Reflective blog: No Time to Die.

MA Writing for Script & Screen 1:2:6 (Year 1 Module 2 Week 6)

Well, what a week. Very difficult to focus on this MA with the horror of the invasion of Ukraine. In way, though, it’s made me even more determined to write a good project, this term, because life is precious, and no tyrant like Vladimir Putin should be able to steal our love of culture and art.

So, on I press.

Also, having worked so hard on the video pitch assignment submitted in week 5, I need a little time to shift to the next phase of the process – treatment, outline and script.

Last night I went to a private screening of No Time to Die with a Q & A with Barbara Broccoli and some British members of the sound and visual effects team. I had seen it before. But after this screening at the Soho Hotel, I’ll never go to see a movie at my local picture house ever again – such was the difference in sound and visual quality of this small, private audience movie theatre.

I also couldn’t help realizing how relevant this espionage thriller was. If only MI6 did have a nanobot – a biomolecular DNA targeting lethal virus that can move through human bodies, harming no one, until it reaches its intended target.

But what about my short film project. I was pleased with the pitch. I wrote it, rewrote it, memorised it and practised it, and finally, after 200 or so takes, submitted what I thought was an OK version. Most importantly of all, I never broke eye contact with the camera. As a classical actor, perfection of words is paramount – and because I hadn’t memorised the pitch as exact as I would a Shakespeare piece, I suffered and kept slipping up. If I had taken longer perfecting the memorisation, I probably could have delivered it in one take. Still, it was my first pitch, and overall I was pleased with it. Lesson learned.

Next steps: rework the treatment and step outline. I’m a firm believer that the form of the short film should be as visual as possible, and we should tell the story without words as much as possible. This project, called Piano, will have a strong focus on audio as it centres around a jingle composer.

Most of the writing, so far, is taking place in my head.

Where is your writing taking place at the moment? And how is the Ukraine situation affecting you?

What do you think?

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