So the script I finalised over the weekend is called Sonny Hall and if I’m honest, I guess it could potentially be a bit of a tough sell. Here’s the summary of the storyline –
When Sonny Hall left home to go to university, he didn’t envisage that a year later he’d be a uni drop-out with a pregnant girlfriend. Then again, he didn’t think a natural talent for snooker would be his get out of free jail card, but with a new qualifying tournament that allows talented amateurs the chance to gain a place on the professional tour, it’s a chance he can’t pass up, even if everyone thinks he’s mad. With his best friend’s dad guiding him, Sonny sets out to see if the grass is greener on the green baize.
And here’s a synopsis, but I’ve left the last little bit out just to keep the ending hidden. Just so you know a summary is just that, a quick summary of events. A synopsis (and the length of one of these can vary hugely, tells the ending as well) but as I say, I won’t share that here.
With no job and a baby on the way, uni drop out Sonny Hall tries his hand at turning his talent for snooker into a viable career. Succeeding as the first black star of snooker, money and prestige easily come his way, but Sonny quickly quits when the demands on him as a sporting pioneer become too much. Soon though he starts to regret the fact he never played at the world championship, appreciated his status or secured a legacy.
Now what I set out to do was to write a British film with a twist. You don’t get a lot more British than snooker (and I’m actually a fan of the game) and there’s never truly been a black star of snooker, so the thinking behind the main character and storyline was to create a kind of Tiger Woods/ Lewis Hamilton scenario and see how that would play out.
The other story lines going on deal with how his girlfriend Suzie (who is a budding fashion designer) deals with being consigned to the background by an overbearing mother who doesn’t believe in the notion of a woman being able to be a mother and have a career. And then there’s also Sonny’s relationship with coach/mentor and father figure Mark, which becomes strained due to the media attention foisted upon Sonny. Mark believes Sonny can achieve something special, whilst Sonny is caught between professional aspirations and just earning enough money that he and his family will be financially secure. The driving force for Sonny is being able to look after his family and be there for his child in the way that his father was never there for him.
So yeah, because it features the game of snooker, I guess it’ll be tough to get people excited about it. As for what I think, I believe that snooker is perfect fodder to be shown and represented on the big screen. I mean, what with film being a visual medium, you don’t get much more visual than snooker; the deep green of the baize, the technicolour brilliance of all the different coloured balls. The way the table sits majestically in the middle of a theatre surrounded by the fans; the incredibly smart attire of the players. It’s a very visual experience.
And there’s something about the stillness of snooker. You know when you have a great actor and they just ooze gravitas? They barely have to move and yet they convey so much. For me that’s snooker, and the players too. Watching a player sitting in his seat when his opponent is at the table, knowing that he can do nothing to affect what is happening at that very moment, is pure theatre.
Anyway, that’s a little bit about the script I finished.