Produced Scripts

The Last Goodbye

Although it was not our original intention, after completing early edits of The Veil, it occurred to me that the first minute of the film worked as a story in its own right and could be edited as such to be submitted in festival one minute wonder and super short categories, giving us more chance for success. Thus The Last Goodbye was born!

Synopsis

A widow visits her husband’s grave to say one last goodbye.

Achievements: The Last Goodbye won the Bronze Medal for Shorter Short at London X4 Summer 2020 and the Best Idea award at MedFF 2020!

The Veil

The Veil is another collaboration between myself, Nat Pearse and Film Focus Wales. This time I took on greater responsibility, writing (the script) again but also producing and doing camerawork. The film came about as Film Focus were looking for films that tackled issues relating to older people. The first issue that came to mind was death (sorry, old people). It immediately occurred to me that the most clichéd storyline to do would be a character dealing with the loss of someone they loved. Then it occurred to me, what about a story about a character dealing with the loss of someone they hated? I instantly thought of the image that appears at 0:51 (no spoilers) and always wanting to produce scripts that contain striking and original imagery; I knew this was the idea to go with. Again, working with Nat and Film Focus proved a great success and I’ve already got scripts prepared for future collaborations!

I’ve also developed a 30-minute script taking the intro and themes from The Veil that maintains the shock value of the intro but remains more grounded in reality rather than relying on horror movie tropes. It takes the story in a more ambitious direction that I’d never have the budget to realise, but I’m hoping it could be successful in one of the BBC’s Drama Room submissions.

Synopsis

Abi’s resentment towards her dead husband allows an evil spirit to enter her life. A mysterious messenger tries to warn Abi. But can the veil of delusion be lifted, before it’s too late?

That’s What I ‘Eard

Determined to be selected for It’s My Shout 2018, I decided to submit multiple entries; a tactic that had proven successful for Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2017. The brief requested a ten-minute script that would have multiple roles for young actors and a Welsh connection, and I knew that It’s My Shout favoured scripts with a social conscience. Bearing all this in mind, I wrote and submitted six scripts (synopses for others viewable in Unproduced Scripts and scripts available upon request). The tactic again proved successful, and That’s What I ‘Eard was selected to be produced by It’s My Shout and broadcast on the BBC. That’s What I ‘Eard is a comedy-drama that tackles a serious subject matter, please read the script and see how I’ve incorporated It’s My Shout’s criteria; the finished film is available upon request.

Synopsis

Ivor is not the bravest kid, but when he kicks the gang’s ball over the wall of local villain Mr Jones, he has no choice but to form a team to venture into the villain’s lair and retrieve it. A hard enough task on its own but things are made more difficult as tales of Mr Jones’s atrocities unfold and the team gradually falls apart; leaving Ivor to face Mr Jones alone and prove his bravery.

Marching Orders

I wrote Marching Orders at the start of 2017 as a contender to be filmed and submitted to Cardiff Mini Film Festival in the One Minute Wonder category. It just missed out on being shot by me but after joining the filmmaking group Film Focus Wales, I offered it to them, and it was taken on by talented, up-and-coming director, Nat Pearse. The film attempts to show how a positive attitude can affect those around you, and a negative one can do just the same. Nat and Film Focus achieved great results, and I’m positive all our future collaborations will be just as successful!

Synopsis

Jim is down on his luck, having been given his marching orders from work. But when inspiration hits him, his outwardly positive attitude starts to affect all those around him.

Achievements: Marching Orders was nominated in the One Minute Wonder category at Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2018.

Bob

When setting myself the task of writing multiple films for Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2017, I formulated many of my ideas not by thinking of a social issue I’d like to tackle or a theme I’d like to convey, as had often been my method in the past, but by picturing a striking image and then forming the film’s plot and theme around that. It’s a method I now always consider as it produced great results; showing memorable imagery is equally as important to a film’s success as meaningful substance. Bob (script) was one such film for which I used this method. Another was Goldfish, which originated from the image of a man staring into a goldfish bowl. The image Bob originated from was that of a grown man on a park bench holding a red balloon. Once I had this image, it led to questions such as why would a grown man carry a balloon and what could this symbolise? The themes of insecurity, benevolence and release developed from this.

Synopsis

Bob carries his red balloon everywhere he goes, even though it prevents him from joining in and causes him to be teased. But is it the balloon he needs to let go of or something else?

Achievements: Bob was selected for the Oniros Film Awards August 2017, Hellfire Short Film Festival’s 12th Round 2017, Cardiff International Film Festival 2017, St Neots Film Festival 2017 and Isle of Portland Short Film Festival 2019 and won Short Film Sharer May 2017!

Tell Me About It, Sam

Tell Me About It, Sam (script) was inspired by a real-life incident in which I met a man who seemed to know me and proceeded to have a long conversation with me about his personal life even though I hadn’t a clue who he was. I thought it was an ideal concept for a comedy film for Cardiff Mini Film Festival as it could take place in a single location – on a bench – and provided the opportunity for a punchline/twist ending. I felt the best method of filming would be a three-camera setup, covering the action from all angles so we could run through the whole script in one take. To do this, I would require actors who could learn all their lines; a skill surprisingly lacking in actors solely working in film. Therefore, I cast two experienced theatre actors, who I had seen perform multiple times and who had displayed impressive skill as a comedy double act.

Synopsis

Unexpectedly, Sam turns counsellor to an old friend with relationship problems. Or at least he thinks he’s an old friend, but for the life of him, he can’t remember his name!

Achievements: Tell Me About It, Sam was nominated for best Comedy at Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2017 and selected for St Neots Film Festival 2017 and Isle of Portland Short Film Festival 2019.

Goldfish

Inspired to produce something simple to suit Cardiff Mini Film Festival’s criteria, I wrote Goldfish; a script based around the protagonist’s confined environment. It illustrates how you can miss out on life by not breaking from routine; paralleling the life of the protagonist stuck in his tiny flat with that of his goldfish. Although the premise was simple, I felt the production would benefit from some expert lighting and colour grading to further highlight these parallels and enhance the slightly surreal tone. For this purpose, I brought on board Steven Owen, whose lighting served Bamboo House so well, and his associate Jack Longley. Both proved invaluable.

Synopsis

Huw lives a life of routine, never leaving the familiar environment of his flat. In an odd break from tradition, it’s up to his pet goldfish, Gil, to put an end to his static lifestyle.

Achievements: Goldfish was selected for Loch Ness Film Festival 2017, Nightpiece Film Festival 2017, Hellfire Short Film Festival’s 12th Round 2017, MedFF 2017-2018 and The Short Film Show 2018. It was shortlisted for best Adult Fiction at St Neots Film Festival 2017, nominated in the One Minute Wonder category at Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2017 and for both best Fantasy and best Original Content at Nottingham International Microfilm Festival 2018 and reached the finals of the Oniros Film Awards August 2017 and Brighton Rocks Film Festival 2018!

The Prophet

The Prophet (script) was inspired by an old parable I came across on the Internet:

“A man said to the Prophet, ‘Give me advice.’ The Prophet said, ‘Do not get angry.’ The man asked repeatedly, and the Prophet answered each time, ‘Do not get angry.'”

I found it amusing that the man persistently questions the Prophet even though he’s already given his answer, seeming like he’s attempting to aggravate him to get him to contradict himself. This elaboration was the basis for the film and allowed for a comment on religious hypocrisy.

Synopsis

A modern-day prophet has some sage advice for an inquisitive young man, but he’s not about to take it without question.

Achievements: The Prophet was selected for Short to the Point November 2017, MedFF 2017-2018 and Isle of Portland Short Film Festival 2019, reached the finals of Brighton Rocks Film Festival 2018 and won the One Minute Wonder category at Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2017!

Bamboo House

Bamboo House is a short film with a long history of development. I initially entered a shorter, less Welsh centric version of the script to Jameson First Shot 2016 but was unsuccessful. The brief was to write about the great and/or unexpected things that can happen when you fear less and invite life in. I found out about the competition not long before the deadline and only had a week to prepare. I adapted the script from a premise I’d come up with a few weeks before, which meant that the protagonist was quite a bit older than the intended lead, Maggie Gyllenhaal. I thought this could be easily achievable with a bit of makeup, but I have a feeling this, along with some of the locations and shots, may have been overambitious and put the judges off, as judging by previous winners, they were looking for maximum simplicity.

I later entered a version very close to the one available here to It’s My Shout. I was unfamiliar with the competition when I saw it advertised in the BBC Writers Room; the brief stating they wanted scripts with scope for budding actors of ‘all’ ages. When I later checked their website, it stated they wanted scripts with scope for as many budding ‘young’ actors as possible. By this time, the deadline was upon me, and my script had just one young character. Again, I was unsuccessful.

I was not discouraged by my failure, in fact, it not only motivated me to enter as many competitions as possible in future (including the two mentioned; making greater efforts to fulfil the brief) but to film the script myself! It was the success of my previous film, Total Investigation Television, that really got the Bamboo House project rolling. Total Investigation Television was nominated for best Fiction at Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2016, and it was there that I met Boyd Clack and Kirsten Jones, who were hosting the awards ceremony. After pitching the script to them, they wished to be involved in the project. With actors of their calibre and reputation on board, there was no question that Bamboo House would be filmed!

From extensive storyboarding, securing the perfect locations and shooting test footage, to enlisting trusted crew I’d worked with in the past and fresh talent with expert skills, I made every effort to make sure Bamboo House was the very best film it could be. I leave it to you, the audience, to judge if I achieved my goal.

Synopsis

Mair, recently bereaved, spends her lonely days in her empty flat. Her visits to Bamboo House, her local Chinese takeaway, are her only departure from her introverted lifestyle. It is there she meets Griff, an eccentric man with an insatiable sense of fun. On a romantic day out, Griff encourages her to fear less and invite life in. But will Griff’s own fear that Mair is unable to move on from the loss of her loved one put an end to their happiness?

Achievements: Bamboo House was nominated for best Fiction at Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2017 and selected for St Neots Film Festival 2017.

How Not To Be Single

How Not To Be Single is a comedy series created by James Musgrove of J.A.M Productions that follows the highs and lows of four friends struggling with single life. I worked on the series as co-director, cameraman, and scriptwriter; acting as a mentor during the writing of episode one, offering advice on dialogue, character and plot development, and writing episode two. Although the scenarios were heightened for comic effect, we wished to present relatable experiences and provide positive messages about how to feel confident and comfortable being single.

Due to my extensive experience and a fast-approaching production date, I was asked to write the entirety of episode two (script); working from a brief from James. Matt was to move out of his old place and in with AJ, the lads would throw a housewarming party, and they’d all have to fail at being single due to their various foibles; the rest was mine to play with!

For a moment, you may think you’re rewatching episode one as it starts similarly with a knock at Matt’s front door. This isn’t derivative writing but an intentional motif that I wished to reflect Matt’s recovery from his break-up. Episode one, he couldn’t even answer. Now he can but in low spirits. What will episode three show? The main characters’ personalities were so wonderfully defined in episode one – AJ, the father figure who pulls everyone together, Pat, the anally retentive math geek, Simon, the mouthy narcissist, and Matt, the insecure victim in need of his friends’ support – that I made sure these characteristics were continued in episode two, but I also added some development, particularly for Matt and Simon, so the series didn’t stand still.

The word constantly going around my head during writing was ‘dynamic’. Although a sitcom will inevitably have far more dialogue and be less visually driven than your standard short film, I didn’t want any scene to be solely about the dialogue and strove to always have an interesting action, location or visual element at play. This, as well as elements of the brief, led to a vastly increased cast that delayed production due to actors’ availability. The challenge we laid down for episode three was to continue with this dynamic style while sticking to the main cast.

Sadly, episode three never came to pass, due to one of the main cast leaving the country: Jack, who played AJ. I did write a script for episode three, working around AJ’s absence, which is available upon request, but James did not wish to proceed with filming as he felt a series finale really should have the entire main cast present.