Last November a good friend of mine died. His name was Roger Manthorpe, and he was a fellow student on the Media, Writing & Production course that I'm on here at Bolton University. Like me, Roger was a writer, and a pretty damn good one at that. Unlike me, he'd had years of experience. He was 31 years old, married with children, and died far too soon.
I still miss him today.
For the last couple of months I've tried to think up ways that me and the others on the MWP course could honour Roger's memory, and pay tribute to the contributions he made to the university and its students. At first I wanted to film some sort of talking heads documentary, with people talking straight to camera about the effect that Roger had on them; but knowing Roger and all the energy he had, such a thing didn't quite feel apt.
Now, however, we've been asked to film a piece of scripted drama - and me and another student, Roger's good friend Neil Lewis, have chosen to bring to life one of Roger's final ever scripted pieces, "Semblance of Truth". It's a rather daunting task considering the complexities of the work - but I firmly believe it can be done; and must be done, too, if we're to ever satisfy our grief and honour our friend the best way we can.
Neither me or Neil will let this short film fail in anyway. We can't. This isn't just a student film; not to us. It's a representation of our fallen friend - who he was, how he thought, and how he saw the world around him. They say, the mysterious 'they', that great writers live on through the great work that they accomplished. If that's the case, this film is our small chance to bring a little immortality to Roger Manthorpe, by letting his work exist, and - perhaps - exist forever.
Roger is dead, and that's so terribly sad; but he's not dead. He can never be - not to the people that knew him. Not to the people that will know him, via this film.
Let's share his genius with the world.