As a script reader, it is easy to sit in the comfort of your home (or office desk), and cast a weary eye over someone’s script. Even if that script is written by a top professional writer, and is clearly a GOOD script, it’s still easier to point out the faults than celebrate the quality.
As a writer, it’s easy to get stuck into a negative attachment to the industry in terms of seeking their validation, approval, and/or their money to make your dreams come true. And in this day and age, it’s easy to read a kerjillion internet articles, do a couple of dozen courses, and consider yourself an expert on anything and everything to do with TV/films whilst still not getting past go yourself.
But when you make something, whether it be a short film, a viral, a pop video, or a feature film, then you realise that there’s no substitute for actually MAKING SOMETHING. You learn so much more than all your expert sofa/social media analysis that came before. That’s because you’re developing proper hands-on experience, emotionally and physically, rather than the one dimensional virtue of a casual or critical opinion.
This somewhat lofty introspection comes as we move into the 3rd week of filming Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg. I find myself in confident yet ironic mood: the more I thought I knew, the less I actually know, but that’s totally fine. We’ve all worked hard to get to this point, and it’s been a blast, but the production process always throws up some neat insights or titbits. e.g. Something you write off-hand in the first draft, just to keep your mojo going, somehow stays in all future drafts, but then all of a sudden there’s 20 people around you in a field and someone says: ‘how do you want this cowpat to look?’ or ‘what are holiday bits & bobs exactly’?
I’ve always been a big advocate of ‘get out there and make something’, and for screenwriters in the 21st century it seems to me that there simply is no excuse NOT to make or do something yourself. Produce, direct, script edit, get involved! It’s the only true way to learn and get hands-on experience rather than falling into the trap of sharing misinformed opinions via social media. Right, enough of this introspection, let’s have a look at some fun photos from the set of Nelson Nutmeg instead! (Tim’s got his own blog/photo update here).
The cowpat gets ready for its close up
Nelson Nutmeg, we salute you!
Me, Tim & JJ chew over the next scene
Shooting a cutaway with the Blackmagic 4K