The Folder is a story of excess and temptation. A young artist’s life has fallen out of balance through temptation of having all that he desires,
This temptation changes him from a young artist into a lavish young adult who becomes more consumed with the objectivity and money.
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SHORT FILM TREATMENT
WRITER // DIRECTOR: KELLEN MALLOY
Thriller // Neo-Noir // Cyberpunk
A broke young painter stumbles upon an otherworldly laptop-looking-device that has the ability to make any object appear from a simple digital photo.
We open in a neon-noir apartment, decked out to the ceiling with posters and paintings. Expensive gold trinkets. Boxes of brand new electronics, expensive items and gear clutter part of the space. Colored mood lights. It's here that we are then introduced to The Laptop, it's in the possession of it's first owner. This character is sitting in front of the laptop, the light shining on his face as he's slumped over on the couch looking at it. He's very clearly upset, eyes locked on the screen of the device. As we swing around to see the screen we see the we see it's a digital 3D box, chrome covered and appearing to be floating out as part of the screen (see early test photo). Our character hastily moves from the couch, grabs the laptop and stuffs it into a nice leather carry bag. He gets up and leaves the apartment.
[ Undetermined event - this character looses possession of the laptop, setting the stage for our main character to stumble upon it in Act I. ]
(using UnReal Engine real-time virtual production vFX)
ACT I - THE MYSTERIOUS LAPTOP
Elo is a young painter who like most artists his age, are struggling to make ends meet. On this particular late afternoon while walking home from a stroll through downtown LA, he discovers a mysterious, otherworldly laptop. He takes the laptop home to his small inner-city apartment and opens it up to realise immediately that this is no ordinary device. Upon further inspection he discovers a folder floating in the centre of the three dimensional screen— in that folder is all of the items currently in his room… his dresser lamp, his bedside table, his books, the pictures on the wall, etc. He deletes a few of the items in the folder— they disappear from the room!
His shock is real now, he jumps back away from the device in terror and settles on the floor in the corner of his room. After a few minutes go by, he makes his way back to the mysterious laptop and hits the undo function (Command + Z) - the items reappear. Sitting in limbo between wondering if this is all a dream, we cut to see Elo a few moments later washing his face in the bathroom sink. While washing his face, an idea whispers to him, almost as if coming from the device itself. The look of terror fades to curious excitement.
He races back to his desk, and using the new laptop, he searches the internet for a picture of a stack of US cash — he drops the cash into the folder— nothing happens. He sits back in his chair for a second. Not deterred, he glances over at the guitar sitting against his dresser, another idea hits him. Back to the internet he goes searching for a picture of the guitar online. He grabs the photo and drops it into the same folder— a mysterious noise happens - the guitar from the photo has now appeared in real life on his bed behind him. Elo turns slowly around in his desk chair with a smirk on his face, a grand realisation.
( We do a dramatic zoom onto Elo's face as the score crescendos us into the next act. )
ACT II - MONTAGE OF CHANGE
We see Elo and his bedroom go through a series of time lapse transformations. Dragging dozens of items to the folder, selling them for cash — the piles of cash begin to stack on his desk, ebbing and flowing with the score. A moving time lapse shot direct on his face, shows him changing from the broke artist he was when he discovered the device, to a cleanly manicured and affluent looking young adult. The bedroom around him transforms; lavish items, paintings, nice furniture replace the ragged live-work space we first saw. We see him selling the items that appear, stacks of cash in turn flowing up and down on his desktop. We cut back the mysterious laptop screen and see him drop in a photo of a pornstar to the folder—we cut then quickly to montage of sex and excess. We cut to scenes of partying — drugs, more money, more sex. Back to his face, he begins to thin and eyes darken, his overall look tiring. We can see the whole room now, changed. Paintings, posters and art nearly cover the walls, like the study of an 18th century noble almost. New furniture, lavish items
All the shots speed up into a whirlpool of continued change until the score climaxes with our new Elo laying on his new lavish bed as we swirl down into his eyes, which close as we draw into them. As the eyes close to dark we move to the third act.
ACT III - THE DREAM