Chaos, destruction, welled up emotions overflowing
List any Symbols and/or Metaphors ideas for your story in the following areas:
Objects/props. Household items, flags, T-shirts, games art in room, statues, furniture style, shape of windows, magazines, pictures, weapons, wall hangings, books, instruments, pets, cars, people, houses.
Music/sounds. Background sounds, songs atmospheric music bed, music in scenes, street noises, weather sounds, sirens, people crying/laughing/screaming in the next room, weird unexplainable sounds, heaters, equipment, natural sounds, animals, event sounds.
Color. The color of everything in the frame may mean something.
Words. Heard in dialogue or appearing on sets or otherwise onscreen.
Character types. People who represent the theme or plot to the extreme (positive or negative, even an extreme mix of the two).
Lighting. Colored lights, light sources, brightness, lighting subjects specific to metaphor. Good characters may be in bright light, whereas evil characters may be darkly lit. Quality of light (time of day as a metaphor). Glows around certain characters, face-lighting strategies to evoke emotion, source of light (sun, spaceship, flaming building) as metaphor, spinning ambulance lighting in room to represent emergency situation.
Staging. Placement of characters and metaphoric objects inside the frame to represent relationships. Where are your characters in relationship to each other metaphorically? You could have three characters who form a love triangle standing around a fire to represent a secret affair about to be uncovered. What metaphoric items surround the characters? Are they talking while walking through a field of sunflowers or in between cactuses? What metaphoric objects could you place between characters to show relationship or emotional state during a scene? Two characters on opposite sides of the frame with knives hanging on the wall between them may represent conflicting emotions.
Fables. How could you interject little stories into scenes to show plot, theme or character? You might want to have just pictures of parable characters or allude to them visually through stuffed animals, statues, paintings, cartoons, or drawings on the set. Try to think of new ways to incorporate parables visually into your films. Perhaps you could make your own little cartoon fable to play on a TV in the background during a scene. You might make up your own original Aesop-type fable, which the characters could discuss, see in a play or on TV, read in book, hear about in dialogue, or be relayed by a magical object. Create a fable or use an existing one.
Symbolic Settings: Location as character
What does the setting say about the mood of each scene? A conversation in a junkyard has a different context than one at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Think about how all of these places below feel different symbolically when you think about them:
National monuments, natural settings (swamps, waterfalls, caves, rivers, ocean, desert), cities with different personalities, small-town local flavor, visual themes, types of businesses, geographical themes, amusements parks, clubs, bars, graveyards, temples, stores, abstract interpretations of the Internet, art galleries, circus tents, fantasy places.
Possible Meaning/ Emotion/Mood
Gateway to new beginning, entrance to heaven or hell (depending on the design)
Past experiences, hidden things, family patterns
Backyard swimming pool
Suburban life, comfort, similar to others (conformity)