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Our father

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When a washed-up rock star tries to reconcile with the twin sons he abandoned for fame and fortune, he realises the effect his stardom has had on the family he left behind. On the cusp of becoming successful stars in their own right, can he stop history from repeating itself?

Our Father is the first script I wrote that I ever finished – in total I’ve spent about three years writing and honing the script, starting with about a dozen loosely connected interweaving stories and condensing them down into one structured tale – of a man who has lost everything but wants to get it back. I wanted to explore the lives of those who have to cope with a famous family member, whilst never seeing the benefits of such stardom and public adoration, nor being able to live a normal life, constantly in their shadow. A character analysis of those behind the scenes, in a world obsessed with celebrity and fame.

For a while I struggled with deciding who to make the protagonist of my film, and alternated between it being the father, Adam, or his twin sons. The idea that interested me was the little lives that live behind the legend, as opposed to the overbearing monolithic stars dominating the papers, and so it annoyed me that the dad was taking over my script! However, I made my peace with this by only exploring his life in as far as he affected others – his sons, wife, father in law, potential love rival. Whilst the last eighteen years of his life have been solely about his ego, looking at his character from the perspective of those around him helped analyse him in a different way – looking at the man behind the name, the personality behind the talent. He became less of a monster, and more of the man he wanted to be.

My original intention was to write an independent British movie that isn’t afraid of its emotions, has universal appeal, and remains this side of humorous and entertaining, yet that side of superficial. I’d like my film to have the self-confidence of Juno, the charm of Little Miss Sunshine, the wit of The Kids Are All Right yet the gritty realism of home-grown movies such as The Full Monty, where the characters don’t wear thousand pound suits to work in Morrisons and the soundtrack isn’t sponsored by Gap.  They say writing is all about rewriting, and never has anything proved so true! I’ve recently received some feedback from a contest I entered the script into, which has given me some new ideas. The main criticism was that all my characters were given equal weighting – the father, the sons, the wife, the love rival. It still wasn’t clear who the protagonist is. But I think I’ve figured it out. They’re all the protagonists – and the ‘our father’ of the title is the relationship all of them, including the father, has with their own dad, and how this has affected their lives. I’m pretty happy with it now.

Read the script here.

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