MRS SARAH TALBOT
The HSC Drama course in 2021 has been quite the rollercoaster but, despite the challenges, we have created some impressive major work content and have shared experiences that we will be able to smile back upon for many years to come. This class group share a quirky sense of humour and a deep desire to show kindness and respect to others which has ensured that the HSC Drama journey has been enjoyable for all. I will miss their smiles and creative insights and I know that these traits will be valued by whomever they get to spend their days with in the next phase of their life’s journey.
Inspired by the modern obsession with “fake news”, conspiracy theories, and our shared love of Wandavision; we developed a performance that comments on abuse of power in the workplace, the responsibilities of new agencies, and the ability of the masses to evoke change through protest.
The performance is set in the offices of “Cloud News” (our parody of “Sky News”) where the chief news presenter (Jonathon) calls all of the shots. However, Jonathan is blinded by his pursuit of fame and tries to keep his audience distracted with fake news so that they continue to love him.
In the end Jonathan’s power is usurped by protesters (“Swifties”) who realise he is manipulating his power and just want him to report the real news. The “Swifties” (Taylor Swift fans) have been helped along by Jonathan’s subordinates who are tired of his ego and manipulations.
Note: The footage we are showcasing was captured as part of rehearsals that took place 6-7 weeks before the performance was due to be examined. It is rough and unpolished as it was never intended for an audience.
Artie, The Single Girl
My performance of ‘Artie, The Single Girl’ explores one woman’s struggle to find love and acceptance whilst she grapples with the traumas of her past. This comedically takes place in the throws of a speed-date. I think that Artie’s story is an important one as it teaches us to first love and accept ourselves before we can be open to loving others. I made the decision that the audience would be in role as the person Artie is on a speed-date with. This allowed me to start my performance of Artie upstage-left, awkwardly checking out the audience before approaching to begin the date. This establishes that the piece is to be comedic and is followed by humorous dialogue, awkward pauses and comedic confessions. I hope that, while the audience laughs at this performance, they will also connect with the fundamental truth that humans need to first love themselves before they can love others.
Double Standards are Abroad
This play was written as a commentary about our society.
Preconceptions and double standards of racism and discrimination can inflict us
all. These internalised ideas by certain groups of people are embedded into the
roots of our society.
I communicate this idea through a fantasy setting involving unusual characters. In
this fantasy world we see how people can hold misconceptions and pass
judgments on others who they see as different. The outcasts in this world are the
specific targets of discrimination.
During the play the characters go on an arduous journey to both reflect and
recognise that we all have the right to be treated respectfully by our society.
THE UPSIDE OF BEING CALLED TO THE OFFICE.
For my Drama 2021 HSC individual project I chose scriptwriting, this script is titled THE UPSIDE OF BEING CALLED TO THE OFFICE.
Dylan doesn’t know where or how he fits into his old world now that he’s come out. His only goal is to keep his head down and finish high school with making as little trouble as he possibly can. Though his parents may be fighting every day and his world seems to be falling apart around him he manages find a small sliver of hope and his name is Ben. Ben has just transferred to a new school and by fate or just Mrs White clever planning he finds Dylan and starts a whole new journey, one that seems to have come straight out of one of Dylan’s romance novels.
I wrote my script with the hopes to create a real love story, not a Hollywood story where everything is perfect all the time. Although, like many others I’m a sucker for a good cheesy romance, so I made a hybrid story that combines my love for cheesy romance and the sad reality of what many people go through when they come out.
This project to me is so important because it shows not only my personal struggles, but those around us who may not have the support they need to overcome the hardships they face day to day. I hope that if you can take anything away from my project it is that we all need a support system, no matter the scale or who is providing this for us. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to simply sit with us at lunch.
Steam in a Soldier's Heart
This is a film about an Ex-Soldier, named Albert, who has PTSD from steam locomotives and seals his fate by becoming a stationmaster. I wanted to tell a story that was heavily realistic and as close to real-life as possible. I didn’t want a happy ending. Real-life doesn’t have happy endings and things don’t just always work out. I have had a passion for Trains since I was young, watching the early Thomas The Tank Engine episodes and I wanted to do something with trains for my production. I also have a fascination for History and wanted to combine both of them into my Drama Individual Project. I had many different station location ideas, even thinking of locating it at Paddington in London, England. But I finally settled on Couridjah Station in the Wollondilly shire as it’s very isolated which is perfect for Albert’s Character. Most of the film was live-action apart from the locomotive scene on the death railway which was done in a program called Trainz: A New Era which is a 3D simulator game.
Video Drama isn’t just a camera shooting a bunch of people telling the story. Showing but not telling is an important part of filmmaking. Telling a story through emotion and facial expressions as well as the camera telling the story. For example, in the scene between Thomas and Albert on the phone, Thomas is viewed from below while Albert is filmed from above. This shows Thomas is more powerful in the situation while also showing that Albert feels small compared to Thomas. The original script concept had more characters and went for a lot longer but unfortunately, some of the story was cut as it went over the maximum time limit, so characters like Albert’s Wife and Passenger scenes were cut to save time. Removing these characters smoothed the plot, making it a less confusing piece. Unfortunately, COVID-19 prevented me from reshooting scenes that didn’t make sense. So to explain different plot holes was a challenge, but using other techniques like sound, smoothed the problems I had.
I wanted the audience to realise that PTSD is a serious topic and understand how a lot of soldiers handled their mental illness after the war. I hope you all enjoy this film and get some information out of it.