Back to the Feature

Back to the Feature

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Last week, I wrote about my trek home for the holidays and how it afforded me two much needed vantage points: from a distance, it allowed me reflect on my time so far at Columbia, but it also brought me home to friends and family. That said, it wasn’t solely reflective or just for pleasure, as there was some business to tend to and it was as much a forward-looking venture as it was back.

I’ve talked about Kick Off before. It’s now at the stage where, based on faculty feedback, I’m preparing producer’s notes for Galen, the writer I’m working with, before we move to a third draft. Filmmaker Richard Curtis (Four Weddings & A Funeral, Notting Hill) has said that he will not take a screenplay into production until it has gone through at least seventeen drafts. Now, Kick Off is a short, so we probably won’t undergo that many, but we’re going to keep working on development for the meantime while I figure out a time-frame for production later this year.

While home, I met with Stephen Byrne. From Ireland, Stephen is a published illustrator, esteemed animator, accomplished storyboard artist (having done the storyboards for this year’s blockbuster Lockout), and friend.  We met for coffee and discussed Kick Off. It was great, he was full of ideas—not only about concept art and storyboards but also about the story itself—and I’m glad to say he is interested in the project.

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For a long time, I’ve been a fan of Bret Easton Ellis. I like how he writes and what he writes. He often interweaves characters between stories. In The Rules of Attraction, the character Sean Bateman is the brother of Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. Next time you watch Rules, notice how, when Sean takes a call in his dorm, he asks, “is this Patrick?” That’s partly the inspiration for Chace, the protagonist from Kick Off, featuring as a secondary character in my feature film Scars.

I wrote Scars last year, while still in my undergraduate studies in Dublin. The story is inspired by somebody I used to know, and the title comes from a song by my good friend Jack. It was originally a short, but it was thematically heavy and crammed too tightly into ten pages. I decided it was feature worthy, and before break, Galen and I sat down to our third feature development meeting.

I met Jack while I was home. We’ve worked together on some projects in recent years—he’s a massively talented composer/musician—and the good news is he’ll be coming on board to score Kick Off in the near future…and hopefully Scars further down the line.

Meetings aside, I’ve also been writing character bios for Scars over the holidays. Here’s a brief insight into the character of Chace, who features in both Kick Off and Scars.

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Right now, we’re in early development, but we expect to have a first-draft treatment for Scars in the coming weeks. That will probably be revised somewhat, and only when both Galen and I feel it’s one hundred percent will we begin the first-draft screenplay.

The journey home ended up being a healthy mix of both business and pleasure, but I guess when you really care for and have a passion for what you do, business is pleasure. Not in a money-for-kicks-hustler kind of way, though.

I leave you with the song that touched a chord and inspired the title for my feature. This is Scars by @TheDyingSeconds.