If men could see us as we really are …

I was searching for a quotation to add some colour to a pitch I’m putting together for a highway woman drama I’ve written. Well … I really lucked out with this one.

When I read the quote it actually sent a shiver down my spine: not least because it’s as relevant today as it was when it was written 170 years ago and that’s actually really bloody depressing when you think about it.

Enough – here it is.

“If men could see us as we really are, they would be a little amazed; but the cleverest, the acutest men are often under an illusion about women: they do not read them in a true light: they misapprehend them, both for good and evil: their good woman is a queer thing, half doll, half angel; their bad woman almost always a fiend”

Charlotte Bronte, Shirley, 1849

What would she have made of the film industry I wonder…

Writers are surrogates

Here’s a definition of surrogacy …

Surrogacy is an arrangement, often supported by a legal agreement, whereby a woman (the surrogate mother) agrees to become pregnant and give birth to a child for another person(s) who is or will become the parent(s) of the child.

Which is pretty much what it means to be a scriptwriter…

Scriptwriting is an arrangement, often supported by a legal agreement, whereby a woman (but usually a man) agrees to bring a script into the world for a Producer(s) who is or will become the parent(s) of the project.

Because being a scriptwriter means giving away your babies … and it’s so damn hard!  At the heart of it, a writer – just like any creative – has their own creative integrity.  And we have to hold on to it, defend it, but also let it go.   How am I supposed to defend it and simultaneously let it go?

OK so I could wrangle more control and become a writer/director … but then my actors will veer from the exact line of my script. And once the editor gets their hands on it …

The bottom line is … collaborating is a good thing.  My feature script has reached new height thanks to my producers and Ffilm Cymru’s feedback.  It would never be so rich and pacey and diverse if it wasn’t for their input.   I guess the secret to success is you just need to choose your collaborators with care – so when your script takes its first steps without you, it’s in safe hands.