THE REVOLUTION begins shooting in Madrid
Saving Albion - Meet the screenwriter Nick Boocock
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Two things which we English excel at, and are noted for on an international level: i) Our unfailing ability to laugh at ourselves and our misfortunes ii) Ignominious footballing defeats. In the wake of England’s catastrophic elimination from the 2010 World Cup at the hands of arch-rivals Germany, I decided to combine the two elements above and write a comedy screenplay against the back-drop that most common of occurances – an embarrassing English football defeat. The holy cow of England’s solitary World Cup success – 1966 – has been well and truly milked dry and bores our European counterparts to tears. So why not create a story around something they can all recognise and laugh at – England’s “Three Lions” coming a cropper on the big stage once again!
What inspired you to write this screenplay?
On the surface, the struggling Albion United football club is searching for a father figure – in the form of a wealthy benefactor - to lead them out of the desperate straits they find themselves. Beneath this surface, each of the three guys who hunt for this father figure – Ed, Kel and Dunc- is also battling with unresolved fatherhood issues of their own. Each man’s issue is different: Ed is at odds with his surly teenage son, who thinks him a loser compared to his new step-father; Kel is estranged from his terminally-ill father, whom he blames for passing his own failings (and illness); Dunc is unable to step out of the shadow of his late father, who was a legend during Albion’s halcyon years.En route to finding the father figure who will save Albion, each man must address and overcome their personal fatherhood issue in order to fulfill themselves professionally and personally. What the script is saying is: Father figures, no matter how conventional or unconventional– they still matter.
How does the underlying fatherhood theme tie into the central plot?
Albion United is a fictitious club that I have created for the purposes of this story. However their rise and fall tale is very realistic, as it has been very common throughout British football in recent years. Their decline – both sporting and financially – mirrors that of Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Portsmouth and Glasgow Rangers, among others.
Who is Albion United?
Stories that are set against the backdrop of real-life sporting events generally resonate better with viewers than those set against fictional ones.
Viewers find it hard to connect with stories that second-guess future sporting events. By weaving my story around a genuine sporting event – and making it factually/historically accurate - there will be a much greater engagement amongst the audience from the outset.
Why set this film at the 2010 World Cup? Why not a future tournament?
Saving Albion’s climax and resolution does full justice to the roller-coaster build-up.
Not only is the A-storyline conclusively resolved in a high-octane finale, but the fractured relationships between the principle characters are also healed. On top of this, each character manages to resolve the deep-seated fatherhood issue that has troubled them throughout.
An epilogue scene, set in the present day, concludes the script by presenting the long-term outcome of the guys’ travails. This is a mirror-opposite to the desperate opening scene – sending the audience home with a triumphant feeling like they’d just won the World Cup themselves!
All great sporting storylines have dramatic, action-packed endings. How does Saving Albion measure up?
Yes. Although the appeal to the key young male quadrant is obvious, I believe that word of mouth can give this film the same crossover appeal that saw many of those males take their female partners to watch The Hangover movies. There is a lovely human interest story at heart here, focussing on the different types of fatherhood issues that most men have and fail to deal with. I think that this film could also inspire men to take their fathers to watch it too. A must-see twice cinematic event for many young men: take your lady, then take your Dad too!
Will this film interest an audience beyond football-loving males?
Nick Boocock has worked in publishing for over ten years and decided to apply his creative writing talent to the screen. His achievements since then have seen him create an exciting portfolio of scripts, picking up several new-writer accolades en route. He studied at the Met Film School (London) and has completed a number of Feature length and short scripts. He specialises in both comedy and character-driven drama.
He has completed the screenplay for a thriller feature film, "Ringer" and he is currently developing a number of other Film and TV projects: “CUT!”(Feature, Comedy) ; “Henry The Ninth” (Feature, Comedy-Drama); “Tooth Fairy” (Short Film, Drama); “Ed Gibbons Uncut” (TV, Sitcom); “Brambledown” (TV, Sitcom).
His first short film "Reply to All" (Caramie productions) is due to be released in 2014.
“The dialogue is crisp, snappy, and most noticeably authentic.The action moves…the story is propelled forward at a rapid-fire pace.”
Scriptapalooza International Screenwriting Competition
“The pacing of this script is incredibly upbeat and entertaining. It feels as if the characters are in constant motion, always bouncing off of each other and their situations……heightened drama at the right points, and funny, poignant moments at others. There is great comedic relief in this script. Every character had a clear voice and backstory, even the secondary characters, which makes the story stronger. There are a lot of set ups and payoffs throughout the script that were great callbacks…”
Bluecat International Screenplay Competition
To follow Nick: http://www.nickboocock.com/
Yes. It is a film that is partly based on inter-national differences, set at the most competitive international sporting tournament in the world.
Naturally England football fans will watch a film that heavily references their national team. Conversely, Scottish/Irish/Welsh fans will also be attracted to a title that pokes fun at England’s under-performance.
Furthermore, the universal awareness of English football’s hubris and mediocrity will strike a chord with fans in the wider international context, who will all agree “England aren’t as good at football as they think they are”.
A film that gently pokes fun at this phenomenon will gain instant empathy with this huge potential international audience.
Will this film attract an international audience?