The Nearness of You by Sam Heydon Draft 2

The Nearness of You (draft 3).pdf
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Writers reaction to our notes (published with writer consent)

Thanks for the suggestions - we really are seeing this from different perspectives aren't we?!!

I wanted to do as much as possible in a short film i.e. find an interesting setting, quickly establish a couple of characters who we take an interest in and put a little twist in at the end.

I like the setting, it's atmospheric and the use of dialogue from the era gives it some charm.  I feel it won't be that much of a problem with the co-operation of a WW2 re-enactment group.

How do we engage an audience in the 21st Century when so many stories have been told and we're easily able to guess the "surprise" endings?  You have to make them feel sure that they know what's going on and then reveal what's actually been happening through one telling event.  (e.g. "The Sixth Sense," "The Others," "The Conversation.")

We know there's going to be a kiss and there is still a big emotional kiss at the end along with a fun one; they're just not the kisses that the audience expect. If I mention the airman at an earlier stage there's no surprise! What you see as longing between the 2 women is revealed to be a creation of the modern audience's sensibilities once the airman turns up, that's the point.

I've made a few changes to clarify my intentions. I hope this works for you and any potential film makers.

Draft Two Comments... have YOUR say!

Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Steve Attmore (Tuesday, 13 November 2012 18:22)

    Rather good I thought - what!

  • #2

    Tony Denny (Monday, 19 November 2012 21:37)

    I have just looked at the short video- I was a boy living in Norfolk during that time. I can assure you it is a deju-vu experience. It is a pity it was not a full length video. The costumes and styling is excellent. The atmosphere at the village hall true to life. It was very nostalgic for me-and I nearly said 'Got any Gum chum'? That was the standard greeting from kids to the American servicemen the American then. Thanks for the memory!

The Nearness of You by Sam Heydon Draft 1

During WWII an illicit affair is stopped dead in it's tracks.
nearness of you -DRAFT 1.pdf
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Draft One Producers Development Notes for the author

1. All the 50 Kisses team who read this script read it as a forbidden love story set against the backdrop of the second world war – the script was put through on this basis but we felt the ending needed developed. Our original notes were going to be that it ended to easily with your character going with a guy and that the longing you created between the two female characters had to be demonstrated as one of them conformed to what was expected. Our other note on this basis was could this situation happen in a modern environment? Religious group? School dance? That would seriously cut the production cost of a WWII piece which we felt would put some filmmakers off.

2. We have read your interaction with others on the message board and it seems that film was actually about a woman waiting for her fiancé to come back from a mission. If this is what you intended, then you need to set it up better at the beginning and show how upset the woman is about her pilot not being back yet. We would also suggest that you need to strip out the longing between the two women that we felt was woven through and show the support the friend is giving.

3. We felt that our reading of the story was stronger but the choice is yours as to how you develop it. It is certainly an interesting example of what the writer intends for a script, versus what the reader takes from it.


Have your say, what do you think?

Comments: 16 (Discussion closed)
  • #1

    Sam Heydon (Friday, 03 August 2012 11:28)

    Actually it's not really an illicit affair, not yet anyway. That's just me playing with the reader/viewer's perceptions! The ending is meant to show what the relationship really is, one of caring and supportive friends in difficult times.

  • #2

    Craig (Friday, 03 August 2012 12:23)

    Hi, Sam. I got your ending. guessed it was just away of keeping men away from her friend about half way throught. I don't read the tag lines before I read the scripts (give to much away some times)

  • #3

    Colleen (Friday, 03 August 2012 19:06)

    Ok, so Dianne wanted it to be more than a just a couple of supportive friends, though, right? Or not at all. It was just a little confusing as to what the point was, but cute overall!

  • #4

    Laura (Saturday, 04 August 2012 19:31)

    Hi Sam, really like the interesting set-up and the WW2 setting. Was a bit unclear about the ending though - not sure I believe that Dianne doesn't actually have romantic intentions though!

  • #5

    Damian Mallon (Sunday, 05 August 2012)

    Like Craig I don't read the tag lines until I've read the script; if I need the tag line to explain the script then there's a problem with the script.
    The impression of the relationship I got from the script was what you intended (not an illicit affair), but I was more concerned about acurately portraying that the returning airman was her boyfriend. Perhaps Angela calling him by his name when she sees him would help better sell the idea that this is someone she knows well rather than just a someone she wants to throw herself at.

  • #6

    Sam Heydon (Sunday, 05 August 2012 12:38)

    Many thanks for reading the script and your comments.

    I suppose I was hoping that once you saw the re-united couple at the end all the other dialogue and events would fall into place.

    Dianne has made her friend come out for the evening because the latter's boyfriend hasn't returned from a mission. It would be rather cold for Dianne to use her friend's emotionally distraught state to try and cop off with her!

    Maybe I was being a bit too subtle but the key turning point of the reader's perspective was meant to be when Dianne looks up and SMILES because she's seen the missing/presumed dead RAF guy. She's happy! Angela's happy! RAF man's happy! Big smoochy kiss!

  • #7

    Jo (Sunday, 05 August 2012 14:13)

    Hi There,
    Agreed. I think you've set up that Dianne has feelings for Angela, so therefore when she snogs the Airman, I feel a bit cheated as it seems a bit out of character. But it has a nice setup and I like the of lesbian undercurrent, it's not something that's explored much in a 1940s era, so that makes it refreshing.

  • #8

    Phil Charles (Sunday, 05 August 2012 20:21)

    Enjoyed reading your script. I didn’t read a lesbian undercurrent or affair at all, I just saw two great mates, Dianne being there for Angela when she needed her most. To foreshadow the boyfriends’ arrival at the end could perhaps Dianne be the one to say everything’s going to be okay, Angela’s response being no it won’t, it’s been a week…type thing. This will tell us she’s definitely presumed the worst. Then we’ll really feel Angela’s happy shock when she claps eyes on him. I loved Dianne’s snog with the airman at the end, she deserved it for being such a caring friend. Huge congrats.

  • #9

    Craig (Tuesday, 07 August 2012 16:22)

    This is not a complaint about this script at all, I really like it. But I look on the blog "50 Kisses – Getting to 50" It says a lot of scripts lost out because they felt they would be too difficult to make, such as too many locations, a cast of thousands, were set in period, were animations or had another flag that would mean it would be unlikely a filmmaker would choose to make it.

    This is set in World war II with lots of uniforms, a live band in a village hall.

    I think this would fall into the too difficult to make category, witch is a big shame. If it has to be cut back and is set in present day would it have the same effect. Two women, are they gay, are they not?

    Lets hope someone does spend the money and do this right.

    Try and not let them change it. Good luck.

  • #10

    Andy (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 00:07)

    I thought this was excellent - a neat economical set up and a sweet twist. Like Phil, i don't see that Diane has romantic feelings for Angela - that's just misdirection - she's just being a good friend. And you're not being too subtle, Sam, no more explanation is needed - i'm sure most people would get it, just as it is!
    And it has to stay in the WWII period - that's the whole point. It wouldn't work otherwise. And are a few uniforms and a band in a village hall really that expensive? Not exactly my field of expertise but it's not as though it's set on Mars!

  • #11

    Craig (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 10:49)

    Andy, I think you missed my point.

    On the blog they said a film that would be too difficult to make would be set in a packed cinema. Is a packed cinema (or making it looked packed) harder to do than this?

    To do this justice would take a lot and as its a competition. Two, three, ten, twenty of more filmmakers can make it. Would you like to spend all the time and money to lose out? If not make one of the other cheaper ones.

    If it was set on mars it would be cheaper, an old qurry and a red filter on the camera.

  • #12

    Sam Heydon (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 13:26)

    Thanks again everyone for the comments.

    Good suggestion Phil, Too kind Andy! Good point Craig...

    ...and then 50 camels come over the hill! (This is going to be expensive!)

    I always have an eye on budget when I write something. In this case the obvious thing to do is rope in a WW2 re-enactment group.

    I'm a musician myself and, if this was shot around Norfolk, could source some excellent players.

  • #13

    Ian (Thursday, 09 August 2012 21:50)

    I enjoyed this, Sam. The subtext was good - the suggestion of attraction - and I felt some tension because of Angela's concern about being hit on. I think it would help if it was opened out. How are the rebuttals dramatised? These would make the story more than two minutes long. Perhaps begin later into the scene? Begin with a rebuttal and show men watching the women? Then bring in the payoff? Just a suggestion. You've packed a lot into two minutes. I'm impressed.

  • #14

    Laura Koons (Thursday, 09 August 2012 23:07)

    The logline was a bit misleading but other than that I enjoyed this script....especially the WW2 setting. Hopefully someone can figure out a way to make it work within their budget.

  • #15

    helene jackson (Friday, 10 August 2012 00:34)

    really liked this script, very well written. yes i agree the logline is misleading makes you think a bomb is about to land on them all! loved the undercurrents and then the "jolly hockeysticks, this is crap but let's get on with it" vibe at the end. congratulations.

  • #16

    Richard Green (Tuesday, 14 August 2012 05:04)

    Haha - I am all for the illicit affair - I think that moment between the two women works really well, unintentional or not. It doesn't have to be blatant BUT it gives the audience an opportunity to think for themselves - which everyone here has - I would develop this playing on the ambiguity.Given that WWII might be difficult, what about setting it in Iraq (Quick news shot establishing scene) and the night is in a rec tent for servicemen AND women... they could be in uniform as well? Then it brings it into the modern... just a thought.