The Proposals – FMP Development Through 360MC

It’s uncertain at the moment which posts are going to be added as the coursework 2 hand-in, as a large portion of the TEOTA and Another Revolution research posts were handed in as part of the first 360MC hand-in (though these posts have had no direct bearing on my final proposal). Here is a simplified version of how I arrived at my final presentation pitch, from the origins of the three ideas at the start of 360MC:

Initial Proposals

1. Shooting The Sunrise – This idea was eventually used in 360MC as part of ‘Power, Spectacle and Memory’ (my memory artefact). It showed my own memories of my past expeditions up mount Teide. If everything else had failed, this was to be the back-up project which could be easily accomplished for my final year. However, once TEOTA looked to be going ahead, I made this film as part of another aspect of my course, and focused my attention on the other two proposals. The final cut (for the moment) of the film can be found here.

2. ‘The Riots Documentary‘ – Even before the course went left-wing, this was always an idea I was interested in taking forward this year. In preparation, I got in touch with old contacts from the infamous Millbank Riots of 2010, and joined the Socialist Workers Party to meet the people in Coventry who were holding the party up. I made another (more experimental) film for 360MC Coursework 1 regarding this film, and I got in touch with the chief documentary lecturer at the university. I then became part of a group to set up a Socialist Workers Student Society here at the university.

3. The Eyes Of The Angel – by far the most elaborate of the three initial ideas was the short film about two prison convicts escaping from prison, then turning on each other in a forest when they realised they’re trapped. One convict chances across a fallen angel, bound to a tree in the middle of the chaos with the aim to attempt to stop the murders from taking place. This was the idea my FMP ultimately became based around, although I knew from the off that this was a very complex project – at the moment, the riots documentary seemed more favorable.

Interim Proposals

At this point I had 2 ideas: the riots documentary, now named Another Revolution, and The Eyes Of The Angel, now abbreviated to the acronym ‘TEOTA‘. TEOTA was the idea I wanted to carry forward, but it was too complex, and until I could find a viable way to create it, Another Revolution was the focal point. Whilst my research into both continued extensively, I got to know members of the SWP both in and out of Coventry – people who could become potential characters for my film. However, it became increasingly apparent that I knew little about the war-zone I was entering – it would take considerable time for me to build up the trust required to conduct the personal interviews that I wanted to do.

At this point, Another Revolution got another direction – I was advised to make it more personal, and in doing so, chart my own journey into discovering the motivations behind protestors and their goals. Then one of the major problems with this project came – not so much a barrier, but rather an opportunity: the Marxism Festival in the summer. This would be when people from all over the world sharing the same anti-capitalist ideas would meet up, discuss politics, tell stories from around the world over the past year, and also be on my own doorstep for the interview. It would be a relaxed environment, and would also allow several months for me to get to know the members of the SWP (and share in some political ‘moments and meetings’ with them). This was the death card for this being my FMP idea though – it was statistically the logical choice, and an event that was guaranteed to happen, but the project would be filmed after the hand-in and the degree show.

Meanwhile, TEOTA went into development in the script. The script was finished and revised, but was too complex for a simple narrative. Over Christmas, I fought every which way over how to make a film about prison-breaking convicts and fallen angels work. The final nail in the coffin was in the knowing that filming at night in forests was a stretch even by Hollywood standards. It was time to put the idea to rest, and start all over again with this idea. Thus, TEOTA became Peter Has An Angel.

Last year’s Marxism Festival – Although PHAA took over as my FMP, this documentary is still an ongoing project. The festival provides a relaxed and approachable environment, where I can easily find a variety of people with a variety of views and stories. Members of the SWP who I have sided with to explore these political worlds will most likely be going as well, and this would provide an interesting and unique approach to a film about left-wing politics (plus, I have the cut-aways of actual infamous riots and protests already!)

The Final Proposal

Peter Has An Angel (PHAA) took crown as the victor of the initial three ideas. Reverting back to the original idea, a film about convicts now became a film about a depressed student walking on his own in a forest, thus halting the night time problem, and also allowing me to write a script that was more from the heart (and thus more effective). There were subtle changes to the way the environment was used and the way the angel character was, but using the Final Proposal Form, I was able to solidify a good idea, that I now aim to start constructing and make into a reality.


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