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Post on 05-Apr-2017



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By John HallA Song for Jessica

The Subject is Domestic ViolenceBut the focus is on Jessica whose Mother is the victim.

The aim is not for the ultimate in realism. The story is meant to be shaped as a fable - told in memory, by Jessica some years after the events have taken place. So there will be recurring themes and repeating images which hopefully, will have a a haunting effect.

We seem to be blind to some of the factors that make this sickness in our society so prevalent. Our reaction to Domestic Violence is predominantly after the damage has been done. The question is: What is being done to prevent future occurrences of this kind of rupture in our lives?

There is a feeling of unease - an understanding that something should be done - but very little that has been put in place to investigate root causes and establish necessary social changes.

The making of the film:The script will be used as the main bible of the film, but with an emphasis on translating the dialogue into images punctuated by words. So while we will follow the narrative shape of the script, we will look for ways of letting the visuals - either do the speaking or set up the interchange between characters through reactions and visual cues. This is particularly so with the dialogue for the younger members of the cast.

The conversation between Jess and her mother, comes from desperation. They are in conflict because Jess wants Candy to escape with them - while Candy knows that for the kids to escape Jonas must be distracted. She sets out to taunt him - to escalate the tension - knowing the danger but also knowing that the kids need an avenue of escape.

The AudienceThe audience at large includes most of the adult population. There is also the challenge of including the various bodies which provide services to sufferers of Domestic Violence. That there is a challenge, is because they have competing views and an emphasis on what they consider to be the correct approach to remediation and coping with the situation.

The reality is that that there needs to be an aggressive approach which will stir the cauldron of public opinion and bring reactionary processes into play. The aim is not to be conciliatory - but to tear the scab off the sore and expose it with all its nastiness.

Two initial projects:

The first stage is for A Song for Jessica to be financed, shot and completed. At the same time we want to mount a documentary on the making of the film.

The title of the doco : After the Violence - In Search of Jessica.

We are trying to look at: Why Domestic Violence continues to exist? Why does it persist? What is wrong with our society ?Why havent we eradicated it and consigned it to the deep?

Once the first two films have been completed the idea is to have more versions made for different cultures/languages and backgrounds - to explore this in areas where women are culturally and socially disadvantaged by their sexual identity - India, Pakistan, South Africa, Saudi Arabia to name a few.

We want to encourage local creatives who are part of the native culture, who understand their situation - to be involved.

There is an inbuilt challenge in involving the Domestic Violence support industry. It is widely fragmented and many of the different organisations are paddling their own canoes - with their own agendas.

Domestic Violence as a subject is also very much bound up in taboos. Although it is still very much the topic of the moment, it is difficult to get people to talk about it or sustain a level of interest. These are not just problems for us and the project, but for the support industry in general. In the past Domestic Violence was ignored or treated as a dirty secret. This is still an attitude strong in some areas of society.

To build a groundswell in the Domestic Violence support community it would help to get some key influencers supporting the project.

Rosie Batty is a case in point and She was Australian of the year a couple of years back and is still very much the person of interest in this area.

Thanks for taking the time to view this presentation. For some visuals concerning the story of A Song for Jessica please visit the website:

For any questions or further information please contact;John Hall at:

Again thank you for your time.