2018 Short Finalist Meegan May
In the near future, a new experimental technology gives two grieving parents the chance to speak to their young daughter, who has been in a coma since a vicious assault four years ago. But they will only have three minutes to help find her attacker - and say goodbye.
Meegan May is a freelance writer from Melbourne, Australia. She completed her MFA in Screenwriting from The University of Melbourne in 2016, where she won Best Script for the TV series Viewers. Viewers was shortlisted in the prestigious Australian Writers’ Guild’s John Hinde Award for Science Fiction, and, among others, was a quarterfinalist in Final Draft’s Big Break Competition and the Shore Scripts Screenwriting Competition.
A decorated ex-soldier and veteran of the Afghanistan conflict, Meegan spent nearly five years working in military intelligence both in Australia and overseas. A sitcom based on her time in military intelligence called The Taskforce was long-listed in the Australian Writers’ Guild’s Prime Time competition alongside Viewers, and Meegan is currently working on a drama series drawing on these experiences called The Analyst.
Meegan is also developing a comedy web series about soul-stealing gingers called Twingers with co-writer Lauren Anderson, which was recently shortlisted for funding by Screen Australia. A comedy short set in the world of this series, called The Ginger Conspiracy, recently won the 2018 Sydney Road Short Film Festival.
In 2017, Meegan May undertook a year-long artists residency at Australian Centre for the Moving Image, where she spent time developing the short form online series SEEKER with director/producer Joel Kohn of Screen Invaders. SEEKER is currently in development with support from Film Victoria and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).
Meegan has worked as a Writer’s Assistant/notetaker for Princess Pictures, The Two Jons, and Seven Studios, and has undertaken a Film Victoria funded writer’s placement on the Logie award-winning Romper Stomper TV series, on which she also acted as Script Coordinator.
As a writer I’ve always been attracted to high concepts and science fiction, so when a director friend Joel Kohn came to me with a rough concept of a family being able to talk to their comatose daughter for a few minutes, I was immediately inspired.
What that conversation might look like first needed to be built up by the story of the parents and their grief, loss, and regret over what has happened to their daughter. Having lost both parents to cancer, the idea of a “final conversation” with someone you love is something I’ve experienced – there’s never enough time, there will always be things left unsaid, and you might not even get the chance.
The short is influenced by works such as Black Mirror, Ex Machina, and Arrival, which like all the best science fiction, are truly about humanity and human drama. First Words is about grieving parents who are trying to let go and say goodbye to their child, but through the power of technology, it might not be the final words they were expecting…
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