For my film project in my final year of study, I would like to write then direct a horror movie that also has psychological and religious cult undertones.
The script would concern a man who runs his classroom like it is his personal church, and is really a pedophile and a homophobic killer. His rather weak-willed students would need to find personal strength and even go against their own religious and moral beliefs to get away from him, save their lives, and even help save those classmates they despise for being “different” than them.
In this script, there would be the popular students and then the misfits, who for the most part really are not all that different from anyone else. They just have more questions in their souls than giving pat answers, but this is completely unacceptable to the lead character and his sheep-like following of popular students.
Despite the psychological issues, this film would have a fair amount of violence, especially when the teacher is sexually abusing and beating his family, and killing people he sees as immoral or homosexual.
The end of the film, all students rally together to get out of a life-threatening situation with this teacher. Unfortunately, the only way they can do that is to kill him in self-defense. This has cinematic value outside the death itself because some of the teacher’s killers were once his most devout followers.
I find the idea of writing then directing a movie especially appealing, because it makes it possible for an artist’s true vision to be fully executed. This film would have a small cast of troubled, yet well-meaning characters as supporting actors, and a real villain that does not really seem like one when you meet him on the street.
I also think this kind of film is socially important, which is why I would want to have a major part carrying out such a project. People, especially those who have faith in God, religion, or a church, are often unable to see the danger standing right in front of them.
How many Boy Scout leaders have abused children in their care and been described as “But he was a pillar of the community?” When religion comes into play, the loyalty and results of any betrayal run far deeper.
I believe a writer and a director have a similar role with some differences. The writer’s job is to place a clear blueprint of sorts into written form. This allows the actors and director to execute the vision, using their shapes and lenses to make changes as needed.
The director is responsible for using the actor’s performances and the scene set up with the cinematographer to determine how to movie will actually look.
When the writer and the director are the same person, the advantages are it will take much less time to learn and decide how the movie will look and what is really going on. The writer already knows these things, and can work to get the envisioned performances out of the actors when directing. The technical side can be handled in conjunction with an experienced cinematographer.
The unique chance to take a story from print to movie screen is why I hope to write and direct my own movies. I feel this is the best way to take creativity and technicality and create film magic.
A script like the one I have briefly outlined may not make millions of dollars, but it could take off in a film festival and even capture some international awards. It’s designed to make people stop and really think about just how misguided certain loyalties can be, especially when you just do not truly know the spiritual or school leader as a person.