Recently I was very focused on ‘success’ objectives, visions and manifestations in the future that were very much attached to lifeless ideals of how I could be better. I think the reason I resonated with a lot of these success objectives was mainly because I was stuck procrastinating and not doing much for a while. Whereas living towards a ‘successful’ future was giving me some level of discipline and energy. Although, it was the wrong energy. I meditated and let go of that lifeless compulsion, and started to do what I really resonated with and actually felt something for. Upon being informed about some short screenplay competitions, I felt inspired and excited to write a spin-off short film based on birdcage. I figured seen as I knew all the characters fairly well, it would flow out of me fairly effortlessly. And I was right. It was an absolute joy to write, I decided to tell the short film through Arthur’s point of view (one of the main supporting characters in Birdcage). I felt Arthur was not too dissimilar from Oskaar so it would be more beneficial for use as some sort of proof of concept for Birdcage. They both have curfews due to their restrictive parents although for different reasons. The Camp is based a few years before the events in Birdcage takes place.
Arthur lives a life of missing out – while his friends spend every weekend fishing, he only has one beloved summer memory fishing in the midnight lake while his parents were away one time. After peeking into Arthur’s melancholic life for a while (caused by his restrictive Mother and overly enforcive older Brothers), Arthur stumbles upon a joyous group down by the lake. Later that day, he gets invited over to join them where he meets Charlie (who later becomes the creator of the Birdcage camp). Charlie is an eccentric ray of sunshine, beaming with good energy. Arthur feels comfortable as well as encouraged by this small group of people. But Arthur stays out too long that day fishing with Charlie and his friends, so his family aren’t happy when he arrives back 30 mins late for their ‘cold dinner’. Arthur walks through the forest, right past that group by the lake, the very next day. Charlie chases after his new mate and invites him down again. But Arthur lets out his pent-up home frustrations on Charlie. Charlie almost child-like, can’t understand why Arthur won’t join them. Arthur explains that he has a strict mother and ‘basterds of brothers’. But Charlie with resolve affirms to Arthur that if he wants to fish here every single day, then he can. Arthur breaks down. Arthur leaves home in the middle of the night and joins this group by the campfire alongside Joseph, one of the guys Arthur was brought into the group by on that first day. One of the girls, who is quite cute and provocative, gets a bit friendly and touchy with Arthur. Joseph gets jealous watching her and confronts Arthur – “I don’t like how you are touching my girl”. Arthur apologies. Charlie walks up to them both and asks what’s the problem. Joseph rudely and aggressively explains. Charlie loses his shit with ….
If you’d like to read more – send an email at email@example.com – requesting ‘The Camp’ short script to be sent your way, and it will be. If you haven’t read Birdcage either then please get in touch too.
Alistair – writer/director