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By Douglas Blumeyer

GENRE: Drama, Horror
LOGLINE: A troubled student filmmaker is questing to make the ultimate horror movie when his estranged girlfriend, having refused to play victim to his camera demon, challenges him to become her real-life angel of death.


Genre: The actual genre is "Psychological Horror", but Stage32 does not accept this. Snyder Genre: Rites of Passage Act I 1. Opening Image (1): We enter through a portal of screens within screens, a film within a film within a film within a film within a film. This is ground zero: the deepest depth of the bunker our hero, Ian, has built to insulate himself from his own emotions. 2. Theme Stated (12): Ian is going to have to learn how to accept himself not as a director safely outside of a life — seeing his choices as meaningless, or else dictated by some distant narrative fate — but as an actor, exposed to the same pains of living inside the real world as everyone else, and sharing responsibility for the consequences. 3. Setup (1 - 15): We are thus introduced to Ian through this short film he has made, getting his own immediate take on himself and his student filmmaking journey. He is clearly aware of his pathological intellectualization, egomania, and violent misogyny. We can tell this because his film concludes with an anti-moral, in which his character receives exactly what he’s been asking for, but loses his crew, his lover, and even his own existence in the bargain. The remainder of the movie will recount, then, the actual behind-the-scenes story of how and why Ian made this film, and through this extended flashback we will find out if Ian can successfully break free from his horrific cycle. 4. Catalyst (16): Ian meets Carmina, the person who will play the key role in taking Ian down this dangerous path of self-destructive storytelling, and who will also ultimately help him find the tools he needs to overcome his limitations and join the ranks of humanity. 5. Debate (16 - 27): Though prefigured by context, Ian and Carmina initially resist accepting each other into their stories. Their lives are stable and happy enough, but they’re looking for deeper connections, and they’re both damaged, dangerous, and afraid. Act II 6. Break into Two (27): Ian and Carmina meet again, having prepared surprise dares for each other. Their dares chemically react, causing them to share a nightmarish vision of a camera demon together. Ian names this anti-child of their creative energies and promises to conquer it on Carmina’s behalf. Ian and Carmina’s fates are now intertwined. 7. B Story (30): While Ian had already begun to develop his filmmaking style, this experience with Carmina awakens him to a key ingredient he’s been missing: horror. He begins in earnest to figure out how to incorporate it — and the camera demon — into his confrontational art. 8. Fun and Games (31 - 49): Ian and Carmina struggle to cope as unwitting parents of the camera demon. Together, they explore each other's pasts, presents, and visions for the future. They learn about each other’s approaches to art, life, and caring for others. 9. Midpoint (49): Ian believes he's finally found in Carmina someone who will be able and willing to support him as he pursues his art. 10. Bad Guys Close In (49 - 61): However — in this obsessive pursuit of his art — Ian blinds himself to Carmina’s true needs and fears. He deludes himself that he’s questing for her benefit, that he is repaying her care, respect, and insights in kind. But Carmina herself feels objectified, taken for granted, and taken advantage of by Ian’s actions. 11. All is Lost (61): Ian finally goes too far, asking Carmina to act in his film, which has devolved into being about an alternate version of himself becoming a camera demon and killing her in order to create a film. This is the last straw for Carmina, so she breaks up with Ian, humiliating him in a public spectacle. 12. Dark Night of the Soul (62 - 67): Rather than heeding this wake-up call, Ian brushes Carmina aside, and in spite of his withdrawal from her love and her creative mana, he plunges ever deeper into the abyss of his films and the mythology of his camera demons. He ends up alienating his few remaining friends — his filmmaking peers and mentors — just as he’s written his own character in his film to do. Act III 13. Break Into Three (68): A chemical reaction of dares began Ian and Carmina’s relationship, and another chemical reaction of dares will bring it to an end: Carmina answers Ian’s invitation to kill her on his terms with an invitation for him to kill her on hers — by assisting her suicide. 14. Finale (68 - 87): Ian believes that this is his ultimate chance to prove his courage to Carmina, that she has come around to recognize him as the only person who can possibly understand her and fulfill her special needs. And Ian and Carmina both are well aware of how this harrowing confrontation fits into Ian’s prophecy, and the choice which narrative fate would dictate. Fortunately, greater forces are at work than Ian and Carmina’s desperate and immature impulses. 15. Final Image (88): We return to the set of Ian’s deepest nested film, the same one we entered into at the beginning through the portal of screens. This final experience with Carmina has awakened Ian again, this time to the last key ingredient he’s been missing: emotion. And so he sets out in earnest to learn how to express something universal through his art.

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