Act 2 a.k.a. Week 5 begins

The last four weeks have flown by!

From being a total newby to scriptwriting to now being comfortable to use premise, treatments and loglines.

Tagline:               When BFF’s want more they will go to any extremes.

Logline:             ‘Wannabe’ teen wanting her idol’s life of fame and fortune, seeks to make her name through reality tv with dire consequences.

My first short film script in an adaptation of one of my short stories from a collection of ten, called Written in Stone. the first one is named Covet. I don’t to give too much away just yet, but it’s not all plain

As a writer, the transition from creative to script, is more difficult than at first it seems. Leaving the prose behind, is a skill in itself, but with using the step outline and writing each scene by scene really helped.

Being forced into brevity was actually a good thing, it made me focus more on the character arc and the story arc itself, and helped to refine the smaller discrepancies you don’t always notice with your own work.

As a starting point traditional scriptwriting documentation is has been great, will I stick with it? At the moment yes, as I mentioned it is easing the transition from creative writer to script writer, and while I still do both styles, I will use all I can to make my writing work.

Aller simple à la luna

So from the title and the Smashing Pumpkins video, you can probably guess that this week was analysing Le Voyage dans la Lune by Georges Méliès. This ground-breaking short film has left its mark on modern film-making in or than one way.

I was actually quite taken with this film, the acting and set was simply portrayed as was the acting, yet so cleverly done, the complexity of it only fully understand on closer inspection. I love the over theatrical style along with the use of the parody and the ‘pataphysical is unique and a ground-breaking style.

The script reads like a scene list, something I use in prose. It helps to identify fuller each scene, ready to be expanded on. From some side reading (Soloman, M Fantastic Voyages of the Cinematic Imagination)I understand that Melies did all, this within a glass house like building, and it was shot using ‘substitution splice’. to me it is a technique that comes naturally by simplifying each step, like an outline.

I see this as the first sci-fi film made, and like other sci fi screenwriters since, the use of imagination takes control making the impossible believable and making the believable a reality.

I remember years ago reading The Physics of Star Trek (yes I hold my hand up proudly as a purchaser of that copy) reading how scientists used Roddenberry’s idea’s in Star Trek to fuel their own research ideas.

Apart from the unique perspective, as pointed out in the documentary (below) most of the magic was done in editing, the double exposures, superimposition and dissolves all which have become stables in modern film production.

This shift affected screenwriters in that it ‘upped the game’,you can go as far as your imagination without limitations. The non-linear story with dream sequences is told clearly even without dialogue.

Its uses descriptors, gives location and describes action, the recipe for a script used today which would have been a huge step as back at the start of the 20th century most films were more documentary style in the way they filmed real events happening.

Adieu! take care of yourself; and, I entreat you, write!


I had to include this video from the Imagination Movers, as well it fits, it used to be a favourite in our home when my kids were smaller.

As a woman of a certain age, who has spent a fair bit being a single parent and working jobs that fit around school, I have an eclectic CV, that includes geriatric care, nursery teacher (both very similar), publican, business consultant, archaeologist and retail assistant and bouncer plus so many more.

I have studied tourism, history, International peace-keeping,  science, literature  archaeology, forensics and writing all at higher levels. My interests are as vast and varied as the British Library index list.

I have traveled and moved throughout the UK, lived and shared my life with so many different people that I have notebooks full of tit-bits of character traits, dialogue, location descriptions, and general ideas.

For me, ideas come from being a participant in life, not just an observer, of which I also do, but also from joining in, taking part. Method-writing if you like. While to start with these experiences were not all intentional writing fodder, that is indeed what they have become. My diaries, news cuttings and memories, to Facebook and other social media accounts, from riding an early morning bus filled with a mix of school kids, commuters and oaps getting to the shops early. As I embrace writing, I always have at least my phone with me to record observations and overhearing, if not a notepad and pen.

This illustrious scribbling may not always makes sense but that’s the point. These are ideas, the first step in a chain reaction. Who cares if they are used or not, but at least they are being generated and kept for that possible future time when they shout loud enough for attention.

On a side note, I have found ideas also come from copious amount of coffee and red  wine, the latter sometimes incomprehensible but all the same still worth jotting down.

In the words of Shelly…

Adieu! take care of yourself; and, I entreat you, write!


Still rolling…

Surprisingly, I have survived week two, and not felt out of my depth.

Discussing the Auteur Theory and the role within of the screenwriter, reveals the complexity of the industry.  There are times when being a writer is just not enough, and when you feel impassioned to be further involved with YOUR own creation or perhaps are part of a collaborative it can actually still work.

When I write, I use mainly first-hand experiences, my written accounts are my view points and my interpretation of what took place. To then give this over and to have multiple additional perceptions added might distort my original idea.

Originally I had believed it would be exciting to hand my baby over, but like a single parent giving over custody  I will be watching, the more I write the more protective I find myself, and my baby is not being handed over without my beady eye watching over them making sure they don’t get dropped, underfed, and clothed properly.  The absent parent will be stalked at their every move until I am 100% guaranteed that my baby will be looked after. And then, like a teenager,  I hope my writing can stand up for its self, and I can relax (or at least grit my teeth until I actually get used to the idea) and let others enjoy and play with it. All I ask future produces and directors is… please be patient with me.



And so it began…Week One.


Well it came badly time for me, week one started on the first day of half term, and a planned trip away camping so no wifi. But a quick glance at the lesson plan got me thinking about why I write, why I enjoy storytelling,

This began long before I was a parent, back when my parents had given up reading to me as I often read quicker than them. I wrote to fill in the time before the next book was out, to compliment the author’s story or add my own version of the back story.  I wrote to escape. The same has happened with reading and story telling, escapism. I tell story o my children to escape the potential nightmares, we take imaginary journeys to places  not visited , we are brave and overcome enemies and monsters. We are warriors, protectors, friends, traveller’s. Through stories we can live a thousand lives, and through each of those lifes give us the skills we need to live this one.

Sometimes they are heroes, sometimes the bad guys get away, occasionally there are morals and hidden messages, similarities and shared personalities, that help the listener to make a descison, a choice, lesson learned.

But story telling is also for enjoyment, what other reason is there for picking up a classic horror story, the only lessons to be learned from that are ‘don’t go in the cellar if you hear strange noises’ and ‘don’t wear high heels and a short skirt when you go camping and might have to run’.

The pure pleasure to be gained from a story rich enough that you lose yourself into it and react emotionally, is something totally personal, and can not be predicted until after the event. To be the person responsible for that effect is what it is all about. The satisfaction that your story had moved another human being into action of any kind has to be the highest praise available, and if i can only keep giving my kids peace that the boogie eyed bed monster is not strong enough to beat them, them im happy wih my efforts of narration.


Act One

Int.   She-shed   -Night
Candles are lit, the laptop is on, Final Draft is visible, MANDI sits with a glass of wine and starts typing. Mandi is a new writing student at Falmouth completing her MA Writing for script and screen.  Finally, the kids are to bed and she can relax and make a start.

So as I embark on the next step of my journey

I have to write a blog, hmm this could be fun

a public display and test of my writing and imagination

feedback from the unknown, and the unknowing

angle to the keyboard:

Mandi  (v.o.)

imagination starts with the blogs christening,

a name (tapping impatiently on desk) needs to

be witty, clever not too much though

MANDI starts typing


MANDI deletes the entry


MANDI writes numerous attempts at blog name

got it!

MANDI quickly types her thoughts into space


love a tongue twister, hope it’s not the wine talking

and it is as good in the morning

Angle to MANDI drinking wine, content.