10 Scenes #4: Gemma Paintin (Action Hero)

EXT- a lighthouse on cliff edge and open ocean – 6am

A little after sunrise, high summer. Too early for anybody to be around, even if it is peak tourist season.

A fixed shot, still except for the ocean which is swelling very slightly. The calm of the water tells us there is little wind today. Seagull flies into view, soaring high above the water. The bird comes to rest on top of the small, unmanned lighthouse.

A pause.

The light flashes once, and at the same time the gull throws back its head and opens its beak wide. Its long, undulating cry is heard and the birds throat pulsates with the effort. The bird takes off, swooping up high before diving down out of shot, towards the sea. The camera zooms in and follows the bird, a feeling of vertigo as we catch up with the gull and follow its flight, down towards the rocks below.

We catch a glimpse of something brightly coloured down below, coming into view as we approach the water. A shape bobbing up and down, bumping up against the rocks. A bright pink rectangle. A lilo, it’s a lilo. Coming into focus as the camera slows and the bird come to rest on a rock at the waters’ edge, another shape comes into view. It’s a human body. It’s a man. Limp on top of the lilo, his eyes are closed and his hand trails in the water, his foot at an awkward angle tangled in a piece of seaweed.

A pause to consider the rocks and the body.

The seagull hops on to the lilo, pecking at the seaweed around the man’s foot. The gull is cautious. The man is unresponsive. The bird hops on to the man’s torso, and making its way up to the man’s head, the camera zooms in to his face. Blood is trickling from his ear, and into the sea where it swirls in delicate patterns around the lilo. The bird takes off, and as it climbs the camera pans back and we see the lighthouse from above, flashing more insistently now as the lilo continues to bump against the rocks below.

This is the fourth part of 10 Scenes from an Imaginary Film, a mini-project of 10 imagined scenes by 10 different artists to coincide with our last days of crowdfunding for our feature film.
You can find out more and donate here.


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