Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cinematic Storytelling: Creating a Visual Story

Hey all! This post is going to introduce my Cinematic Storytelling class by talking about my first two assignments for it. My assignments were:

  • To create a visual story in which a male and female character meet on a park bench and encounter conflict, without any dialogue,
  • To create a visual story in which a character sets out to deliver a gift to his or her fiancee or fiance, encountering at least 10 obstacles along the way.
This post is going to be a little bit different, because there are no pictures to go along with the stories. Hopefully you're the type of viewer who likes reading, because that's what you get to do now, ha!

Before I post my stories, I have to say that any plagiarism of these stories (for any reason) is illegal and can lead to severe punishment if you get caught. So if you came to my blog just to take my ideas, think twice and try to be creative on your own, because you're only cheating yourself if you steal my work.

Anyway, now that that's out of the way, I hope you enjoy my stories!

Picture Perfect
A young woman, Sarina, is sitting at the end of a bench in a park, her face scrunched in concentration as she reads a novel. Seeing a movement out of the corner of her eye, she looks to her right and sees a somewhat handsome young man (Rob) settling in at the other end of a bench. Rob is holding a sketchbook and a pencil, and gives her a small smile and nods in greeting. Sarina returns his smile and returns to her book as Rob begins drawing on his sketchpad. 

After a moment, Sarina looks up from her book, looking at Rob with an expression of curiosity. Rob looks up, catches her eye, and quickly looks down again, looking embarrassed. Sarina closes her book and scoots next to Rob, moving her head in order to see what is being drawn. Rob spots her trying to look and tilts the sketchbook away from her. Sarina looks up, surprised, and sees Rob raise his eyebrow in an inquisitive manner. Sarina grins sheepishly and moves away a bit, returning to her book. However, her foot is twitching, and it’s easy to see that she wants to know what he’s drawing. 

She looks up again within seconds and sees that he has returned to drawing. She looks back down and waits for a few more seconds, then glances back in Rob’s direction. Keeping a grip on her book with her left hand, she slowly reaches out her right hand towards the sketchpad. Rob shifts his position slightly, and her hand instead brushes on his knee. Sarina pulls her hand back as though electrocuted and peeks up at Rob’s face. Rob has stopped drawing, and is staring at her with challenging eyes, as though daring her to try it again. Sarina lowers her eyes apologetically and scoots back to the other end of the bench, turning away from Rob slightly, though not before catching a glimpse what looks like a smirk on his face. She buries her face in her book, blushing furiously. Her eyes stare unmoving at the page, and her right hand is clenched in a fist on her leg. 

Within moments, Rob forcefully tears the page out of his sketchbook, crumples it up, and gets up, dropping the paper on the seat behind him as he slinks away, hands in pockets. He does not look back. Sarina waits for a few seconds before pouncing on the paper, opening it up and staring eagerly at the picture. On the paper is a beautifully drawn portrait of Sarina’s own face, with the words 

Call me! Rob”

written underneath. Sarina stares at the page, a bewildered expression on her face, before her mouth quirks upward and she laughs to herself, folding up the paper carefully and placing it between the pages of her book. She closes the book, stands up, and starts walking in the opposite direction as Rob, chuckling to herself. Rob, meanwhile, is strolling slowly away, smiling happily.

Birthday Blitz

Wally leans back in his office chair in his cubicle and stretches his arms out, yawning. He glances at the clock on his desk, which reads 4:45 pm. Scratching his head, he leans forward again and begins to type on the keyboard. A flashing icon in the corner of his computer screen catches his eye, and as he turns his eyes towards it his fingers stop tapping on the keys. He sits frozen, staring at the words “Calendar appointment – Birthday dinner for Cecily, 7:30 (do you have your gift?).” Smacking himself on the forehead, then pulling his hand down his face to rest on his chin, Wally sits back in his chair, looking both horrified and angry. 

When the clock changes to 5:00, Wally closes down his computer, grabs his briefcase, and sprints from the room, shouting a quick farewell to his shocked-looking secretary. As he exits the building, he slips on a patch of ice, landing hard on his backside. Grumbling furiously, Wally picks himself up and hobbles over to his car, fumbling for his keys. In his haste, he drops the keys and, as he flails to catch them, accidently kicks them under the car. Wally pounds his fist on the car’s roof, then lies down on the cold, wet ground and scrabbles for the keys, finally grasping them and pulling them out. 

Pulling open the door, Wally sits down and starts the car. He immediately sees that his fuel gauge is on “E.” Looking livid, Wally pulls out of the parking lot and begins driving down the street towards the nearest gas station. He pulls into a stall and gets out, reaching for his wallet in his pocket. His expression changes to one of shock, and he turns out his wallet-less pocket. Wally starts searching the car furiously, finally finding the wallet between the seat and the center console. 

After filling up his car, Wally drives to the local mall, glancing at his watch the entire way. He reaches the mall, only to find the parking lot jammed full. Wally screams in frustration, but then sees a car pulling out of a parking spot at the end of the row he’s driving down. Looking pleased, Wally drives up to the row, only to see that the driver of the car pulling out is an old woman who is clearly having difficulty navigating her station wagon out of its spot. Drumming his fingers against the steering wheel, Wally looks again at his watch. 6:15. After another moment, the old woman pulls away from her parking spot, and Wally maneuvers his car into the newly vacated area. Wally gets out and walks quickly but cautiously to the entrance, as though remembering his spill earlier. 

Upon entering the mall, Wally consults the map and makes his way to Shower and Figure Factory, where he finds a lotion set Cecily had mentioned wanting a few days prior. Wally walks over to the register to pay, but when he swipes his card it’s declined. The cashier swipes it again to be sure, then asks if Wally has another form of payment he can use. Wally looks in his wallet, and pulls out its only contents: a hundred dollar bill. The cashier takes it, then calls over a manager to make change. Tapping his foot impatiently, Wally glances back at his watch, which reads 6:32. The cashier hands Wally his change, and Wally thanks her with a grunt. 

After making his way back to the car, Wally throws himself inside, starts the car, and pulls out of the parking lot onto the street. Driving down to the highway, Wally edges into the flow of traffic. After only a few moments, though, the traffic slows to a crawl. Frantic now, Wally has no choice but to wait until the flow of traffic takes him to a turnoff, which he takes. Winding his way through half-familiar streets, Wally manages to navigate back to his and Cecily’s apartment complex. 

Pulling into his spot, Wally grabs the gift basket and carries it inside, glancing down at his watch. 7:20. Reaching their apartment, Wally open the door, taking a few steps into the room before stopping in surprise. Cecily is sitting in her chair by the television, wearing pajamas. Cecily looks up at his entrance, eyebrow raised as she takes in his still-wet shirt front. Wally holds out the gift with a confused expression on his face. Cecily looks at the gift, then laughs. She points to the calendar on the wall, which has the words “Cecily’s Birthday Dinner”…

on the same day next week.

And there you have it! Hopefully you enjoyed my writings. Next time I will be posting a storyboard for what will be my final project. See you then!

Until next time.

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