Date of Submission

Spring 2011

Academic Program

Film and Electronic Arts


Peter Hutton

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Senior Project short film “Gunslinger,” explores the idea of leaving home, combined with the internal struggle of making so personal a decision as enlisting in the army regardless of the opinions of those around you. The story follows Colin’s walk from his house to the train station where he is to ship out for the army. Along the way different landmarks in his small town trigger flashbacks from his past that tell the story of how he came to make his decision and the effect it has had on those closest to him. Drawing from the personal experiences of close friends who have gone through the process of enlistment, as well as the first hand accounts of others, I tried to convey the stress and isolation present in those who make the decision to give their life over to an idea, regardless of the consequences.

Producing the film almost entirely by myself, with little to no budget, my goal was to make the piece seem as internal as possible—setting my characters against empty backgrounds, and remaining close where another film maker might have used a wider, more expansive shot. Though the film was about the relation of the characters to the space, the internal nature of the decisions being made led me to the aesthetic choice to keep the shots closer in. There are wider establishing shots used to convey the isolation of the main character, but these are almost exclusively used in the present tense sections where the character is reflecting on his past. This coupled with the use of warmer colors during the flashbacks juxtaposed with cooler colors during the present tense scenes leads the viewer to understand the warmth that Colin is leaving behind, as it becomes more apparent to him as he leaves the only home he’s known.

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