Date of Submission
Film and Electronic Arts
Project Advisor 1
Film and Electronic Arts
Throughout the process of creating my short film entitled Expiration I went through a variety of subject changes, which saw the protagonist transform from the brinks of sanity, to a drug addict, to a slight agoraphobe who struggles with the everyday banal. The original plot of my film revolved around an individual who does not venture outdoors due to social anxiety, and the road trip he eventually embarks on after taking drugs to combat his illness. At the root of this narrative lays the theme of isolation, and the struggle one faces in attempting to control their lifestyle, while not being in complete control themselves. I maintained this theme as I saw my script transform, and eventually become focused around a protagonist whose world did not extend beyond the walls of his apartment, and whose only defense was a system that he could not fully grasp. This became the final script for my film, as I had realized by this point that the most important concepts I wanted to evoke within my work were of the disorder that evolves from a life of isolation and the inability that we sometimes have to break from the comfort that we are used to.
The root-ideas within the film were inspired by family who have experienced similar spans of isolation, as I have witnessed their lives turn to a state of disarray as a result. During these times it became evident to me that the crumbling structure that they followed in their day-to-day life was their best attempt at pushing through the waking hours. There was an intensity with which this everyday structure was grasped, even though it was hard to understand from an outside perspective. I did not want to use these actual memories within my film however, adopting the constant themes behind them instead.
Expiration is meant to evoke the isolated banality of the everyday, while simultaneously placing it within a framework of intensity and feigned-order. The protagonist, Chris, utilizes his apartment as a defense against the world around him, not wanting to venture into the unknown after the passing of his wife. Her death is not the focus of the film however, as I was more interested in what is left behind after a loss of this nature, rather than loss itself. This manifested itself in a variety of different mannerisms, which I illustrate throughout the film. These range from the link Chris still maintains to the outside world through his binocular’s lenses and telephone, to the barriers he requires in the blacked out expiration dates on his groceries, which keep him separated from the constant moving on of reality outside his walls. He simultaneously pushes away every aspect of the world around him, while also calling out to it. A delivery girl and a detached voice on the other line act as his connection to the outside, as he feels these are outlets that he can control. The eventual invasion of strangers and family alike into his routine causes him to fall back into a state of disorder. As his original forms of communication with the outside ultimately fail him he feels powerless over the routine he thought he knew. This drives him to break from the norm, and venture, if only for a brief moment, outside the comfort of his own walls. Behind the strange life of this protagonist remains a simple and common tendency, to reject that which we feel may change our way of life, and to barricade ourselves into a system that comforts us, regardless of the cost.
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Pearson, Lukas, "Expiration" (2013). Senior Projects Spring 2013. 204.