Well, it is time for the big reveal. The synopsis or summary of the feature project that I have been working on. Enjoy!
A story encompassing Europe’s largest city, South of The River follows the lives of two Londoners, Gemma and her lover Magda, over the course of a few months as they struggle to survive against the obstacles that spawn before them.
Gemma is a single mother whose minimum wage job does not pay enough to cover the outgoings for her and her child. But when she finds out that her partner Magda now has full blown AIDS, she wants to raise as much money as possible. Hence she gets involved in the world of Magda – Drug Dealing, vice and danger. As a result, Gemma comes into contact with Magda’s pimp, Ritchie Fernando. A vicious, cross dressing thug, with a penchant for violence, who will stop at nothing in order to satisfy his sadistic lust for money.
Magda, despite her sickness, tries her best to stop Gemma from committing the same mistakes that she has done. But Magda’s worsening condition, plus her addiction to heroin means that she is powerless to stop Gemma from suffering the same fate that she has done. No matter how much she tries to help Gemma, Magda is unable to stop the wheels of fate from taking their toll on both of them.
South of The River is a story about the underclass of London. The poor, the sick, the dispossessed, the mentally ill. It shows how the city depends on this mass of disadvantaged for doing the dirty, dangerous and low paid work that most people will never have to do, but depend on for the functioning of their day to day lives. Minimum wage works in the retail industry, drug supply and the sex industry employ huge numbers of people (both legally and illegally) but also demonise them and stifle any opportunity for their personal growth. South of The River takes the lives of two ordinary Londoners and through extraordinary events tells their story and the typical hardships that many people in their position face. Harassment, exploitation, humiliation, danger and ultimately, death.
As anyone who writes knows, it is bloody hard to succinct your script down to one or two pages. To distill it until the essence of the film is there. I think even harder is the logline, but that is a different story. More of a slogan than anything else. The irony is this. THe shorter the piece of writing, the harder it gets. I love writing scripts, it absolutely thrills me. As a piece of creativity, nothing comes close. But a synopsis or a treatment just bugs the hell out of me.
However, this synopsis has been doing the rounds. Being sent to various organisations as well as the actors we have so far got on board. And a synopsis does work; as much as it is evil writing the synopsis, it is a necessary one.
And I keep organising like hell as well, but that is for next week’s blog…