Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Stop Being So Dramatic!

…Or rather, start being.

That’s exactly what I want.
Drama.
I’m a dramatic person, I admit. Who doesn’t like a nice bit of drama in their lives? Thing is, I’m addicted to it. I chase it.
When it comes to television and films, I often find the drama within them to be quite stilted and forced. As much as I love Misfits, I can see the writer at work, and the clogs turning.
It doesn’t help that I’ve studied writing, and focused on plot so much. I’m not blind to the mechanics of it all, like most of the general public. That can take some, if not all, of the fun out of modern drama.
Something awfully ‘dramatic’ happens on screen, and it doesn’t wow me like it should. Yes, the acting is great. Yes, the writing is top notch – but I simply don’t believe.
Then something like This Is England comes along.
Woah!
I’ve been catching up on my Blu Rays of the England ’86 and ’88 series, and they are phenomenal. Here we have immense bubbles of drama – the best example being the prison scene in ’88 between Lol and Combo, which is quite simply the best piece of television I’ve seen in years. Genuinely.
The scene doesn’t advance the story an awful lot; it’s just two former friends, both at a crossroads, bearing their souls to the other person. It is a fantastic representation of friendship on screen, and the power of it has stuck with me days after first seeing it.
That’s true inspiration, that is.
I hope to make something as real and raw as that one day. I hope that something I create ends up on a blog, and inspires others.
Too often, however, I write blunt drama. As much as I love what I just described, I find it hard to create it myself. I want drama, real drama, injected into my texts – but I can’t quite channel it, and capture it in my scripts.
My latest script is Eight Months Last Tuesday and at the moment I’ve written a detailed synopsis, as well as the first 6 pages of script. Reading them back… I dunno. They feel perfectly adequate – but adequate, in my mind is far, far from what I want to achieve.
I’ve had this one scene in my head for years – even if I can’t decide what script to put it in, because nothing is suitable. It features one character visiting another, dead character in a chapel of rest. The dead guy (or girl) was once so full of life, cheeky and loud, and we saw all of that on screen. Now he or she is just dead. Their friend visits, and breaks down – at the end of which they plead with their silent, dead friend to come back. Of course, nothing happens as the person is dead, but I see it as a really powerful moment in the story.
More like that example, please, and I’ll be content with my own drama.
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