short film script

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?

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.

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.