Education · Movies · Writing

Strange Realisations In Creative Writing Endeavours & Behind The Scenes of a Student Short Film

This post will be broken down into two parts: The first detailing a general  list compilation of the little things that writers sometimes go through while writing and playing God in our own ways by creating fictional worlds.

Part 1:

  1. Modeling a character after an extreme, exaggerated version of yourself. Dressing to go out one day to find out you SOMEHOW dressed like the character you created. Am I the character, or is the character me? Do I think I’m the character because.. Oh no, wait. Which leads to .

 

2. Having a mental video of an interaction between you and your character. Both of you probably won’t sit down for tea, she’d prop her boots up onto the table anyway and trade in your jacket for something else. Plus, she’d scare the shit out of you.

3. It’s a wonder how a script even gets finished, and properly too if there was a deadline. Which is the case for my team’s school short film’s script. I simply went through the stress of completing said script earlier than the rest of my team. Side note: We had  a individual scriptwriting component for our filming module.

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Part 2: Behind The Scenes of a Student Short Film

More specfically, the following are what I realised and experienced over the course of my student film in which I script-wrote, executive produced and inadvertently acted in.

All I’s have been changed to a third party perspective of You’s, so that readers can slip into my shoes (figuratively. I wear a size 6) and let’s just laugh off the weirdness and unintended irony.

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Actual photo of my script of the plot climax.
  1. Often, a script writes itself if you aren’t afflicted with the infamous writer’s block. Of course, you’re the one holding the pen or tapping the keyboard but hey- the story veers into places you never have been to.
  2. Showed one of your lecturers the script for consultation before moving ahead. Lecturer asks you seriously if the story events happened to you personally or people close to you. Fortunate truth is it isn’t.
  3. If you show your script to your close loved ones, they may ask if you were inspired by some film or show you saw.
  4. Especially if you’re particularly averse to romantic films in general but right smack in your script is a crux of a bittersweet ‘love story’.
  5. Which you disagree and call it an anti-romance. Which is what you know you’re good at.
  6. Secondly, you HARDLY EVER watch romance. And if you do, its because you’re criticizing the unrealistic storyline of the TV drama your mother happens to be watching.
  7. While shooting a film scene as inadvertent main actor, you realise what’s happening to your character has actually happened to you in real life, and you’re only realising it now. You don’t have a spouse who simply takes your phone from your own hands and scrolls through it BUT, in a chilly realisation;
  8. All the people who have picked up your phone and go through it causally are ALL and ONLY guys, either the few guys you’ve dated or one of your close guy friends or two. Never girls. The parallels between fiction and reality IS eerie.
  9. Also, your character’s dead husband is a bit TOO MUCH like your estranged father.

Lesson learnt: The unconscious is a eerie yet amazing thing, and it may just reveal more about your memory and yourself than you realise. 

10. Real life film production Easter egg: My team and I would only realise on hindsight that the storyboard we drew prior were Easter eggs of who would eventually become the main cast of our student film.

20170307_013409
The hairstyles were on point. During casting, I was gunning for another guy to play Jason, the story’s other main character. The eventual actor (another guy who was more on board with the film than the initial prospect) playing Jason happened to have the exact same hairstyle as per storyboard.

 

Ingredient list of student filming include, but not limited to; in timeline order:

-a terrible weekend of futile actor-hunting where I broke down 3 times in 2 days

-a resultant 10min period the following Monday involving 6 very different extreme emotions: panic, helplessness, stress, another breakdown into tears and script slamming, anger, extreme gratitude and relief- all surfacing from when our original female lead backed out at literally the last second before I took over as per last resort backup plan

-back to back daily filming over the course of 6 days consisting of day to night shooting

-Late nights and early mornings

-Once, the director picking up breakfast for the entire team prior to a full day shoot

-A lot of team bonding where prior to the project, some of us didn’t know each other very well before we had to work together.

-A few magic moments where the first take was the best and only take

-Shooting one scene took EIGHT hours rather than the projected three

-Passionate creative conflicts where the desire to slit throats sometimes came up

-The lesson that a healthy functional team with familial dynamics can still experience conflicts where patience is truly tried, even ideal partnerships have problems of that scale, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything’s majorly wrong.

-Everyone had the chance to shine in their own arena.

(1. MY LOGISTICS/ PRODUCER ROCKS. She’s much more observant of little details of props and timings than me or the director are.

2. Two of my team members covered a song which became sort of the OST love song of the main characters, even among our close ones who viewed the short film.

3. Our very committed film Director and Director of Photography who pretty much edited the whole series of takes and audios round the clock for FIVE days, forgoing sleep in the process. )

It all paid off. We’re very tired. Lecturers appreciated the story. We attained a Distinction for our group’s short film. Graduated. Main mission accomplished.

Not going to embed the short film video here, because I’ve now developed a love-hate relationship with my own creation. Such is the complexities of being the writer. You go from loving and being proud of what you wrote, but hating it when it materializes in visual format due to some reasons. And for me, it gets VERY personal, as I bitched about in an earlier blog post .

Signed,

Wheremabelgo

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6 thoughts on “Strange Realisations In Creative Writing Endeavours & Behind The Scenes of a Student Short Film

      1. I mean, they always depict a fairytale like relationship and that girl is always pining for her lover guy. I mean, they need to be shaken to the reality and yeah, girls need to have standards. Not everyone is as desperate as those girls and then everything is not so rosy. If the story had been about a girl taking revenge or something of that sort, it would defenitely have grabbed my interest.

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      2. For my thesis last year, I actually interviewed young people (teens) on their perspective of relationships and marriage in the light of what is portrayed in modern books and films. The results are quite heartening: As long as people have seen healthy real life examples of such relationships, they can tell apart what’s life and fiction most times and not that easily shaken.

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