Picking Favourites


It’s probably under “What Not to Do” in the Teaching 101 manual, but today I picked favourites. Choosing the five scripts we will produce this year was a purely intuitive process, requiring a healthy amount of imagination to visualize the potential of these unanimously raw documents. Some scripts were about fascinating issues, but had all undeveloped characters. Others were very well written (following the proper scriptwriting format) but lacked drama, comedy or some sort of compelling narrative. And even though we asked for them all in French, some wrote their dialogue in Kirundi, making it almost impossible for me to even judge.


Thankfully I didn’t make the decision alone. But unfortunately, with such a short turnaround time and so many hand-written (single copies), I was the only one who was able to read all 36 scripts in time. So Papy, Rudy (a 2007 student and one of our top volunteers this year) and myself talked about which ones we thought would work best, the created a short list of nine and debated until 1:00am. And ultimately, we ended up picking one that wasn’t even on the shortlist. So remember kids, it’s never over until it’s over.


The announcement today actually went over quite well. We also divided everyone in groups of seven or eight (another onerous task), trying to guess our way to balanced teams that had potential directors, producers and technicians. We let them make all those decisions themselves, and in the end, we had predicted about half of major roles correctly. So when shooting begins on Wednesday, we’re hoping for a few happy surprises and also anticipating a little drama. One student whose script we all immediately liked is adamant to also be the director, and left class today with their name listed as such. We plan on sticking to our word though to give more people a chance in the “big roles” and will make the change ourselves if we have to. Picking favourites, after all, needs to have its limits.

Christopher Redmond