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Second Draft

Well, the second draft is done with a number of changes and bits tightened up. The plot remains the same thankfully although we had quite a bit of debate about whether to show a flashback to the accident(SPOILER ALERT!!!). We felt that we had achieved everything through the eyes of our leading girl and it would break the feel to include a third person view. We decided after much debate and writing/deleting/writing/deleting a flashback that we could tell it through images and dialogue from a paramedic describing his interpretation of events to the call operator.

There are a couple of questions that we aren’t sure could be classed as continuity problems. The problem of being too much in the wood and not seeing the wood for the trees so this draft is being sent to a script writing colleague in America to read and comment on. We will then follow it up with a question about whether he felt it was an issue. Our thoughts are if someone in the business doesn’t pick it up as an issue we can ‘get away with it’. If he feels it is an issue I feel a bit of rewriting coming on.

SO, the next step!!! WE will be auditioning hopefully on the 7th March, details of which will be published but announced here first. We have a need for quite a few extras so be prepared to volunteer yourselves or be cajooled in the name of art and getting yourself in the movies. One scene involves using a bus so if anyone out there knows how we can get one for a few hours for nothing please let us know.

We were also very pleased to receive some recognition for our work from another club and a competition. Thanks to many of you who are reading this as well!!

Anyway Christmas will be here very soon so have a good one all of you and we will be back in the new year rested and firing on all cylinders to the next stage.



Channel 7 at Newcastle ACA Film and Video Makers

Recently Channel 7 provided a selection of work to show during one of the Newcastle Film and Video Makers club meetings and after the evening they had the following comments.

“The programme was well received with particular enthusiastic discussion about the The Next Life and the documentary about its making. We all recognised the skill with which you had overcome the extremely difficult location. The sense of claustrophobia and the gradual decline in the physical strength of the characters was excellent. We have an ex-TV lighting man in our Club and he was singing the praises of your subtle but effective lighting.

Our members were also impressed by the concept of setting up a youth based filming group and the obvious success you have in your locality.”



The Letter wins award

We have just been notified that our film The Letter has just won 2nd place in the North Thames Region of the IAC resulting in some fantastic comments, a trophy and a cheque for £25. Naturally both Lindsay and myself are delighted.

The judges said, "This film has great style and excellent production values through out

The tracking shots give fluidity and pace to the film which when coupled with the excellent close ups bring a visual intensity to the subject

Cameraworks was of the highest order

Music was well chosen and balanced

The girl played her part extremely well and this was probably due to strong direction.

Films of this standard are a delight to judge"



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!