Monday, April 13, 2009

I've been thinking more about Alison in Wonderland lately. I thought I'd throw some of my recent and past ideas for the film.

I'm gonna shoot the whole film on HD. To give the real world and Wonderland scenes different aesthetics, however, I'm gonna shoot the real world stuff on a grittier, bought prosumer HDV camera (probably the Canon AX-H1) and the Wonderland stuff on a higher quality professional camera with better depth of field. I got to handle Panasonic DVCPRO equipment and liked the depth of field, which is way shallower and I'd like to employ the HD equivalent to those. Though the real world stuff be lit in a more naturalistic fashion (with the cheap 100 watt lanterns I've used for my past several films) and I'll want professional light kits for the Wonderland stuff, overall depth of field will be given far more attention than in past films of mine in both aspects. Wide angle is great for action scenes but for the dialogue scenes I'm going for softer focus and longer lenses.

As far as the film itself, I'd like to do the real world wraparound scenes first and shoot them a bit more realistically, more like Dream House minus the horrific aspect and especially my planned look for Witch's Castle, then with the Wonderland stuff we'll be back in total Little Red Riding Hood territory with geyers of stage blood, puppets, wackiness and more flamboyant camera work.

The story would not be complete without its characters. Alison, originally envisioned as a bitchy blond in my old version, is now a more graceful and cute, if tormented girl. I see her resembling Jenny Agutter in Walkabout. Spunky, smart and upset at the seeming collapse of the world around her. Not a lot of Carroll's nonsensical characters are going to used here except the most famous. The Caterpillar is based off a friend of mine who didn't do anything but smoke loads of marijuana everyday, I'm giving him a rewrite in the script to get him more like this. The Cheshire Cat is a total pretentious prick who believes he is in possession of every bit of knowledge in the whole universe. I'm not sure about the Mock Turtle. I may use him or I may not. The Caterpillar, Cat and Turtle will all be puppets, but larger, specially-made puppets.

Of course I'm gonna run wild with The Mad Hatter scenes, I see the character as being like a mix between Ledger's Joker and Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka (if you can picture that). If Dave Luce is involved, it will be the third film in which he ties a female up to a chair and tries to do something perverted to her. Like the Wolf, he lives in a shack in the woods which I originally had envisioned like the Wolf's house with perverted shit everywhere, but I now am thinking something more like the set of a children's show from Hell with everything painted bright circus colors and stripes. The character is more evil and less insane and much scarier. I recently watched that Gobstopper fake trailer with Christopher Lloyd (the first time I'd seen him since Angels in the Outfield) that pretends to be a remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory done like Hostel and Saw. It made me realize that I wish somebody would make a film with ghoulish stuff like that but all happy and colorful like Tim Burton's Charlie. That's what I'm gonna try to do with this.

The real treat though is the Queen of Hearts character. Her love of decapitations will mean a gorefest with spurting Lone Wolf and Cub stump blood. She's not going to be a Japanese noblewoman like in the original script but more like a decadent 18th century European libertine lady. Think Marie Antoinette meets Elizabeth Bathory mixed with a female version of Vincent Price's Prince Prospero in Masque of the Red Death. If not as violent as the Mad Hatter, she is in many ways far more dangerous and the true villain, as unlike the Hatter, who's just a low level sociopath, she is a conniving psychopath who has loads of power. She'll live in a castle (a miniature) with the heads of her enemies impaled on the spiked castle gates and then her hall with filled with impaled heads (including that of her ex-husband the King of Hearts) on pikes around her throne like Vlad the Impaler. She truly will be the Red Queen. I see her as being as a very physically large red haired woman as well. Not as in overweight, as in height and build and beautiful in an icy way with pure white skin.

I'm gonna make a lot of additions/alterations and do a new draft soon.


Crocodile said...

I can't wait! How much of a budget do you think this will have? It sounds pretty ambitious!

J.L. Carrozza said...

Thanks dude. I simply going to try to make the best film I can.

I think $30,000 at the last.

Probably $45 grand depending on where the cameras come from. I need $15 to pay the cast and skeleton crew (I'm doing most everything myself since I can) and then $10-15 to rent the cameras for the full shoot and everything else for the props/costumes (some of which I'd like specially made so I'll have more control over how it looks).

Crocodile said...

Sounds like quite an undertaking! Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Good luck, my friend.