One Game is a 30-minute short film exploring the power of healing childhood trauma through the eyes of a man seeking love and connection with his newborn son. With sci-fi elements reminiscent of the hit TV show Black Mirror, the film centres around the Emotions Training Program, a virtual therapy designed as a game where he has to pass all emotional confrontation levels to return to the real world
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What we're making? - A thirty-minute short film
Theme: Mental health, Men's mental health, Healing Journey, Psychology, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Therapy, Virtual Games, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Age
Who am I?
My name is Tam, and I'm the writer-director of One Game. I was born and raised in South Vietnam. My filmmaking experience started with television video commercials and digital content projects at Dentsu (2016) and TBWAVietnam (2017). I developed and honed my narrative skills by writing and directing three short films and working as a crew member in different departments on roughly 25 short films and two feature films. My on-set skills are focused on directing, assisting director, production assisting and scheduling.
As a film director, I have had the privilege of studying at the London Film Academy and gaining five years of experience in advertising. My passion for storytelling is driven by my elevated aesthetic sensibilities and solid visual acumen, which inspire me to explore philosophical conversations and emotional landscapes as a writer and director. My directing style is a unique blend of surrealism, sci-fi elements, expressionism, and poetic language.
Additionally, I have had the opportunity to participate in a workshop by celebrated film director Tran Anh Hung and have directed three short films, two of which have been selected by prestigious film festivals. With solid visual acumen and experience working in high-pressure, collaborative environments, I am dedicated to creating unique and captivating stories.
What inspired me?
The development of the short film was driven by an idea for an Emotion Training Program that originated from a personal experience five years ago. During a challenging time, I realised the overwhelming sense of loneliness in the emotional realm. In that space, we are truly alone, and no one can fully comprehend the weight of our thoughts and feelings. Despite our struggles, we must remain rooted in the truth of our emotions. This realisation inspired the creation of an emotion training program that provides support, guidance, and direction during difficult times.
What is the story?
Why does it need to be told?
It's important to acknowledge the realities of modern life and how we prioritize our daily tasks. However, it's also important to recognize that suppressing our emotions can have negative consequences in the long run. In the digital age, it's common to feel lonely and disconnected, leading many to ignore their feelings and carry on with their daily lives. But this can prevent us from truly living and being ourselves.
Emotions can be difficult to control, and many people haven't been taught how to deal with them. It's essential to recognize that everyone, regardless of gender or background, has their own set of challenges and struggles. While therapy may not be accessible to everyone, it's important to find ways to support and improve our emotional strength. This can involve seeking out resources such as self-help books, support groups or even just taking time to reflect and process our feelings.
Ultimately, it's important to prioritize our emotional well-being as much as our physical health. By acknowledging and addressing our emotions, we can lead more fulfilling and authentic lives.
It is crucial to acknowledge and address our past experiences to comprehend and enjoy our current circumstances fully. Advanced artificial intelligence technology allows us to gather and store our precious memories, aspirations, anxieties, and wants. These valuable insights can be utilised to construct a virtual world that not only provides assistance but also captivates and engages us. However, it's essential to consider how procrastination in processing our feelings could lead us away from appreciating and seizing the opportunities that life presents us with.
In addition, by following a man's journey toward parenthood, we can shed light on the often-overlooked issue of men's mental health in our rapidly changing world. This serves as an important reminder that mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being, and we must prioritise it in our daily lives.
As a further step, I propose transforming this idea into an interactive film that would occupy a single episode of a television series - spanning 50 minutes in length.
Mood Board & Mood Reel
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The Team behind
Writer & Director - Tam Lai https://www.instagram.com/tam.t.t.lai/
Lead Producer – Jack Murphy https://jackmurphyfilm.com/
Producer – Sintija Linuza https://sintijalinuza.com/production
Cinematographer - Eli Hughes https://www.elihughescine.com/
Art Director/Production Designer – Evelina Baumane https://www.evelinabaumane.com/
Budget for the project:
I'm thrilled to be pursuing my passion project, which I have funded entirely with four years' worth of savings totalling £6000. With the encouragement and support of fellow filmmakers, I've been able to make it a reality. While I can only cover the crew's travel and expenses, I am determined to see this project through to completion. I'm reaching out to the public for help to offer a discounted rate to my team and complete the post-production phase, which will cost £9000. Together, we can bring this project to life and share it with the world.
Production status: Pre-production, locations, cast and crew are secured.
Shooting days: 6th - 10th October 2023
Post-production: 12th October - 30th November 2023
Digital Rewards sent out by December 2023
Private Premiere Screening in London by February 2024
Private Premiere Screening in Ho Chi Minh City by April 2024
Film Festival submissions commence by February 2024
Risks and Challenges
Despite the challenges of a tight budget and strict schedule, I am driven to bring my ambitious script and vision to life. Even though my visa will expire soon, and I am using my savings to fund the production, I am fortunate to have a supportive community of friends and filmmakers who believe in me and my work. With their collaboration and my unwavering commitment, I am confident that we will create something meaningful and intellectually captivating.
I know that making choices to work in film can be difficult, but I am determined to see this project through to completion and share it with the world.
I appreciate your time and support. Together, we can make it!