (script) was one such film for which I used this method. Another was Goldfish, which originated from the image of a man staring into a goldfish bowl. The image Bob originated from was that of a grown man on a park bench holding a red balloon. Once I had this image, it led to questions such as why would a grown man carry a balloon and what could this symbolise? The themes of insecurity, benevolence and release developed from this.
Bob carries his red balloon everywhere he goes, even though it prevents him from joining in and causes him to be teased. But is it the balloon he needs to let go of or something else?
Total Investigation Television (script) was inspired by the popular social experiment films that saturate YouTube and social media. These films claim to be raising awareness about moral causes but in reality are treating people like laboratory rats, forcing them into manufactured situations that are both dangerous and stressful. I’ve seen examples where assaults are instigated, the disadvantaged are manipulated and judged from a position of privilege, and children are put in extreme danger (a crime for which those responsible should be prosecuted for child endangerment). The filmmakers’ true intention – to scam the public to make their videos go viral, promote their companies and sell merchandise – seems to have gone unnoticed. Total Investigation Television’s aim was to draw attention to the hypocrisy of their immoral acts.
Jay is desperate to make a successful social experiment film that questions people’s morality, but his desire for success throws his own morality into question.