Filming Thanassis

In conjunction with the subject of Filming for Writing, Writing for Filming, the group sought to utilise filming as a method of expanding the depth of our characters. As part of our screenwriting process, we shot some of the scenes we had written not for release, but rather to see how our words would be translated on the screen. For myself in particular, a lot of the scenes I write tend to have long periods of silence and awkward interaction between the characters. I favour portrayal of an underlying dilemma through the actors’ movement and facial expression, rather than confrontative dialogue.

This is evident when we shot one of my character episode’s opening scenes. The scene, directed by Julian, was set as a car ride with Thanassis and his son, Manuel, after having just picked up his father from the airport. The silence in this scene is supposed to forewarn a secret between father and son, that would be revealed later in the episode and cause drama amongst the characters – the revelation of Manuel’s homosexuality.

It was disappointing to see how slow the story turned out in this scene. Perhaps it is the lack of visuals in combination with our amateur acting, but I don’t think I was successful in portraying Manuel’s yearning to confess to his father, through the script. Lacking in feedback for my scriptwriting, it is evident that I must continue practicing the subtlety of tension building, keeping the dialogue to a minimum while providing action for the actors to portray the drama effectively.

The only thing I could think of changing as a director (in place of Julian), is to utilise more shots that would maintain the beat of the scene, capturing each of the characters’ minute movement as clues to the coming drama.

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