Monday, August 5, 2013

Case Study No. 0898: Old Mr. Phillips, the Antiquarian Librarian

My Victorian College of the Arts Masters film from 2007.

Having inherited his father's library as well as his lust for books, Thomas Phillips casts his greedy eyes on the town to feed his ever growing collection.

Directed and animated by Rosalie Osman

Music composed by Julian Langdon

Narrated by Ben Hjorth
Tags: bibliomania rosalie osman vca ben hjorth julian langdon 2D animation blue books
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VCA School of Film and Television

a film by
Rosalie Osman

[scene opens with an overhead shot of a giant door being repeatedly struck - as if by a battering ram - from the outside (as the sounds of an angry mob can be heard), while a lone figure stands and watches before running off]
[cut to a closeup of the figure (a bearded man dressed in Elizabethan garb), as he cowers against the opposite wall in fear, breathing heavily]
NARRATOR: This is Thomas Phillips ...
[he begins grabbing at books on the shelves of the wall while furiously throwing them over his shoulders (as if he's frantically looking for one specific title)]
NARRATOR: A man on the run ...
[cut to a closeup of the growing pile of books behind Thomas, as he continues searching the shelves]
NARRATOR: Now, let's go back to where it all ... begun.
[the camera slowly zooms in one one book that falls on top of the pile, with its pages open to a picture of a giant castle]
NARRATOR: When Thomas was young, he was a pleasant young lad.
[cut to a young Thomas (still dressed in Elizabethan garb) pulling at the head of his teddy bear, as his mother sits nearby sewing]
NARRATOR: He was sweet and polite ...
[cut to a closeup of Thomas, as he rips the head of the bear and throws it at his mother (who doesn't react)]
NARRATOR: And hardly ever was bad.
[cut to young Thomas sitting in bed, as he dry heaves]
NARRATOR: One day, when Thomas felt a bit crook ...
[he projectile vomits, then cut to a man (with his face off camera) handing Thomas a blue book]
NARRATOR: His father came home, and gave him his very first book.
[cut to Thomas groggily looking up at his father, before taking the book]
NARRATOR: And from his look, it could not be mistook ...
[cut to Thomas looking at the book's cover, as an evil grin appears on his face, and his eye begins twitching]
NARRATOR: That young Thomas Phillips was completely hooked.
[cut to a shot of Thomas' silhouette, as he sits staring at the book while grinding his teeth]
NARRATOR: On books.
["Bibliomania" appears on screen, then cut to Thomas' father working at the front desk of the town library, as he caresses the "Date Due" slip in a book while moaning softly to himself (as if in ecstasy)]
NARRATOR: Mister Phillips, bibliophile and literary antiquarian, was in love with his job as the town librarian.
[he stamps the book, then cut to the male patron staring at him as he quivers in excitement and lets out an "Oh yeah!" ... causing the patron to raise a judgmental eyebrow while taking a step back]
NARRATOR: But old Mister Phillips, the antiquarian librarian ...
[cut to Thomas' father lying on his death bed, with his wife kneeling next to him and crying (but Thomas stands to the side and seems to be rubbing his hands with glee)]
NARRATOR: Died unexpectedly one day ...
[the camera pans over to show a male doctor, his lab coat covered in blood]
NARRATOR: Of an accidental caesarian.
[Mister Phillips weakly raises an arm and moans softly, then drops his arm ... as the doctor pokes him with a stick, then shrugs his shoulders]
[cut to a closeup of Thomas, as his eye twitches again, then he begins to laugh maniacally]
[cut to Thomas skipping happily through town, as he passes the church with a sign reading "Every time you sin a leper loses a limb"]
NARRATOR: Grief-stricken, saddened, and depressed ... Thomas made his way to his new bequest.
[he stops in front of the town library (a giant building) with a big smile on his face]
[cut to an overhead shot of the library, as Thomas enters and pushes a loud crowd of (unhappy) patrons out the door before slamming it shut]
[cut to another shot of the crowd of patrons standing in front of the door and yelling angrily, as Thomas puts a sign reading "Closed" (with "Foreva" written sloppily in blue paint underneath) in the window]
[cut to a shot of row after row of books in the giant library, as Thomas looks around with a tear in his eye, biting his lip]
NARRATOR: In his dad's honor, picking up where he left ...
[cut to another angle of Thomas looking up at the rows of books, as someone outside taps lightly on one of the windows (causing Thomas to shoot him an angry look)]
NARRATOR: Thomas was determined not to leave the poor town bereft.
[cut to a silhouette of Thomas dragging a cart to the top of a hill ... once he stops, he looks around, as the cart continues rolling and pushes him right back down the other side]
NARRATOR: More books were needed ...
[cut to a blind man sitting on a park bench, reading a book in Braille]
NARRATOR: The collection was too small, so Thomas set out ...
[Thomas' cart quickly zips by the man, as the book on his lap disappears]
NARRATOR: In the name of the wretched and the poor.
[cut to Thomas reading a book with a picture of a fishing pole on the cover]
NARRATOR: He spent his last pennies on the title "Tackle and Reel."
[cut to a closeup of a book entitled "Carne", as the camera zooms out to show the book sitting on a table next to Thomas (with piles of books on the floor surrounding him)]
NARRATOR: And also a Spanish cookbook, rather than a hot meal.
[cut to an exterior shot of the town library]
NARRATOR: Thomas was acquiring books at an alarming pace ...
[cut to "time-lapse" footage of several extensions being haphazardly added to the building]
NARRATOR: But it was hard to ignore that he was running out of space.
[cut to Thomas in an outdoor bazaar, grabbing books from nearby tables and throwing them in his cart]
NARRATOR: He searched through markets ...
[cut to a tree, as Thomas' arm emerges from the branches and tosses a book into his cart below]
NARRATOR: Up trees ...
[cut to a silhouette of Thomas digging a book out of a large hole in the ground]
NARRATOR: And in every pit ...
[cut to a shot of someone's roof, as Thomas' arm emerges from a nearby ladder and grabs a book out of the storm gutter]
NARRATOR: In gutters ...
[cut to a manhole cover, as a book (covered in slime) is tossed up onto the street]
NARRATOR: In sewers ...
[cut to a person (with his face off camera) holding a script with "Bibliomania" written on the cover]
NARRATOR: Up to his neck in sh--
[Thomas' arm emerges from off camera and yanks the script out of the narrator's hands]
NARRATOR: Oy! Oy! Come back here!
[the narrator runs after him off-camera, as the screen fades to black, then cut to a closeup of one of the wheels on Thomas' cart as ominous music plays]
[the camera pans up to show Thomas (with his arms crossed) breathing a sigh of satisfaction as he turns and looks up at a giant castle]
[cut to a silhouette of Thomas as he sneaks in through one of the windows]
[cut to Thomas entering a giant room filled to the ceiling with piles of books, as he squeals in glee and begins grabbing titles off the shelf with wild abandon]
[cut to a closeup of Thomas (his shirt stuffed with stolen books), as he suddenly stops and stares at something off camera]
[cut to a shot of the king of the castle, sitting in a throne in the middle of the room, with a book propped up on his lap and his eyes glazed over (with no pupils)]
[cut to a shot of Thomas' legs, as his knees are shaking in fear (causing all of the books in his shirt to come loose and fall on the floor)]
[cut to a closeup of Thomas' eyes, as he's breathing heavily ... but the look of fear on his face slowly fades away, and is replaced with a devilish look of confusion/curiosity]
[cut to another shot of the king, as it is now apparent (thanks to the mosquitoes and "stink lines") that he is dead ... the book sits atop his distended belly, as a copy of "Crown Jewels" magazine (featuring a pretty girl on the cover) slips out of the dustjacket and falls to the floor]
[cut to another angle of the king's corpse, as Thomas reaches in from off camera with a stick and pokes him (causing his crown to pop off his head and fly into the air)]
[cut to a shot of Thomas, as the crown lands in his hand]
[cut to a closeup of the crown, as the inscription "The wearer of this bling shall hereby be named King" can be seen written on the inside]
[cut to a closeup of Thomas, as he strokes his beard in contemplation ... until a wicked grin appears on his face]
[cut to a shot of Thomas wearing the crown (his eye twitching again), as the camera zooms out to show a gigantic army assembled before him]
[cut to a large public demonstration being held outdoors (underneath a banner reading "Enuf Iz Enuf!"), then the camera zooms out to show Thomas' army surrounding the protesters]
[cut to a copy of the "Kama Sutra" sitting on a table (which rocks back and forth suggestively), then a hand reaches in from off camera and quickly grabs it ... the camera pans out to show a man reading the book (as if it were a Playboy centerfold foldout), then one of the soldiers reaches in and grabs it out of his hand]
[cut to a man wearing a powdered wig, reading a book entitled "First Aid" (as another man in a powdered wig lies on the ground behind him, covered in blood with an axe in his head) ... then another soldier grabs the book out of his hands]
[cut to a little boy (his eyes filled with tears) cowering in the corner and clutching a book to his chest, as a group of soldiers slowly surround him until the screen cuts to black]
[cut to a silhouette of Thomas sitting on his throne, surrounded by gigantic piles of books ... he slowly walks over to one of the smaller piles and rubs his hands in glee, then hears a small pebble being thrown against the window behind him]
[he turns and looks at the window, as another small pebble seems to be approaching ... only the closer the "pebble" gets, the bigger it grows, until we see that it's a giant boulder which smashes through the window and sails over his head]
[cut to Thomas looking out the broken window, as the camera pans back to reveal a gigantic mob of people, shouting angrily and carrying torches]
[the camera quickly zooms back in on Thomas' face, his mouth agape in shock, as the crown slowly slides off his head and hits the ground]
[he turns and starts to run away ... then stops and goes back to the bookshelf marked "Self Help"]
[cut to a closeup of Thomas' face as he stares up at the "Self Help" sign, then (as the sounds of the angry mob can be heard outside) he quickly runs towards the books]
[cut back to the footage from the beginning of the film, as the angry mob tries to break down the door while Thomas begins furiously throwing the books over his shoulders]
[the camera zooms in on some of the books in the pile forming behind Thomas ("How to Deal with Stress", "All About Rebellion", "Angry Mobs & You"), then pans over to Thomas' feet as he walks off camera and sits down]
[cut to a closeup of Thomas' eyes, as he's trying to read a book (while his hands shake and he nervously looks towards the door) ... then he holds the book up to cover his face, revealing that the title on the cover is "A Beginner's Guide to Reading"]
[cut to a shot of the door, as it finally breaks open ... then everything goes silent, as the camera pans over to Thomas slowly turning his head towards the door (and the unseen mob waiting for him)]
[the scene cuts to black, as the sound of a man screaming can be heard]

Ben Hjorth

Additional Voices
Mark Bortolotto
Steve Boyd
Rosalie Osman

Julian Langdon

Sound Design
Steve Boyd

Sound Mix
Dave Cornelius

Online Edit
Declan Loughran

Special Thanks
Helen Osman
Rohani Osman
Adam Osman
Ritsuko Maeda
Tali (for the leper joke)
Dennis Tupicoff
my fellow Masters
the animation kids 2006 & 2007
and everyone else who encouraged and supported me during the year

Supervising Producers
Paul Fletcher
Robert Stephenson

Writer, Director, Producer, Animator, Editor
Rosalie Osman

www dot rosalieosman dot com

VCA Film and Television
Faculty of Victorian College of the Arts
University of Melbourne

(c) University of Melbourne, 2007



Bibliomania (2008)
8 min - Animation | Short - 30 September 2008 (Spain)

Director: Rosalie Osman
Writer: Rosalie Osman

Drawn with a powerful and distinctive style, Bibliomania is a twisted fairytale of one man's obsession with books. Having inherited his father's library as well as his lust for books, Thomas Phillips casts his greedy eyes on the town to feed his ever growing collection.

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