3 March 2011

Prodigal by Lee Thompson

By Cassio | Categorised in News

Recently we ran our filmmaking contest whereby by entrants were asked to submit a 100 word synopsis of a story idea they’d like to develop and the winner would get a free place on our Write a Feature Film part-time course.

We were overwhelmed with entries. Thank You! The lucky winner was Lee Thompson.

Here’s a blog post from Lee giving us more information about his project.



Right to begin, I must say that this is my first time writing a blog. So be gentle. The second thing I need to say is that I don’t really win things. In twenty one years of living I have won exactly three things, two of those in the last three weeks. So the shock at winning such a brilliant competition like this is very fresh in my mind.

I have read a few blogs where the writer talks about writing from an early age and the obsession and passion growing from there. I have been writing for about three or four years but only two of them with any real purpose. I graduated from Liverpool John Moores University last year with a degree and a brilliant workshop group (Much better than the degree) who will be, along with my girlfriend Ruth, subjected to months and months of, ‘Well what if this happens…’
To date I have written two television pilots, which are safely guarded by the brilliant Katie Williams at Blake Friedman. This is the first time I have thought about writing a film, short or feature length.

The idea that I submitted for the competition was something that I’ve played about with for a while but never really committed it to paper. Many years ago I saw a documentary on child geniuses; it was a fascinating program that explored what it was like to have such gifts at a young age and how the parents supported their child with the best of everything, as any parent would. With this seed of idea planted – years later it developed into:

A working class family faces an uncertain future when their son is pronounced a musical prodigy.

The film would focus on 16 year old Cal Remer and the days after he is ‘outed’ by his school as a musical savant. With his school using Cal to pull itself up the league tables, a media circus building with growing fame and loving parents wanting to give him the world but can’t afford to. Cal is caught in a storm of other peoples making.

So that is the idea, I know a few major beats about the characters but as with many things they still live in a permanent state of flux. The pitch was written to be developed, the competition inspired me to think about an idea and a logline that I could refer to and that I could push on from. It’s a only a few days till the course starts and I have already started to plan out story and character arcs for the film, fully aware that this time next week they could be completely different. So far the main beats are what Cal’s parent’s reactions are like, what his school will do and what his best friend and amateur magician Kyra will say. I have set myself a tone of Wes Anderson meets Shameless but this also could change with the writing.

At the moment all these things are jostling for space and it’s the most fun in the world.

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