Shut In was produced as a final-year project in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The video drama is a Young ChangeMakers Project, supported by the National Youth Council and the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports. For more information, please visit http://lunapictures.wordpress.com.
Shut In explores the dysfunctional world of Jason (HENRY CHIA), a young urban hermit whose solitary lifestyle is disrupted when Janice (ROSALIND PHO), a vivacious young woman turns up unexpectedly at his front door.
An unexpected blackout is about to change Jason’s life and life as he knows it will cease to exist. Driven by sheer desperation, he ventures outside for the first time in years but he goes no further than the lift landing before turning around to shut himself in again. But this time he could not close the door, because standing in his way is Janice who insists on living with him.
Janice is the total opposite of Jason as she is bubbly and so full of life. Jason ignores her initially but as time slowly passes; Janice’s sunshine personality wins him over and he begins to open up and starts coming out of his shell. A beautiful chemistry develops and there seem to be a sense of familiarity between them. Janice brings life and vitality to Jason, something that was lost to him when he shut himself in. With her encouragement, he regains his passion for drawing, something which he used to love.
Jason eventually becomes a changed young man. But it seems that Janice has a little secret and with all secrets, it eventually unravels. In an odd turn of events, Jason is jolted to reality when he finds out that Janice is not exactly who he thinks she is. Will this secret completely change his life?
From conceptualization to final scoring, the 2 months period was inspired by a few music scores. The original score for Shut In was inspired from Danny Elfman’s “Corpse Bride” (2005) pitched percussion and vibraphones and Yann Tiersen’s piano-strings in “Amelie” (2001). The minimalist element was also inspired by the score from “Last Life in the Universe” (2003), from which the director, Pamela Pang, took her visual design cues from.
The general feel of the music expressed the isolation, boredom and sadness at the beginning of the film where the male lead character, Jason, is alone. Music here is very critical for audience to engage with the character emotionally as there was no dialogue in the first part of the film. Later, when the mysterious female lead character Janice appears, the music takes on a cheerier note but still retains that contemplative mood. The main theme in “Shut In” has also a tinge of as Jason hides alone in his house and his imagination eventually brings him out of his shell. With all these various moods brought out by different themes, the result is a moving original score, which complements the film’s mood and brings audience to another level of emotions.