A fussy writer battles his large ego and high expectations to create a work of art.

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Director’s Vision for ‘I Will Not Write Unless I Am Swaddled In Furs’

This is an adaptation of a brilliant short story published by the legendary McSweeney’s and written by American newcomer John Babbott. The original story consists of a set of rules cataloguing in great detail the daily routine and demands of an obsessive writer before he will even consider putting pen to paper. I instantly fell in love with the writers’ vivid and specific description of his preparations, and totally connected with his obsessive nature and reliance on routine as a haven for creation. I stripped back and rearranged these rules to create a simple narrative.
The short ventures into some quite surreal territory, as we go further inside the writers’ head and experience the story with him. I literally put the audience in his shoes. The vignettes and montages, which get increasingly weirder, are played off against the moments set in real time, which are more contemplative and spacious. Tonally, the film exists within the similar realms of the cult films ‘Withnail & I’ about two unemployed actors in London, and the documentary ‘Grey Gardens’, which depicts the lives of two ageing upper class women living in a derelict mansion.
While the writers ‘list’ demonstrates a talent for wordplay and colourful expression, it ultimately reveals his fear of failure – something I’m all too familiar with given that this is my first short and has taken years to make. For me, the film is about my fear of making the film itself.