An intriguing series of short, dialogue-free screenplays, has now gone online.
Annalium is the work of Cardiff-based writer (and my pal) Robert Lancey, who has created a website to showcase the screenplays and their potential to be realised on screen.
Each opens with a flight over a forest, and then a descent through the treetops to tell tales from various times and of various genres. “The forest is a timeless archive of human adventure and misadventure within its borders,” said Rob.
And the series is certainly rich in variety, as the samples on the site show, although there are some common threads.
Rob explains that Annalium was inspired by three ‘sparks’, summarised as ‘dialogue light’, ‘writing from the heart‘, and ‘being true to one’s self‘ – thanks to insights from French actress Audrey Tautou and Welsh singer Cerys Matthews!
And he has identified unique selling points that give the series a wide appeal:
- Dialogue-free, nation-neutral, no sub-titles, no boundaries.
- Shorts, ideal for download to mobile devices.
- Stand-alone downloads – seamlessly linked to produce longer ‘suites’ for schedule-fillers.
- A small ensemble cast can play all the characters across the series, and in one location.
Rob explained that the first story emerged from aimless writing while sitting alone in a local pub, and it turned out to be an interpretation of the Welsh folk tale of Gelert.
His version had no spoken words at all. It was ‘dialogue-light’, ‘written from the heart’ and ‘true to himself‘.
And so Annalium was born. Now there are 31 dialogue-free, short screenplays – one, Lily, was a finalist in the Screenplay category at the 2020 Waterford Film Festival, and another, Sssss, had gone into pre-production, just as the Covid-19 pandemic struck in spring 2020.
The Sssss project is hopefully due to resume later in 2021 [I write this in January 2021], and Rob has used some of the downtime to make more preparations for filming, including building this impressive prop – a bio-hazard support unit.
I’m hoping to be involved in the production of Sssss, so look out for updates on this blog as well as on the Annalium site.
I’ve known Rob for several years, so I may be biased, but this is undoubtedly a fascinating collection of screenplays, which would make a superb series of short films.
As Rob puts it: “A body of work ideal for download, streaming or through traditional media. Annalium will appeal to all age groups, its aim to be gender neutral and with no national identity. Annalium is a world project, timeless and without borders.”
Find out more on the Annalium website here.
If you’re involved in film or any area of arts and entertainment, please check out the services of Weltch Media here.