Title:

Countdown

Genre:

Deceptive Thriller

Logline:

Three people, tied together forever because of one incident, recount the horrific memories in the countdown to each New Year.

Style:

'Black Mirror' meets 'Inception' 

Written By:

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David Muscat

Writer / Actor

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Roxane Cabassut

Writer / Actor

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Core Characters:

John
30's, husband to Mary. Has fast become an alcoholic. On New Year's Eve 2016 he was responsible for killing his wife in a car accident, which also left teenager Sarah who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, a quadriplegic. Each New Year's Eve since causes him to face the emotional demons as the clock counts down to a new year.  

Mary
30's wife of John. However, she's dead. But this character is the projection of husband John. Whilst, when alive she was bubbly and positive, for the most part of this film she is a quick tempered, judgemental and blames John for her death.

Sarah
Teenager, who had the world ahead of her until she was hit by a car on New Year's Eve in 2016 and left a quadriplegic. Each year the reminder of that terrible accident further spirals her into a deeper depression. 

Susan
30's, an alcoholic who meets John in their local drinking hole. He is distant, but she manages to strike a relationship with him, of sorts. He is troubled, so is she but she's not prepared for the incident that is about to unfold in front of her.

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Plot Overview:

The aim of this short film is to misdirect its audience. At no point in time before the final third, should the audience have a clear picture of the narrative that has built up towards the present point.

Chronologically, the series of events is that husband and wife John & Mary are leaving a New Year's Eve party in 2016. As John drives, Mary informs John that she's pregnant with their first child. John is jubilant however his attention is taken away from the road and he looses control of the vehicle when he hits teenager Sarah as she crosses the road. The vehicle spins out of control and slams into a pole, instantly killing Mary and leaving Sarah a quadriplegic.

John then spend the next few years progressively spiralling further and further into depression. Relying more heavily on alcohol to numb his pain as each year, as a countdown to a new year begins for everyone else it's a countdown to new beginnings, for him, it's a countdown to emotional demons resurfacing. Much the same with Sarah, her father tries desperate to connect with her, to try and help lift her from the dark hole she is falling into, but her life changed forever that night. For a teenager with the world at her feet, she now faces a future where those feet can't help her.

After a few years of dealing with such a traumatic situation, John becomes more and more reliant on alcohol. Which is where he meets Susan. An alcoholic herself for different reasons, the pair become entangled in a drunken dysfunctional relationship. The relationship is simply a reliance and serves much the same purpose as the drink, however with New Year's Eve approaching the pair decide to spend it in, together. 

When the night isn't as romantic as Susan expects the dysfunctional nature of their newfound relationship really sets in. As she questions John to discover why he appears so distant, that is where he reveals the tragic events that happened a few years ago. He reveals he can no longer deal with the situation and he ends his life in front of her.

The loop of traumatic events is passed onto Susan. Witnessing such an event leads her to seek counselling, which is where we also find a father and teenage daughter in a wheel chair in the waiting room.

Status:

Treatment

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