Tuesday, 20 August 2013

A Perfect Soldier

Once upon a time, there was a thirty-year-old middle class white man who lost his girlfriend and started leaving beer cans lying around. Then an unexpected scenario allowed him to fix things, so he fixed things, and it was difficult, and the soundtrack showed that it was difficult, but he fixed things, and he fixed them good, and he learned a lesson, and it was a good lesson. The end.

That film happens a lot. It’s happening right now, in the guise of about a hundred supposedly different films. It’s because it’s safe, and you can’t underestimate safety. Pick over-used themes and locations and characters, because everyone can relate to them. Statistic time: did you know that 97.4% of the people on earth are white males who are bumbling and lazy but also a bit extremely brave? It sounds hard to believe, but it’s 101% true. That’s why that character is a safe one to choose as your film’s protagonist.

The beautiful thing about short films is that you don’t have to be safe. Given that short films are the go-to medium for filmmakers and writers and actors who want nothing more than to howl their talents from the rooftops, most of the time you don’t get paid. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve got plenty of selfish motivations apart from money – like kudos and credit – but when it comes down to it, short films are made because the makers want to tell you a story. A story that they want to tell. So it’s sure as hell not going to be a nice safe money-making story, because there’s just no money to be made.

When you finish a script, you’ve got to do something horrible – say goodbye to it. Hand it over. “Here are some words”,  you say to the crew. “Go forth and make them into a thing”.

I’ve been very lucky – the script I’ve handed over for editing and production is now in the hands of the most enthusiastic film team I’ve ever encountered. The short film is called “A Perfect Soldier”, a sci-fi story about a weapon. A very interesting weapon. And the people trying to control it, of course.
It’s not my story – it was devised by someone else – I redrafted it, but I’m invested in the project, and I want to see it get made. The aforementioned team of admirable enthusiasts have put together a fantastic crowd-funding campaign, so if you have a money, we want it.

To be all supportive and excellent, you can do the following things:
  • Donate, of course. The campaign’s only up for another ten days.
  • Like the Facebook page.
  • Oggle the website.
  • Buy me some sort of chicken-based wrap (like a chicken wrap), because of hunger.
  • Oh! And Skittles.
  • Also, when I’m trying to catch the train don’t walk really slowly in front of me.
  • How are you, anyway? I’ve not heard from you for ages. How’s your “little problem”? Good? Good.
  • I've forgotten what bullet points are for. Let's get back to listing things you can do:
  • Make sure A Perfect Soldier gets made.
  • Then watch it.

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