Interview with Screenwriter David Chambers (FAIR DUBS)

1. What is your screenplay about?

If I may:

My logline is: A marbles addict becomes the unwitting link between Earth’s destruction and its salvation.

My Synopsis is:

It is 2022.

Aliens arrive in Earth orbit intending to take Earth back with them, to its place of origin – their star system, Sirius. Earth was previously used and then left where it is now (in our Solar System) by one of the ancestors of the same aliens, after similar past events. It is now wanted back.

Earth’s leaders, fronted by the U.S. President, Lucy Morales, agree – having no option. The aliens disclose why namely, that asteroids are flying towards Earth. The aliens have seen to that.

Mabe Kane-Glass, the President’s Secretary and reluctant partner, falls into liaison between the aliens and the President and eventually discovers the true reason for the journey. Earth is to be involved in a giant game of planetary marbles, as a ‘shooter marble’ of the senior alien player, Dowl Cubespace, who has made a point of making his junior, Flatt D’Niall find it and bring it back home.

Earth’s journey is actioned, and it is delivered back to Sirius in 2040.

Ironically, the process is the aliens’ way of fighting the destructive power of the Universe, which they call ‘the Vastness’. They collect, destroy and place all they play with back in one huge block – to counter entropy. They aim to do this to all matter in the Vastness. They live long and their aims are real.

The relationship between Kane-Glass and the Morales (by now World Leader) deteriorates to the extent that the Morales plans with her senior general, Duke Rockettshot, to launch a much-improved from present day/2022 nuclear strike against the aliens’ own replaced/new planet.

In the meantime, Kane-Glass appears to have developed a thing for Flatt D’Niall and Morales is both gutted and jealous. At the last minute, out of whatever feelings that remain for Morales, Kane-Glass tells Morales what is going on and secures the transfer of Morales, and those Morales considers to be important – to Morales – from Earth to another planet in the Sirius system. That planet happens to be the aliens’ old home, slightly flat on one side planet, from which they moved to another nearby planet after it was hit by an exploding star. The journey is actioned and Kane-Glass will go over later, to be taken there by D’Niall himself.

Cubespace then decides not to use Earth – it is decided that it has too many high mountains and too great a depth of oceans, which points have been the subject of some debate between the aliens. It will not therefore fly through space well enough to make a good ‘shooting marble’. It ‘wobbles’ too much. This pleases D’Niall, as Earth just happens to have been his own ancestor’s shooter in the previous game – which ancestor won, wanting then to keep the planet himself and hiding it from all, in the Solar System we know.

The planet to where Morales and company are transferred is to be used instead – the implication being that it is destroyed in the game about to happen, where – as the story ends – Kane-Glass is suggested as World Leader, by (and which compliments her by then inevitable attraction to) D’Niall.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

It is a Sci-Fi comedy – even a dramedy, verging on a dark comedy.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

That’s why I wrote it. Beyond that, it does I think encapsulate the message that not just Earth, but everything we see or guess at has its eventual end and so why not have fun with that? I think that humanity does have a fascination of and with space and as to whether or not we are alone in the Universe (of course we are not alone). Also, as with a good number of films, a lot of sci-fi/space films do have japes and jokes within them, which are commonly the lines that people recall after seeing the film. I just wanted to go a little further. I, like a lot of people, also like action: The Star Wars films (which I would never compare/equate my work to, of course) are a prime example of that.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Oddly fascinating.

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

That’s a tough one! The Blues Brothers (1980) is up there, as are The Dirty Dozen and Kelly’s Heroes. Star Wars (the first three in time) are there too and, finally, Independence Day must be high on the list.

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

About ten months.

7. How many stories have you written?

Two (both unpublished). I started my first novel in about 2003. It was a Sc-Fi story. I finished it in about 2012 (it was quite long, and I had to juggle it with the day job – as I still do) and I might re-visit it in screenplay format at some point. I started “Fair Dubs”, as a novel, in 2016, whilst sat outside in July, on a very warm day. The sun glinted off an old marble lying half covered in dirt and I thought: “Ha! That needs rescuing!” I picked it up, brushed it off and stuck it in my pocket. I sat down and pulled out my cell and started writing a few lines down in the note app. And I’m now here, having had the sudden idea, last year, to turn the resulting novel into a screenplay. I’m pleased that I did.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Another tough one, but I think I would not be far off the mark if I said Freddy Mercury’s “The Great Pretender”. It is catchy and it keeps my feet on the ground. If I don’t expect much, I won’t be disappointed.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

The main one was thinking it was finished when it wasn’t. It would be finished, as I turned off the laptop at the end of a day’s writing, but during the night, things visited my mind that were not that welcome then, the best of friends with me the day after…

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I love classic military aircraft (WW1 & 2 era) and Sci-Fi in general, whether in book, comic, TV or film form. I thrill in silly jokes, whether or not I am seen as silly.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

Very good. The site is attentive and fully informative. I like its little symbols which display the selection criteria (so far just having had “green ticks” Official Selections in five out of five festivals).

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

The comedy theme, which I wanted to showcase with professionals and at the same time, to balance with my great interest in Sci-Fi with that. I anticipated that the festival would be well-run, and it was. The feedback was excellent and just what I was hoping for. It helped tremendously and as a direct result of that feedback I have re-written parts of my script and I think (night visits having hopefully ended) might just, at the end of the day, have a presentable version of my script.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

This is a comedy Sci-Fi/Dramedy. Aliens arrive in Earth orbit intending to take Earth back with them, to its place of origin – their star system, Sirius. Earth was previously used and then left where it is now by one of the ancestors of the same aliens, after similar past events. It is now wanted back.

Narrator: Geoff Mays
Aull: Sean Ballantyne
Turner: Shawn Devlin


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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