Thursday, 18 May 2017

Busybody: Martymachlia


It is very flattering when you receive an email out of the blue inviting you to a screening in which you will see three new adaptations of a script you wrote many years ago. 

Busybody is a script I wrote back in 2012 during my BA (Hons) in Creative Writing with Film and Screen Studies at Bath Spa University as part of the Planning and Making a Film module. 

I have written about Busybody and my experiences in the Planning and Making a Film module before, but suffice to say that Busybody proved to be a very popular script in that module. It has proven so popular that it has now been adapted by students from three different years resulting in a grand total of 16 different adaptations of my original script.

I have not seen all of the adaptations and I can not showcase them all on this blog because I can not locate them all online, but, by far, the best adaptation to date was one I watched at the end of year showcase in May of 2016. 

Re-titled Martymachlia and with a storyline somewhat altered, Martymachlia left a strong impression on me after viewing last year, I was very impressed with the effort that had gone into it.



The overall quality of the production, directing and acting is impeccable and, after speaking to the team of students responsible for making Martymachlia, I know that a great deal of effort went into this adaptation. 

Martymachlia is all the more startling because it shares some uncanny similarities to a second draft of the Busybody script I wrote in 2014 - re-titled KEYS - a script I had not shared with the university, because my original intention had been to produce KEYS myself. I have since put that idea to bed, but I was shocked to watch Martymachlia and the changes they had made because they so closely aligned with the changes I had implemented in the second draft. 

Obviously, it is not exactly the same and I feel that a lot of character is lost in Martymachlia and the story has been simplified too much because it now completely turns both the Natalie and Geoff characters into purely sexual stereotypes; whereas in Busybody and especially so in KEYS there was great deal more depth and complexity to each character - they both possessed a psychology you could imagine a real person having. 

This is my only complaint against the Martymachlia adaptation, I only wished it had maintained the original storyline and character motivations of both Natalie and Geoff. If it had, Martymachlia may have been even more uncannily closer to the version of Busybody which now exists in the KEYS script. 

However, Martymachlia certainly has the tone and impact I was going for in the Busybody story, but never felt I adequately conveyed until I finished the 2nd draft in KEYS. I had always complained that I was never happy with the 1st draft of Busybody, it always felt rushed and unfinished! 

To this end, I have now let the university have the KEYS script because, when I sent it to them last year, I no longer had any plans of making it myself (the KEYS draft is more like a shooting script), but that may change next year because I have always wanted to see my script done right. 

Don't get me wrong Martymachlia comes very close, but it is still not quite the quirky and dark and twisted tale I have story-boarded inside my head.

While I do not have all of the adaptations on this blog, you can also view the first adaptation and three others adaptations.

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