Things I Learned From… Foreign Movies

The annual Wales One World Festival is on at the moment, bringing movies from all corners of the world to all corners of Wales, so this seems like a good time to talk about what watching movies from overseas can teach you as a writer.

There are a lot of positives to watching movies from outside your culture. They’ll often be shot in locations you wouldn’t otherwise have known existed, showing you new visual possibilities. They may showcase the possibilities offered by language: being multilingual, perhaps, or using no dialogue at all. Indeed, the film I’m going to see tonight is a Ukranian film in sign language with no subtitles…

They’ll also remind you that not everyone thinks like you or lives like you. Like historical fiction and science fiction, overseas movies unfold another culture to us, showing us the diversity of human morality, belief and thought. And that’s a wake-up call for writers who think everyone perceives the world they do, and acts accordingly. What if one of your characters thought about life the way a Bedouin tribesman or a Nigerian street beggar does, and acted on that? I guarantee your film would become more interesting if they did…

But the most important thing you can learn from foreign movies is that wants and needs are universal. In every culture, people want to be loved, respected, successful and happy. Whatever route they take to try to achieve those things, and whatever form those things take in their society, their inner desires are easy to relate to. And it’s those inner, deep desires that drive any good character in any story…

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Wolfblood Season Four Confirmed!

As you may have heard on Twitter, CBBC have officially commissioned a fourth season of Wolfblood. So there’ll be more Wolfblood fun and action on your TV screens as soon as we can make it happen!

Since this has only just been decided, I have NO DETAILS AT ALL on which cast members will return, when the series will be filmed, when it will be shown in the UK – or indeed, very much else about the fourth season.

(Though, for the avoidance of doubt, what we’ve been saying for months now still stands – Aimee Kelly (Maddy) has left the series, so whoever else may or may be not be in the series, Maddy will not be returning.)

The one thing I can confirm is the writing team. Wolfblood veterans Sophie Petzal and Neil Jones will be returning, and we’ll be joined by new arrivals Furquan Akhtar and Matt Sinclair. I’ll be writing four episodes, and everyone else two each, giving us a twelve episode season this year.

Over the next few days and weeks, I’ll be updating the FAQ page with more information as those decisions are made.¬†Until then, there’s not a lot of point asking questions, because if I have the answer, I will have updated the FAQ to include it – and if it isn’t in there, I don’t know yet!