I began my journey eyes firmly focussed on a career as a Physicist and I achieved this goal earlier than expected leaving school and working in the Laser Spectroscopy unit of BP's Research establishment in Sunbury-Upon-Thames. Travelling in Africa for the remainder of my Gap Year I saw Mountain Gorillas, climbed a Volcano, fell in love and crossed the continent from East to West Coasts.
Had I not been accepted to Cambridge I had a place at The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) to read Astro-Physics. Always fascinated by Space Exploration, I imagine I might have been designing and building satelites and probes or analysing data from potentially habitable exo-planets. The dream from boyhood had been to become an Astronaut..
A year studying Natural Sciences at The University of Cambridge was enough for me and I made the first big decision of my life to change course to read Philosopy. It was a good move and so I began walking down another road in my journey. I studied the three year course in two years and earned a 2:2 MA. This part of my life is explored in the autobiographical book "PILOT OF DREAMS."
My interests led me to work in the Television industry, which inspired the very fictional novella "BUBBLEVISION", but I felt the urge to travel again. Heading away from work and responsibilities. I was travelling for just under a year and when I returned I left again but this time for The Vancouver Film School on Canada's Pacific North West Coast.
I was in my element here, I was 24 years young and full of life and I enjoyed the richly creative environment that was all around, but upon returning I suffered a major physical and mental breakdown.
I was hospitalised, the cause of the illness eventually being put down to a combination of a repressed childhood trauma, an experience with Malaria in Africa and a complete neglect of my health whilst in Vancouver. In addition I had not allowed myself to rest in any meaningful way since leaving school. Recovery was slow, I went through a process of Psychoanalysis for three years and with great help from the NHS and my family, I managed to get back on my feet. I was then 32.
It was at this point that I began writing seriously both as therapy and escapism, First subject to offer itself up for scrutiny was my story in Canada. I wrote an autobiographical screenplay called "REEL TO REAL", thinking it apt to write in the format in which I was trained whilst there as a Writer and Director.
My life has developed nicely in many ways since, in others I stilll strive for more. The drive to be recognised for my writing is strong, one writes for oneself only for so long. Ten years ago I began writing with a more serious attitude and I wrote two science fiction novels, "EXO:LIFE" and "OMNICHROME."
With family in the USA I decided to tackle something international and wrote "THE HOUDINI HIJACKING." With this novel I broke out some self-imposed restaints on my writing style and explored a new genre. My latest feature length film screenplay "STATE OF THE HEART", is a fun but in-depth original swipe at a Romantic Comedy, about a person I might once have been, written by someone who I am now.
The shorts I wrote whilst at The University for the Creative Arts, on a course which I didn't complete, but which nevertheless had a great impact on my creative output, I learned the crucial lesson of valuing one's work and writing from the heart. Three of the feature screenplays were co-written with a good friend. This collaboration has produced stories with an honesty that's refreshing in a sometimes jaded world.
Writing is liberating, approaching stories with the benefits of personal experience. It is a conduit to explore the imagination and interweave it with truths and realities of life. My deepest wish now is to share these stories with others, who may be able to gain both pleasure and insight into their own personal conditions, and throw off any restrictive mental chains they may have.
I know I have reached a milestone in my life as picking up my camera again, photography being a very physical activity, I feel a unity, a oneness and an integrity that evolves both Photography and Writing into a whole, which I am able and confident and able to explore fully.
All written and original photographic material: © Brett Walpole 2020
(Except "Lionsgate", "Shadows" and "Tall Order, Small Change", © V.F.S. 1995)