I have watched a short film of the drama genre, called ‘Dear Mum’, as part of my research into short films within the drama genre. It has been created by Roxanne Pedder and was released on June 12th 2016.
This short film is all about suicide and self harm. It is based on a seventeen year old girl who has written her mother a suicide letter. Throughout the film, the mother reminisces back to the memories they shared together whilst reading the letter. By the end of it, she has broken down into tears, when her daughter walks in. This is unexpected for the mother, as well as the audience as we assume that the daughter already committed suicide. The film then ends with a loving conversation between the mother and daughter about how the mother is always going to be there for the daughter. Soft, slow music is used in the background which helps create a dramatic effect as well as the emotional story line. The overall tone is very serious, which is supported by the great acting and serious facial expressions. The generic conventions of a dramatic short film have been followed, as there is an unexpected twist towards the end, which keeps the audience intrigued. This short film undoubtedly fits into the drama genre as it creates a very dramatic, emotional impact on the audience. Personally, I quite liked this short film as it follows the main conventions of short films, as well the conventions of the drama genre. It has also been clearly thought out, as the audience is captivated throughout. By the end of the film, the audience feels emotionally impacted as it is presented to be very realistic and maybe even relatable to some people. The director has portrayed the main theme: depression and suicide, in an authentic way as it speaks out to the audience and has an impact on them.
Overall, I believe that this video has achieved its purpose as it conveys the difficulties that certain individuals go through, as well as representing the strong relationship between a mother and daughter. The audience is left thinking about this film long after the end of the film, which makes it clear that this film is of the drama genre as it is important for the audience to be emotionally impacted by the end of it.
The camera, editing, sound and mise en scene has evidently been considered and thought through by the director as it all portrayed in an emotional yet realistic way. A lot of the same shot types have been used to constantly create the same type of effect on the audience. A lot of flashbacks have been used to portray the happy memories that the mother and daughter shared together, and the mise en scene also makes everything seem very realistic, especially the location and clothing. The sound has also been thought out very well as the slow music adds to the emotional effect and there is a voice over, which creates a tense effect. I have analysed the film in more detail as part of my research.
The film begins with a high angle shot of a girl writing the words, ‘Dear Mum’ on a red envelope. The high angle suggests that she is vulnerable. Non diegetic sound is used as slow music can be heard in the background, creating a serious atmosphere. This then fades to a medium shot of a lady doing the vacuum in a house. The background music continues, and diegetic sound is also used as the sound of the vacuum can also be heard. The lady begins to pick up some clothes that have been thrown on the floor under a bed, where she picks up the read envelope that was seen in the first shot. This then cuts to a high angle shot as the lady picks up the envelope and looks at it, suggesting that she is in a weak, vulnerable position. This then cuts to a close up shot of her face, emphasising her serious facial expressions.
A medium shot is used as she opens the envelope and takes out the letter and begins to read it. At this point, the audience can infer that this is the mother of the girl who wrote the letter. A voice over then begins to play, which is the voice of the daughter reading the letter, allowing the audience to know what the letter says. A close up shot is used of the mother’s face as she begins to cry whilst reading the letter. Flash backs then begin as a black and white medium shot is used to present the daughter laying on her bed as the mother cuddles her. This then cuts to another black and white medium shot of the two baking together. From this, the audience can infer that the mother is reminiscing their times together.
This then cuts to another medium shot, of the daughter doing self harm as she cuts her arm. After a few seconds, another medium shot is used to present the mother crying whilst reading the letter. This then cuts to another black and white shot of the mother and daughter at a beach, which then cuts again to a medium shot of them sitting, talking and having tea together. This reveals that they both shared a close, loving relationship together, therefore the mother is extremely affected by this letter that she is reading. This is supported by the next shot which is a medium shot of the mother breaking down completely as she bursts into more tears, but she still continues to read the letter. This then cuts to a black and white shot of the two arguing, presenting their bad times to the audience, which then cuts back to them being at the beach again. Due to this, the audience can infer that the good times outdo the bad times as that is what the flashbacks are focused on more.
The following shot is a medium shot of the mother crying whilst reading the letter, which is followed by another black and white medium shot of the daughter crying on her own in bed, emphasising the pain she had to go through. This then cuts to another black and white shot of the two baking together. This then becomes blurred, which cuts back to the mother reading the letter. The voice over then ends as the mother continues to sob and mourn over her daughter’s death. A door can be heard opening in the background, however the audience is unaware of who this could be as the mother does not look up from the letter.
A medium shot is used to present the daughter walking into the room and hugging her mother, leaving the audience shocked as to how the daughter is alive. This then fades to black, which is followed by a medium shot of the two exchanging dialogue as they have a conversation about how the mother is always there for the daughter. This then fades to black and some white text appears on the screen, giving information about suicide helplines and then the credits begin to roll.