MA – SCRIPTWRITING #9

The Final Chapter!

This is it! The end approaches! The doomsday clock ticks ever more to the deadline date and upload time!

Who said being a writer wasn’t fun and dramatic!?

Last week we had our final scriptwriting session which allowed us to go over any last minute details or panic stations (thankfully not many – phew!). The script has been revised and is ready to submit along with all this waffle….ahem, blog and work. And with it, a revised outline of the film. It is certainly different since its original conception back in January and hopefully all the more better for it.

As I mentioned in earlier entries, being a writer is an incredible journey, and metaphorically, you visit so many places of interest that inspire you to tell new stories, or even old ones that have never been heard yet. And this has been a wonderful journey, from discovering Willem, to learning more about him, which in turn allowed me to devise a scenario that although fictional, and more of a what if, still serves the real man himself in truth still hopefully. I hope audiences one day will enjoy the story as much as I have writing it.

Scriptwriting wise, I have found the new approach (spec script), at times very different to how I usually write. I’m very descriptive as you know, and this can be a blessing and a curse at times. One of the advantages of it is that actors in the past have commented how confident they are in the vision I have, the ideas I want to get out and share, so much so, that they feel they dont need to ask for much direction as it is practically all answered and highlighted on the page. A curse is that exposition can sometimes be overkill, but exploring this new way of seeing every line/descriptive as a shot in the film has been very engaging and rewarding and I’m very much going to try and put it in use again on future projects.

WILLEM REVISED & FINAL OUTLINE.

It is June 29th 1943. In a confined prison cell, Alexander, a young Nazi guard is awaiting his new prisoner he has been tasked with watching over until their execution. He is a smart, well dressed officer, who merely wishes to carry out his orders and keep attention away from him. Suddenly, he hears a commotion from outside the cell, and guards bring in his assigned prisoner; Willem Arondeus, a Dutch resistance fighter, who has been convicted of blowing up a building that held records kept by the Nazi’s of Netherland citizens, in an attempt to fight back against the ever-growing rise of fascism.

As Willem and Alexander sit alone in the cell, the former attempts to engage in conversation with his captor, who initially remains quiet. But over the course of three days, not only do they begin to converse, but they begin to have a profound emotional impact on one another. As Willem recounts what made his life so wonderful up until that point, he identifies similar traits in Alexander, and begins to encourage the young officer to be at peace with his own closeted homosexuality.

Alexander sees himself in Willem and begins to show sympathy to his ward by covertly looking after him, which culminates with a kiss between the two supposed enemies. As the moment passes, Alexander asks if Willem has one last request. He replies by writing on a piece of paper addressed to his lawyer, that simply states ‘Let it be known that Homosexuals are not cowards’.

As both men realise that their time together is up, guards are suddenly heard approaching and Alexander quickly resumes his official position for fear of being caught kissing Willem. As the guards enter and take Willem away, all Alexander can do is watch in silent horror until he hears a firing squad outside murder Willem. Alexander remains in his metaphorical cell and reflects on his own sexuality, and decides there and then whether to make a choice; to keep his sexuality a secret, or to run away, to embrace his sexuality and make sure Willem’s message gets out to the world.

Willem Arondeus (22 August 1894 – 1 July 1943)

I hope that in adapting this new spec script style, and after reading about Willem Ardoneus, getting to know more about his life, his ideals and his life, I hope I managed to give him a voice that unlike his real life counterpart, won’t be hidden away or nearly forgotten about. And I look forward immensely to filming this script come August time.