“The Bottle” A Short Film by Lukasz Sosnowski – A Colourful Magical Experience
A vintage bottle washes up on the bank and breaks. At the same time, the No Trespassing sign falls to the ground. We see a man named Eric, in his late 20s, a sharp, old school looking guy, on a riverbank. Eric explores the area, clearly seeing it for the first time. He notices the broken bottle and touches the shards. He finds a letter, picks it up, and looks at it through a glass. He can see a black-and-white photo of a butterfly on the paper, but when he looks at it through the piece of glass, the picture colours itself and the butterfly’s wings start to move. Amused, he puts the letter into his pocket and walks to his “home”, which is a found fisherman net. He uses it as a hammock that he hangs along the pier. Eric lives alone, collecting items that he finds along the riverbank. He turns the collected pieces into art: a necklace, made of broken glass, shaped stones, shells and bones, all delivered to him by the river. Eric gazes at the city across the river. It’s big but also a dull grey. The city may be just a mile away, but he has no way to get there. He notices and picks up a box, opens it and finds bottles full of colourful liquids inside. Slowly, Eric’s intensity grows as he chooses one bottle, shakes it, and realizes that there’s still liquid inside. He mixes the colours together and stirs them with a stick. He uses that stick to paint one stone, then another, then a few pieces of driftwood.He creates a colourful pattern on a white paper plate, but just as suddenly as he began his experimentation, he stops and walks away. A butterfly emerges behind him, from the mixed paint on the plate. Eric smiles when the butterfly flies to him. Suddenly an idea occurs. He takes one bottle and pours it into the river, waiting for something to happen. The scene shifts to slow motion as he waves his arms and splashes around the liquid from the bottle. Without warning, many colourful butterflies emerge from the liquid and start to fly around him. A smile shows on his face. His happiness doesn’t last long, as a Security Guard appears and the world snaps into normal speed. We are as shocked as Eric by the Guard’s voice — as we’ve heard no one speak to this point. He asks Eric if he’s okay. Eric stops and looks at the Guard. The butterflies vanish away. Eric holds his bottle in silence as the Guard tells him he should leave and asks if he saw the sign.Pointing at the bottle, the Guard looks at Eric again and asks him if he’s got any booze. He doesn’t get any answer. He takes a last look at Eric and leaves.Eric withdraws the bottle again and notices that the colourful liquid that he pours down from the bottle appears to be alive. The butterflies start to fly around. We see the city burst into colours when the butterflies vanish in the distance.
When a mysterious magician Eric empties one of his prized bottles into a nearby river, the colourful liquid has an unexpected mystical response and magical, occult reaction to the water. Soon after this supernatural experience is cut short by an intruder.
A mysterious magician called Eric (25-30’s) appears on the river shore. There is a vintage bottle that we can see him through. It looks like he came out of that bottle and appeared in that place magically. He explores the place looking at everything he sees and finds like he sees it for the first time in his life. Everything seems to be new for him. He collects treasures from a nearby river, bringing anything he finds back to his hammock where he lives alone. He uses all the rubbishes to make a decoration; he makes a decoration out of broken glass, shaped stones and bones that the river brought to the land. He stares at the busy city in the distance on the other side of the river, but it’s too far for him to explore. He picks up a found box with a bottle inside. He shakes it, realising that there’s still a bit of liquid inside. He starts mixing different colour liquids together from all bottles he’s got. He also uses a stick he found to colour some of the stones and other pieces of wood he also found there. The liquids he mixes together, creates a colourful pattern on a white plastic plate, on the ground. He looks at it for a moment with interest and a bit of disappointment and walks away to put his painted decorations near his hammock. He stares at the city across the river. Suddenly a colourful butterfly comes out of the mixed liquids and flies in front of him. Eric the magician is happy now. He grabs a bottle and pours some of the colourful liquid into the river nearby, searching for something that doesn’t appear to be there. He waves his arms while splashing the liquid from the bottle. Without a warning, many colourful butterflies come out of the liquid and fly around him. The Man is suddenly disturbed when a shore Patrol Guard walks in. He asks Eric if he’s ok, as he stops to spin around and stare at the intruder with no understanding. The butterfly’s flies away before the Guard can notice anything. Eric remains silent and looks at his bottle. The Guard continues to talk to him that he can’t stay here and shows him no trespassing sign. The Guard says it’s not allowed to drink any alcohol and points at the bottle. Eric the magician continuous to do his magic with the bottle after the Guard leaves. The colourful liquid in the bottle appears to be alive. Just after that, there is a panoramic view of the bridge and the city. The butterflies flies and make the city more colourful with many colours that appear on the buildings. The world is now not so grey as before, it’s full of colours.
Lukasz Sosnowski is a visual artist (born. 1981 in Warsaw, Poland). He has made numerous short films, music videos and narratives including ‘Two To Eight’ (2014), ‘Two Paths’ (2015) and ‘Shadow’ (2017) by Azad Khan and the participatory documentary ‘The Weapons of The Ancient Gods’ (2015). He has also worked as an editor and cameraman for music videos such as ‘Dreaming’ – Breakystar mc feat. Essha (2014) and ‘Courage Pay’ – St. Koff (2014), an experimental short essay film ‘The Act of Drowning’ (2016). The short film ‘The Bottle’ (2017) is his latest production.
“This film is my reflection on a modern society and rejection from that society, where people feel alone and sometimes are forced to live in their own fantasy world. Survival films like “Cast Away”, “Robinson Crusoe” and other films about loneliness like “Swiss Army Man” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth” inspired me to make my own drama story with a fantasy theme.”
“This short film has minimal dialogue and a fantasy theme, which would seem to place it in the category of experimental short. The film is a mixture of survival genre, which usually focus the storyline on a single character, and out of the bottle genre with elements like a wish, a spell and lesson.”
“It combines the traditional elements of the Hero’s Journey with an unusual idea and even manages to tell the story using the structure of three acts, short ones. The experience changes the protagonist, transforming him from where he was to where he wants to be. The protagonist, Eric, is an individualist magician with imagination. Eric is a loner, a man who enjoys being away from society. He’s the opposite of the Tom Hanks character in “Cast Away;” he prefers to be alone.”
“Eric lives in his own world, surrounded by an urban environment, but he is marginalised. He finds himself in between two different words, the one that he sees before him and the one that he imagines (or, possibly, remembers from whatever place where he came from).”
“This project is a quiet film, one that contemplates what simple things in life make us and Eric happy. He creates his work in his imagination and realizes it.”
The film is shot in HD combining the footage with low budget special effects.
MY ROLES (LUKASZ SOSNOWSKI)
“My role as a Director for my film, “The Bottle”, was very exciting and rewarding for me because it enabled me to express my full creativity, as I was the one who came up with the story and wrote the script. I’m a director with a great vision for storytelling and am able to well visualize each scene, using professional storyboards and a very precise shot list. To help with the production process, I made an animatic for my film using 3D software and had every single shot that was necessary for the film written and visualized. When it came to directing the film, I started a rehearsal with an actor and practiced some shots with my Cinematographer. The next day we were all ready to start shooting and everybody knew exactly what to do, having already seen and visualized how the process would develop. It was my deliberate plan to limit the time to an absolute minimum and to take only the shots that were planned, although including extra takes of these shots to allow for quality determination.”
“The most difficult aspect of my Director role was to ensure that every shot kept to the right time. As I mentioned, I tried to stick only to the needed shots without wasting valuable time on shots that I would not use in postproduction. I had my own vision for this film so I could easily decide which shot I would like to shoot. As we had limited time to shoot everything (only 5 to 6 hours because of a location near the river and some limitations on access due to the approaching high tide in the river), the last takes had to be changed and sped up. I had to keep calm and direct all the actors and crew on what to do in a difficult situation that was evolving as time progressed. I’m very happy that I made it, even if it did cause me some stressful moments.”
“I feel that my work was very effective, as thanks to the preparation I had undertaken, everyone knew what to do, where to be, and the entire job was finished exactly on schedule. Because we had to speed up some of the important shoots, we couldn’t get the maximum effect from the artistic department. In this regard, I think I wasn’t prepared enough for the quick action that was needed. I do understand now that it is really difficult when everything is in the directors’ hands. As there are a lot of moving parts that need taking care of at the same time. I think for the future I would need more assistance, or a second director to help me. Reflecting on the storytelling and its visual representation, I believe that ultimately it could have been a bit better with the script containing more details.”
“After the shooting, I began to log the footages on my computer and to choose the best shots in order to make a first draft edit. I matched the right sounds and music, together with the images, acting in a Film Editor role.”
“Art films are intended to reach a specific audience and thus do not have to have a broad appeal. When they are screened in a public venue, it is normally not in a venue where commercial films are shown. Sometimes it can be screened before a film starts if it has anything in common. There are numerous “art house” theatres, or film clubs, where audience want to see something less polished, and typically, less cliché, than a Hollywood production. Art films allow the creator to explore new ideas and unconventional filmmaking techniques. Actors are unknown, performers who might be aspiring film actors hoping to add to their resume, or simply friends of the director, recruited to help. That will definitely not help to grab the audience attention, especially those who expect to see well-known Hollywood actors. Those who have a passion for art and respect and recognize the work that is required to create it will be intrigued and moved by this film. If they have an understanding of texture, shape, composition and other visual elements, they will appreciate the work even more. Young people who want to learn about future career options in filmmaking, especially art films, would be inspired by movies like this.”