Saturday, 16 January 2016

@Phil Story Idea Refined

We begin by seeing a window cleaner set down his tools and begin his work on a lovely beauty parlor (the outside windows). He’s concentrating on his work, he looks quite sad as he’s always alone doing his job. He spots a woman sweeping the floor in an apron and looking tired and overworked and lonely as no one speaks to her (?). He notices her beauty but carries on. As he looks away, she notices him and looks him up and down and smiles to herself. Slowly, they make eye contact, but quickly look away while smiling (they both pause their work). From her POV, she can see him and an enormous glowing Xmas tree outside. As he cleans, bubbles appear from the soap he uses, and when she scrubs the floor, bubbles appear when she mixes cleaning products (keep showing presence of bubbles and the tree). 

The day ends, and he comes back a few times a week. She is there everyday and she finds herself looking forward to his arrival each time. They smile and look at each other more. He wipes a huge amount of soap on the window and draws cute things (like snowflakes, smiley faces, hearts). They both smile. As he wipes it away, more bubbles appear. (He blows bubbles from a make shift bubble blower to maker her happy?) He then leaves like normal, however he doesn’t return for a while. She begins to get sad again and thinks it was too good to be true.

It comes to Xmas eve and she closes up shop for the holidays. It’s evening, she has a coat on; it’s snowing beautifully. She holds out her hand to catch snowflakes, and looks at the sky, then she notices a bubble land in her hand, then more float around her. Confused, she turns around to see the enormous tree spectacularly decorated with bubbles for baubles that glisten with the lights. The window cleaner is standing next to it, smiling and blowing bubbles towards her. They both grin, she runs over and they hug. Ending shot: hug, and both looking at the beautiful tree.


  1. Okay - but not sure about the 'glowing christmas tree' that she sees through the window. Shouldn't it just be a tree at this point - nothing special - just a bit of background? You need to show the tree nice and early, and establish its spatial relationship with the shop etc, so it's appearance at the end of the film doesn't seem like a cheat. Personally, I'd get rid of the hug at the end - it will all be all the more beautiful if we just get a sense that we're at the beginning of something - let the audience imagine the actual moment they make contact in this way.

    When it comes to establishing the 'downtrodden but beautiful' cleaner in the parlour, I think we need to be shown how the other women in the parlour (who are all superficially more beautiful) are dismissive of her, or treat her as if she's invisible.

    I suggest that you look at your ACT 1 set-up; right now, everything happens in the same moment - so the window cleaner and the cleaner make eye contact the first time we encounter them. Try setting up some parallel action instead. So, we first see the window-cleaner (it's spring, because there's blossom on 'the' tree); you spend a bit of time showing us that he's melancholy and alone; we see past him, and just get shown that there are women below him in the parlour; and they're leaving; he splashes some water on the window, and then we see a mop appear, and now we're inside the parlour and we're watching the other cleaner; we spend some time with her. She looks up, sees the window cleaner - he sees her; he smiles, she looks away. End

    Next scene - window cleaner - the tree behind him as he works is in full leaf; skies are blue, it's obviously summer now etc. (so you use the tree to describe the passing of the year)... in other words, I think you need a bit more time to set things up, and not try and develop their relationship in the space of one moment.

    In terms of the tree, I think if at the end of your story, it's a bare tree, with just the soap baubles in snow-like soap suds on the branches, it could still look very festive and beautiful. It would really help your story I think if the tree is deciduous, as opposed to an evergreen specimen, because that way you can use the different states of the tree to convey the passing of time.