In the midst of thinking about (procrastinating about) the feature screenplay I need to deliver over the next few months I hit a lull of negativity and felt adrift. I decided to sit down and let out onto the page a variety of ideas and feelings that had been brewing in various guises for some time.
A location, a desire to write something that was oblique but tough and a small plot idea that in a feature context could become mawkish and derivative were what drove me. Yes, I also wanted to write something that had a female protagonist.
The result is the 7-page but potentially 10-minute 'Barbed Wire Heron'. It's a film I really want to make but for now it has served as a reminder that I can write something and get it done. Yes. 7 pages is not 90 but I feel proud of the short as it stands. It reminded me of my tone, my voice, my abilities and has allowed me to return to feature research with greater clarity and purpose.
'Barbed Wire Heron' as a title comes from a moment when I was walking my dog and came across a dead heron that had clearly died when it had become caught in a barbed wire fence and couldn't free itself. I felt an illogical sadness that I was not around when it had happened and was haunted by imagining the plight of the bird in its death throes. I wondered what I would and could have done had I been there. I also thought about freeing the corpse but I didn't.