Dreams are strange beasts that perhaps reveal more than you imagine them to. I once had a stress dream about a film, Dreamage Bigstars it was called, being involved with a broadcaster from an obscure former Soviet country. I noted down this dream in a very detailed manner in order to remember it later on.
It turned out to be one of my more interesting dreams which at points actually became like a nightmare. Looking through my very thorough and detailed notes – and I stress they really are quite concise and accurate – I thought I’d see if I could turn them into some form of creative writing exercise. Perhaps part story, part dream-account and part fable; that in their telling may act as some form of catharsis leading to deeper truths or a warning to others. It’s moral tale about one small person’s fight against huge organisations and the dangers and obstacles they face in doing so.
I thought that it might be interesting to share a few excerpts, much like those serialised stories which act as teasers to later fully published works. It’s probably meaningful to preface this dream story with the often used film disclaimer – All characters portrayed are entirely fictional and any likeness to anyone living, dead (or undead) is purely coincidental. And so here we are, extracts from my completely fictionalised story/dream/warning…
Living The Dream
This dream was absolutely, definitely and without-a-doubt set in a small former Soviet country that, much like other former Soviet lands had an unusual love of Irn-Bru. This country also had an unusual love of Icelandic pop music. And in this fictional country I was a film director who lived there. I appeared to be basing my career around the making of documentaries, not documentaries on Irn-Bru but on Icelandic pop music.
Coincidently, someone from the Obscure Former Soviet Country’s Museum, in this very far away dream land, had seen one of my films and contacted me to say how much they would like to put on a big exhibition of Icelandic Pop Music and base that around the contents of my films. I thought this all a bit odd, but as it was after all a dream I said ‘Great, I’m in!’ It sounded amazing. I was then invited to be part of that exhibition’s steering committee. As it turned out, this exhibition would not happen for another 3 years but that did not mean the intervening dream years were uneventful.
As this completely fictional story is based around a dream, and as in dreams they allow for the flexibility of a timeline which jumps backwards and forwards, so does my creative dream story. Let’s go back…
Shortly before my dream encounter with Mr Exhibition, in fact before any of my Icelandic pop films had been publicly (dream) screened I’d struck up correspondence with someone at one of this small Obscure Former Soviet Country’s Television broadcasters. They’d asked me for early cuts of my aforementioned films, which I’d obliged them with. This correspondence was actually very lengthy. It detailed discussions surrounding two of these films, my plans for them, plans for newer films, changes, suggestions, contributors, press interest/reaction and much confidential production detail. It showed there was a lot of public interest in them..
Like with some dreams it is the boring details that you remember most and a lot of my dream revolved around these lengthy detailed conversations. They were all carefully and laboriously recorded. Sometimes however, throughout all the blandness of discussing finer personal information, some exciting, heart-pounding moments occurred:
Exciting excerpt 1:
…Time Passes….All is well…
Grant, reading the morning newspaper sees a surprising and coincidental story. Coincidences happened a lot in this dream….Mr Exhibition and Mr Former Soviet Broadcaster (the very same person he’d been corresponding with, and sending all early film cuts to) have just publicly announced that they are to be working together on an exhibition on Icelandic Pop Music. This surely must be a coincidence?
Grant’s Inner Dialogue: Why don’t you ask them?
Boring Dream Dialogue excerpt 1, from the archives of Former Soviet Broadcasting Correspondence:
Grant: You know, this all just feels a bit odd. This Icelandic Pop Music Museum exhibition, you know the one in which my already existing films were involved with , is now one in which your proposed film is involved with instead. It feels like a really big coincidence because we’d been corresponding for so long about Icelandic Pop Documentaries and I’d been telling you about how interested people seemed to be in this music, and that Mr and Mrs Exhibitions were also speaking to me about it. It just seems odd that you had the same idea at the same time and decided to contact them about it.
Or….hmmn, well if not a coincidence then that possibly someone in your organisation could…you know…possibly have been discussing my films with Mr Exhibition and this had perhaps given you the idea to ….well….make your proposed films…you know what I mean?
Soviet Broadcaster: (Shocked) I don’t know what you’re talking about there pal. Nobody here’s discussed your films with anyone, ever. While I acknowledge you have shared your private production information with me, and I have seen your films through various stages of completion, I can guarantee that this went no further than my sealed lips. Look, here’s the proof!
(‘proof appears to be a quote from someone ‘high up’ in this former Soviet TV station saying ‘I don’t recall ever discussing these films with anyone’)”. The quote also states that Mr High-Up had been meeting with Mr and Mrs Exhibitions themselves anyway so all if this is definitely just a coincidence.. Despite their meetings happening months later than Grant’s.
Grant immediately contacting Mr and Mrs Exhibitions. He asks one of them a very straight question…
Grant: “Did Mr High-Up, from that Obscure ex Soviet Broadcaster discuss my films with you?”
Someone from Mr and Mrs Exhibitions: Oh yes, it was the very first thing we discussed when we met actually. One of them said they really liked your films too.
Grant: I don’t like this dream….
Grant later finds a document that is an early pitch for this proposed Obscure Ex Soviet Country Exhibition Film. It describes one episode as being almost identical to one of his films. The pitch has been signed by Mr High Up and someone else from Soviet Broadcasting who had only ever been in touch with him before to tell him how much they liked his film. The pitch, remarkably and coincidentally was written very shortly after his film had been made and would be the only other potential film to cover this subject, and also the only account in any form of media that followed the same USP narrative. Dreams are full of coincidences.
Soviet Broadcaster: We love your films. We want to show them. Just stick with us and it will all be fine. None of our proposed films will be like yours – so don’t you worry.
Grant was not really wanting to upset anyone or cause trouble, what with being a new director and this organisation being one of the very few outlets for offering directing work in this obscure former Soviet country. He is very carefully reassured by the Broadcasters that it was all just a big misunderstanding and a pure coincidence that they had also been working on a similar idea at the same time, and that they just forgot to tell him they were working on this while allowing him to share private information about the making of his films with them. And also a coincidence that despite this former Soviet Country having a large and experienced database of filmcrew, 50% of the crew of his two films on Icelandic Pop were initially approached by this former Soviet Broadcaster to help make their own films on Icelandic Pop.
It should be stressed here– much like how stressed I was becoming in my dream – that this is the recounting of a dream, an event not based in reality. Additionally, this dream has been remodelled into a very, very fictional piece of creative writing. None of the characters in this dream exist in real life.
…Time Passes. All is well (ish)…
SHORT REFLECTIVE DREAM INTERLUDE
Grant’s Internal Dialogue : Grant, this is your inner voice speaking. I think you really should get the fuel pump in your car seen to, that petrol smell really shouldn’t be happening…..Also, I’m getting a bit concerned that you’re getting a bit angry and bitter about this whole Ex Soviet Broadcaster business. It’s not good for you. Maybe think about having a holiday. Be positive.
Grant: (thinking) Yes, you’re right Grant. Let’s just go along with what they say. We might just be over analysing this…
…Time Passes. All is well…
Dream dialogue excerpt 2:
Soviet Broadcaster: Could you do me a favour please Grant. Can you send me a clip of your new film, Dreamage Bigstars. I’d like to show my new boss the sort of programmes we could show on a new television channel we’re hoping to launch in our obscure former Soviet country.
A naïve but now reassured Grant: OK, that sounds great. Thank you for being so interested in it, this would do wonders for our little film to screen, this same film we made in a front room and spent ten years researching and saving up to create. You know we never really thought about money, we were just so passionate about the music that we wanted to share that passion and hopefully allow others to appreciate this music; it’s so nice for this film to get recognition but also more so for the artists featured to be portrayed in a way that’s sympathetic to their music while they receive wider recognition from a new audience. I feel like I’m in a dream!!!
Grant’s Inner Dialogue: There you go, what did I tell you. A rest and positive thinking does wonders. They were right, you were just getting confused.
….Cut to a few dream weeks later….
A Worried Grant: Hey, I’ve just been informed by some of my key crew members that they’ve been asked to work on a programme that sounds remarkably similar in tone and story-arc to my Dreamage Bigstars, you know the film you asked for a clip from to show your new boss the sort of programmes you’d like to screen on your new channel.
Soviet Broadcaster (yes, the same person who’s been receiving all the early cuts, private production details and making the reassurances that any film they make wont be like Grant’s): Oh yes, I didn’t tell you about that one either. I must be very forgetful. Yes, I am responsible for this programme too but it really does not feellike it will be anything like Dreamage Bigstars to me. In fact, it will be nothing like it and your film can screen 6 months ahead of ours so that there will be no confusion. Don’t worry, we really love your film and we really want to do the best for it and for you. I’m so confident that they are completely different that you can actually quote me when I say ‘none of them feel like Dreamage BigStars to me’. And absolutely, your film will screen months before our film so there will be no confusion with the press, public or interviewees – not that there would be anyway as they are such completely different films.
Grant: Phew…I thought for a second that when you’d asked me for a clip of my film to show your new boss, you know the one you were wanting to show to him as an example of the kind of programmes which could screen on your new channel, that you were actually just going to go ahead and make the film yourself instead….Haha, what a crazy thought. I’m glad you’ve really reassured me. I really appreciate the time you’re dedicating to so often telling me I’m mistaken and not to worry when I hear these rumours, and also how much you like my film and want to screen it. But I most appreciate how much time you’re spending to tell me how unlike each other these films will be. You really are looking out for me and my film. It’s like any time I think one thing you always manage to somehow persuade me I was mistaken to think that. I really appreciate it. Hahaha,
Soviet Broadcaster: Hahahaha. You’re so funny Grant, imagine thinking all of that. As if we’d do something like that to anyone! Of course your film will screen first and our film definitely won’t feel like yours. I love it. I really, really love it.
…..Cut to launch of the new former Soviet TV channel, a couple of weeks later….
A programme appears in the first few weeks of launch, 6 months ahead of schedule that ‘feels‘ more than a little like Dreamage Bigstars to Grant.
Grant: I don’t like this dream….
*In the interests of clarity, I am not suggesting anything untoward happened at this Obscure Former Soviet TV channel. This was a dream after all. Neither programme exists. Nothing exists except darkness. All conversations in this fictionalised, completely made-up account are absolutely invented and not based on any meticulously recorded real conversations.
SHORT REFLECTIVE DREAM INTERLUDE
Grant’s Internal Dialogue : Maybe you’re getting a bit bitter and angry here again?
Grant: (thinking) OK, maybe just a little. I’ll try and think about something else…..Oh! That fuel pump! I better get that changed….but let’s first carry on with this dream writing, made-up thing…you should have a word…..just remember to keep calm and make it sound like it’s not got to you….It was a bit weird that the exact opposite of what you were promised happened though…OK, here we go…
DREAM EXCERPT 3:
Grant: Hey, what’s going on here? I was told by you that your film would not feel like Dreamage Bigstars but your film feels, to me anyway, very much like a condensed version of it. Actually, this all feels to be the exact opposite of what you promised me. Your film appears to follow the exact same story arc, tone and focus; not to mention has the same contributors and uses the slightly less obvious choices of music and archive – just as in my film – and most bizarrely it has the exact same randomly filmed animal. Literally, the exact same animal, sitting outside the exact same house, a house which has no relationship to the story being told. The only difference is that the animal looks really happy in my film. In your film it’s just sitting there, silently with tears in its eyes.
Of course, I understand that coincidences do happen. Often similar films are made at the same time. A prime example of this sort of happenstance would be the popular 1990s feature – The Matrix and the less successful, but similarly themed, The Thirteenth Floor. Both of these movies explore the notion of our world existing as a computer simulation. Coincidences can happen at the same time. And of course, historically there are also other films which cover the same period of Icelandic Pop music featured in both of our films.
It just feels really odd however, that the only film or retelling of that particular story which remotely feels similar to my film is one made almost 25 years previously, a film that I quote from and credit accordingly in my documentary– but even this sole example really does not feel that similar as it uses completely different storytelling techniques and thematic focus; the only other film that is very similar to my one however, and shares the same focus and arc is yours – which was made mere weeks after mine. And let us not forget that you also has the extraordinary co-incidence of having had exclusive early access to my film’s private production details, early cuts and lengthy correspondence throughout its production, all before being made public. There is also the fact that when your films were originally mooted 50% of my crew were asked to help make them. It just feels like you wanted your film to be like my one.
Of course, I certainly do not claim I should have any exclusivity in telling this story. As I’m sure you are aware, there are an infinite number of ways in which historical events can be retold using first hand accounts and with their associated ephemera – a creative process that has produced multiple unique works throughout the ages. all covering the same event, but with a unique and personal perspective in their construction, thus differentiating them. This is something I greatly encourage as I believe it is of extreme importance to have alternative interpretations of historical events to present a reader or viewer with as wide an objective overview as possible.
Taking the above into consideration It feels to me that you may have, at the very least been subconsciously influenced by my film here or there has perhaps occurred an accidental conflict of interest. Or that it could all just be an amazing coincidence…
Grant’s Inner Dialogue: Good work Grant, you sounded as calm as a cucumber there. Definitely not angry and certainly no bitterness poorly concealed as sarcasm…A bit preachy at times maybe but good work nonetheless.
Grant: (Thinking) yep, we nailed it there!
Grant awaits a reply, anticipating some form of apology or explanation to this seeming coincidence considering his polite and carefully worded concerns.
Soviet Broadcasters’ Heavy: Young man, we are shocked by what we are hearing here. So shocked we may have to consider taking appropriate legal action against you for these potentially defamatory accusations. Additionally, we are going to inform everyone involved in our production of your ‘concerns’. What’s most, deeply, deeply upsetting though is that we can’t understand why you would even bring these insinuations towards us, especially after all we’ve done for you. We absolutely love your film and we’ve tried so hard to help you. I don’t know how you could do this to us, it’s really upsetting. No ‘copying’ has occurred here at all. We don’t even know what would compel you to think such a thing of us. These films are so, so different. Not copies. Completely different films. 100% different films. Mr Soviet Broadcaster has bent over backwards to make this all work for you. Let me be clear when we say these films were made completely independently of each other and there was no referring to yours, despite us having seen it before anyone else and us being party to its production process. No copying occurred.
Grant: (slightly taken aback by the shift in tone). I was merely making a genuine observation – that after being reassured by you on multiple occasions that your film would not feel anything like mine but then after watching it I find, in fact it does feel like my film. Knowing this now, I certainly would never have continued to share private details of my films production with you.
I absolutely understand the need to defend one’s work and integrity but I feel as though you are acting in a way that is perhaps presenting me with what I could perceive as a threat which could then be interpreted as preventing me from pursuing these concerns further, rather than simply addressing them. You know I’m getting this odd feeling that the sudden change in tone from you has been designed to somehow frighten me to not pursue these concerns. I need to think further upon this new development…. Also, your repeated use of the word ‘copy’ sounds weird and out of place. You keep on using it now.
Grant decides to seek some advice on this new and unexpected turn of events. The advice he’s given is somewhat surprising. Surprising in that others appear to have had similar experiences. The advice appears to be along the lines of ‘almost the same thing happened to me’ , ‘they will never let you win’, ‘if you try to take them on they will wear you down in a financial war of attrition’, ‘just leave it, it’s what we all have to do. Put up and shut up or be blacklisted’, and ‘they just gaslight you’. This all sounded a bit ‘heavy’ but Grant believed pursuing his concerns and not allowing himself to feel intimidated was the correct and moral course of action.
THE CHANGE OF TONE TO A MORE SERIOUS INTERLUDE
Coincidentally, this former Soviet Country had an incredibly similar legal system to the UK when relating to film copyright protection. Despite what most filmmakers in this fictional country believe, there is actually very little protection available for their works existing within current copyright law, well the type one would expect to have for other forms of work – music, non fiction publishing, art etc.
Mostly, a film is only protected under copyright law if it is ‘copied’. Not copied in the way a member of the public would understand ‘copying’ to mean –i.e. nicking someone’s ideas, ‘borrowing’ the way in which a film scene is staged, finer story points and so on; but ‘copying’ meaning the physical act of mechanical duplication without permission. i.e. Piracy – such as a bootleg DVD, but certainly not appropriating the artistic construction of a work. In these instances, ‘copy’ strictly refers to a physical duplication, as like a photocopy.
Having two virtually identically made films, despite compelling evidence of interaction between both parties is ‘not enough’ to claim plagiarism…. As discussed in this linked article – https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/history-advertising-no-148-mehdi-norowzians-joy/1365197 – Joy v Anticipation, from which here are some quotes:
“It ended as the subject of a landmark high court case and a ruling that not only seemed incomprehensible but drove a coach and horses through what most commercial directors thought were their rights over their ideas….”
“To those present at the start of the six-day hearing, it looked like an open-and-shut case. As Joy and “anticipation” were shown, the similarities between the two seemed glaringly obvious.
However, Mr Justice Rattee was unconvinced by the case. He threw it out and awarded costs – said to have been about £500,000 – against Norowzian.”
To have any chance of over-ruling such a landmark decision, currently would be risking over £250K and likely losing that. So far, nobody in the UK has dared to try since this landmark 1990s case. Now it could be seen as being unfair and cynical if it were suggested that unscrupulous producers were allegedly using this legal ruling to their advantage. Why, that would be like suggesting some large broadcasters could effectively – if they wanted – take ideas sent to them (or ones they overhear) from unsuspecting creatives and happily use them for their own, free from any legal consequence. Except for dreams and fictional situations the legal obstacles to challenging such claims are so financially prohibitive that nobody is likely to take that risk.
….Speaking of dreams and made-up situations and characters, let’s get back to my dream, unreality and the (slightly bitter sounding) funnies…..
DREAM NOTES AND DREAM EXCERPT 4
In this part of the dream story, undeterred and deciding to put up a fight, Grant uncovered a surprising document which had a note from a very senior and experienced member of staff at this Obscure Former Soviet Broadcaster.
As mentioned previously, this was no easy task. For to receive any form of document or clear answer from these Former Soviet Broadcasters would incur huge costs of time, money, stress and repeated requests for the simplest of all things.
It should be noted that this Obscure Former Soviet Country’s state broadcaster, like a handful of others around the world was funded by a public licence fee.
The document stated – very plainly – that it would not be justifiable to their licence paying public for this broadcaster to commission a film that broadly covered the same content as Grant’s Icelandic Pop Music films. This document seemed pretty clear and to the point. It even named Dreamage BigStars.
The question then arose ‘why did they commission their film then?’ Even if it felt like a completely different film they were given very clear guidance to not make a film which broadly covered the same story or content as either of Grant’s films. At the point of the Senior Member of the Obscure Former Soviet Broadcaster offering this warning they had already agreed to pay Grant a fee before making their own film. If they then commissioned their own version of this story the public would effectively be paying twice for the same content.
At the same time an extremely reputable expert conducted a side-by-side analysis of Dreamage BigStars and the film from the Former Soviet Broadcaster. This was in the form of an incredibly long, articulate and in depth comparison. It looked very robust.
A separate ‘expert’, who for some strange reason always made Grant think of the first verse of Virginia Plain by Roxy Music had also uncovered a loophole whereby his conflict of interest concerns may be addressed.
He decided to send his newly acquired ‘evidence’ dossier to the Obscure Former Soviet Broadcaster.
They suddenly had a change of heart and could now see why he might see similarities in both films. They mentioned an ‘investigation’ was conducted and they suggested it may be in the best interests of both parties to now have a meeting and see if there was a way to prevent the situation escalating further. Of course, this was preferable to Grant as he still wanted to maintain a good relationship despite what had occurred. No money was ever asked for, merely an explanation as to why these two, very similar films came to be made at the same time, and under such circumstances.
The meeting was between Grant, Mr Soviet Broadcaster and a Soviet Broadcaster Heavy.
Grant: (thinking) I sound really bitter
Soviet Broadcaster: Yes, you do.
Grant: (thinking) Yikes, how did they hear that? I was only thinking. Maybe they’ve been hearing my thoughts all along and that’s how these two films came to be so similar?
Grant: (Speaking). How did you hear that?
Soviet Broadcaster: You just said it out aloud. We can’t hear your thoughts.
Grant: (thinking): Phew, thank goodness for that. I thought I’d gone crazy for a second. Haha. (slightly darker thinking) Or maybe they’ve finally driven me crazy by the constant deny, attack and reversing the victim / offender strategy they seem to have been using. Remember that time they told me I was imagining all of this?
**much like in Easy Rider, Grant has a momentary, premonitory flash forward to being shot in the chest by a redneck representing ‘The Man’’**
Grant : (still thinking) . Let’s not go there. I‘ve a feeling that something I just thought about might come back to finish me off later in this story. OK, let’s just take it slowly and see if we can bring this to an end. I’ve just spent so much energy trying to fight this.
**Suddenly the spirit of David Crosby enters the room and speaks to Grant alone**
David Crosby: You can do this man, take them on. Don’t give in
Grant: (thinking) You’re right David Crosby. I won’t give up.
David Crosby: Hey man, what did you mean by ‘spirit’? I’m not dead! This is a weird scene man. This is like being back in rehab. I just want to go back and argue with strangers on Twitter.
***David slowly fades away, his last few words fading silently with him***
David Crosby: (faintly) Hey man, why doesn’t Roger like me? (getting fainter) …I never got a buck for Easy Rider, Hopper based that character on me!!! or Woodstock….(fainter)….I hate Spotify…..
**The spirit of David Crosby finally leaves the room, his wise words swirling around Grant’s head***
A Newly Confident Grant: (speaking) This really feels like I’m telling you exact same thing again, and again, and again. I have no objection to two films telling a similar story by different means, my concern is the situation where we have our two films appearing to share many similarities which I feel could be a result of our existing relationship -i.e. it may be one coincidence for this story to be told similarly by two completely different broadcasters, in different countries at different times; but it feels strange that we have these similar films with the further coincidence of my having shared private information relating to my film with you, as well as both their involvements with a large Museum exhibition which was then later superseded by your films.
My main objection however, is that you have dismissed my concerns again and again by telling me they are actually completely different feeling films despite clear evidence to the contrary, and that I’ve somehow imagined these similarities.
What is confusing me now though, is why was the commissioning guidance from Mr Senior Employee seemingly ignored? I can’t understand why you would go on to spend a significant amount of public money – tens of thousands – to make this new film which simply appears to feel very similar to my already existing one, which you already previously agreed to pay me a fee for.
Wouldn’t this be just like getting a licence payer to pay for effectively the same content twice? Couldn’t you just have offered the public better value for money and chosen another story to tell instead? This would appear to be why your ex boss gave this guidance? Or at least make some effort into making your film appear slightly different to mine, something you’ve seemingly not done.
Soviet Broadcaster: Well, simply this all comes down to us not having enough material in our filmed archive to tell other stories. We reviewed all our existing material and because we simply did not have enough there to tell different stories we were forced into having to use this story. It was deemed one of the very few we could use. We really wanted to tell others but we couldn’t, it’s as simple as that.
Grant: (not fully convinced) OK, I suppose that is understandable…perhaps. I’m not sure why you did not explain this to me before though. Will you apologise for how this was handled by yourself and your organisation? There now seems to be some form of an admission that these films actually are very similar. Clearly much of what I had been suggesting all along regarding these concerns has now been shown to be true, whereas instead of acknowledging this at that time you instead seemingly decided to prevent me from pursuing these enquiries through what I perceived to be threats and obstruction. Most upsetting was continuously telling me I was mistaken in my concerns. It feels like you should offer an apology.
Soviet Broadcaster: What about as a suggestion I draft you a letter which explains the entire situation and it could act as something you may take to be an apology, if that works for you? And two commissions?. Of course they would have to go through due process – like we always do here, wink, wink. And we can offer you really great terms for your film.
Soviet Broadcaster Heavy: I can put together some paper work. We really now understand your concerns and why you and others may see these films as appearing to be quite similar but I should add that copyright minutiae is such a complicated area to discuss here. (mumbling quickly) And the smaller commissioning details changed anyway. Hopefully this will all work out and we can draw a line under the matter. It definitely benefits nobody to pursue this further.
Grant: Hmmn, OK, we’ll let’s leave it there for the moment. Of course, the apology is incredibly important to me. It’s a matter of principle for myself and for all other hardworking independent filmmakers who may not have the means or will to pursue potentially similar scenarios…
…Time Passes….All is possibly well…
This feels like another appropriate time to stress that none of these conversations actually occurred. They have been made up – they are all combinations of bits of dreams and imaginary writing. However, they are all culled from extensive records of dream meetings, dream recordings and dream emails. This meeting did not take place however and the people and conversations described are entirely fictional. Any similarity to real life events is purely a coincidence.
***Grant receives two letters***
One appears to be, not from the Obscure Former Soviet Country Broadcaster but from the actual Soviet State it was once part of. It states that any attempt to pursue his concerns using any loopholes will mean they will have to use everything within their power to prevent that from happening.
***Grant also receives the draft letter from the Obscure Former ex-Soviet Country Broadcaster regarding their meeting***
NIGHTMARE EXCERPT 1 – The Letter
Soviet Broadcaster: Actually, there will be no apology at all, not even a hint of one. We just don’t have to apologise for anything because we’ve not done anything wrong. Definitely no copying at all occurred – absolutely no copying and although it might not seem like it to you our films were made 100% independently of yours. We’ve carried out an extensive investigation and we know those films are 100% different. I really know this to be true because I carried out the investigation myself!
Grant: Eh, hold on a second. What, do you mean, ‘you carried out the investigation yourself’? Isn’t that a bit like marking your own homework?
Soviet Broadcaster: Well, errr no. I don’t mean that I carried it out personally. I just GUIDED the investigation to where they needed some help. Someone else, someone completely independent did all that actual investigation work, they just happened to agree with us here. Nothing untoward happened.
***Grant’s Email Inbox pings at the same time****
Grant: Hey, hold on a darn tooting minute. I’ve just been sent an email which appears to be from a few months back. It’s part of a conversation discussing which stories could be told from your existing material. Remember, how in our meeting you told me that the reason the commissioning guidance was ignored was because you did not have enough material available to tell other stories so had no choice?
Well this email seems to say the exact opposite of this– it says ‘there’s enough material actually to tell twenty stories’. It literally says this. And weirdly, good old Mr High-Up, who was the chap who wrote the original proposals, who met with the museum, and who recounted the commissioning warning is included in this conversation too. Why did you tell me something completely different in our meeting? Was this guidance even discussed when you commissioned the films? If not this sounds like the commissioning process is completely open to abuse.
***Cut to EastEnders drum roll, which incidentally Grant has to pay a full licence fee for due to not being covered by any blanket PRS licencing agreements****
TO BE CONTINUED….
Preview to next week’s episode:
Grant: So you are telling me you actually didn’t say any of this? (Close-Up on Grant) ….. Well, luckily I recorded the entire conversation….
Soviet Broadcaster: (in extreme close up)………..
FADE TO BLACK
– All characters portrayed are entirely fictional and any likeness to anyone living, dead (or undead) is purely coincidental. And so here we are, extracts from my completely fictionalised story/dream/warning…