In these weekly workshops we analyse great films and reflect on how certain ideas, performances and techniques might inform elements of our own works in process.
The Kids Are Alright references many different filmic styles in order to tell an honest, funny, heartwrenching relationship drama. My cinema workshop colleagues and I were all unanimous in its extraordinarily sophisticated use of filmic language, its incredible performances and nuanced message. We looked at how the director, Lisa Cholodenko, used Hitchcockian techniques to add suspense and excitement to this relationship drama and considered how different genre's can be incoporated into any film. Stephen then challenged us to rewrite a scene in our feature, utilising thriller techniques. Reverse shots, hand held cinematography, acute camera angles etc. We had only about 30 minutes to speed write the scenes and I was amazed at how well these techniques worked for my story. Despite my film being very much a comedy/ drama, piling on the suspense at certain moments, only made the stakes of the scene greater and the pathos more powerful. It was a great lesson in how to bring variety and colour to a script. It was also a lesson in writing like a director, ie including camera moves and lighting suggestions. Sometimes being that specific isn't prescriptive but instead really helps to cement a mood and a tone.