Here’s a brief look at our story and some preliminary artistic ideas:

Short Synopsis

In 1940s outport Newfoundland, young Sadie struggles to cope with the tragic death of both her parents.

Long Synopsis

A local family, the Snows, take in Sadie following her parents’ tragic death. Sadie’s status as an orphan has a NL outport revelling in gossip, as does the belief that she is not quite “right” in the head. A nurse from the city, Josephine, provides Sadie with emotional and medical support. As  the teen becomes increasingly withdrawn, Josephine advises her to leave town, to heal, but this advice comes a little too late. The dark hole left by Sadie’s recent loss manifests itself in severe and unexpected consequences for everyone around her.

Director’s Statement

For this project, we aim to make a historic thriller set in outport Newfoundland. In this film, dark themes are explored, which relate to uncertainty, loneliness, and isolation. Our story is based on a tragic death in a small town, which reverberates through society in a big way. Drawing from our own cultural experiences here at home, we know that in rural places, people often rely on each other in times of need. But sometimes, a community must choose between what is expected of them, and what they can actually do to help. Our characters reveal a variety of ways that people respond to vulnerable situations, but one person delivers a reaction, no one else could possibly anticipate. The 1940s are a perfect context for our story, since at this time on the Island, you were often bound by social custom to support your ‘neighbour’, and we ask in this what cost?

To build on Emily’s well-crafted isolationist drama, I would like to create something raw and visceral. I intend to use the emptiness of a chosen NL landscape, to metaphorically represent the empty feeling Sadie has in her current world. I’ll play with minimalism, and I’d like to set up exteriors in gorgeous, lonely places with charming but simple houses, while creating a stark story with vast, open frames.

To make the film work, sound must be an enormous companion to the visuals. To keep the tone, and carry the audience along, music will convey a large part of the tension and suspense. To mimic our images, we’ll create a vast soundscape of ambient noises as well. Using basic instruments, the film will use melodic lines and minor harmonies, and perhaps playful girlish rhythms to move our story along.

Tackling a dramatic thriller is something I have never done before. When I find myself in new territory I like to take a page from an old book, and view classics of the genre, so I think re-watching Hitchcock is going to fill up a few days in my future. Likewise,  Ingmar Bergman is the master of examining isolation, so I will revisit his work as well.  I’d like to mix the old with the new, and  thankfully, new inspirations are all around me since I live in one of the most rugged landscapes in the world, filled with with incredibly talented, honest and interesting people. I hope to mix all these influences in a genuine attempt to create my best work to date.


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