The Lone Soldier

While the filming for Shout continued in and around the town centre, during production breaks I’d head off to the surrounding moorlands and disused mines to do some filming for another of the four briefs we had been set – the short film. Whilst rummaging around my house back in Plymouth, the weekend before the trip to St Ives, I came across an old, camouflage soldier’s uniform my dad had used many years ago while doing some training courses for the Navy. Raking through my parent’s drawers and wardrobes of clothes they don’t use anymore I didn’t really have anything in particular I was looking for, so when I came across the outfit it was quite a surprise, but the fact it was real meant it could come in handy as a very useful prop – so I packed it. Little did I know just how much inspiration the costume would bring; in fact I created the whole short story narrative based around the uniform.

I’m one for plot twists and curve balls you see, build up a sense of safety and security then blow it all out of the water. To do this successfully, I decided that I needed to turn to music, to find a score that I could write a script to that built up the story at a pace that would captivate the audience from start to finish. Thankfully, I’d preempted the fact that I was going to need music on this trip, so before I went, I’d synced all the Doctor Who soundtracks I own onto a memory stick to take with me. One of the tracks I brought with me was ‘This Is Gallifrey: Our Childhood, Our Home’ by Murray Gold, a rollercoaster of a song that starts off as slightly sad but reminiscent then builds up into a finale that hits you right in the emotions. As I played the song over and over, the words flowed from my pen and onto the paper as a voiceover script began to take shape. Unfortunately it seems at times the pen flowed too independently for my own good as the line “remember when we first met, and you thought I was gay” means I’m going to receive grief from my friends – for the rest of my life it seems! After recording the voiceover alongside the soundtrack, I could now go out into the Cornish countryside and attempt to create a war as best I could. One of the days I was out filming I was extremely lucky to have a beautiful, burning orange sunset as a backdrop for some of my scenes. My favourite scene from the whole film in fact is the time lapse of the soldier watching the sun go down. It took a lot of patience to film and a lot of sitting still on quite an uncomfortable and rocky ground, but it definitely paid off. I won’t spoil the ending or the plot twist for you, I’ll let you find it out for yourself below, but I hope it shocks you as much as it shocked the rest of my team when I played it to them!

Lewis Wollington

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