Chameleon

I write the script - it's my only purpose in this. But I want to see what happens to the characters I write and the actors who play them; and for this, I need to talk to leading actor Ben Barnes...

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4. Finalize

In a way, I stumbled into writing by accident.

Of course, it was something I was always interested in - but I never thought it would lead to anything. I didn't think anything I wrote was even close to the quality of best-selling authors, but it doesn't have to be. Through school I met a small agent, who said my work was 'fresh and intelligent'. New initiative is all you need; the good writing comes with it, in time. 

I wanted to write a love story that wasn't typically cheesy and vomit-inducing, which I felt the majority of the stories out there were. A guy wouldn't just stay with a girl because she's good looking - if she had an awful personality, surely that would drive them apart? But no: in movies, continually, one dimensional characters fall for each other and stay in a relationship because it's okay, and it's familiar. What happens when you want something new, a change in regime? 

I wanted Sophia to be flamboyant, and arrogant, and a little childlike. I needed her to contrast with Jack - shy, affectionate, mature. They say opposites attract, which was the idea I was going for, but I felt there wasn't enough explanation into when a couple are just too different from each other. Happily ever after? Not necessarily my style, but it's a bonus.

I've written Sophia's death scene. I like it - car crash, simple, finished, done, wham-bam, thank you very much. No 'is she alive?' or 'did someone kill her on purpose?'. Great, but not for this story. I didn't want her to have an ambiguous ending.

Sure, this wasn't the end I had in mind, but I really think it could work.

 

I still haven't come up with a title. Herb floated some suggestions, including 'Behind the Scenes' and some more horrific, similar ideas, my personal favourite being 'A Character in Love'.

Firstly, it's cheesy.

Secondly, it's too obvious. I wasn't intent on having a really cryptic title, where a dozen interpretations could apply, where critics could scribble notes about something that wasn't even intentional. A title should have some relation to the script, of course, but nothing too blunt.

And thirdly, it wasn't mine. I wanted to think of something myself, a little obscure but intriguing, simple but effective. But I had come quite attached to it having no name - the anonymous script.

Writing can be such a pain. But it can be worth it.

I was back on the set today, finalizing some ideas for shooting. Ben had his flawless facade firmly in place, but I got the impression he was still uneasy around me after our conversation in the cab. I felt like he was disappointed in me for writing out Mariella's character. I tried to convince myself it wasn't just for personal reasons, but a niggling voice in the back of my head reminded me that it was.

Yes, it was unprofessional. Yes, it was risky. If Mariella or her agents found out, they could ditch me and finish the script themselves. I just had to act casual, assure them I killed off Sophia for the greater good of the script.

It was my turn to act.

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