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First Draft

Well I guess celebrations are in order. First draft of the script is finished and it looks good. We have had a number of issues this week as usual. These have been mainly based on technical details such as how the emergency services respond and whether they would allow our lead character to get off the phone whilst waiting for them to arrive. We felt they would want to keep her on the phone so have employed a different technique to get across the dialogue(monologue) with the injured boy.

We are also using the conversation with the emergency operator as a background to continue while the camera will paints the scent where the injured boy is found. All technical details are going to be run through a colleague of mine who is a first responder and will be helping us out on the film(although I don’t think he quite realises what we have in store for him!)

Finally, and this always happens, as we parted and I drove home I started to get doubts as to whether how the boy got injured is clear enough. I really don’t want us to use flashbacks so a reread and clearer storyboarding may be in order when we meet next week. It is always difficult at this time onwards as we know what we want to show but will the audience pick up what we are saying. We can’t be so subtle it is missed but we can’t be so obvious it becomes over laboured and like many American dramas that constantly repeat the plot(I refer to ‘We have got to destroy the ring’ recurring thousands of times in Lord of the Rings of course!!)

Still a good session and another step forward.



Nearing the end

After another evening of scripting with Lindsay, the end is in sight.

We discussed many issues in the script and how to resolve them, including what kids would and wouldn’t put on their facebook pages.

One of our main deliberation points was regarding a scene where our main actress has a eureka moment and doesn’t want to tell the police what she knows. The discussion was around why she wouldn’t and whether or not we’d set the character up to do this; did she feel guilty enough, etc. So we went back over the script tweaking conversations to give the audience clues.

We ended up writing a scene with explicit clues to tell the audience what we were thinking. Both Lindsay and I were unsure whether or not our subtle clues would tell the audience what we were trying to say.

It is often very hard to put yourself in the viewers position and you kind of want to watch the film to make a decision. Not easy whilst it’s still on paper!

So I think we have some loose ends to tie up and then the final scene to write.

Should be done in time for Christmas!



Repetition resolved

Well, just got back from our now regular session. We spent a long time resolving last week’s problem of what to repeat and what not to and I feel managed to work around it by cutting from the police entering the house to the end of the conversation. We don’t want to give too much away and are also blocking ourselves by trying to keep the focus solely on the girl’s perspective of events. Without giving out a spoiler the audience are still unaware of what has happened to the boy which is how we wanted it to pan out.

We did have a discussion about one or two police officers in terms of setting the level of importance of the boy’s disappearance and settled on one uniformed but with background police cars police to indicate that a larger force is involved. So often it is what is not said that gives messages and all these little details go to inform the audience of the overall picture. We had a debate(as yet unresolved) of whether the girl’s mother should offer to replace a bowl of soggy uneaten cereal to indicate a caring family. It is one line that adds to the feeling given. Would you include it? Let us know!

Script writing does allow for much debate and development. I often wonder how the ‘professional’ writers do it. Perhaps I should research It for interest sake.

Darren and I also have our regular non-script debates. Tonight it was about the political scene and pensions and what we want for Christmas. Always good to debate even though neither topic came up with any solid conclusions!

We are now up to the last 6/7 scenes so the initial end is in sight before going back to tidy and smooth over bits. Still on target to finish before Christmas break.




Lindsay and I had a good script writing session last night. The characters are progressing nicely and with each session the script seems to gel more.

From a scripting point of view we are still struggling to keep our main character on screen all the time as this is a departure from our normal style. We easily forget that the film is from her point of view and have had many a discussion as to how to achieve this.

Our dilemma last night was how to overcome repetition. We have a scene at the beginning of the film that explains how the two children become separated. The scene we were writing last night was a meeting with the police. It became obvious to us that to tell the police the story, would mean re-telling what the audience had already seen.

There are many ways round this like cross fading half way through the scene, or just starting the scene later saying goodbye to the police, but all felt a little contrived. I am sure we’ll think of something by the next session.

I’d say we’re two thirds through writing, then a couple of re-writes and we should be done by our Christmas deadline.

All going well so far!



Scripting Dilemma

It’s an interesting dilemma when writing a script as to whether to include a character or not. Today we went through the process of should we include a dad for the lead girl. Easier in terms of casting and the flow of the script to ignore him but if we did that the audience would then be asking the question, ‘Where is he?’ If we left him out we would somehow have to explain his absence and have to consider whether that would then change the responses and so forth of our girl and story line.

When planning a script we tend to create characters and set up the background and family etc . This helps to explain behaviour and the way the audiences react to and empathise with a character. Obviously an absent father(and why he is absent) will have an impact on the character and as such the storyline. In today’s case we included him and gave him a line to signify his place in the family set up. He had just arrived in from work at 10:00 pm and still had his work shirt and tie on letting the audience know that it was a middle class family with a white collar job and as such a degree of education and affluence. All little details that an audience might not even overtly pick up but will sit comfortably with the plot have to be considered.

Apart from that little diversion we have written another couple of scenes and it is panning out OK. We also set our time line so we know deadlines we are working to. So here it is – for all of you who may want to apply or be asked to apply for a role within the film.

Script: finish by Christmas
Marketing: January
Locations/budget/plan: January
Casting/Auditions: February with Actual audition week of 27th Feb (allows for at least a week back after half term
Rehearsals: March – May

Filming: Half term (June Possible problem with this as bank holiday on Monday and Tuesday!!)