REAR WINDOW: Inspiration in isolation

There are almost too many microlit texts to choose from – but here, I’ve done all the hard work for you.

Between frenzied hand washes, check out these microlit texts and get thinking about how they could make the leap from page to screen. What makes these texts great? More importantly, how do we communicate what makes them great as we take them into a new medium?

Rear Window by Susan McCreery

I predict Rear Window (1954) is going to make a 2020 comeback – the original Alfred Hitchcock film was about a man trapped inside, overcome with boredom and taking up weird new hobbies, like murder investigation. Sound familiar?

Rear Window – the microlit – switches things up a bit. Now it’s the wife murdering the husband, and the story is told from her perspective as she observes a nosy photographer watching her every move.

How to dramatise this story

To dramatise this story, it might be necessary to take a step back. This microlit sits in the moment after a murder, which means it’s missing all the drama. What if the woman wasn’t sitting, drinking a martini? What if she was active – cooking dinner, putting suits away in storage, making phone calls to secure an alibi – before revealing the body on the floor? By not immediately revealing what has happened, intrigue is created as the audience vies to discover what this woman is up to, and what might happen next.

This is a great microlit to adapt for the screen if you are friends with your neighbours or live in student housing. If not, it’s still possible to communicate the same idea with the photographer watching from the street. Either way, the distance between the characters makes filming COVID-19 friendly!

Make sure you check out the many microlit texts up for adaptation in our Microflix Competition.

Ashleigh Mounser has a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Wollongong and a Graduate Certificate in Screenwriting from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Since graduating in 2018, she has written and produced five short films. Mounser was Sydney Morning Herald’s Young Writer of the Year in 2012; the overall winner of the Future Leaders Writing Competition; winner of the ‘Time to Write’ contest by the University of Melbourne, and recipient of two arts grants from the Bouddi Foundation of the Arts, presented by John Bell of the Bell Shakespeare Company. Her first feature comedy film, Questions and Comments was nominated for the Humanitas Prize by Thomas Musca, was shot in Miami and is due to be released in May 2020.