Monday, 18 March 2013

Let's Say Grace

Not long ago, Mike and I were sitting with our foley artist, Devin O'Haire during a spotting session for William's Lullaby and after a particularly tense scene that took place at the family dinner table, Mike said: "You must have issues with family dinners!"

His comment also came from the fact that the previous film we had worked on together, The Vicious Circle, featured a very dramatic scene set at dinner. I've said this before -- I don't feel you necessarily need to have "issues" with anything in order to feature it prominently in your art. But I have always been fascinated with the dynamics of a family dinner. Family dinners are like the board-room meetings of a house-hold and in film and storytelling, they can have the exact same dynamics if you wish. The mood of these scenes, often taking place in late evening/night with warm, ambient light sets a tone to whatever is going on dramatically in the story.

One of my favourite dinner scenes is this one from American Beauty (warning: course language)

"Lose it? I didn't lose it. It's not like 'whoops! Where did my job go?' - I QUIT!"

I thought I would share my very first attempt at a family dinner scene from The Vicious Circle in 2007. This was our first feature film, and as you can see, there is a great deal of work that goes into the writing, choreography, pacing and acting of a scene like this. Tough to pull off.

I write about family dinners in this blog because, rest assured, William's Lullaby features some extremely tense, dramatic, explosive and emotional scenes that take place at the Splinter dinner table. It is an unusual scenario in William's Lullaby, with a middle-aged man sitting across from a five-year-old. The possibilities that dynamic possessed excited me as a writer and director and I think the result will be extremely memorable.

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Bye for now.


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