The Sunset Lifeline: Subsist [Theme Stated]

Lemar Deguzman

After taking a short hiatus, I am proud to present the finished product for my first short film, Subsist. Actually, I’m just posting part of it because the full film is 16 minutes and 28 seconds! For my remaining posts, I will be breaking my film into smaller segments and explaining them for your viewing pleasure. Without further ado, here is the first part:

My story follows Raven, who is currently in the process of dealing with the death of her sister, Abigail. The opening image of the film focuses on Abigail, who reaches out to Raven and asks her to “take a chance.” In this sequence, the saturation is purposefully heightened in order to create a more colorful flashback effect, which symbolizes the happier times within Raven’s life. I proceeded by removing saturation from the present day scenes, which dulls out both the actual “colors” in the film and the emotions that Raven is feeling. Every flashback, hallucination, and appearance by Abigail is marked with these brighter colors to show that she was the light in the family, and without her, Raven’s life is colorless.

Other meanings behind this portion of the film include Raven’s clothing, which was made black to symbolize loss and grief, kind of like how you wear black to viewings and funerals. Lastly, the cutting of the string by Abigail during the flashback showcases the loss of her “life.” It also ends the flashback suddenly, which mirrors how she left the world. The metaphors, associations, and symbolism in the details of the film help create life within the work itself. I hope some of these explanations help you to analyze other films you watch differently. Meanwhile, stay tuned for my next few posts and the remainder of my video!