In late 2006, I wrote a script for a short film called ‘Robotics For Morons’. I entered it into a Scottish based competition organised by the Glasgow Media Access Centre (GMAC). It was read by two members of their reading team and gained two positives responses. It wasn’t picked as other projects were more viable at the time. I pressed on, forever rewriting the script.
It sat unused until 2010 when I put it on Shooting People’s Script Pitch Network. It gained a fair bit of interest with a few people asking for details. Eventually, a producer from Southern England took it on board. He even went as far as to get a shooting script together which seemed to remove all the humour from the original script and make it into a dark horror instead. I couldn’t really complain, if I wanted to make it as I saw it then I should have made it myself. Then, months went by with no word at all about the film. I had given him permission to use my script to make it and been greeted by complete radio silence.
I sent him an e-mail asking what was happening. The replied essentially admitted he’d ran out of money before he’d managed to cast it, that it would now take him ages to get more cash together and that I might as well take the script back and make it myself. This I agreed to do and our working relationship ended there. With more rewrites the script was re-listed on Shooting People in early 2012. Once again it gained a fair bit of interest. A Dutch film producer read the script, liked it and decided he wanted to make it.
Months went by and I heard little, instead finding myself doing the nervous writer thing of not wanting to get in the way by asking. The trouble with projects at this stage is the possibility that, much like my previous dealings with the film, it can all end in a moment. A couple of e-mails were exchanged months apart. They were finding locations on one occasion, casting the next, never quite building enough steam to get ahead. A project which, to me, still felt fragile. So fragile in fact that I didn’t feel like I could blog about it for fear of looking foolish when it failed.
Last week I received a message on Facebook from the producer. They’re moving ahead to film within the next two weeks. I received photos of the two main actors and the location where the story takes place. Just when I was imagining this script being returned to me it ends up being near to coming to life.
Alongside Henry Barstow being performed, Robotics For Morons being finished was one of the things I wanted in 2012. It’s part of the general motion to stop writing things in a vacuum, with no end result. Whilst I’m excited about the script being taken to film I’ll be even happier once I can see it in full and, even more, show it to you.