Driftwood Doll Films’ Writing Group

Joint blog from http://modthewriter.wordpress.com & http://www.driftwooddollfilms.com about the launch of our DDF-hosted writing group, by Michael O’Dwyer.

DRIFTWOOD DOLL FILMS photo reduced no frame square

Driftwood Doll Films is mine and Eilís Abbott’s independent production company set up this year (2014) in Dublin, Ireland. Our approach to this writing group we’re hosting online and in regular meet-ups is to build an open, friendly, and collaborative space in which to progress projects from the basic idea phase into a fully realised film. For my part in that, I feel the most important thing to get right is the script development – that each project has been thoroughly thought out, discussed, redrafted, and gets the absolute most out of what it can be. In this way, it can attract the right people to get involved.

Our aim is to offer guidance and be a positive driving force, helping to hone ideas, scripts, treatments, and production packages to a professional standard.

And now some kind of speech about taking film back from the corporate hellhounds for when we’re making our features..

“The future of independent film-making is in crowdfunding and collaborative communities. The future of film-making as an art depends on escaping the corporate sharks who circle anything beautiful and real and destroy it. The future of good film-making is in taking decisions and control out of the hands of hedge funds, banks, soulless non-creative corporate entities, and those whose first thought is the wish to sell out to them.

The cynical may say the film industry is what it is and corporate domination of its processes is inviolable, but it hasn’t always been the way it is now where unworthy bombastic product and name recognition titles are 90% of what they foist on the world. Wall Street’s dominant position as overlord of mainstream film-making will fall as all regimes with no interest in the people’s quality of life (or film entertainment) fall.

It’s not that as independent-minded film-makers we don’t believe in success, or profit, or recognition. It’s the ground-in feeling that the illusion of success, the lapdogging chase of profit, and the enforced marketing of recognition is visible in every casting decision, every formulaic scene, and every irresponsible conservative cliché of corporate-minded films, and that’s not something we want for ourselves. Telling our stories and those of our loved ones is one of the most powerful drives and abilities we have. Film is an artform that needs saving and protecting, because it should speak for the people and not just the elites of the world. Its vision should always be artistic first, with a singular viewpoint and original thinking.

But decisions are taken to prevent new viewpoints coming to the screen and reaching a wide audience who would bite your hand off to be given something of real, heartfelt passion that sends them back out to the streets wanting to start a revolution rather than get a coke for the bus home.

It’s the excluded who have that ingredient of unfamiliar content to bring new stories & visions of society to film. Independent and community financing of film projects, supporting each other’s artistic intentions and heartfelt stories is where it’s at. And it’s with that intention of community and collaboration that we’ll drive the Driftwood Doll Films’ Writing Group.

I am first and foremost a writer. It’s built in to what I am as a person. Not for money, not for fame, not for status.. although making a living and being able to write and develop projects securely and full-time is my main career goal. But as a writer, my artistic goals are simple, to write films that explore the stories of people that are underrepresented or stereotyped by the mainstream film world, and the world in general; working class in a banker’s world, women in a male authoritarian world, gay in a homophobic world.

My interests lie in the dark and scary situations of life, the struggle for survival, and the striving to win personal battles against the bully boys and oppressors, and I believe these ideas can be explored in any genre and setting from the most down to earth to the most off-worldish.”

The writing group, involving a private facebook group as well as regular workshops, will be made up of a number of personally invited writers and directors that will increase over time, from beginners to the highly experienced, with the aim of creating a DDF moderated space where we can put forward, discuss, and progress individual projects through script development, readings, and making production packages.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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