Sometimes, in order to make a feature film, you are first asked to make a short. Showcase what you can do, show how your script might translate to the screen.
So it is for Time Away, written by first-time writer Katie Wimpenny, it’s also directed by first-time director Maxine Peake, better known for acting in things like Three Girls and Dinnerladies.
The short tells the story of a couple, Patricia and Michael, Charlie May-Clark (“The Limehouse Golem“, “No Offence (TV)”) and Tom Gibbons (“Funny Cow (TV)”, “Doctor Who (TV)”), who are, in the early 1960’s, taking a trip to the sea-side.
They eat at an old fashioned café, but their conversation is stilted, a sub-text is there but not said and it only becomes apparent when the waitress comes over and begins to talk about children.
It’s here that we know that something isn’t quite right, with Patricia seemingly happy to talk about it, happy to show photos of their child at home, but Michael doesn’t feel the same.
The short is currently in script development with the BFI but they are hoping to begin shooting the feature next year. Maxine said she was influenced by the films of Roy Anderson and the film is actually about the survivors of the thalidomide tragedy in the sixties and seventies.
Both first-timers do a wonderful job, Maxine is assured in her directing, giving the characters and story the space to breath, whilst Wimpenny keeps the script light, teasing us with just enough information.