Here are all of my beat boards for my short film!
The story is about a couple, who’s perspective is challenged and transformed through their encounter with a mystical beast and its family.
A good portion of the film is of the couple having sex. That was a really interesting challenge… Obviously, I have to stay away from the visual language of porn, but it’s more than just that. For one, I didn’t want to use the conventional visuals of a ‘sexy’ woman. I wanted my design to be sexy without being tall, slim and long legged or has a thin long neck, a clear jaw line and a delicate nose. After all, my girlfriend does not look like that, yet I think she is absolutely beautiful. And so I approached my design based more off of her than some culturally ingrained version of ‘beauty’.
The whole process made me really think about and question what feminine beauty means and my culturally conditioned instincts in defining feminine beauty. It made me realize that despite the fact that I don’t act outwardly sexist, despite the fact that I believe I treat men and women equally, I DO have sexist thoughts. The word “Hot” blast into my mind when I see a woman who fit some standard of sexiness I have learned to desire. I notice that my attitude towards that person immediately changes. I want to be friendlier, I care about that person more, not for any reason but their looks. All of that happens without any consideration by my consciousness. It’s a reflect at this point. I do not believe this is ‘nature’. Yes, it is natural that I am attracted to people but how immediate I react to these specific types of standards of ‘beauty’, of ‘sexiness’ is, I believe, conditioned. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they are the same standards portrayed in popular media. Moreover, I am not only attracted to these specific types but it does take a little longer and more interaction for me to become attracted to other types.
The more I think about it, the more I come to realize that for those who grow up in western culture with our media climate, from day one, we are conditioned to be sexist. Men or women, I think most of us assume that we, ourselves are not sexist and then we gasp in astonishment when someone calls us that. I think that is completely counter productive. We should admit that sexism is the default condition that we have internalized. It is something each individual has to constantly fight against.
I also had to think about how sex is traditionally composed, sequenced and portrayed in visual culture and I did not want to regurgitate that. I will talk about that more in the future when I actually post the animatic of the couple’s sex.