EDIT: I've pretty much decided against doing what I discuss in the below, pending approval of my instructor. I've tried to engineer something out of the beach scenes and they just don't resonate for me. I designed the piece with a specific idea supporting it, and without the other two scenes to contextualize it, the meaning is lost and it becomes ambiguous in a bad way.
So I think what I'm going to do is film the beach scenes as-is, and storyboard out the rest of the film. And then put together a reel mixing the footage with storyboards for the missing scenes. This would also save time if I'm going to finish the piece this summer.
I've felt pretty off about the whole stand-alone process and now that I've made this decision, after a legitimate amount of work might I add, I feel pretty good once again.
We'll see if I get the big OK.
I ended up writing a pretty decent three-act, 11-page piece. Unfortunately, it's way too ambitious for the amount of time I have to do it. More so because I'm tackling a technical challenge as well as a dramatic one.
So the decision has been made to take the first scene, the scene that the rest of the piece was born out of, and try to make that a self-contained short film. If all goes well, it will either be expanded this summer by filming the remaining two scenes, or those two scenes will be added to and embellished to for a separate-but-related short film.
Either way, the beach scene must become its own animal. I'll not make a short film that can't stand on its own two legs, even if that means transforming it into a different kind of film.
So that's where I am at the moment. Thoughts to flesh it out:
Transitional moments need to be added to go between the morning and midday scenes.
If this thing is to become completely a metaphor for human history, then adding a night scene might be the proper way to end it as well. That would have to be done day-for-night -- unless dusk would be more appropriate...but then wouldn't we want to show the sun rising?...At some point, as in: in the next few minutes, a decision will have to be made.
A concluding night scene would also require a transitional moment between midday and night.
I'm getting indecisive. Is this about nature moving on without man? Or about man's place in nature? The latter I think. So it ought to end with nighttime, man having disappeared.
There can always be some sort of insert shot of the sun rising if it feels like we need something like that...although how can we end with the camera roll stopping? Maybe that should be reserved for the full piece.
Taken on its own, this scene is without a conclusion unless we trace it straight into night, and allow the sun to rise again.
Time to write.