October 6th, 2011
- "You'll be taking photos all day at this rate, and I'll never leave."
- ―Lucy to Neil
Neil is a photographer without a subject. Six months ago, he had Lucy, his muse, with whom he recorded his moments and memories. Now, after the accident, and left only with her photos and one last text, Neil has no further need for his camera, obscuring his old love for photography.
- Lucy: "How do you want me?"
- Neil: "Just like that. You're perfect."
- ―Lucy and Neil[src]
The film opens in flashback, with Neil Chapman taking photographs of his muse and girlfriend, Lucy. The scene transitions into the present, where a morose Neil reflects on his happier times. He views images of himself and Lucy on his laptop, before reading the last text message she sent before her accident—in which she mentions she is by the place where they shared their first date.
Wrapped in his memories, Neil travels to the location, and finds himself confronted by a vision of Lucy, standing at the seafront. He approaches, though seems to realize she is only an apparition. However, she allows him to take one last photograph, which he reflects upon on returning home. Though Lucy herself is absent from the sea view, Neil's recollections of her call her up into view. Newly inspired, Neil takes his camera and heads outside.
- Jim Elton
- Camera operator
- Tom Menary
- Music composer
- Liam Docherty
- Props/locations master
The original idea for Camera Obscura was conceived of as part of the Hero's Journey story arc under Eternal Silence. At this point referred to simply as The Depressed Photographer, the story introduced the photographer, the loss of his girlfriend and their spiritual reunion. The script drafted at this point also featured a second love interest, whom the photographer would pursue after making peace with the spirit of his former love. As well as the full script draft, several music cues were created for this project.
The idea was shelved until 2011, when it was redrafted for a student filmmaking competition created by the website Loccit. The brief asked for a film based on ideas of memory and photography. The film was reshaped to fit the competition criteria, though an alternate version would be released as a standalone film, excising specific references to Loccit. The script was finished on September 18th, with additions made on October 1st. Location scouting took place on September 28th.
Filming and releaseEdit
Camera Obscura was filmed in Plymouth in October 2011, with props and locations provided by Liam Docherty. The primary scenes were shot on October 2nd, and the film's climax, in which the photographer sees a vision of his girlfriend, was filmed at the Plymouth Hoe. The fading photograph of the girlfriend was shot on greenscreen on October 3rd, and the final scene featuring Neil was shot on the following night.
The film was submitted to the Loccit competition, and its alternate version released under Wingless Films, on October 6th, 2011.
- Main article: Camera Obscura (soundtrack)
The film's score was created by Tom Menary. It features variations on the "Camera Obscura Theme", which originated as an alternate theme for "Sanctuary"—though it doesn't appear in that film itself, two piano demos are featured on the Sanctuary soundtrack. The Camera Obscura soundtrack contains five cues, including s full rendition of the theme and a demo of the final track.
Differences between the versionsEdit
The version submitted to Loccit contained additional scenes and dialogue designed specifically for the guidelines of the competition. While viewing his photographs on his laptop, Neil experiences a second flashback, in which Lucy joins him, and enquires about the website Loccit, on which he is viewing the slideshow. Neil responds that "it keeps your moments safe, forever," which reflects the company's tagline, and was one of the requirements of the contest. The website's logo also appears following the final scene.