Short Film Idea #2: Burning

OK. I am creating a short film with no dialogue for my interactive media production class. My first idea was to do a cycle of life story that answers the question What happens when we die? from the perspective of dog food. Although I can envision great video, I am reluctant to include this in my portfolio. Since I do not have time to create several new productions for my portfolio, I have decided to explore a new idea, inspired by some really depressing lyrics.

My life is endless burning
on a thousand dead desires.


It means that when we are kids we say "I want to be a firemen," or "I want to be a baseball player," and a million other things. Throughout life, we change and someday we look back and see all the dreams and desires we left on a shelf unachieved. Sometimes we even feel like we are dying a slow, painful death fueled by our failures or our lack of ever chasing those dreams. In these lyrics, even death refrains from ending your misery... it simply allows you to suffer endlessly. If we had only pursued more of them, the fire might not be so miserable.

I have an idea of what I want to do to visually represent this, but before I do the first thing that comes to mind, I am going to sit down with a pen and paper and create a cluster of words that come to mind when I think of the words burning and dreams. I will link these words and create a visual map of interrelated ideas that I may be able to use when determining what kind of shots I want to capture and use. I may end up doing what I thought of first, but a least I will have explored more options.

My first idea is to capture shots of some of the dreams or desires I left behind, either in symbolic form or literal. Then I'd like to represent them on something I can burn, like a piece of paper (perhaps a ripped paper on which I write the dream/desire) or a photo. I can build a small-scale pyre of toothpicks surrounding a stake to which a representation of me (my life) is attached. Then I will set it on fire and watch it burn. It would be great if I could use something that doesn't burn up, so the fire burns, but doesn't destroy me. I also thought about using my kids to demonstrate all the desires and dreams by dressing up in all the costumes and outfits of the things they want to be... then burning representations of them at the stake.

To try and fail is at least to learn; to fail to try is to suffer the inestimable loss of what might have been.
— Chester Barnard