MA Screenwriting: reflective blog – week 10

So, it’s getting closer to the assignment submission deadline, and all weekly tasks have gone out the window. However, I’m looking forward to backtracking once the portfolio and essay have been submitted to explore Vince Gilligan’s writers room on Breaking Bad and Writing and Producing Television Drama in Denmark by Eva Nordrup Redval – From The Kingdom to The Killing.

Something I’ve been struggling with is articulating my screenwriting techniques in the essay. For example, where as the story is told primarily with images, I’ve employed a video game effect as dialogue which serves as a metaphor. Death Penalty is the story of an ex-child soldier who escapes the war in Tigray and makes the dangerous migrant crossing to London where he finds himself imprisoned in a dark, forced labor football underworld – reflecting two human rights issues. One, labor violations in Qatar where more than 6,500 young men have been killed on construction sites building the world cup stadiums, and secondly, young men being lured from Africa to the Middle East on the promise of a professional football contract only to wind up as cheap labor on construction sites, their passports confiscated until they have paid back the traffickers who lured them there. My football commentary dialogue offers comic relief to the human rights violations on screen, while at the same time serving as a metaphor for western news media’s preference for reporting on football stories over escalating tensions and threats of genocide in developing world conflicts e.g. Ethiopia / Eritrea / Tigray. However, articulating this is in the essay proved difficult until I read Patricia Cooper’s Writing the Short Film which explains the use of asynchronous sound which offers ‘a multilayered view’ and can also serve as a metaphor. This seemed to describe exactly what I was aiming to do.

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