Thursday, 29 May 2008

Thank You Douglas Adams.

First and foremost.

For the best piece of advice in history.

'Don't panic.'

In the six days before the deadline (two prep and four writing) I managed to write my episode drama and recieved a grade first for it. Instinctively, I knew it was the best script I'd written so it's nice to have that pay off. I had been thinking about it for about a week before starting and just let the script naturally form in my head. But the main thing was although i was running out of time, I didn't actually want to rush it. It came in its own way, as I believe it was meant to.

However, a brief note:

The reason the script was started that close to the hand in was due to problems with writing my original episode. But through advice, the way forward was to make a decision and that decision turned out to be to scrap the current script. It wasn't a case of it being left to the last minute. The original episode was in fact my personal favourite, and was overloaded with serial elements; some contradictory, which got in the way and I was trying so hard to make it all work.

Part of the 'Don't Panic' mantra was also down to trusting and having confidence in myself, which at the time I knew I was putting to the test. It was very close and could have gone horribly wrong. I had told myself from the start that 'I am going to write the best episode possible.' And I loved the characters and grew to love free-running as our sport, so that helped.

One of the strong points of the script and my favourite was in subverting the Jackson character, who from the series bible was penned as an antagonist (in the pilot) and formed as a negative journalist. Instead of him being the typical bad guy of the episode he begins as a good guy and is torn between work and his family. But he ultimately compromises due to being faced with losing both.

The inspiration for his character/story to feature as the joint main story came after watching Zodiac - and i got pretty obsessed with wanting to tell a story from a journalists point of view. So when the chance came up I knew I wasn't going to play it straight or in a cliched way. It was going to be an original and moving exploration of what made this guy eventually turn into a bad guy. Ultimately, it was the love and obligation he had for his family - and as the marking lecturer stated in her analysis - 'It confronted us with the complexities of his situation and human nature; life is not straightforward, black and white.' Which was a nice way to put it.

It was the greatest experience and most fun i've had writing a script and it came with the greatest reward. I couldn't ask for more than that. One of the most amazing things was that the characters pretty much wrote themselves, which is a testament to our group who collectively created them.

I think when you miss characters who feel like real people and a world that you felt apart of - it tells you individually and as a group that you did a good job.

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