The Encampment Diaries – A Busy Time


A Busy Time


Well, this is a delayed second-week diary for a few weird reasons.

Firstly, I managed to grab a few folks to add their voices to the project, small roles, sure, but it all adds up, and I’m glad some people are kindly offering to give 5-10 minutes of their life to me (Will they be willing to give 90 minutes when this thing is done? Probably not, we’ll get to that)


But Friday night offered a mini-heartbreak. One of my cast messaged me at about 6pm, they were having gender dysmorphia and wondered if taking a strong female role was right as they were leaning more towards masculinity at the moment. It was terrifying, selfishly this is a friend I know has talents, and wanted to grab those talents before they go off and conquer the world, but it made me introspective of my inclusivity in writing.

I’ve always found a leaning into female protagonists, sometimes a male protagonist works, but when there’s a story that could have any gender binary take the centre stage I’ve always adopted the female lead, it’s more in my mindset and how I write. I like creating people, and nice people, and in my formative years it was rarely full of men, boys, who had kindness or a good sense of humour or interesting things to say or think about. Teenage boys are, sadly, very one-track for the most part, and that’s never been something I’ve given two hoots of a shit about. Clearly making my own half-phrases is where I’m at.


But whilst I’ve felt writing for a specific binary, I got it in my head, why have I not adopted more of a non-binary stance for characters? I could forgive myself for teenage years, when things were on the fringes as the internet hadn’t opened up much to let us experience others in such constant personal proximity like social media has allowed, but now we’re wildly aware of how many people live their truth, why haven’t I added characters beyond the binary? Nothing so much as to tell stories that are from someone’s experiences, I’m not talking taking moments from real lives and creating fiction, but why can’t a police officer or a desk clerk be anything?

It can, obviously, it’s a change of pronouns and an acceptance that they’re whoever they are, but it only truly crossed my mind as a writer with this conversation.


Thankfully a long discussion online (I don’t do in-person, who am I, a normal person?) led to helping talk through the current step of gender dysmorphia, and so far looks like we’re still on track for making things happen.


But getting people together, getting work done, finding those inspirado moments that help harness the passion and the epic scale of this process are terrifying me. What happens if I make something and not a soul notices? If my tree falls in the woods? I’m used to making things without anyone giving a shit, that’s been my life. Trying to scream amidst a wealth of screaming, and being quieter because, well, other people probably earned the right to be louder, right?

I love writing, I love editing, but the part where I take on the mantle of overlord of Encampment is scaring me. Being a director has always made me scared, but to be that PLUS, every department is me, every choice, every reason for doing it, is me. And if I can’t do something, what the frak happens? If someone else can’t do it, I find another, but when the buck stops with me, well, I’m freaking out before the cart before the horse, and working out the worth of the effort I’m putting in. Not like I’ve anything else to do, anything productive. People make things all the time, few make a whole film on their own, but that’s because it’s in-fucking-sane. And that’s what I am. In-fucking-sane Andrew.


I haven’t had time to create characters, or backdrops, and this week is insanely busy. Maybe by May, he says pushing things back, I’ll have a test scene built.



Maybe not………

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