Created by Aurora Fearnley, The Pitch 2013

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Pulsar is the character driven story of proud planetary ambassador Jonah, a coward who discovers his courage. Preparing for retirement Jonah’s last mission is given in person by his lifelong friend to persuade war torn planet Nineveh to join the Galactic Union. Jonah can't see past his deep personal distrust of their people and in anger he rejects the mission and boards another spacecraft with a female crew of asteroid miners. Although welcomed on board a series of random accidents occur, with Jonah present at each. His initial feelings of shame and guilt for abandoning his mission intensify along with creeping paranoia until he believes himself to be truly cursed. A magnetic storm puts the ship in danger as Jonah, now unstable, rants about his cowardice and despite the crews protest ejects from the ship in hope of saving everyone else onboard. Alone in the life pod, pressed by the cold infinity of space, Jonah comes to a self realization: That his own prejudice will cause him to die trapped, that he was acting in fear all along. The pod opens on Nineveh and Jonah is greeted by delighted children racing to bring him to their village.

Biblical Connection

The story of the reluctant prophet was instantly attractive. The inner struggle of Jonah appealed to me more than the broader themes of hatred with the passage. I believe theses elements can still be explored in Jonah's character through xenophobia and his emotional resistance to the mission to Nineveh. In order to create a dramatic story that was plausibility to the viewer I concentrated on Jonah’s transformation as a character. Specifically on the inner struggle of a man coming to terms with his own fears, paradoxes and racism. I felt the full passage would be too long for a short film and decided to explore the change from the coward who runs from responsibility to the man who throws himself oversea to save others. I believe a satisfying end point would be Jonah arriving at Nineveh to deliver his message after being given a second chance at life. The book of Jonah leaves an open ending not stating whether he was a changed man or not. A Pulsar is a dense neutron star that sucks in matter eventually creating a black hole. I chose the name based on Jonah feelings that he’s cursed and destroys everything he touches.