To explore the powerful themes in Methland, the film must present a realistic, believable world. Just as importantly, this ridged reality must be breached by fantasy, delirium and intoxication as minds unravel at the story’s climax.
Methland seeks to be a cinematic experience. This will be achieved by shooting in a classical style. Carefully framed and designed shots will be utilised to capture the world our characters inhabit. In the early stages of the story the camera will be locked off. Movement will be controlled with dollies, pans and a steadycam to create an energetic and fluid mood, keeping the audience engaged with the story while creating high-level production value.
As the film progresses, the camera will become looser, employing handheld techniques typical of a doco-drama. In the desperate finale, fast-paced editing combined with close-ups and whip pans will leave the audience breathless
Production and costume design will be tightly integrated with camera and lighting to create a colour palette that is representative of the different realities that our protagonists experience. By utilising striking, garish colours in lighting and costume, the look will depict the fantasy lifestyle of Danny and his crew as they party in clubs and warehouses as a decadent, flamboyant world.
In contrast, the violent underworld inhabited by Coach and the criminals of Methland will be notable by the absence of these vibrant colours – theirs is a grim underworld dominated by browns and greys. It will be almost monochromatic like a place for the living dead.
The colour grade will be the refinement of these intentions, allowing subtle manipulation of colour and tone, and producing a finished product of the highest quality.
The sound design and score will be essential to carry a narrative focused on the music of the new millennium.
In the nightclub and warehouse scenes the music will be a sonic assault. Other scenes will require a more emotive and subtle treatment. My plan is to use a traditional score created by electronic musicians, augmented with songs and tracks by bands and DJ’s. Different characters will also possess their own design, helping convey the arc and fate of their journey.
Already many Melbourne musicians are enthusiastic about working on this brief. The release of a soundtrack compilation will become an important part of the marketing of the film’s release.
Casting agents and actors have responded very enthusiastically to the screenplay. Because of this, I am confident the film can attract some big names in the industry to play the roles of Noyce and Coach.
A talented up-and-coming American actor has also shown interest in the role of Ada, which will help sales in an international market. Less recognisable actors will be cast in the key roles of Danny, Eric and Heidi, and I hope their involvement will lead to breakout performances.
Performances will be raw and authentic. I want to see the grit under Eric’s fingernails, I want to smell the chemicals in Danny’s hair and I want to taste the blood on Heidi’s hands. I expect my actors to live and breathe the dangers in the Methland jungle before and after they have given their performance.