If I were asked to summarize EVA’S DIAMOND in one word, I would without hesitation say, “a Baby.” In every aspect, this movie experience has been like having a baby. An unexpected but extremely pleasant surprise at first, a nurturing feeling, the marvel of something that’s growing inside you every day more, and finally the birth. In many ways, EVA’S DIAMOND reflects all those moments. From a very short idea, it has developed into a short film and has culminated into a 2 hours length feature film. More than three years ago I was asked to write a short film for a music project. The idea of a little boy saving a pregnant woman from the attack of a mysterious man was all that EVA’S DIAMOND began with.
With little or no equipment, my DP and I embarked on the shooting of what was supposed to be a one minute long piece. After that, it was evident to me that I could develop that story and answer the many questions that were arising. As ideas kept pouring in, I had enough material to cover 40 minutes of screen time within a week. The foetus was growing! With a minimal crew the shooting began, and as more questions began to emerge, more days of shooting were planned to provide the answers. The whole story has been creating itself, day after day in a rather unconventional fashion. Cast and crew grew bigger and bigger, and as the ideas continued to prosper, the whole production value grew with them. From a one room and a garden location to a prison, a huge warehouse, a villa, a police station, countless exteriors, policemen, and ambulance. Also, from the initial three actors and three crew to a total of more than one hundred fantastic cast and 40 crew who were all involved until the final day of the shoot.
It has truly been like foetus development. A simple rudimentary story became a rich, complex and compelling mystery drama thriller, which deals with Christianity, dark magic, justice and motherly love, and offers thrilling moments as well as action, tragedy, romance and comedy.
The heroine, Miss Phillips, born Eva Marlin, a 50 something woman, endures to clear her son’s name from the accusation of the murder of an entire family. She is a strong and distinctive character, the driving force in this Drama Mystery Thriller. Her world with its characters revolves around herself, as everything, and everyone is seen through her eyes the exact moment they meet and collide. This element of “one woman show” reflects her solitude, her forced exile into her own world, after the tragic death of her fiancé. It is also the index of her desire to block everything and everyone out from her life, until the day her son is accused of murder. This awakens in her a concealed courage to fight for the truth.
The story continuously bounces back and forth in Miss Phillips’ past and present, allowing the audience to know more about her past life. This device has a double effect of letting us enter in her world but also of helping Miss Phillips to deal with her hidden skeletons, and as a result of that provides answers to the mystery at hand. The duplicity young Eva Marlin/ Old Miss Phillips is at the core of the whole story. It seems like now it is time for the long repressed past of Eva to come out, notwithstanding how hard Miss Philips has blocked it out.
In many occasions, this has been portrayed symbolically by the use of mirrors, which are carefully hidden like Easter eggs throughout the movie. This film is filled with all kind of intense emotions and strong characters. My goal was for everyone who watches Eva’s Diamond, to think, it is real. It is happening. So to achieve that, I adopted a rather simple visual approach, without any artificial embellishments, at the same time keeping a low-key mood, which effectively reflects what Miss Phillips feels inside. The climax of the story as well, even though black magic has an important place in it, is kept within the reality realm, with no paranormal entity’s intervention. Moreover, even the angelic apparitions might be seen as a creation of Miss Phillips’ mind. “Keeping it real” has been the keyword throughout the filming. Therefore the movie itself is not rich of flashy camera moves or visual FX, but all is down to the core of the narration that evolves and gets more complex minute by minute.
A substantial part of the story is dedicated to Miss Phillips’ introspection. Her courage and Christian faith, reborn from the ashes of a destroyed romance. She must fight for justice and supernatural with all the weapons she has. She has no way out. Also, this is symbolized by the constant use of corridors and narrow passages as an index of a path she is forced to pursue, with no option. However, like any corridor, she is going to find the light in the end, not without enormous struggles and hammering doubts.
What makes this story unique for me is the fact that an older woman has to, in her own way, do a heroine job with no weapons or overt supernatural powers. Also, as The Writers Store/StoryLink commented, and I fully agree, “the time travels and spiritual elements are interesting. They separate the story from more generic mysteries and add exciting layers to the film.”
EVA’S DIAMOND has been a work of love and passion. Many people have said it has been a courageous thing for me to do. I’d say, just like Miss Phillips, I had no option. God wanted Eva’s Diamond to be made. Moreover, as Miss Phillips says in the end, “I see clearly now,” EVA’S DIAMOND was my corridor to walk and my baby to nurture. Making Eva’s Diamond has opened my eyes and strengthened my Faith.
WRITTEN BY ICE NEAL