I’m pretty sure that I’ve decided on two of the the identities of my main characters. Below is a profile of both characters as they currently stand, because chances are they will be chopped and changed around as necessary, and obviously to comply (or resist against) with the third character’s personality which is still to be decided.
Character One: Louise
As mentioned before, my first character would be based on the character of Louise Oriole, whom I discovered during my initial research was incepted and played by Madonna. My Louise would be a slightly tamer form of the original, and her attributes should be able to come across more clearly than the original, who was shrouded in implications and subtlety. Below is a list of this character’s main points so far:
Main inspiration: Louise Oriole, main character in Madonna’s Bad Girl music video
Occupation: Just like the other characters, Louise would start off as a student, until she is 19, where the girls have left sixth form and are forced to start forming their careers. Louise gets a helping hand in this area, as her aunt is an assistant director in a highly successful fashion company, and Louise is able to gain a junior assistant job, with good prospects for the future. This explains why she defies the middle class stereotype of going to university. Over the next two years, she becomes highly successful, gaining promotions through her rigorous work ethic and nepotism. She uses her growing status as a front to cover the unrequited love she suffers, just like the original Louise.
Main trait or event which causes her to split from the other characters: Just like the original Louise, my Louise will fall in love, love that will not be returned and drives her further and further into a depressive state. This is where elements of the original Louise will begin to seep through. My Louise will also be reliant on alcohol (which can easily be faked), cigarettes (I’m considering investing in some herbal cigarettes, or prop cigarettes should the actress not smoke) and one night stands, although the latter would be only implied or discussed. As it stands, I imagine that it would be her who causes the main divide and argument between all three characters. Although the third character is yet to be decided, I don’t imagine her to have the fiery attitude which could cause the argument.
Apparent characterisation issues so far: The only problem so far I can see with Louise is the impact she would have upon the genre and tone of my film. Although she would only be in love for around half of the film, the extreme nature of her love and the ensuing depression may grow tiresome with the audience and she could make the overall tone much more depressing than I intended. It’s sort of a catch 22, she needs to be depressed enough for the audience to sympathise with her, yet she can not be so depressing as to take away from the subtlety I had planned for my film. I think this can be mostly overcome through scripting, which I intend to draft a lot, as it is the main feature of my film.
Character Two: Ellen
I decided it would be good idea for all three characters to be based on already-existent characters from other media. Admittedly, this would not be exact copies, as this would obviously count as plagiarism. This way, I can keep a clear idea of what their personalities, attitudes, personas and opinions are, as they would be based on their original counterparts. Last year, I had a tendency to add layer after layer to my characters until they became too vague and implausible. Having a character basis should stop this. Furthermore, should there be an aspect of the character which I am unsure of, I can look to see if this aspect is evident in the original character and use it as inspiration. Character two would be based loosely on the character of Juno MacGuff from the 2007 hit dramedy Juno. Below is a list of this character’s main points so far:
Main inspiration: Juno MacGuff, main character from Reitman’s Juno. She is named after the actress who portrayed Juno, Ellen Page.
Occupation: Once more, Ellen would start off as a sixth form student. In the first Christmas, it would become apparent that although nervous of her future, she at least has high aspirations. However, Ellen’s world is turned upside down when she is 18, and falls pregnant by her boyfriend. Although in this year Ellen assures the other characters that her boyfriend is willing to stay with her, it becomes apparent the next year that she is now a single teenage mother. She puts her aspirations on hold until her child is older, and throws herself into motherhood with as much enthusiasm as her previous aspirations. For the remainder of the film, she remains a single mother.
Main trait or event which causes her to split from the other characters: Obviously her pregnancy is the event which causes her to drift away from the other characters. Of course, the other characters don’t begin to reject her based purely on the fact that she fell pregnant at a relatively young age. It is arguments about lifestyle and living arrangements is what drives the biggest divide between them. For example, in the year Ellen announces that she is pregnant, she is convinced that her boyfriend is committed to her and the family they are about to start, a view which the other two characters strongly oppose, believing her boyfriend to be unreliable. The biggest divide will be their occupational differences. Whilst the other characters will have jobs and careers. Ellen will remain a single mother throughout the film, meaning the girls worlds will obviously become more and more split.
Apparent characterisation issues so far: I think the only problem with Ellen is that her situation is quite implausible. Her age also poses the biggest problem. Usually a large problem with teenage pregnancy is the lack of support, independence, responsibility and time the mother would have to look after the baby. However, at the age of 18, a lack of maturity, responsibility and independence arent’ as much of a problem than if she were around 14/15/16. Furthermore, by the time she has the baby, she would be relatively free of the ties of full-time education, giving her time to look after the baby. This leads me to believe that I am making the teenage pregnancy more dramatic and problematic than it really is. This is quite a difficult problem to overcome. I think the most sensible thing to do would be to portray the pregnancy as that of an older teenage pregnancy. This can be done by defying the stereotypes of teenage pregnancy (that the mother is young, naive, and so on), and focussing upon the aspects that would be most likely to affect Ellen, such as financial worries and loneliness.
Seeing as no actresses have yet been assigned their characters, the appearances of each character are yet to revealed. However, as it stands I don’t think this will be a particular issue. So far, the only specification for each character is a middle class teenage female, a specification with little detail, leaving appearances wide open.
Obviously the main point to be made with appearances is the aging effects. I believe that this can be quite simply done simply through the power of hair, make-up, and costumes, although obviously this will require further research.