Here is the intro to a ten-minute short film script I wrote in the second year of my Film & Video Degree called Heaven is a Place… It’s about an angel called Afriel who becomes disillusioned with the perfection of Heaven and leaves to live on Earth. There she achieves contentment with the realisation that happiness can only be appreciated with the prospect of failure.
The script was inspired by the Talking Heads song ‘Heaven’. The song got me thinking about the redundancy of the concept of perfection. I believe life is built around obstacles. In life, we set about overcoming these obstacles, and from this, we derive satisfaction. If these obstacles were taken away and we were given perpetual bliss, life would stay the same forever, we would achieve nothing, and existence would become completely redundant.
To me, the concept of a paradise has no positive connotations. The idea that there is something ‘better’ waiting for us leads us to under-appreciate what we have now. With this script, I wished to inspire people to appreciate what they have, and not be downhearted by the obstacles and failures they experience, as they are all part of the beauty of existence.
Although my writing has developed considerably since this piece, becoming more concise and down to earth (excuse the pun), the image of a funfair in Heaven filled with angels has always stuck with me. Finding its imagery persistently evocative, but unable to imagine it stretching to feature length, I’ve decided to use extracts from Heaven is a Place… in a feature film script for my MA major project. There they will be reinterpreted as the imaginings of a young protagonist – projections of his yearning for love and freedom from conformity.