Writing WRATH: An Introduction

What exactly does it mean to make a movie from scratch? A major problem with many writing articles is the author’s desire to teach. To educate on a craft that is often best learned through experience. I don’t like these kinds of articles so I am not going to do that. I’m going to take you through my process of creating a film from concept, to final script, to a complete feature.

My name is Phillip Bastien. I am a filmmaker from Canada. I am a film school graduate and also have a specialized honors degree in English Literature. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I specialize in genre narratives, specializing in horror, thriller, and science fiction. In the last ten months, I have written 3 features. Two scripts are science fiction and one is a contained thriller.

I am also an illustrator and storyboard artist. I have done boards and illustrations for independent features, webseries and student films. I am currently a storyboard revisionist on the animated series Paw Patrol. A revisionist is, to explain it very poorly, a bit like a story editor. I help the director fix visual and storytelling problems in an episode. This helps create a better show and bring it to time before it goes to animation/production. I do this by redrawing and editing storyboards for a revised animatic.

But none of that is actually important. It’s to assure you that I do know what I am talking about and am being open about my experience and skills in the industry. I am not going to hide behind a pen name and talk up my experience through vague generalities. I am independent and I am still starting out in the industry. But I am not inexperienced.

What is Wrath? For now, the most I am willing to divulge is that it is a horror film, with elements of social satire and body horror. It deals with the subjects of identity, suburbia, metamorphosis, abuse and depression. It is inspired by the works of David Lynch and Cronenberg. It focusses on the essential question of “what is a monster?”

And so we come to the meat of this article, or rather, introduction to a series of forthcoming articles. I am going to be developing a script I am currently calling Wrath from idea to final screenplay. Over the course of the next few months, I am going to share my development process with you. I will cover how I develop characters, I position them in a story and how I create conflict. These articles will be a glimpse into how I approach the very fluid craft of filmmaking. These are not meant to be lessons or educational moments. Sometimes my process may appear opaque or redundant in nature. I hope this series is informative, entertaining and inspires you to create your story in your own way.

  • YayMayorBee

    This is a great idea for a series. Godspeed, Phil. One quibble, though:

    But none of that [PAW PATROL] is actually important.

    My son would like you to know he strongly disagrees and, also, can WRATH be a PAW PATROL spin-off?

  • Butts Carlton

    Whenever you mention your work on PAW PATROL, I can’t help but think of this: http://adequateman.deadspin.com/why-your-childrens-television-program-sucks-paw-patrol-1758314083

    That said, I’m stoked to read more about your journey on this