MobiFilm Academy
Lesson 7a - Three Acts Again
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Here's another treatment – this time for a short non-fiction piece.

I want to encourage people to save water. I can tell them to do so – but what effect will that have? Exactly – none!

So let's show them that wasting water is a bad thing. We've got to think of pictures that say 'lack of water'. How many can you think of? Here are some:

  • Hand turns tap. Water trickles, then dries up.
  • Dead, brown plant. Hand tries to take withered flower, but it disintegrates (the flower, that is – not the hand!)
  • Reservoir shows parched earth – cracks.
  • Bottled water delivery; large number of banknotes given in return.
  • Grimy clothes, grimier people. Difficult to show, so you'd have to get people to wrinkle noses, move off when somebody comes close, etc. Grey or beige things look ‘dirtier' than primary coloured garments.
  • Shoot exteriors on a grey, overcast day. Dog or cat goes to bowl. Empty. Looks pitiful. Some breeds do this without too much prompting!
  • Maybe it's going over the top, but you could try a sick, dehydrated child. Intravenous drip. Close on child's face as nurse wields needle.

That's by no means an exhaustive list, but it's a start.

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Now you need to think of ways to show water saving:

  • Bucket under washbasin – collects water – used on plants.
  • Tap turned off whilst tooth-brushing.
  • Brick (sealed in plastic bag) put in toilet cistern.
  • Fill teapot (or drinking mugs) – pour into kettle, then boil. Or count people then look at indicator on side of kettle.
  • Steam food, not boil. Keep water for next meal. Maybe difficult to show, but possible.
  • Showering with a friend? Well, maybe it's okay with children. Show them from the waist up?
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Now how can you show that happiness has been caused by those measures? Maybe just one scene:

  • Happy family playing in garden.
  • Green grass, blooming flowers.
  • Brightly-coloured clothes (clean again because water is available to wash them properly).
  • Dog rushing around full of life.

That's not perfect, but it only took me a few minutes. And most of that was taken up by correcting my speeling mistooks. Well, most of them!

And the three acts are there: Problem, Solution and Resolution.

Happy Visualising.

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