Weekend Inspiration – In Your Pocket
Here’s a fun one. Make up a character. Any character. Maybe it’s a world champion origami master. Maybe it’s a pregnant Rastafarian with diabetes and an addiction to Anne Rice novels. You can make them as interesting or mysterious as you like. Don’t worry. You aren’t going to have to dress anyone (or yourself) up. What I want you to do is find items that this interesting character might keep in their pocket. They should be items that are clues to the mystery that is this character. Think. Go deep with it. Have fun.
Let’s use our prince of paper folding as an example. What might the worlds most award winning competitive origami folder have in his pockets. Paper? That’s obvious. Let’s add some detail. How about a few pieces of very beautiful paper. There could be a small origami frog. Okay. Come on. Let’s get creative! How about a glue stick. Yeah. Interesting. That that would mean he cheats. You’re not supposed to use glue for origami. Maybe he’s getting old and he can’t keep up with the young upstarts without a little juice – glue juice! Maybe there is a small magnifying glass or some thick eye glasses. An AARP card. A pair of nitroglycerin pills. A key chain filled to the brim with keys. Why so many keys? Let the audience wonder. A tattered wallet photo of a lost love. The final touch for a bit of humor (a very little bit): band-aids for all the paper cuts.
Set up the items on a bedside table, or in a bathroom near the sink, anywhere that a person might empty their pockets for the moment or the night. Arrange, light, and shoot.
Not so fast, mister! How you arrange the items can add to the clues you’re giving your audience about the character. Is this person a neat freak? Or maybe their blood stained corkscrew is just casually tossed on top of their change. Same with the light to a lesser extent. Use the light to create the mood that intensifies the story.
Sometimes it’s the details, the small, seemingly insignificant things about a person that truly reveals their essence. Capture that essence and you’ve likely got an image that will resonate.