Directors Statement for ‘Blue as the Sky
By Paul Romero Mendez
Blue as the Sky is a film centred around an eccentric OCD character called Ethan, who keeps to himself & has become stuck in a repetitive & somewhat mundane daily routine, which to be perfectly honest with you, he is quite comfortable with. He hates surprises…he’s also not a big fan of change or anything that doesn’t fall into his meticulously timed schedule. Why you may wonder if a story being told about a man stuck in what appears to be a monotonous loop? Well, it’s through seeing the struggle he must endure just to be able to get through a normal day, that we can truly experience the pain & joy of change when it comes crashing into his life in the form of an unconventional young lady called Victoria.
But before you think that I am just setting the stage for a standard romantic comedy of Boy meets Girl, Girl helps Boy overcome his problems and they live happily ever after. I’ll warn you that this story doesn’t stay within those lines, it strays far away from them into a very different and uncertain place. I may be coating this written piece in comedy, which the film does use as a tool, but the underlying story is a far more dark and complex tale about fear and the difficulty of living with mental illness, which can block a person’s progress and ambitions. Nothing about this story is standard and nothing about the way it will be told will be predictable.
Growing up as a child that had a mild form of OCD, nothing as extreme or as debilitating as our lead character Ethan, it saw me obsessed with having to complete a certain ritual or task before I could move on to something else, be it having to touch all the books on my bookshelf, or having to reorganise something just so it could put my mind at ease. I found myself wasting quite a bit of time completing something that from the outside would make even the most understanding person think I was strange. Luckily for me, I grew out of this quite quickly & I found that welcome distractions in the world around me soon made these obsessions less important and gradually disappear. I want to try to bring my own experience to this film & help to paint an honest picture of OCD
It is my intention to throw the audience into Ethan’s world to experience exactly what it’s like to live with OCD and adhere to a set of mental rules which the vast majority of people don’t have and may not even know can exist. I would like the audience to see and feel for a moment what it’s like to be governed by these new rules and how difficult it is to function normally. I think this film is important because it can show the world a true story about OCD which hasn’t been properly portrayed before on the big screen.
Our script has the backing of various OCD and Epilepsy charities and organisations who are pleased with how honestly the script portrays both disorders. We also have the added benefit of a screenwriter who has experienced epilepsy first hand so she can bring an added honesty to our other lead character Victoria.
My visual plan is for the film if for it to break away from a standard British comedy look and play a great deal with colour and light. It’s through very specific and unique visual and audio techniques that I would like to show how Ethan functions with OCD, and how life can be so complicated when everyone around him finds it so simple. I would like to portray his mundane routine and specific organisation not just with what’s seen in front of the camera by the performance, but also using the framing and camera moves to help visualize this order to his life. To add to this It is my intention to begin the film in an almost monochromatic fashion with a lot of white/grey/blue to help portray this dull office routine he finds himself stuck in.
Like our character, the look, colour and visuals will evolve throughout the film when change hits him squarely in the face, I want the look of the film to change, by the sudden use saturated colours and unconventional camera moves to reflect the positive changes and sudden lack of rules in his life thanks to an unconventional person suddenly influencing his life, and a new-found happiness and freedom sneaking in. As he is subjected to change and new experiences, the audience will see and feel this also. It is my intention to show our character’s journey through different levels of OCD visually and in a way that I don’t believe has been portrayed on screen before. I would like to show the impact of change, be it good or bad as honestly as I can.
I want the audience to be able to experience the whole range of emotions that this wonderfully unique story has to offer from the first scene to the last. It’s a film that will leave the audience with a lot to talk about at the end.