Building a Jigsaw by Dee Chilton

Like me, you are no doubt on tenterhooks waiting the find out if your script is one of the selections for Create50 ‘The Impact’ filmmaking phase – and I purposely do not phrase that as a ‘winner’ or ‘loser’. To me, we are all winners because we submitted to the process, we created amazing stories, we put them out there, we gave and received feedback for the good of our own writer development and education and to try to help other writers create the best script(s) they could – all for the good of OUR project.

All this for the tiny investment of a £5 a go which, incidentally, does not cover the costs in terms of time and/or money of the running of this amazing and unique creative initiative. Again, I purposely do not phrase that as ‘competition’.  If it were that, then would we be so committed to suggesting possible improvements to other writers, as the vast majority of us were? Personally, I have never considered this any sort of contest.

This is about insight into the collaborative nature we need to adopt when writing for screen and the development process faced within the industry. In contrast to screenwriting competitions where your script is often read just once, some scripts have had over 16 reads – not counting the amount of reads from other writers during the feedback phase… all that for a £5 isn’t that just awesome?

Yes, I was in the judging room last weekend and yes, some of my own scripts were amongst the 617 finalists but let’s be clear from the off, I do not know the final results of the Create50 judging process and I was not allowed any say on my own entries. Having read almost all the 2179 scripts and given feedback on the majority, I was in unique position to be there as a ‘writer’s advocate’ to give voice to our concerns, to have more scripts reconsidered as much as possible. I was there to fight for YOU.

So here’s the thing, imagine a box with 2179 near identical mixed up jigsaw pieces with similar images on them inside. From that box, countless ‘finished’ pictures could be created but you need to identify the most satisfyingly ‘right’ one. You sort through to end up with all those pieces with the sharpest images and right shape, but you have more than the required number to make that final image. So you filter them again and again to identify those that are out a little out of focus, slightly the wrong shape, a tiny bit off colour and you select all the strongest possibilities.

Now you play with those pieces to see which ones fit together best. Inevitably, some just won’t fit, are too similar to each other or unbalance the final jigsaw image. That does not mean that those individual pieces are not perfectly formed in their own right. That’s the process the Create50 and final judging team now face.

So ahead of us all finding out the final results of what that final jigsaw puzzle looks like, we should all take a moment to reflect. We are all winners regardless of the outcome because we took part.

So congratulations to YOU. Celebrate how awesome YOU already are and from me, thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me the enormous privilege of reading your stories, collaborating with you and learning from you to improve my own writing and understanding.

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