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  • Writer's pictureBen Anstruther

Final Draft

The last few weeks have been focused on refining and refining. I am extremely happy with what I have achieved with this script and I think it is now in a position to begin creating the visuals to go alongside it.

There has been a couple of rewrites of the final scene, Chris has been urging me to expand the dramatic climax between Nina and Rachel, and now I think it is at a suitable level of dramatic heft. I love the back and forth between the two of them, how aggressive it becomes, and the ultimate ending. Exactly what I had in mind as I mentioned in my last post.

Chris and I have discussed at length the final ending too and what it means to me as the writer and how it could be perceived by audiences. As I said in my first post, the film doesn’t exist to condemn either people with high-minded ambitions or people who prefer a simpler life and ultimately the ending can be interpreted differently by audiences.

Is it a heroic ending? Is it a tragic one?

Does Nina’s blind determination and resilience means she is going to work her way back to the place she wants to be in and therefore help her achieve the thing she is so desperate for, or will her inability to switch off lead to her own destruction.

An interesting idea that I brainstormed with Chris was for Nina to come clean about forging the document and also throwing Gordon under the bus for obfuscating the evidence. This to me would essentially be the storyline for the second season of this idea but too much to include in this film. Moreover, I don’t know if it stays true to Nina’s character. Nina is a competitor and I don’t think she would choose to hinder her career in any way even if that meant getting back at Gordon.

I have also tried to maximise the tension in the courtroom scene. I felt it had got a little too silly in the previous draft and there was some out of place humour that I thought was a warranted and welcome addition… no. An important thing to know is that the courtroom scene and the printer scene are not designed to be funny or silly but tense, frustrating and enervating to experience.

One thing I haven’t spoken about yet, at least not in detail, is the characters. I really like them all. They’re each distinct, three-dimensional and play off each other well. I also like that Nina has the qualities of an anti-hero and not just a conventional protagonist. She’s willing and ready to break the rules, put down people in her way and has some elitist tendencies with she takes out on Rachel. Trevor I feel now is much stronger a character because yes he has been written to embody a key issue within the fiscal service, overly zealous sending of police reports to trial, and also as an obstacle to Nina. I think now though he comes across less immature and irritating than he was before and it’s therefore much more probable that he wouldn’t have been sacked from his job.

But the thing I am most proudest of is the dialogue. It reads well, it’s fun, it gets appropriately aggressive and is actually fairly realistic. I did experiment with more overt comedic dialogue but it became too farcical and tonally inconsistent - there was a Star Trek joke for example which just didn’t work. I do feel sincerely though that I have fulfilled what I set out to, now just from the start of this trimester, but when I initially conceived the idea. I do think that it has come together better than I could have imagined and am really proud of what has been accomplished.


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