Oliver Giles – 2020 Short Finalist
An adolescent Boy and Girl see their final days out in quarantine after a mysterious virus sweeps through the country, killing all those infected on a specific 'expiry' date.
My name is Oliver Giles. I am a screenwriter based in London in the UK. Not all those who wander are lost. This is something writer J.R.R Tolkien once wrote. For many of my early writing experiences, this is exactly what I found myself doing, wandering from idea to idea, casting ideas onto a page aimlessly without much focus. Then I discovered screenwriting, and a chance to build worlds. And then I sat down and wrote stories I wanted to tell. One of these projects was Pebble.
Since college, when film became a very prominent art in my life, I have written. I was never one for maths, words forming easier than numbers, therefore all my subjects were those I could write for. Writing was something I fell into, something I found therapeutic and rewarding in equal measure. One of my first screenplays I ever wrote lead me to being accepted in the National Youth Film Academy in London. Suddenly working in film and television was a very real possibility and I am a proud member of this organization which nurtures young talent across the UK. For the last four years now I have worked for Sky Television, a Comcast company.
In October when I sat down to write Pebble I could never have imagined the premise of the story would play out only a couple of months later and be equally as unprecedented and frightening in the form of Covid-19. Pebble follows an unnamed boy and girl as they are placed together in a supported living quarantine after the outbreak of a virus. This virus has a specific duration in which its effects kill the human body, allowing doctors to generate a death day for all those affected. The idea for this story came after discussions I had with my family one night after watching the news. A report on terminal cancer had me questioning what it would mean to strip all human life of optimism, and instead calculate your exact living moments. Pebble is a minimalist story focusing on the final days of human interaction. What would you do if you were forced into a room to die? Pebble is an exploration of this. I hope readers will find beauty in even the coldest of situations.
As well as Pebble, I have written several feature screenplays. I am currently adapting Pebble into a feature. My thriller Blue like the Sky reached this year’s Quarter-Finals of the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition, with my second entry, Hometown, reaching the last five in the Final.
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