One personal starting point for scriptwriting is often music. In Melbourne I worked out the demographics of the festival audience and wrote a script that went towards them. The audience would have been familiar with the work of the Beatles and “The Ballad of John & Yoko” and the lyrics about John and Yoko’s desperate attempts to escape the lunacy of their own lives and ‘get some peace’. Des and Mo grew out of this understanding of who the audience would be and the inspiration of the Beatles track.
This time round we don’t have the pre-defined audience of a festival to work towards. So who is this film for? Well, if you’re reading this, it is for you! In all seriousness, I’d like to make something that can do well on the traditional film festival circuit, so I’m guessing we are looking at educated folk. I’d like to think that it will be something different from the usual box-office offerings, so we are looking at hipsters and trendies too (uneducated or educated). We always have a slight duality going on with the 72 project because the audience that are interested in the film process would not necessarily interested in the film itself. Which should lead to a further aim that was always present in earlier 72’s but not clearly stated or achieved – “Out of Babel” should be a film in it’s own right, not because it was made in 72 hours. Coping with this duality is going to be a challenge.
I digress. The music is a starting point for the script. We like ‘Out of Babel‘. For the non-religious or uneducated hipsters amongst you that don’t know the story of Babel, I’ll summarise here. In Genesis (the bible, not the band), Nimrod leads his people to build a tower that could show how great mankind had become. God got angry because he saw that all these people, speaking one language, would believe that nothing was impossible for humankind to achieve. So he condemned everyone to speaking different languages. The ‘confusion of tongues’ is the Bible’s way of explaining why the world speaks different languages.
I’ve taken this premise as a starting point. Partly because we live in the multicultural melee that is Birmingham, partly because I love the comedy that can arise from the confusion of tongues and the technological march towards ‘progress’. I propose that this should be the focus for our satire. As for the ‘frame’ or the angle at which we explore it, well, let’s get a bit further down the line before I share that…