derrick duan
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2020 August, Victoria returned to Stage 4 Lockdown with curfews, travel ban and restricted outdoor time. I’ve gotten slightly more complacent over the initial 6-week period, and spent more time just sitting in the backyard and reading, did more cooking and focused a bit more on my other creative projects.

Bunnings was shut along with all retails, which meant that my set-building schedule had to be altered drastically.  I could no longer source materials in person, and the delivery for online purchases would face significant delays due to reduced AusPost capacity. 

I put off buying materials for the first 5 weeks because I much preferred doing it in person, and wanted to save myself some delivery costs. But as the 6th week approached, the Stage 4 was extended, with a plan to re-open retails at the end of October.  

I knew I couldn’t possibly put off building my sets till then, so I spent a good few days sussing out vendors online, and sourced most of them in the last week of August. As the items gradually arrived my set building finally started.

What did happen in the background thoughout August though, was a constant script revision. 

The first major turning point came about when Jackson helped me film a live action reenactment of the script, which I then turned into a WIP animatic. 

This really helped me scrutinise the pacing and the structure of the story. It made me reconsider the purpose of each scene, and how much talking could be cut by replacing them with visuals and body languages. This obviously will put a greater stress on the puppets’ acting.

From there on, I re-wrote the dialogues for the bathroom scene, to direct it more towards the Man’s feeling and problems. In the previous draft the Voice’s lines insinuated problems that were too detached from the Man’s and it became distracting and confusing.

I also did a major overhaul for the elevator scene. Now it’s re-written as a flashback to the Man’s childhood, as oppose to a random encounter with strangers in an elevator. The subtext of the scene remained though,  now the Father’s lines were directed towards the Man’s younger self.

The new script is about half a page shorter, but it flows much better, and the scenes make more scene sitting next to each other.