About Pisces

Overview:

PISCES represents my personal relationship with my deceased father in a dreamlike underwater piece. The film illustrates my persona, Nicole, who seeks closure with her father’s death, and in the end finds peace within herself. The visual style is a hybrid: 2D silhouetted characters in a 3D underwater world.

 

Main Characters:

 

Nicole:
Nicole is in her early 20s and is ready to find a sense of self-identity. In order for her to move forward with her adult life, she needed to make peace with her grief of her father and find closure. Though she is the type of person who has a sense of wonder and is inspired by the beauty of the simplest such as ocean waves and the fireflies, she mostly uses that inspiration in order fill what is missing in her heart, which is her known relationship with her father.

Father:
The father, who passed away when Nicole was 3-months of age, is her spiritual guidance through Nicole’s life. He is very adventurous and likes to take risks, but risks that will allow Nicole to get through her own struggles and insecurities. But whatever decision Nicole makes, he will ensure that he will help her along the way.

 

Backstory/Purpose:

Pisces is highly visual film that expresses not only my complex mind of how I handle grief of the loss of my father, but how I can vent out that sense of grief in a visual platform that celebrates his life. You never realize how those short moments with that special person in your life can affect leading up to your adult life. I realized that after 21 years of my life I never really had a chance grieve or at least recognize that I am grieving inside. And the 1st step to any type of grief, is to recognize that you are. It may not be easy at 1st but at least you realize the incident had happened, and for the most part, the incident was not your fault. I have had my points of denial, anger, and sadness that sometimes I had wondered why I am all of a sudden feeling this way. But I realized my fear after my father’s death was being alone, and the only comfort I have is his voice inside my head. And when I look at my baby tapes and his face wasn’t in any of them because he was the one filming the 1st three months of my life, that is the only memory I have, which is his voice. That’s the voice I talk to when I have a moment to myself; that’s the voice that comforts me. And at the same time listening to the voice inside my head was the one that made me who I am. He was the one that accepted how different I am, and how much of life I am looking forward to; how talented I am and how much of my inner beauty I can showcase; knowing what’s not really my thing or what “grinds my gears”. Yes I was only able to physically spend time with him for three months, but at the same time I’ve always felt he was always there with me even when I feel alone. He’s the one that I felt fills when my heart feels empty. And that’s what the triangle necklace is; my heart needing to feel complete. The African scarf act as the “yellow brick road”. And in the end, my father and I sitting by the beach wearing the triangle necklace is my sense of closure. Throughout the film, as with my heart and mind, there is more continuity with camera movements and other transitions and the theme of water and fluid effects. Sometimes grief is a roller coaster, and that’s the importance of this technique is to show some of that emotional roller coater. The title, PISCES, is based upon my father’s zodiac sign, and it almost looks like the word PIECES. And with this sign overall, a pisces man is a type of person who cares about the well-being of others with a sense of humor and overall imagination. Henceforth, I am showcasing that personality with my father through his character performance, but mostly reflected in the overall visual style of the film. And the random red blood cell platelets is a reflection of my Sickle Cell Disease but hard to say the purpose of it being there, but I would say it is like DNA or like my dad is a part of my genes. I just thought it was a cool visual structure. But otherwise, PISCES is my closure film and in some way inspirational. I want people to know that whatever it your going through especially the loss of someone special in your life, your not alone or abandoned as you seem to be when someone’s physical presence is absent. Grief is something that doesn’t have a time clock, and the best way to get through something is to just remember that you have much to look forward in life than what you are doing now to get over the pain. That someone will always be in your life and heart; and you shouldn’t throw away your own life because of it or do something irrational that doesn’t give you a sense of normalcy within yourself. As it is will that beloved one with my father, they will always be the voice inside your head.

 

Film Aesthetic:

*Click to enlarge

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Synopsis:

 

Scene 00: Flashback Memory
This is based upon my baby tapes. Baby Nicole is filmed by her dad. This establishes the father-daughter biological connection. VERY IMPORTANT: There is no music in this portion. Music starts in Scene 01.

Scene 01: The Beach (Beginning)
Nicole walks towards the ocean. As she takes out the necklace, a blurry pic of her father appears. This represents her struggle to define a clearer mental picture of who her father was, in relation to figuring out who she really is. And therefore Nicole becomes frustrated and throws the necklace towards the ocean. She starts a brief moment of regret of what she has done, since the necklace was her sole emblem that reminds her of him. Think of the necklace has her heart. In essence she ripped her heart away from her current frustration. Then she falls to the ground, cries, and her tears create a ripple through the ocean, which activates the glow of the necklace. Showcasing the title of film. Then a wave drowns Nicole as a result for being overwhelmed of her feelings.

Scene 02: The Journey
Nicole wakes up as she has entered the underwater world. Her ghostly father appears, as she tries to touch him (to see if he is real/alive). But as she expected, he isn’t. She knows it’s too good to be true to see him face-to-face, but this is a chance for her to gain a better connection with him. The father acts like Nicole’s spiritual guidance; a chance for him to help her find what she wants. He reveals the scarf path and tries to have her follow him, but Nicole feels uncertain and in some way not ready to completely trust him. For her, it’s like trusting a stranger to show her the way., and thus refuses. The father attempts to tell her to follow him, and then disappears slowly in the distance. Knowing that she has no other choice but to follow so she can find answers, she swims after him, with the scarf as her helpful pathway. As she swims, her father sneaks up beside her imitating her swim rhythm, then disappears off-screen. This showcases his slight sense of humor; like an ice-breaker. Nicole is then slightly caught off-guard and stops. Then the father appears and shows a father-daughter moment where he throws her up in the air. He then accompanies her as he holds her in the air surrounded by fireflies (imagine yourself being in outer space surrounded by stars). This creates a sense of wonder and helps her to lighten up the mood. Find her happiness again. Then as they both follow the scarf path, dark fog rolls in with the sound of clattering, and both of them crash land.

Scene 03: The Mountain
Nicole wakes up and sees this mysterious foggy mountain in front of her. Her father again motions her to follow him, but as he disappears upward, Nicole tries to reach for him. She knows this is strange territory for her, but despite her fear, she becomes determine to follow him and not let him be out of her sight again. The father knows that she will follow after him, and thus let’s her deal with the situation (but does NOT leave her sight). As she climbs the mountain and almost reaches to the top, one of the clattering piranhas (deformed red blood cell platelets) attack Nicole’s health (the healthy red blood cell represents her health condition). The father then catches her, knowing that he would never leave her behind, and picks her up. Fade to White.

Scene 04: Father-Daughter Dance
Nicole lies on top of seaweed in pain. Her dad touches her wounds and heals her. She then gets up surprised that she is well. The father appears again and offers his hand. She finally accepts as he picks her up. This shows a sign of her trust for him, and realizes at that moment that he never abandoned her even when she felt she had to deal with the struggle alone. The final moment is the father-daughter dance, which allows her to open her heart, enjoy her last “physical” time with him, and in a sense forgive herself. They lie on top of seaweed again, looking at each other, holding hands and he fades away. Nicole gets up as her father puts the necklace back around her neck. She then gets up and hurriedly hugs him as a way to say thanks. Humbled by her gesture, he hugs her back knowing that she feels at peace with herself and in the end gained a closer bond with his daughter. With that closure, he fades out and Nicole returns to the beach.

Scene 05: The Beach (Closure)
Nicole sits by the ocean and looks at the necklace again, in which there is a much clearer picture of her father. She now feels relieved and also in a sense is looking forward to her future. The last appearance of her ghostly father sitting next her represents as anything in a grief-like situation: closure—the father will always be there in her heart.

 

Animatic:

*Check out the latest version for current storyline. But feel free to checkout the progress of other animatics posted below.

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