I love this one, and I like the solve we have come up with in having it at a hotel. I totally get the showcasing the embarrassment of being unable to lift the suitcase happen in a public place. That’s part of what’s fuelling the drama. So having it cover more physical space by her going up the stairs, extending the moment to painfully awkward lengths, serves that original feeling justice.
I say we get very exact about our shot list, composing with a specificity that harkens on that cinematic language we are tapping into. Keeping camera movements refined and small (if any!) in the first half of the spot gives us room to play with extended performance, allowing us to choose the best moment in post of key beats that we determine.
Those for me are:
The opening shot of her face.
The epic reveal of the daunting staircase.
Seeing the embarrassingly small size of the carry-on.
The initial climb, and the resulting chaos.
A closeup of the ridiculousness of her situation that coincides with the bait and switch reveal.
Perhaps we add some more elements to liven the emotional moments of our character. Maybe it’s someone walking past her down the other direction— looking at her in complete confusion as she tries to sweatily smile off her struggle. Could be the out of focus front desk clerk peeking around the corner of the stairs at all the grunting and kerfuffle. Maybe we shoot certain things in slow motion to heighten the drama, really making some time for those beads of sweat. I want to jam on this with you.
This refined approach is more a movie making tactic than a commercial one... low shot counts are high stakes filmmaking. But it makes sure they are all our beats are meaningful. What is important about this script is spending time composing frames that sell the visual language— but also giving us the time to focus on performance that communicates the struggle (physically and emotionally) on our hero faces-- the best reminder to get fit.