Soap: a film by Emily Ellis

Ellis on Main Street in Wolfville
Imagine a film where the hero is a bar of soap. 
Soap is wandering the streets of Wolfville looking for a job with no relevant work experience. This bar of soap sounds a little depressed.

Poor Soap terms himself the fifth of eight siblings and he loathes the idea of being a burden.

Being called slimy makes this Soap sad and he laments that even a band-aid on his heart won’t stick to his exterior. While out walking, he heads to the waterfront looking for something beautiful. The muddy bottom of the harbour somehow soothes him.

Vernon T. Smith’s statue has no answers for life’s biggest questions to share with this bar of soap, so he diverts himself with sliding at Willow Park. Then Soap sets out for the library. He adores books and allows that life between the pages is more exciting than his right now.

Emily Ellis, a multi-talented third year Acadia University student, produced the short film SOAP in its entirety. She wrote the screenplay, held the cell phone camera and wrote the poignant music.

Three bars of Ivory were used in the making of this cinematic gem, along with some dental floss and straws.

Hers was a gold winner in the first annual Whitflix Smartphone Film Awards at the Al Whittle Theatre. There were eight entries altogether.

Ellis heard about the competition from her roommate who was taking a music class from Ken Shorley. She likes to take on art projects and decided to try her hand at a short film in the ‘other’ category.

Her aim was to depict her peers who have experience at university studies, but no employment history.

“I started with a vague plot line about the average person in their 20s with no expectations,” Ellis recalled.

The filming took the better part of a Saturday as she waited for cloudy conditions to lend some melancholy to Soap’s life. When Ellis couldn’t find an appropriate song, she used her childhood piano skills and played background music. A bar of soap was a useful stand-in for this petite young woman.

Seeing SOAP, which she terms ‘fake deep,’ on the big screen at the Al Whittle Theatre and having family members attend was her reward, Ellis says.

Growing up in Arcola, Sask., she recalls that she and her sister, Melissa, loved to create short films without any professional equipment. They also attended films quite frequently in their hometown cinema.

Knowing what university costs, “you have to be two steps ahead to get a good job,” so Ellis wonders what she’ll end up doing as a career - just as Soap ponders his future.

“You have 30 years before you retire, you should do what you want,” she suggests.

Ellis is a member of Generation Z, also known as the iGeneration, or Post-Millennial. She and her peers became familiar with the internet as children.
Soap applies for a job

Challenges facing Generation Z

Ellis' generation is facing growing income gaps and a shrinking middle-class. Meanwhile new census data from Statistics Canada suggests that the quality of jobs in this country is falling, while the amount of precarious work rises. A five-year-old survey by Ameritrade found concern about student debt among this cohort and 36 per cent expressed worry about being able to afford university at all.

According to StatsCan, less than half of all Canadian workers (49.8 per cent) between the ages of 25 and 54 worked full-time, full-year jobs in 2015. The 2008-2009 financial crisis brought about social and economic changes, along with a shift from traditional to more flexible work schedules.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been crowing about an unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent; granted that is the lowest since the Labour Force Survey began in 1976.

Not only that, Trudeau said that in 2017 Canada’s economy added 422K jobs.

“That’s the most in a year since 2002. Overall, the economy created about 700K new jobs since our government took office,” he stated.

But are they good jobs, or part time or low income jobs? Not only that, with more and more Canadians choosing to shop from home, there’s been something like a 600 per cent increase in job postings for workers to fill online customer orders last year.

Opportunities for machine-learning engineers, family doctors, technical recruiters and manufacturing technician jobs have been deemed by Huffington Post as the industries to go into.

No wonder Soap is worried. He is not alone amongst Generation Z wondering what the future will bring.

Watch SOAP


Popular Posts