Progress Report #2: 08/09/2017

No Hidden Extras

Page Count: 55

Target: 7 pages

The first week back was productive. I almost doubled my lowest target, and dealt with the script’s tricky mid-section. There’s still a long way to go before FADE OUT, but now we’ve passed the halfway mark it feels like the home stretch.

That said, I was a little anxious heading into our story session earlier. Ian and I knew that from here on we were balanced on a double-edged sword: we were in uncharted territory, this being the furthest we’ve been into any draft of NHE; and yet we knew that we had to do justice to the narrative threads that we spent the first half of the film establishing. Imperfect as it may be, we strongly believe that we’re onto something with this story, and it can be won or lost based on how we decide to move forward. That’s a pretty exciting thought, and what’s oddly refreshing is that there’s no feeling of dread anymore. At long last, if only for a short while, I have come to realise that all drafts are just that, and are by their nature imperfect beasts.

The first hour or so of the story session was full of uncertainty, but as soon as the creative juices started to flow we distilled what we wanted to convey in the second half of the script. The major events felt organic. They fitted together without contrivance or the need for melodramatic set-pieces (which we couldn’t afford anyway).

OFFICIAL SELECTION - Southampton International Film Festival - 2017 (1)

On the short film front, “No Hidden Extras” has been selected for Southampton International Film Festival, which runs from 19th to 22nd of October. After a spell of festival rejections, that was a welcome relief. Our nominations are for Best Short, Best Director of a Short for Ian, Best Screenplay for yours truly, Best Editing for fellow System Street member Phillip Escott, and Best Supporting Performance in a Short for Ray Bullock Jnr. Ian and I will be heading to Southampton for the weekend to fly the System Street flag, watch a ton of movies, talk shop, and network like crazy. (Beer too. Always beer.)

The Stageplay

No real updates on this front, though I have started to read a few plays and a little dramatic theory to ease myself into that head space.

Next Thursday (the 14th) I’m heading down to Port Talbot to see a dress rehearsal of We’re Still Here. Written by Rachel Trezise in association with the National Theatre Wales, this play tells the story of those men and women who fought the closure of the Port Talbot steelworks. It promises to be an interesting experience, not least due to the immersive nature of the production; it’s based in the disused Byass Works and the story unfolds as the audience walks around the performance area.

Also, on the 26th of October Ian and I will be watching Gary Owen’s re-imagining of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff. More on this at a later date.

Aye. I’ll take that for a week at the coalface.

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