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  • Richard Robotham

Writing "White Goods"

When Bazz approached me with the idea for White Goods last September I jumped at the chance to write it, an original core concept with plenty of room for laughs and gore, whats not to love?

A little bit about me; I'm Richard and I started out as an actor, then three years ago I branched out and became co-founder and artistic director of Biffon Films. Over the years as an actor I've been a regular contributor to the Kidderminster film scene with White Raven Films and Carnie Productions.

And now the reason for this blog is to tell you about my experience as a first time feature film writer. I'll be honest and say I didn't know how to approach it! I'd sit staring at a few sheets of character and story ideas and wonder how I'd ever get them organized on a page. I've written plenty before, mostly short comedy sketches no longer than five minutes and I suppose in a way that's what I found myself doing with White Goods. I'd come up with a scenario and place the characters in it, play around a little and see what direction it took me. One thing I always had to keep in mind is what was physically possible for us to film, we don't have a Hollywood budget after all, its a delicate balancing act of being artistic but also practical.

During the writing process I was in regular contact with Bazz and he seemed pleased with the short scenes and comedy/horror tone, we've had lots of fun coming up with inventive death scenes together. After a few months of this brainstorming it came to the point where we agreed I needed to start tying it all together and setting a general direction for the script. A few false starts and a few drafts later and the opening scenes we're ready to go, we could start filming. For my part I felt like I should have had the whole script finished by this point, writing was taking me longer than I had anticipated. Time wasn't on our side though, we needed to start shooting and at least we knew the direction the story and characters were going to take so its not like we were flying blind.

To begin with the day of the shoot was strange for me, this was the first time someone else has directed one of my scripts and its a weird feeling letting go. Up to this point I've been in complete control of all the story's characters and actions, I had to give that control over to the cast and director. I've been acting and directing a long time but never before given much thought as to how the writer must feel watching his work passed on to and interpreted by others. I hope I've made the writers I've worked with feel as proud as I did that day watching my script come to life under the auspices of Bazz and the talented cast he has assembled.

Finally as of a few weeks ago the script is done and I'm very pleased with how its turned out but next time there are some things I'd do differently. For one thing I think it took too long for me to finish the script, I could have had a baby in the nine months it took me to write(well I couldn't because I'm a man, but you get the idea). That's all for the future though, the present see's me taking on my next exciting acting role; I'm going to be playing the part of Rio in the soon to be blockbuster hit White Goods. I hope I can remember my lines

Richard Rowbotham


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