Bicycle boy was the very first straight forward drama that I set out to make. This film represents a 180 degree in my storytelling style but there was one key similarity with my previous films which I just couldn't do without. An intellectual main character who doesn't really know the extent of his intellect's potential.
I intended to write a story about someone who wants to achieve something, but he's completely unaware about that desire and how to achieve it. The challenge was that I never created such a character who was in the dark about his wants and the path to fulfill that want. I simply opted to take a look at a short film made by Ridley Scott about a bicycle thief and I asked myself the question what if Ridley Scott was directing this movie? Now obviously I'm nowhere near the incredible mind or skills of Ridley Scott but I wasn't trying to get into the mind of the Ridley Scott we have today, I was trying to get into the mind of the Ridley Scott who made his first short film. This idea of taking extensive inspiration from a filmmaker who would turn out be legend a few years later gave me the necessary head space to write such a film.
A problem which you can readily pin point throughout the film is that the camera is wobbly in most of the shots. This is because the DOP of my film forgot to bring in a tripod. Since we didn't have the time to go back and bring the tripod, we decided to shoot it handheld and try to stabilize the shots using the warp stabilizer in Adobe Premiere Pro. Our footage was too shaky to work with, so our film ended up being somewhat steady and somewhat wobbly. Another problem with the film is that the child actor has some serious potential, but his performance feels rushed and unpolished which perhaps could have been fixed with a few intense rehearsals. But the child is not a professional, getting his time to do so wasn't a probability. All these challenges were made tougher by the fact that the child was available for one day only, so rehearsing before the shot wasn't a probability as well. This was an intense case of working with what you have and only worrying about acceptable results.
The nonlinear editing you see in the final film was not part of the final screenplay. It was intended to remain simple and linear. But when all the pieces of the puzzle were put in place, something felt wrong.
It felt like the narrative needs it and is screaming out loud for the boy's drawing to actually overlap with his experience with the bicycle he sees belonging to another person. It needed an extra doze that the boy actually feels like living in a dream while drawing his most beloved want that he's just not aware of how to achieve.
The moment that clearly stands out is when the little boy finally speaks his first words in the film. Remaining silent throughout the film and trying to make sense of the world he lives in, the boy finally holds his head high as he achieves his greatest desire.
Another highlight is the soundtrack, it conveys the feel of a crawling man slowly moving towards his goal. The man is sad and depressed but he continues to crawl and move forward because he knows he'll be holding happiness in his heart soon enough.
All this effects could have been heightened if the film was a little more competently made. If the main character would have delivered a much more polished act, if the cinematographer wouldn't have forgotten the tripod and if the director was a little more uncompromising in his vision.
There are quite a few ifs and if these ifs were put to rest, the film would have been so much more that it is.
If you shot some footage and need someone to edit the video or if you have an idea for a short film and you need someone to write the screenplay, I would love to jump on baord and collaborate with you. Have a look at my other works to see my style and experience which I build over the years.
Let me know in the comments how you think I could have made this film much better and much more engaging?
I would really appreciate some constructive criticism in order to become a much better filmmaker and a much better storyteller.