The Felling of a Tree

Created by Gary Roberts, The Pitch 2020

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In a dystopian society, Loren escapes from The City for another weekend searching in The Forest for her singing tree. There's only one singing tree for each person, but it's finding it that's the problem. The combination of a lack of labels and an absence of visual clues leaves people walking around lost among the trees, forever searching to listen to the song that is only meant for them. Visiting every winter when it's off-season means there are less tourists to contend with, but in her eighth consecutive year looking, Loren still finds herself surrounded by other lonely and crazed individuals. Clearly to some it's a game, to others it's a lifestyle, for many it is torture. Then there are souls who have found their tree, lost to the hypnotic song their tree sings, surviving purely on the animals and mushrooms that inhabit the forest. After some time searching, Loren finally plugs in her headphones and hears a soft voice singing back to her...

Biblical Connection

I always knew that I didn't want to create a typical adaptation, but wanted something abstract that could act as a nucleus to create a new world. I looked for passages about sound and music and asked Christian friends to suggest passages that they felt would suit my style of filmmaking. I was recommended David's Song of Thanks and was inspired specifically by this section: 1 Chronicles 16:33 - "Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for He comes to judge the earth." I felt that was an extremely powerful cinematic image, a singing forest. With this initial inspiration in mind, I began writing the surreal idea of the song itself becoming the vessel for judgement. When one listens to the tree's song it fills their entire body and in a way reflects what is good and bad about that person back to them. The song becomes a metaphorical mirror of the soul.