This year in my Film class we were required to do a narrative project which included the screenwriting, casting, filming, and editing of our very own narrative film. The idea of a narrative film is to write a story with a main character arch that is captivating for an audience to watch. For this project, my partner and I decided to explore the idea of a “Buddy Love” between three boys who come back together to find a time capsule they buried in the woods back in middle school.
Here is the very rough synopsis of what we envisioned our film to portray:
Our film begins with a high school couple, Grant and Serena, hanging out in Grant’s room. Grant is a nice guy who tends to hang out with underachievers without much motivation. Because of this, he often feels like the odd man out, and tells Serena about how his friends always just sit around complaining about how there’s nothing to do. Serena suggests he reach out to his old middle school friends, as they used to go out on adventures in the creek and while camping, etc. It is here when the fact that the boys buried a time capsule together in 8th grade is revealed. Grant says they all went their separate ways and that his middle school friends don’t talk to him anymore, as one of them, Kyle, is on the football team, and the other, Ralph, is a tried and trued boy scout and spends most of his time focusing on that. The first scene comes to a close as Serena gets frustrated with Grants inability to think past himself and get out of his shell by just reaching out to them, maybe to get the time capsule upon her suggestion. So, she steals Grant’s part of the map on her way out so that she can bring the time capsule back, thus forcing them all to spend time together. The next day at school, Grant sees Serena is missing from first period, and he texts her asking where she is. When he gets home, he sees his part of the map is missing, and as he puts two and two together, he realizes he’s going to need the other parts of the map. After much hesitation, he decides to text his old middle school buddies, asking for their parts of the map. When he goes to Ralphie’s to get his part first, Ralphie hops into the car, eager to start the adventure, thinking they’re finally off to go find the time capsule. Grant is taken aback by Ralphie’s willingness to spend time together after so long, and after claiming he doesn’t need help, he realizes some extra hands wouldn’t be such a bad thing. So, they go to pick up Kyle, who is also excited to start the adventure. The three head to the woods, finding Serena’s car and thus confirming that she has gone off on her own. They pull out their maps, first heading to the old redwood tree with a giant hole in it. The map tells them to continue on until they find the train tracks. All the while the boys are reminiscing about old times, joking about memories. Ralph suddenly loses Kyles part of the map in the river, and Grant freaks out, frustrated with Ralph and worried about not being able to find Serena. The boys jump in after the map, egging Ralphie on as he frets about jumping from so high up. They finally get the map, and once they get out of the river, Grant realizes his new found old friends are just as committed to the mission as he is. Energy for the adventure renewed, they continue on their journey. Back on the train tracks, Kyle eats some berries he finds, much to Ralphie’s dismay, for a moment of comic relief. Finally they reach the point in the trail where the need the last part of the map, forcing Grant to lead the charge and try to recall the area they left the time capsule in. They scour the area, Serena being the main goal, but also hoping to find the time capsule in the process. They all grow increasingly weary, and once it starts to get dark they decide their best option is to get back before it’s too late and call the police to help find Serena. They hurry back, racing the setting sun. Finally, after tearing through the woods, dirty and bruised, they reach their parked cars. There Serena sits with a box in her lap, looking up at the boys. She has been waiting for about an hour now, as she noticed their car was parked too so she figured she should. She explains how their “secret spot” was somewhere her and her dad used to stop by, on their way to the swimming hole. She laughs at their appearance, and the boys laugh and sigh with relief. They all decide to head home. The next scene opens with the boys all sitting around a table, laughing at the pictures they found in the time capsule, reunited and spending time together.
Below is a PDF version of our entire screenplay (script). We used an application called Final Draft in order to properly format our work. There are also some screenshots of what our pages might look like.
Below is a screenshot of our shot list. This is a spread of every single shot we intended to take including the type of shot, angle, number of takes, and expected time frame. We ended up with about 95 shots.
Here are some photos from our production/shooting days.
In our Film class, we were required to make a trailer for our film to give a short look at the finished product. I used Adobe Premiere Pro to make this 30 second sneak peek.
Narrative Film: Lost & Found
After months of hard work in pre-production, filming, and post-production, we finished our movie using Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. This project has taught me a lot about each aspect of film making and I am so grateful to be pushed by my teachers at Freestyle to finalize such a professional piece of work. Hope you enjoy!