Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Removal

After a few days (actually weeks if I’m honest) of staring at it, twiddling about on the first few pages and then cutting and pasting a few bits here and there the second draft of The Unlocked Project is pretty much ready to go. The main obstacle was the complete removal of anything sleep related and instead going over to Tony’s agoraphobia. The next problem with this was the question as to why any research would be undertaken in making people scared to go outside. I’m still unsure as to if this question is actually answered.

Even after this, the ending still bugs me. I might have to sort that.

It’s around about this time, usually in the process, I’d be handing it out to people to read over and comment. You might as well have a go yourself if you want, comments thread is just below.

INT/ BEDROOM/ DAY

A clean bedroom, white linen bedcovers are undisturbed, metal bed frame and headboard.

Beside the bed is a small, pump operated bottle of alcohol based hand cleanser.

Every door handle in the flat is covered in what look like shower caps.

There’s a table in one corner covered in a clear plastic sheet.

Standing by the sink is a man in his late 20’s. He cleans his hands under the running tap, soaping up to his elbows and in between his fingers. It’s almost surgical. He switches off the tap with his elbows.

He walks over to the curtained window, he pulls and a pair of surgical gloves before pulling the curtains apart. It’s a bright morning, sunlight fills the room.

A knock at the door,

TONY

(Shouting)

Come in Andrea!

Andrea opens the door and walks in.

She takes off her shoes and places them in a small plastic bag next to the door.

She behind to walk forwards.

Tony motions her stop.

He throws her the pack of alcohol rub.

She uses it on her hands.

ANDREA

It’s a lovely morning.

TONY

The answer is no.

ANDREA

You’re not even sure of the question

TONY

I knew it was going to be something like “Let’s try and take a walk outside today Tony”.

ANDREA

And you’re not

She takes a bottle of water out of the bag and places it on a table.

flate,sdch
Accept-Language: enp>

You really should try y’know.

TONY

To much going on.

ANDREA

In here?

TONY

Out there. Cars, people, building, noise. Too much.

ANDREA

You have to get out sometime.

TONY

Not now though.

She takes out a small packet from the bag.

It rattles when she moves it.

ANDREA

(Pointing at the box)

Vitamins, new ones.

Tony picks up the box and looks at the back.

TONY

What was wrong with the old ones?

ANDREA

They don’t sell them anymore.

TONY

Why not?

ANDREA

I don’t know, things just move on. Tony, you don’t go outside so how would you know? It’s the same as the other ones. Probably a different coloured packet.

Tony takes out one of the pills, shoves it in his mouth and then gulps some water.

Andrea reaches into the bag again.

She produces a small booklet of puzzles.

ANDREA

I bought you this as well.

She flips it towards Tony.

Tony completely misses it and it lands on the floor.

He picks it up.

TONY

Another one?

ANDREA

Do you remember the last time you slept all night?

TONY

No.

ANDREA

Do you remember the last time you slept for an hour?

TONY

Combined?

ANDREA

No, just an hour straight.

TONY

In that case no.

ANDREA

You need to keep your mind occupied on something else other than the window. Do some puzzles to pass the time if you’re awake.

TONY

I’m trying to get to sleep and you’re asking me to do Sudoku?

ANDREA

I’m asking you not to stare at a wall all night. Where’s the other one I gave you?

TONY

I finished it.

ANDREA

Where is it?

TONY

It’s over on the table, why?

ANDREA

Not much good having a completed puzzle book and plus…

TONY

Plus?

ANDREA

Recycling.

Tony throws the book towards Andrea who catches it and places it back in her pocket.

ANDREA

Right, I’m going to get moving. Anything else you need?

TONY

Not that I can think of.

ANDREA

Okay, call me if you need me.

Andrea exits the room, leaving Tony flicking through a puzzle book.

  1. INT/ TONY’S BEDROOM/ NIGHT

Tony is in bed, not asleep, just resting.

There’s only the bare minimum of light.

He gets up, walks over to the window, pulls back the curtains.

He sees streets, city lights and cars moving.

He quickly closes the curtains again.

There is a knock at the door.

Tony looks shocked and stands perfectly still.

Another knock

Tony creeps towards the door, getting close to it.

TONY

Who’s there?

A male voice responds

VOICE

I’m here to tell you something.

TONY

Then tell me now.

VOICE

Open the door first.

TONY

Do you know what time this is?

VOICE

Yes, I have a watch.

Tony still pauses.

VOICE

Open the door.

Tony opens the door very slowly.

On the other side is a man wearing dark trouser, a shirt and tie. He wanders straight into the room, pushing past Tony.

VOICE

(Offering handshake)

The name’s Michael.

TONY

(Refusing handshake)

Tony

Michael puts his hand down.

TONY

I’m really sorry, it’s just that I have a thing about…

MICHAEL

About?

TONY

You’ve just come from outside.

MICHAEL

Yes.

TONY

Outside there.

MICHAEL

Yes.

Tony hands him the hand sanitizer.

TONY

Would you mind?

MICHAEL

I haven’t been handling raw sewage or anything y’know.

TONY

Doesn’t have to be that, just anything.

MICHAEL

Ah, it’s like that.

Michael uses the gel on his hands.

TONY

It’s 3am by the way.

MICHAEL

Were you asleep?

TONY

Well, not really.

MICHAEL

I knew that.

TONY

You seem to know a lot.

MICHAEL

I’ve been living opposite for the last few weeks and I started thinking about you.

TONY

Me?

MICHAEL

You never leave the house, you only get one visitor.

TONY

I’m just not that social.

MICHAEL

And that one visitor is a woman. She’s either your Mum who keeps up a good skincare regime or a hooker.

TONY

Excuse me?

MICHAEL

Well which is it?

TONY

Have you just come round here to offend me?

MICHAEL

No, this is a social visit. I am visiting you, I am greeting you in the warmest possible circumstances.

TONY

At 3am.

MICHAEL

At 3am.

TONY

The time means nothing to you does it?

MICHAEL

Does it mean anything to you? You’re never outside to enjoy daylight.

Michael picks up the box of pills.

MICHAEL

What are these?

TONY

My pills.

MICHAEL

It’s nothing contagious is it? Are you in quarantine?

TONY

No, just vitamins.

MICHAEL

Why?

TONY

Because I’m not exactly walking in sunshine right now.

MICHAEL

You don’t need these, seriously stop taking them. Just eat some food or something y’know.

TONY

Thanks for the great advice, shouldn’t you be going?

MICHAEL

Let me show you something.

TONY

What?

MICHAEL

Just follow me.

Michael moves towards the door.

He stands in the doorway gesturing to Tony

Tony eventually follows him.

They walks down the corridor together.

MICHAEL

Just so you know I live right over there.

He points towards a door.

TONY

Great, fantastic.

MICHAEL

Any time you need somebody to talk to, a shoulder, anything you come round right?

TONY

Why are you doing this?

MICHAEL

Doing what, reaching out to a friend?

TONY

I’m not your friend.

MICHAEL

I’m hurt, really hurt. You might not be now but you’ll soon be. Consider something for me?

TONY

What?

Michael opens the door to his flat.

MICHAEL

When was the last time you made it as far as the lifts?

Michael closes the door behind him leaving Tony in the corridor alone.

Tony stands looking around, shocked amazement.

He runs back to his own door, shutting it behind him.

Almost automatically he runs to the bathroom and starts to scrub his hands and arms with a nail brush.

  1. INT/ TONY’S FLAT/ DAY

Andrea and Tony sit drinking coffee.

ANDREA

You left your flat?

TONY

Yeah, there was this guy here.

ANDREA

Who?

TONY

Called himself Michael, lives down the hall apparently.

ANDREA

And he visited you when?

TONY

3am.

ANDREA

Who visits people at 3am?

TONY

He does it would seem.

ANDREA

Why did you open the door anyway?

TONY

I thought I was dreaming it.

ANDREA

And you had to open it to make sure.

TONY

Pretty much. He showed me where he lives.

ANDREA

What do you mean ‘showed you’?

TONY

We were out in the hall.

ANDREA

So you can make it out there then?

TONY

Don’t get too carried away.

ANDREA

Well ignore him, I don’t think anybody should be coming into other people’s homes when they might just be asleep.

TONY

I think he was just one of these crazy guys.

ANDREA

Thin line between crazy and idiot. Where does he live?

TONY

Out the door, turn right, last one before the lifts.

ANDREA

If he knocks again let me know, I’ll be knocking on his door when he’s trying to sleep, see how he likes that.

TONY

He sounds like he’d enjoy the company.

ANDREA

Have you taken your pill today?

TONY

Not yet, I’ll take it soon.

ANDREA

You’d better, you’ll look even worse if you don’t.

TONY

Thanks for the uplift in confidence.

Andrea gathers her things.

ANDREA

That’s what I’m here for.

She leaves the room.

  1. INT/ TONY’S ROOM/ NIGHT

Tony sits alone.

A knock at the door.

Tony goes straight over and opens it.

Michael wanders in again.

TONY

My friend isn’t happy with you

MICHAEL

Who? Your sister?

TONY

She’s not my sister.

MICHAEL

Then it’s okay for me to fancy her a little bit then.

TONY

You’re not here at your usual hour?

MICHAEL

I can go and come back if you want to?

TONY

No, it’s okay.

Michael looks on the table.

MICHAEL

38.

TONY

Sorry?

MICHAEL

38 pills left in that packet.

TONY

Really?

MICHAEL

38 yesterday too, you didn’t take one today did you.

TONY

I forgot.

MICHAEL

And yet you live, amazing isn’t it?

TONY

If you say so.

Michael tilts his ear towards the ground.

MICHAEL

Did you hear that?

TONY

(looking confused)

What?

MICHAEL

(points at the wall)

That!

There is no obvious noise.

TONY

No, there’s nothing.

MICHAEL

When I was a kid I always had a thing for being able to pick up high frequency sounds. You have this high pitched buzz coming from your wall.

TONY

Stop being a fool.

MICHAEL

Look I’m trying to help you here, no wonder you’re not sleeping if this is all your hearing. You might not be hearing it but I’m pretty sure your brain will be.

TONY

How is that even possible?

MICHAEL

Get me a spoon or something.

TONY

Why?

MICHAEL

Just do it!

Tony searches around for an implement.

He finds a fork.

TONY

I’ve only got this.

Michael snatches it.

MICHAEL

It’ll do nicely.

TONY

What are you…

Michael starts jabbing part of the wall next to window.

TONY

(Shocked)

No, no ,no. You’re getting dust everywhere.

MICHAEL

It’ll just be a small hole, something’s making this noise.

TONY

I’m asking you to stop doing that please.

MICHAEL

It’s minor, a bit of plaster after this and you’ll be fine.

Michael continues jabbing the wall.

Plaster begins to fall down to the floor, gathering in a pile on the floor.

Tony is visibly cowering at this sight.

TONY

I’m going to ask you once more to stop doing that.

MICHAEL

What’s the problem? Am I wrecking your little nest here? Your perfect little room?

TONY

Actually, yes.

MICHAEL

So at no point do you want to know what this noise is?

Tony looks utterly freaked out by all this.

Suddenly Michael stops.

There’s a moment of silence

MICHAEL

There it is, I’m done now anyway.

TONY

There’s what?

MICHAEL

I give you the route of the problem.

TONY

Your problem.

MICHAEL

That’s in your flat, you perfect little flat.

Tony kneels down beside Michael.

Both stare at the wall.

There’s a thick cable running through it.

It connects to a socket.

TONY

You’ve come into my house and ruined a wall purely to reveal an electrical wire.

MICHAEL

It’s still buzzing.

TONY

Because it’s electric.

MICHAEL

What cable do you know in a house that’s this thick?

TONY

I don’t know, how fat is electricity Michael?

MICHAEL

That’s not the point.

He digs some more.

Tony pulls Michael away from the door.

TONY

That’s enough, stop this now.

MICHAEL

Okay fine but I’m coming back tomorrow and we’re finding out what that is.

TONY

It’s a cable, mystery over.

MICHAEL

That’s no cable.

Michael walks over to the sink and starts to clean the utensil.

MICHAEL

Move the bin over it or something.

TONY

Why?

MICHAEL

Because we don’t want your friend knowing do we?

TONY

Did you not want to think about that beforehand?

MICHAEL

Not when the buzzing was around.

TONY

Was?

MICHAEL

Well, not really, it’s still here. You seriously can’t hear that?

TONY

No.

MICHAEL

Must be some kind of frequency buffering or something.

TONY

Frequency what?

MICHAEL

Never mind, just put the bin over it and we’ll be done until tomorrow.

Michael walks towards the door and opens it.

MICHAEL

Remember, if you need anything then just knock. I’ll be back later.

TONY

Thank you for just turning up to wreck the place.

MICHAEL

You’re welcome.

Michael closes the door behind him.

Tony walks over to his bed and sits on the end of it.

  1. INT/TONY’S FLAT/DAY

Tony is fast asleep on his bed.

He awakes slowly, getting to a vertical basis.

He walks over to the window and pulls the curtains back.

Light streams into the room.

Tony smiles.

He looks down at the bin in the corner, covering where the hole would be.

He walks over and moves the bin.

The hole is still there.

Tony suddenly looks very concerned.

He quickly places the bin back.

The door suddenly flings open.

Michael runs in.

He is clutching a large, plastic toolbox.

He places it down on the floor before shutting the door behind him.

It seems like he’s ran down the corridor.

MICHAEL

Does she know?

TONY

Who?

MICHAEL

Your friend.

TONY

Andrea?

MICHAEL

Is Andrea your friend?

TONY

Yes

MICHAEL

Then her then, does she know?

TONY

I haven’t seen her, I was asleep.

MICHAEL

You were asleep? Like a normal human. This is progress. Can you hear that sound yet?

TONY

I’m still hearing nothing.

MICHAEL

Truly? Well I’ve brought something.

He reaches into his tool kit and brings out a stethoscope.

He puts it in his ears and holds the other end to the wall.

MICHAEL

Certainly buzzing.

TONY

I seriously thought I’d dreamt this.

MICHAEL

No, you were awake, now let’s get digging.

Michael brings out a chisel and starts to hack at the wall.

He suddenly stops.

MICHAEL

You’re not freaking out.

TONY

No, I’m not.

MICHAEL

Definite progress.

Michael hacks away more carefully this time.

A whole piece of plaster falls off revealing a switch.

MICHAEL

I’m flicking it.

TONY

You don’t even know what it is.

MICHAEL

That’s why I’m flicking it

Michael flicks the switch.

The light that filled the room from the window suddenly stops.

The window is filled with static.

The words ‘No video feed’ move across the screen.

TONY

What the hell have you done?

MICHAEL

What was that? When was your window a TV screen?

TONY

It wasn’t.

MICHAEL

Well that’s not what I’m seeing now.

TONY

There were people, cars, lights, everything.

MICHAEL

Not any more. What else in this place is fake?

TONY

Nothing, it’s been here for as long as I have.

MICHAEL

That doesn’t make it real though does it. I knew I could hear something.

Michael starts to frantically look around the flat.

MICHAEL

Reckon we could take the screen out of there?

TONY

For what?

MICHAEL

Because there must be something beyond that.

TONY

I’m not helping you any further. You’ve torn apart enough.

MICHAEL

Scrap that idea, I’m going to mine.

TONY

Oh so now you’re running away?

MICHAEL

All these flats are the same, I want to check my window.

Michael goes storming off through the front door.

Tony flicks the switch again

The light comes back and fill the room.

The screen displays the street outside again.

Tony stares in wonder.

He then runs out of the flat.

  1. INT/ CORRIDOR/ DAY

Tony goes running down the corridor towards Michael’s door.

He knocks first.

TONY

Michael?

There is no answer.

Tony cautiously opens the door.

He is faced with a bare brick wall

Tony looks horrified.

He moves across the corridor to the door opposite Michael’s flat.

He opens this as well.

Again, a brick wall.

A door at the end of the corridor opens and Andrea stands in it.

ANDREA

Tony?

Tony doesn’t say a word.

ANDREA

I know this seems strange.

TONY

You could say that.

ANDREA

You didn’t take the pills did you?

TONY

Got told not to.

ANDREA

You don’t remember much about coming here do you?

TONY

Coming here?

ANDREA

We picked you.

TONY

Who’s we?

ANDREA

You were needed for research.

TONY

You’re trying to say I’m some kind of lab rat?

ANDREA

You’re hardly a rat Tony. We just needed to know.

TONY

Know what?

ANDREA

Can we convince somebody to fear anything?

TONY

Get me out of here.

ANDREA

That wouldn’t be a good idea.

Tony starts to stride down the corridor.

He breaks into a run

Straight past Andrea.

He ends up running straight into a field

Green grass and sunlight.

Tweeting birds

THE END

 

 

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Libraries Gave Us Power

Gretna, for those who don’t know, is quite famous for weddings. Being the first town over the border when going from England to Scotland meant that many young couples took advantage of Scotland’s more relaxed marriage laws many hundreds of years ago. Despite the law being repealed many moons ago the tradition has continued. Hence, in my home town, it’s not unusual to walk down the street for milk and the newspaper and see a newly married couple. When they set about getting the builders in a few months ago to extend the registration office it looked like the wedding business needed more room. Then I heard it was to rehouse the local library.

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t visited Gretna Library since I was very young. We had got our son a library card for Carlisle City Library, eight miles away and over the border into England but for some reason we’d never got anything for the library just up the road from our house and on the way to school and back. Maybe it was because it was part of the community centre with limited opening hours, maybe it was also because it was an old, dusty place.

The new place opened about a month or two ago, it’s actually doubling as a county council centre as well which was housed in another aged building up the road. I checked the opening times expecting it to be the same as the last library, open for about four hours every other day with a one hour lunch closure. In these times of council cuts it seemed only logical it would be the case. To my surprise, the library now has extended opening hours and is open until 7pm some evenings. After picking up my son from school on Friday we finally went to check the place out.

It’s a brilliant place, quite small but then it’s serving a small town not a large city. A really good selection of material as well. We were there for about an hour and fifteen minutes before we realised it and now Kyle and myself both have library cards. Upon arriving back home I remembered that it’s been ages since I had a library card for anywhere as the last time was probably whilst I was at art college for the campus library (itself now closed due to cut backs ironically enough). It feels really good to have a much improved facility as this within walking distance.

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Insomnia Must Die

Checking my e-mails at work yesterday (during lunch break naturally, hard at work the rest of the time) and up pops this…

Dear Cameron
 
Thanks for submitting your play to us for consideration. I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you with a response. As a new writing theatre we have limited resources to extend to non-commissioned work and although we enjoyed reading ‘Seven Lucky Stars’ I’m afraid we are unable to offer you a production. I’m sorry we’re not able to assist you in the development of your play but I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you continuing good luck with your writing.
 
With best wishes
 
(Name Removed From Blog Post)
Administrator – Literary Department
 
Live Theatre
Broad Chare
Quayside
Newcastle
NE1 3DQ
Most rejection letters follow this pattern. Firstly, a thank you for submitting then an apology for taking so long to get back to you which really isn’t a problem in this case as they said it would be at least six months and it turned out to be five. Then they’ll say that whilst they enjoyed reading your script they either do not feel it’s right for them or they do not have the facilities and then a short word wishing you luck on your career. It’s fairly standard but totally understandable as far as the process goes.
So Seven Lucky Stars doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon and I’ve seen days past when I’d get really angry that I’d ploughed many hours into a project and got nowhere. Right now though I’ve found that the key is just to move onto the next thing before you’ve even heard the response from the last. I’m already into writing The Unlocked Project so I’d actually shoved anything related to Seven Lucky Stars right to the back of my head.
Unlocked (there, it feels better once it’s shortened) is still going through draft two troubles. I’ll start to post the alternative version on here once I’ve got something concrete. The removal of the insomnia has begun!
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Everybody Sing Along

Right, here’s the idea. I’m about to open up the file with The Unlocked Project on it and write down my thoughts. If you want to join in then feel free to open up a separate window with the first draft and join in. It’s kind of like live tweeting it only without Twitter.

– I’m not so sure about this opening. I had meant it to be a complete reversal of the ‘main character wakes up and gets out of bed’ intro that was so often used in many a student movie. On rereading it, it feels crammed in and somehow empty. I’m not sure what I’d replace it with though.

-The light from the window is supposed to signify a better outside world at large. One which might be more favourable than the sterile design inside the flat.

– Andrea annoys me, she seems far too mothering.

– Actually Tony has started to annoy me too which is a big problem as he’s the central character. He just seems to spend this entire segment in permanent confusion, like he’d spend all day wandering around with a face part constipation and part trying to work out a crossword puzzle. You know the face right? No? Okay I’ll show you…

This one.

… so I’ll probably have to give him something a little bit more.

– As noted before at no point in the following conversation do Andrea and Tony refer to each other by name. So how do the audience know?

– This conversation is all very well, it bumps along at a fair old rate but it could be cut down a bit. Get to the pills.

– The puzzle book is supposed to be a clue to the science experiment background and Andrea’s involvement in it. It’s nice enough but never seems to be mentioned again afterwards.

– Michael’s entrance in scene two feels a lot like this…

…only with a little bit less singing and Michael Caine.

– Michael’s quite well realised actually, I had him down as being a bit like that dude from Quantum Leap. Not Sam, the other guy.

The guy on the right.

– He seems naturally unhinged enough, almost Doctor Whoish at times. This is probably a good thing. I like Michael, he can stay.

-I’m actually uncomfortable with ‘newly qualified hooker’ being in there. It just seems far too crass.

-His objection to the pills seems clumsy. Perhaps it’s acceptable because he comes across as a bit of a health freak so therefore wouldn’t touch them but why would he influence Tony so much even when they’ve just met?

-The first time he exits the flat into the corridor should feel like quite a moment. Currently, it doesn’t.

-Actually the more I type these notes the more I’m thinking about scrapping the whole insomnia thing altogether and just going with him being agoraphobic. Draft one feels like he’s trying to flit between two conditions and neither are well realised. If we had one and made it well rounded then it’s much better. It would also give Tony some backbone as he wouldn’t be knackered.

– And here’s Andrea back in scene three being all bloody motherly again.

– I’ll have to put something in to buffer these scenes, spend some time with Tony on his own. As I’ve said before it just seems like these guys are taking turns to visit Tony without much input from him.

– Why would Andrea not go marching down the corridor to tell Michael to fuck off right from the start. Unless she reckons he’s a figment of Tony’s imagination? Is Michael a figment? Is he actually real? My head hurts.

– Once again, this conversation wanders aimlessly.

– Bloody hell, scene four sees Michael turn from The Doctor to Rainman.

– The sound of electricity? It’s bizarre but then Michael himself is bizarre so it’s just about possible.

– Would you be able to tear into a wall with a piece of cutlery? Probably not.

– Moving the bin over the ‘dig site’ seemed like an idea to create a bit of drama when Andrea came back around. She doesn’t reappear until the finale now so this seems really pointless.

– Okay, here’s the bit when Tony, minus the pills, has finally got some kip. If we’re ditching the sleeping problem then this will certainly need reworked into something.

– I’m thinking that the whole TV screen cutting out would be better if he cuts the wire rather than flicks a switch. Basically, why would anybody plaster over a power point?

-I like the fact Tony goes to Michael’s flat, his first social visit in months, only to find that it’s bricked up. We’re leaning on the fact Michael isn’t real obviously here.

– I don’t like the fact that Andrea just turns up again out of the blue.

– I’m also thinking that this isn’t a brilliant place to end it. It’s far too vague to leave you with any sense of wonder.

That was fun wasn’t it? It’s 11:49pm here in the UK right now and I have work in the morning so I’ll probably hang on to these thoughts overnight.

Feel free to chuck some more in if you want to.

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A Relaxed Muscle

I’ve yet to go through The Unlocked Project’s script draft one again, to be honest I haven’t touched it or clapped eyes on it since I wrote ‘The End’ last week. Over the next couple of days I’ll read over it in one go (not hard seeing as it’s only 20 minutes long) and then make notes. Then it’s just a case of rewriting it until it seems fairly stable and ready for draft two. From that moment on I’ll probably be opening it up to feedback if you’re into that kind of thing. Draft two would usually be the one I’d pass around to the nearest and dearest anyway, the choice as to if they responded or not would be up to them.

Whilst in this downtime I’ve thought more about a couple of other projects I’ll be trying to get started in this year. I still have a feature film which is pretty much set to begin with the opening five minute stretch being written to see if it can carry on. If I can get the start right then I reckon I could be onto a winner.

Also, I’m thinking about starting a book which is a completely different mind set to writing a feature film. It’s more the fact that I haven’t written much fiction for the last few years. When I was in school I’d be writing on a fairly regular basis and the stuff I’d produce would be fairly vivid if a little erratic in quality. Now I’m unsure as to if that part of me has died off due to under use and the screen writing part has taken over. My thinking remains the same, I’ll probably write the opening chapter and see if that’s any good before possibly moving onwards. I’m still considering if I should put that chapter up on this blog to get some feedback.

Firstly though, we have an Unlocked Project to attend to.

 

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John Q

I’m not sure if I’ve given this link before but they’ve made a Facebook page for the short film I’ve written, currently being made in Holland. There are some lovely production stills up there right now. Have a look and give it a Like.

http://www.facebook.com/roboticsfilm

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Tweeting Birds

Wait, it’s Monday night and I’ve actually got some writing done. Actually it’s more than ‘some’. We’ve hit the end of draft one.

Michael starts to frantically look around the flat.

MICHAEL

Reckon we could take the screen out of there?

TONY

For what?

MICHAEL

Because there must be something beyond that.

TONY

I’m not helping you any further. You’ve torn apart enough.

MICHAEL

Scrap that idea, I’m going to mine.

TONY

Oh so now you’re running away?

MICHAEL

All these flats are the same, I want to check my window.

Michael goes storming off through the front door.

Tony flicks the switch again

The light comes back and fill the room.

The screen displays the street outside again.

Tony stares in wonder.

He then runs out of the flat.

  1. INT/ CORRIDOR/ DAY

Tony goes running down the corridor towards Michael’s door.

He knocks first.

TONY

Michael?

There is no answer.

Tony cautiously opens the door.

He is faced with a bare brick wall

Tony looks horrified.

He moves across the corridor to the door opposite Michael’s flat.

He opens this as well.

Again, a brick wall.

A door at the end of the corridor opens and Andrea stands in it.

ANDREA

Tony?

Tony doesn’t say a word.

ANDREA

I know this seems strange.

TONY

You could say that.

ANDREA

You didn’t take the pills did you?

TONY

Got told not to.

ANDREA

You don’t remember much about coming here do you?

TONY

Coming here?

ANDREA

We picked you.

TONY

Who’s we?

ANDREA

You were needed for research.

TONY

You’re trying to say I’m some kind of lab rat?

ANDREA

You’re hardly a rat Tony. We just needed to know.

TONY

Know what?

ANDREA

Can we get rid of the need for sleep?

TONY

Get me out of here.

ANDREA

That wouldn’t be a good idea.

Tony starts to stride down the corridor.

He breaks into a run

Straight past Andrea.

He ends up running straight into a field

Green grass and sunlight.

Tweeting birds

THE END

I’m hating the ending even as I’ve written it, it’s too crippled by obvious exposition and I seem to have suddenly become aware that I was reaching the end of my time frame. I’ll leave this script here right now for a short while and let it sink in before ripping it up and doing some surgery to get to draft two. I’ll also blog about stuff unrelated to this soon as this seems to have overtaken the blog for the last few weeks.

 

 

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Bristol Cities

Regarding The Unlocked Project, I had an e-mail land today which featured this little piece of information.

‘Bristol Old Vic – call for submissions 

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School is looking for short film scripts (around 20 minutes’ duration). These short films are for training technical students, so the usual restrictions of only young characters need not apply. We are looking for scripts with three or four characters that could be filmed easily in Bristol. There is no fee but there will be an attendance allowance for the writer of any script we use. If you have suitable scripts, please submit them to julia.heeley@oldvic.ac.uk by 22 February.’

Which gives us three weeks. At the rate I’m going right now it would probably be possible to get something done by then.

The Sharp End Of The Chisel

Friday’s seem to be the day for this, probably because I’m off work and my Son is in school. We’ve hit up a gear now…

Michael continues jabbing the wall.

Plaster begins to fall down to the floor, gathering in a pile on the floor.

TONY

You’ll be pissing off next door.

MICHAEL

Temporary noise.

TONY

That’s in your head.

MICHAEL

No it’s from the wall.

Tony looks utterly freaked out by all this.

Suddenly Michael stops.

There’s a moment of silence

MICHAEL

There it is.

TONY

There’s what?

MICHAEL

I give you the route of the problem.

TONY

Your problem.

MICHAEL

That’s in your flat.

Tony kneels down beside Michael.

Both stare at the wall.

There’s a thick cable running through it.

It connects to a socket.

TONY

You’ve come into my house and ruined a wall purely to reveal an electrical wire.

MICHAEL

It’s still buzzing.

TONY

Because it’s electric.

MICHAEL

What cable do you know in a house that’s this thick?

TONY

I don’t know, how fat is electricity Michael?

MICHAEL

That’s not the point.

He digs some more.

Tony pulls Michael away from the door.

TONY

That’s enough, you’ll be in next door if you don’t stop now.

MICHAEL

Okay fine but I’m coming back tomorrow and we’re finding out what that is.

TONY

It’s a cable, mystery over.

MICHAEL

That’s no cable.

Michael walks over to the sink and starts to clean the utensil.

MICHAEL

Move the bin over it or something.

TONY

Why?

MICHAEL

Because we don’t want your friend knowing do we?

TONY

Did you not want to think about that beforehand?

MICHAEL

Not when the buzzing was around.

TONY

Was?

MICHAEL

Well, not really, it’s still here. You seriously can’t hear that?

TONY

No.

MICHAEL

Must be some kind of frequency buffering or something.

TONY

Frequency what?

MICHAEL

Never mind, just put the bin over it and we’ll be done until tomorrow.

Michael walks towards the door and opens it.

MICHAEL

Remember, if you need anything then just knock. I’ll be back later.

TONY

Thank you for just turning up to wreck the place.

MICHAEL

You’re welcome.

Michael closes the door behind him.

Tony walks over to his bed and sits on the end of it.

  1. INT/TONY’S FLAT/DAY

Tony is fast asleep on his bed, still fully clothed from the night before.

He awakes slowly, getting to a vertical basis.

He walks over to the window and pulls the curtains back.

Light streams into the room.

Tony smiles.

He looks down at the bin in the corner, covering where the hole would be.

He walks over and moves the bin.

The hole is still there.

Tony suddenly looks very concerned.

He quickly places the bin back.

The door suddenly flings open.

Michael runs in.

He is clutching a large, plastic toolbox.

He places it down on the floor before shutting the door behind him.

It seems like he’s ran down the corridor.

MICHAEL

Does she know?

TONY

Who?

MICHAEL

Your friend.

TONY

Andrea?

MICHAEL

Is Andrea your friend?

TONY

Yes

MICHAEL

Then her then, does she know?

TONY

I haven’t seen her, I was asleep.

MICHAEL

You were asleep? Like a normal homosapien.

TONY

Yes, I feel great.

MICHAEL

Excellent, you’re getting better already. This is progress. Can you hear that sound yet?

TONY

I’m still hearing nothing.

MICHAEL

Truly? Well I’ve brought something.

He reaches into his tool kit and brings out a stethoscope.

He puts it in his ears and holds the other end to the wall.

MICHAEL

Certainly buzzing.

TONY

I seriously thought I’d dreamt this.

MICHAEL

No, you were awake.

TONY

But I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in months.

MICHAEL

Wonderful, now let’s get digging.

Michael brings out a chisel and starts to hack at the wall.

TONY

Don’t hit the bloody wire.

MICHAEL

Yeah, that would be bad wouldn’t it?

TONY

If it is electricity running through it then yeah.

Michael hacks away more carefully this time.

A whole piece of plaster falls off revealing a switch.

MICHAEL

I’m flicking it.

TONY

You don’t even know what it is.

MICHAEL

That’s why I’m flicking it

Michael flicks the switch.

The light that filled the room from the window suddenly stops.

The window is filled with static.

The words ‘No video feed’ move across the screen.

TONY

What the hell have you done?

MICHAEL

What was that? When was your window a TV screen?

TONY

It wasn’t.

MICHAEL

Well that’s not what I’m seeing now.

TONY

There were people, cars, lights, everything.

MICHAEL

Not any more. What else in this place is fake?

TONY

Nothing, it’s been here for as long as I have.

MICHAEL

That doesn’t make it real though does it. I knew I could hear something.

Still a bit too ‘talky’ though. I like the bit with Tony on his own waking up and moving the bin to see the hole still there. We’re essentially confirming that Michael is real with that action then so my next question would be how he’s got into a science lab and what he represents? I’m also wary of the entire thing turning into Andrea visiting him, then Michael, then Andrea, then Michael and repeat. It needs something to break it up a little bit more. At this current time Tony is just a zombie shell being led along, he needs more flesh.

But it’s going well on the whole, another charge should finish draft one.

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