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Guest Blog – Lupus

So here I am. Present day, knee-deep in the first rough draft of a film script scattered between two computers and an external hard drive. Stubbornly waiting to be finalised and dispatched to Raindance Film Festival for an appraisal and then the rounds of independent producers.

It sits in the back of my mind like stone egg. I am both excited and mortified.

I rallied myself after my purge, regarding a film script as the sober option to that of a novel. My original idea is a horror story, no longer than 83 minutes, the same length as “An American Werewolf in London ”. At a minute a page it gives me an expectation of how much work is involved.

The main intention right from the off was to make something genuinely scary, an antidote to the surfeit of films repetitively inventing gratuitous ways of slaughtering the unfortunate. I reasoned the best approach to be a fictional destruction of someone you truly care about to the point of the unpalatable.

My other early considerations were tone and money, which sounds like an ad for a gym. In my mind I thought “Get Carter”; something very bleak. Also, cost. There is absolutely no point packing the script out with loads of extras and razzamatazz. Who in their right mind wants to take a punt of hundreds of thousands of pounds on a first-timer?

I kept my creative urge to be the next “Hellraiser” close to my chest. Why broadcast the fact. Initially, you become sensitive to the negativity around you, whether real, or imagined. “It’s been done before!” Has it? Hadn’t The Commodores written more than one love song? Friends informed me that it should have a twist in the tale. I have to ask this, why? Every film has a twist. Do they?

I started my script on the 7:10 commute to “Oz” – Nottingham. It drops me off. I bought two plain, brown notebooks from Muji and wrote for 20 minutes, five days a week speeding through the East Midlands . It was the cheapest option. I convinced myself that by actually writing by hand I was keeping alive a lost art: LOL. After just two months I had strung together a loose sequence of events, character development and mayhem that would just about make a 100-minute movie. I finished and wrote, “THE END”.

The next stage was transferring it to a Word document on a very old, borrowed lap top that weighed 50 per cent more than me.  I hauled it about, using my spare moments to sit and write in coffee shops, at the same time, staring hard at the parquet flooring, lost in thought and the staggered lines of the wooden tiles; slotted together like some Escher-inspired jigsaw. I was turning into a feverish mechanic, constantly tightening and discarding the extraneous words, re-writing scenes and chunks of dialogue because every character, whatever their sex, background, age, sounded like me.

Finally it was done. I wrote, “THE END”. It was déjà vu all over again.