Electric Noir: Creative Brief

News Story

Chance to Work on BAFTA-Nominated Dead Man’s Phone

For more info on this brief, join us for a lab on 17 August (register here).

Please send—along with one piece of your own work—by 21 August, 2020 to labs@filmlondon.org.uk


Write a police interview with a murder suspect. (no specific length, whatever feels right, but around 5 minutes is a good guideline).


Well known media personality Karen Hapkins is strangled to death in central London in the early hours.

Hapkins was a notorious columnist who made a career out of slandering people different to her. Detectives are overwhelmed with suspects.

In the weeks leading to her death, Hapkins caused her latest outcry by expressing disgust for the homeless—calling homelessness a choice and dehumanising them.

When the fingerprints of a homeless man, Max Wilkins, are pulled from Hapkin’s neck—the media go into a frenzy.

Max Wilkins claims he was sleeping a few streets away when he heard commotion and happened upon Hapkins body. He checked her vitals and discovered she was dead.

Others are unsure of that narrative.

Police recover a newspaper from where Max slept. It contains Hapkins’ anti-homeless article. Max must’ve known Hapkins disgust for the homeless. Perhaps he took revenge.


The police interview is strange.

As a homeless man, Max has always been ignored. Suddenly, he’s the focus of attention.

We learn Max’s story. A side of London no one sees. We empathise with him, even like him. Of course Max is innocent...

But there are fleeting moments in the interview— throwaway comments, pregnant silences—which seem to call everything into question.

In the end nothing is resolved. We are just left with a portrait of a man otherwise invisible to society.