Here’s a story of an undergrad who based his film on another undergrad’s succesful film. And both are great!
“The Rainbow” is a film Alex Berger (Eng’10) made during a Video II class at Penn. The idea of the assignment was to make a visual poem—where image and words come together without the use of formal dialogue.
“I had seen Kevin McMullin’s film, “The Boy and the Star“, and I thought it was amazing. The story was simple, yet eloquent, and the stylistic elements he employed fit so well. In addition, the film fit my style as a filmmaker. Black and white, high contrast, close-up imagery, are all stylistic elements that I often used. After receiving the assignment, I set out to recreate Kevin’s film. I wanted to use the assignment as a way to experiment with the style and to attempt to figure out exactly how Kevin made this. In the stylistic sense, I did base my film “The Rainbow” on Kevin’s film. I have never met Kevin, so I felt it was appropriate to give credit to his work, because it closely influenced mine.”
The premise of Alex’s film is that this boy has presumably lost everything in his life that matters. He yells and yells so loud that the fire blows out, and the smoke forms clouds up above. The clouds lead to rain, and eventually a rainbow is formed. The story then becomes the quest to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
“I wanted to depict the feeling of losing something and the artificial journey that can ensue after one has this type of experience. It was not meant to be a light-hearted, joyous story, and I think the whimsical style counters this nicely. I think the filmed turned out well, but it was not something that I enjoyed making. It was one of those projects where I filmed for 4 hours and edited for another 20 hours to make a 5-minute movie. As Kevin can attest to, it was largely made in the editing studio.”