Saturday, 12 August 2017

The Pursuit in the Finals

If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen that one of my scripts The Pursuit made it to the finals of the Stage 32 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Screenwriting Contest. The winners were announced last night and although I didn't make the top two, I was extremely happy to have made it this far.

The Pursuit was a script I wrote for my final production assignment at Falmouth University back in 2015. Since then it has gone through a few tweaks and changes, placing in the ScreenCraft Sci-fi contest semi-finals that same year and even getting read by a couple of producers. Over the past couple years I've made the odd change here and there but have been mostly working on newer and (hopefully) better scripts. However, earlier this year I saw that Stage 32, a great site for creative minded people, had an opening for submissions for their Sci-Fi & Fantasy Contest, and with a Sci-Fi script under my belt, I thought why not. So now here we are, the furthest I've placed in a competition yet and I am extremely grateful to have gotten so far. The Pursuit needs a few more action scenes and less talking to spice things up but apart from that it seems to be going down nicely with its readers.

So I thought today I would share the first five pages of The Pursuit with you (something I thought I had already done but apparently not!). The logline goes like this:

'Born onto a mission to explore the stars, Lily only dreams of going home to Earth. What was once an impossible dream becomes suddenly more achievable when the ship regains a lost connection with Earth, and Lily becomes friends with a lonely technician named Bry on the other end.'

And the first five pages go like this: 
So there you have it, the first five pages of The Pursuit, the first feature script I wrote. I'm pretty happy with how it's evolved and with it placing so highly in this recent competition makes me think that it could do with some extra attention in the near future with the hope that one day it might win a competition. Wouldn't that be something. 

Congratulations to the winner of the competition Ben Gross with his script The Ladies' Guide to Hacking. You can check out his logline as well as the loglines from all the finalists here. 

If you're a producer/director reading this and want to see more, drop me a message!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Big Sick

I wasn’t looking at dedicating a whole post to The Big Sick but after what I saw the other night and the lack of people in the cinema watching with me, I wanted to give this film some love.

The Big Sick is based on the real-life courtship of Kumnail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, dealing with their cultural differences and an illness that leaves Emily in a coma for a large portion of the film. Kumail plays himself in the film, whereas Emily is played by Zoe Kazan and her parents, who Kumail begins to bond with throughout her illness are played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. Everybody is wonderful in their roles and bring a lot of love to a film that is probably one of the most heartfelt films I’ve seen this year and definitely the funniest.

There are belly laugh moments but for the most parts it’s just chuckles at some of the wit and comic timing that makes this film a blast to watch. Kumail has proved himself to be a brilliant comic and actor before, but I think this might be him at his best. Obviously, his personal connection to the film helped but he had this special kind of magic that has you laughing and crying at the same time.

It’s not a massively sad film but it still is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster - juggling love, family connections and cultural differences - making a unique rom-com unlike any I have seen before. It’s not flash, it’s not a technical achievement but flies on story alone, and boy is it one hell of a story. This story would have been relevant and moving whether it was personal or not; it really grips you in and doesn’t let go.

The characters are very relatable, I could see a lot of myself in Kumail even with obvious cultural differences. There’s one scene in particular where he’s trying to show Emily a film and keeps watching her to see her reactions and make sure she’s watching it ‘properly’. At this moment, my girlfriend leant over and said “That’s so you!” as she sat beside me to watch yet another film she had never heard of, seen advertised or had any interest in seeing. Luckily, she enjoyed this one though! And I would be surprised to find anybody who didn’t, which makes it such a shame that we were one of two couples in the cinema.

So this week, when your deciding what to do - go see The Big Sick. It’s one of the best films of the year, you will leave the cinema with a big smile on your face and tear in your eye. It’s beautiful and I’m giving it a rating of 5/5

Have you seen it yet? Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!