Screen Art and Film Workshop

‘The Gift’ by Jessica Lee

The Gift by Jessica Lee

‘The Gift’ is a script for a short film. It’s about the two characters, Minny and Vincent, who are having a quiet night in when all of a sudden a knock comes from their door. The two discover a strange cake in front of their place and in the confusion they try to find out what it’s about.

‘The Gift’ is the first-ever script that I have ever written. The creative process of this script came from my own train of thought about my future and how I  couldn’t determine it. Then I came across the idea of the unknown.  From being inspired by films that had storylines that included the discovery of the unknown, I thought I could put my own spin on it. And so, I decided to make the main theme of the story the unknown.

With this piece, I wanted to approach the unknown from the perspective of our reactions and thoughts that we have when confronting it. To put it simply, I was thinking about how each of us perceives the unknown and that intrigued me because of the huge range it has. Some of the ways where we can identify the unknown can be seen in instances where we feel something from it. Whether it’s the joys of finding the unknown or the fear of the element of the unknown or something that’s just never thought about becoming identifiable, the unknown can be an object but a feeling as well. In other words, it can be tangible or intangible. I thought that this was an interesting way to go about it. Through that idea, I decided to portray two contrasting perspectives of the unknown.

Throughout the process, I had to consider different views on how the unknown would trigger a person. And as from a writer’s perspective, it created a vehicle where I could progress the story. It created a subject that can be followed and be presented as an ‘issue’ of the storyline. I also thought it was important to create a surrounding that could be recognised and contrast from the unknown to make an emphasis on both elements of the story.  So, with that, I grappled into mainstream media and its culture. I also felt like I had to remain open to different perspectives and so I created characters with conflicting feelings. In the process of creating the unknown, I thought about the uncanny and how it can be deceiving. With that, I imagined an item that is usually innocent and can be found to be deadly. In the final stages of writing, I wanted to ensure that the ending of the story would evoke the audience in a way that would ‘leave-them-hanging’. In the end, I discovered that the story reflected a lot of my favourite mystery and thriller films and I thought that was interesting and funny.
Although the process was delayed at first, I feel that I tried my best with the time I had left to complete it. It was essential for me that I created something that I was satisfied with and that’s what drove me to revise a lot of the script. My journey through the writing of the script was a tough learning experience and forced me to reach out to various online platforms. A lot of it contradicted each other and so I tried my best to find reputable sources. To summarise the experience, I definitely feel that I’ve learnt as a writer and challenged myself in the process. Although it was a rigorous and sometimes difficult task, in the end, I enjoyed the majority of the scriptwriting process.

rmitmediastudent • June 3, 2020

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