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Skin Deep is a film about peoples attitudes towards death. Bella, a plastic surgeon who finds out she has a brain tumour, accepts death and believes that if it's her time to go then she will accept that. Leroy on the other hand tries to escape death by constant plastic surgery, diet regimes and gym workouts. When both their lives entwine (mainly due to the fact that Bella has to remove Leroy's new breast implants) they are sure to have an impact on one another.

Skin Deep is set in central London in present time, it is a feature film about peoples attitudes towards death. Bella is a 35 year old plastic surgeon who coincidentally doesn't agree with that kind of lifestyle, she is happy just the way she looks and can only wish others would see that about themselves and stop worrying about getting older and just accept that it's a part of life. Even though Bella makes a lot of money doing what she does she doesn't flash it about, she keeps most of it in savings or makes good investments like her house in Wimbledon. After suffering severe headaches, passing out and vomiting she eventually finds out she has a brain tumour, Bella then decides not to have chemotherapy, she accepts death. Leroy on the other hand would never in a million years accept death, he does every thing he can to avoid it plastic surgery, Botox, vigorous gym work outs and numerous different diets.

Living in luxury and having everything he could ever want seems quite the life and being quite the ladies man is an extra bonus for Leroy so it comes as a bit of a shock to him when Bella turns him down, not once but twice! But it comes as more of a shock when she tells him why. After Bella's big speech on why she won't go out with him it really hits Leroy that maybe everything she said is true, maybe he should be looking at life differently and not wasting his time worrying. Leroy goes in to the surgery to see Bella and finds her looking at a leaflet for a marathon so he suggests he helps her train for it, Bella agrees to this.

During the time they train together they develop feelings for one another, Bella well aware that it can't go far as soon she will be passing, Leroy is blissfully unaware, he is a changed man thanks to her. When Bella eventually dies from her brain tumour it comes as a complete shock to Leroy, he starts to think Bella was wrong and that his outlook on life was right all along so he goes back to his old self. He starts getting really paranoid and scared of death, a lot worse than he was before, Leroy eventually becomes a hermit, he doesn't leave his apartment for fear of getting running over or tripping up a curb. In a fort he has built for safety Leroy starts getting chest pains and has a heart attack, once waking up and recovering in hospital all it took was a near death experience to realise that he was never right, Bella was and he changes his ways for good.

Interview with Jess Kilbourne Writer What is the theme of the film? The theme of the film is death but I've tried to not go for the morbid route and attempt more of a lesson learned route to death. What were you trying to achieve with the narrative? I was trying to achieve a narrative that would allow people to see that there is more to life than death so by the character of Leroy learning a lesson I hope that the audience will too. Where did the inspiration come from? Part of my inspiration came from Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror series, I liked how his series was ludicrous and nothing like that would happen in reality yet he made it believable and funny so I wanted to take them elements and incorporate it in to my own script.

How have you achieved these ideas? I have achieved them by having some elements of my film unbelievable yet it's still happened, for example in the film Leroy is accidentally given breasts - this obviously wouldn't happen in real life but because I've been able to make it quite humorous as Leroy plays with them and considers keeping them it makes it OK for this to happen in my film. Any techniques that were used that were important for you?
 Yes, it was important to have my two main characters completely opposite to one another so I could make the story even more surprising and exciting that they both develop feelings towards each other.

What do you hope someone will gain from reading your script?
 In a way I hope they take a leaf out of Leroy's book and realise that life is there to be lived. Any stories or anecdotes in the research or writing your script? 
 Yes, during the research period when I was Googling to find out as much as I could about plastic surgery I found loads of images of really bad plastic surgeries on celebrities, I thought I’d  seen  it  all  with  Pete  Burns  but  I   was wrong. How do you work?
 It takes a while for me to get in to the swing of things and I find the pre-production side, like my step outline in particular, dragged a little bit so I struggled writing that but as soon as I get on to writing the script I get really in to it and involved with the story and therefore enjoy writing it which makes it a lot easier for me to work.

Scripts Developed by Jess Kilbourne 2013. Skin Deep Feature film script. About peoples attitudes towards death.

2012. 29 Days Short film script. About 3 friends trying to survive an apocalypse.

2012. Adelaide Feature film script. About a journey taken by a French girl trying to get home and a boy trying to escape home.

2011. Post-it Short film script. About an office romance.


Jess Kilbourne

Skin Deep Pressbook  
Skin Deep Pressbook  

Pressbook for Skin Deep for university module