I haven’t written here for an age but saw this and thought it was worth sharing.
This was posted today on Mandy.com.
Type: Film (LB)
Salary: No Pay £100
Duration: ASAP shooting in July
We are looking for a writer for a feature film being shot in July. The team have put together an outline and character breakdown so we are looking for a talented writer with strong structure skills to join the team.
The story is about a Sri Lankan rickshaw driver who drives a stripper home, shot in real time. Knowledge of globalisation is a plus.
The team is made of industry professionals collaborating to take the feature to festivals. We have very strong industry links and have a production company so everything can be done in house. This is a no budget production, no one will be getting paid but the writer will receive a back end percentage on the film and £100 as we know it is a big job.
We are open to all levels of writers but would like to see some sample scripts, have a reference (film school is fine) and meet you in person before confirming.
We would like to have a first draft by 1st June and final draft by 15th July.
Not entirely sure what to make of this. Would be interested to see what the rest of the world thinks of phrases like “the writer will receive a back end percentage on the film and £100 as we know it is a big job.”
It’s been a while since I wrote anything here or in private. It’s been even longer since I wrote a screenplay. I feel frustrated with myself, ashamed that I haven’t been more productive. It’s embarrassing. But to write I need two things, quiet and time; neither of which I have had recently. Stuff just keeps happening to interrupt the routine that sees me get up as early as possible, make a cup of coffee and then get to work. Without the discipline of the routine nothing gets done. I can’t work at night. I know people who do stuff all day and thin sit down to write at night. I don’t know how they do that. I’m just too tired. My head is too full to concentrate on anything as complex as a story. I need the blankness you have in the morning. The blankness you have before the day imposes itself. If I can find my focus out of that blankness I’m set for the day, well half the day because the afternoon is spent at the coalface of the service industry. I have a screenplay to finish. I need the routine!
Just a short post to firm up something in my head. I was asked again recently what my screenplay was about. I often give people the logline; when the government targets junkies for genocide, a self-righteous policeman fights to save his drug using sister. This time I said “it’s about the cruelty of prohibition.” I realised today it’s not about the cruelty of prohibition, Carrion is about the fight between freedom and security. The fight between freedom and security is at the core of the war on drugs. Think about the rhetoric of prohibition. War. Protection. Threat. Danger. Safety. They all frame drugs and their users as dangerous. A threat to our way of life. We have to protect ourselves. At the core of peoples desire to take drugs is rebellion. A desire to reject the values of the wider society. To be free. I’ve mentioned this dynamic before when writing about the conflict between Adam and Reiner. Deep down the two men are fighting over the kind of world they are going to live in. Reiner demands a world of security. At the end of the story Adam is fighting for a world of freedom. He doesn’t get it. The fight for freedom has only just begun but the realisation is what brings the end of his journey.
Working on Carrion today I found myself asking the question; why is Adam against drugs? In the story world of Carrion the drug user is the enemy. As a distinct social group they are to Reiner and the prohibitionist what the Jews were to Hitler and the Nazis; “if we did not have them we should have to invent him. It is essential to have a tangible enemy.” (1) They are the outsider. The other. The enemy. The threat that people can be united against. Defeat drugs and the world will be a better place. From Reiner’s point of view the choice to do drugs represents a kind of desire for freedom that poses a direct challenge to the security he craves. This makes Adam’s animosity for drugs more about his desire to be part of something bigger. Which raises the question; if you strip away that belonging would the animosity go with it? Adam wants to be part of something bigger. The price to become part of that something is his sister. Unwilling to pay the piper he is exiled, forced to experience the world thusly. That makes Adam’s animosity towards drugs environmental. It is a learned behaviour that has more to do with his relationship with Christine than some innate hatred of drugs and users.
I’ve been going over yesterdays post trying to figure out the ten minutes of story that follow the inciting event. At its simplest the sequence is about Adam escaping. This prompted me to research individuals escaping arrest. The scenarios for escaping arrest seem to fall into three main categories. The first involved intervention by a third party. Two bank robbers escaped custody when a prison van they were in was attacked by an armed gang. The gang forced the van to stop, threatened the guards with shotguns, freeing the two men. The second involves meticulous planning. A murder escaped prison by scaling the walls of the prison with an improvised rope. He first hid in the prison gymnasium, then made his way onto the roof, before climbing down the wall using a rope fashioned from discarded netting. The final scenario can best be described as an opportunistic escape. While guards were not looking, an arsonist slid under the van that delivered him. He managed to escape custody by clinging to the undercarriage as the van drove out. The second of these scenarios is the least likely to work for Adam. There simply isn’t the time for him to plan an escape. The first scenario is also unlikely. All of Adam’s comrades are prohibitionists; who would come for him? Which leaves the third scenario, the opportunistic escape. Refusing to kill Christine categorises him as a junkie in the eyes of Reiner and the prohibitionists. While the punishment for this treason could very easily be quick and final, Adam’s punishment is to be treated as a junkie, suffer the same indignities the drug taking community has to suffer. Outcast by the prohibitionists, thrown in with the quarantined users, Adam is reviled by both sides. This scenario is rife with the possibility of violent confrontation. Confrontations that have the potential to get out of hand and create opportunities for escape. There is more to come but that’s it for now.