Writing: Collaboration with Filmmaker Rafał Bojar


Thanks to Rafał for commissioning me to write the script for his gorgeous film on Twyla and Gary’s monster wedding, it was an interesting collaboration. Rafał went over a selection of stills and described his vision for the tale, along with the “monster” theme he was playing with. I then crafted the narration by projecting myself into Oscar’s world, imagining what a little boy might feel based on my experience with my sons. 

What I most enjoyed was seeing the world through a little boy’s eyes and giving him a voice.

 

Written in collaboration with Rafał Bojar

Inspired by Oscar’s world, the story of a little boy who was afraid of  growing up.

 

I

 

That’s me walking on my fence. In my garden, I like chasing lizards, and jumping in the pool. I have a big dinosaur, and sometimes we jump on him, with my brother Ari. We jump on the sofa, too.

I like when it’s quiet time, and the hammock moves like a leaf. We giggle and whisper and it feels cosy. Mommy likes the wind, too. She says it whispers songs in her ears. Sometimes we fall asleep listening.

II

Other things I like are when mommy says it’s bath-time. Daddy chases us and I jump in. It makes big splashes, but that’s okay. I pretend fish are swimming around my feet and my brother puts bubbles all over his face and looks like a bubble ghost. Before our adventure, I was afraid of monsters.

Then one day I thought, “Maybe not all monsters are bad.” I wanted to be a big boy and trick them, so I hid under the blanket with some candy. Sometimes me and Ari dress up like superheroes and fight the monsters with our swords. Gumbo helps us spot them with his superdog sniffing powers.

III

Once I was mad at Ari, and mommy said, “Oscar, you’re being such a little monster.” Maybe people become monsters when they’re angry or sad. I don’t want my brother to be scared of me. I was afraid that one day my feet would get big, hair would grow out of my nose and I would have a beard and a loud voice. I thought that if I grew up, I would stop being me and would have to wear a mask. I don’t want to be a grownup scary monster or a friendly superhero one either.

I want to be me and I want to be a big boy, but not a monster. In the hallway, Ari and me chase the shadow giants up and down the wall. That’s how we open the secret gate to the monster world. Gumbo baits the monsters to trap them in their monster world. Then they disappear and we can keep playing.

IV

On the day we went flying, we could see the sun close up. The clouds were puffy. I wanted to open the window and touch them. Ari said they would taste like cotton candy. When we landed, everything sparkled. The ocean looked like marshmallow soup. There were birds with mouths bigger than their heads.

One night we took a boat to some big rocks and daddy said we were going fishing in a magic cave. The water was salty, not like our swimming pool, but like popcorn. When we looked under the water, there were sea creatures that looked like monsters. Some of them were like eagles with their wings all spread out flying into the ocean. It looked like they were playing hide and seek.

Daddy said sea creatures answer important questions if you promise to let them go. In the cave, mommy said, look how beautiful, maybe we’ll see a siren. I don’t really know what that is; I think they sing songs. Maybe the sea creature king would teach me how not to become a good monster. The waves were bashing against the rocks really hard; it felt like the ocean was mad at us for trying to sneak under the water.

V

That day on the beach there was a big fire with drumming and some people were singing and dancing. The grownups were wearing masks, but not superhero ones. When daddy hugged me, he smelled salty and good.

Maybe the grownups dressed up like monsters with friendly faces to make the angry ones nicer. Maybe grownups scare the baddies away by singing songs and laughing, like me and Ari when we tell stories.

When you get mad or cry, your face gets twisted and scary, but inside you’re the same. Inside, we’re all nice people, like my mom and dad and Ari.

VI

Maybe the beach is where you find out if you’re going to be a monster or a real grownup. Mommy and daddy weren’t wearing masks. They looked happy and they hugged and kissed. After a while I got sleepy. I was thinking of my hammock and the waves were hushing up and down, up and down. The ocean felt like a dream that made things real. I could see the sun in mommy and daddy’s eyes.

Some of the people clapped and some of them cried. Some made wolf sounds, but like a happy wolf. I think that’s what happens when bad monsters become nice ones. All their bad feelings go away and that’s called love.

I’m a big boy, now. I saw monsters dancing on the sand and they’re not all scary. When I grow up I want to be a happy monster, too. I’ll have a love monster party and be happy forever, like mommy and daddy. They aren’t afraid of their monsters because they know their hearts are happy when we’re all together.

*Note: the first and last quote of the film were added by Rafał and are not mine. Source: Pinterest.

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