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Tenacity is a non-verbal love story that features the slow decay of love. Lila goes to a daytime party. Shortly after arriving she finds herself overwhelmed with emotions. She feels completely overstimulated, until she meets Luca. The two fall in love and they set off on an adventure together. Each room in the house symbolises a new stage in their relationship and they get to know each other better and better.
The first room shows the overwhelming first period of a relationship. The evening falls and the situation gets more and more confusing. When the morning comes, they lose each other in one of the last rooms. Colour, light, sound and movement introduce you into the feelings of the different stages of the relationship. Lila walks back through the house where it all began. She realises the colours are not what they initially appeared to be. The sounds are also muffled and different. Was she holding on to an idealisation or was it all an illusion?
Why and for who?
I wrote this story during the last period of my relationship. My senses gradually shut down and I could not understand how the end was so different from the beginning. Why did I at first feel so euphoric and in the end so apathetic? Just as a relationship can end like the story of Lila and Luca, so can a night out in town. The magic of the night can sometime be a shark contrast with ‘the morning after’. I want to visualise this experience and these feelings through this short film. Tenacity is a translation of my relationship experiences combined with the mystery of the night.
Almost everybody will experience an extreme crush in his or her life, and a lot of people will most likely see their story resembled in the story of Lila and Luca. People who are out looking for love, people who go out to parties and social events and who perhaps are not that experienced in finding love, are the perfect audience for Tenacity. These people especially will find a lot of recognition in this film and will learn something from it. An older audience will also find the film enjoyable, probably with a different perspective.
By comparing the relationship to a party, different stages of the relationship pass through different rooms in the house. Lila and Luca experience a variety of situations together. The evening starts very colourful but appears to darken as time passes. As there is no spoken language, the other senses are accentuated. The story is told in colours, sound and motion. As it goes when you first fall in love, it seems like all your senses are hyperactive. It’s like you can hear smells, taste colours and feel sound. When love ends, the opposite happens. You slowly feel more and more numb.
To speak the language of love, you don’t need any words. In this film I want to show the different stages of being in love by using different senses. Exploration, adventure, trust, frustration, and acceptance.
De ontmoeting and Vice
This project is supported by, amongst others, De Ontmoeting, a platform for filmmakers that links organisations and producers. Media platform Vice has selected Tenacity as a support project for the coming period.
FOLLOW THE MONEY
The main characters, Luca and Lila are communicating through body language, for which we need two good actors. There is a party going on in the background. A party without dancers is like a horse with no saddle. That’s why a lot of good dancers are needed besides the two main characters.
To build all the different rooms that represent all the different phases, we need a location. There’s a surreal atmosphere in the entire house, even though from the outside nothing seems odd. The somewhat derelict house is a sharp contrast to the impressive colours on the inside. The colours are initially overpowering, but get darker and more dull the further the story unravels.
As soon as we’ve found a perfect location, the project can really come to life. We need a big crew to make this happen. Camera, light, sound, art-directors, stylists, producers and all other heroes are needed to make this project a success.
The costumes are an important element in this film. The silhouettes and colours add a lot to the story as they change colours throughout the stages of the relationship. In the first rooms the colours are light and striking. As the journey continues, the costumes become increasingly dull and darker. In total, over 20 costumes are needed to make the entire transformation possible.
A good party has good music! In the entire film we’ll hear the same poppy song, though slightly altered in each room. A song will be produced that matches each room and each stage of the relationship.
About the maker
Ayla Spaans (26) finished her bachelor Image and Media Technology at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in 2017. For a year she’s been a creative conceptualiser and director at advertising agency Boomerang Agency. Ayla’s work is colourful and often dreamy. Tenacity is her first short film, based on her previous relationships and translated into a shape that fits her preferences as a maker.