It is my "happy place" where worlds exists in language and imagination. In writing, there is a sense of justice—that someone's story will be told. Sometimes it's mine. Sometimes it's yours. Sometimes the story belongs to a stranger.
When I was in high school, my least favorite subjects were Math and Science. My two favorite were English and History. So it seems rather fitting that one of the scripts I've been working on lately is a piece I call THE SHADOWS OF CHERNOBYL. It should also come as no surprise to you that it centers around the actual event—Chernobyl is not some figurative code in this case.
As I work on projects, I spend time researching before I even think of storyboarding and typing out long scenes. I watch videos, read books, read articles, study pictures, and so on. I find that the video research of this particular project comes in small waves, because every time I watch them or see pictures, I am consumed with their stories and in large chunks it's completely overwhelming. I watch and hear all the things that the victims of that tragedy never knew. The time they sacrificed, the price they paid with their lives all because of a sad string of events driven by pride, miscommunication, and fear.
I see pictures like this:
And I cry. I feel their pain. I try my best to grab onto just a small fraction of what they may have experienced. And then the uncertainty, confusion and panic that I imagine they experienced finds its way onto a typed scene in a screenwriting program. Whether it will see the light of day or not, who
knows . . . but it helps me. It challenges me to think outside of the frantic rom-coms and cheap scares that flood the box-offices and it pushes me to fight to write their story. Write their hearts. Honor their lives.
And I hope that one day when this story is read, the hopeful happy ending will convey my heart for those who lived in another time, under more dire circumstances, and that others will take notice.