This is what this project has come to be known as, by me and the director and my co-producer at least. It's also known as #project18 by the director. We aren't really talking about it online much so the actual content isn't widely known and we are still not set on the title we do have. That's on my to do list as writer.
However, I can reveal that I have written an adaptation of a H.P. Lovecraft short story for a filmmaker called Ryan Mackfall, a Falmouth University graduate from before I arrived there, an acclaimed music video and documentary filmmaker. I'd offered Ryan support in getting a script together for a short film based on this story that he has wanted to make for a long time and then it transpired we could make it, using the template set up on 'Wilderness' to a different degree.
I wanted to write the script as it meant doing things I hadn't done in a while, adaptation, in genres I have never really written in - horror/fantasy/gothic. It was outside my wheelhouse and that interested me.
The script didn't take long to write. The short is only a few pages and Lovecraft was a genius so approach was to get out of the way and let him do the work. It seemed churlish to rewrite him. The work was basically structural and a process of editing out description that wouldn't aid the production and keeping in what would.
I had to add description and dialogue where there was none, only internal narration or suggestion, and for this I tried to write in the style of Lovecraft, which was terrifying but exhilarating.
Some of the dialogue had to be removed or changed. Removed because it was too long and unwieldy for screen action or changed because times have changed and while there is a need to be true to the spirit, there are also considerations about appropriateness that are needed.
My first draft left a lot of that stuff in, to get as much of Lovecraft on the page as possible, but I knew it would have to change.
After that, it didn't change much, just tweaks. This was due to time and as mentioned, most of it in my mind was already there. The film is in post-production and it's interesting to see how actors have performed the tricksy tension and dialects. I'm curious, given Lovecraft's rabid fanbase (of which the director is definitely a part of), what people will think of the finished film and by association, script. The director is happy with my work though, and that's the most important thing.
I also had fun writing it and remembering the thrill of adapting short story work into a screenplay. It got me itching to go back to a feature I've been working on for a few years and just as we entered post-production I received notes on that very project from a trusted friend who we sent the script of that film to a few years ago. Definitely a sign.