A Boston-born writer is the scribe behind a multi-million pound animated feature film – and has taken a little inspiration from the town in which he grew up.
Former Boston Grammar School pupil Richard O. Smith has provided the English translation to the big screen release, The Unbeatables.
Experienced writer Richard, 50, has worked on BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show, BBC Two’s Science Club with Dara Ó Briain and has a number of books to his name, but this is his first film script.
The $23 million picture is directed by Oscar-winning film-maker Juan José Campanella and, in the spirit of Toy Story, sees table football players coming to life and interacting with the real world.
It was released in the UK last Friday at 400 screens, following a red carpet London première attended by Richard, and has already proved a big hit in its native South America.
Richard said: “It was released in Argentina very late last year and it’s become the most successful film in the history of Argentinian cinema by quite some margin.”
In providing an English translation, Richard had to write dialogue which matched the mouth movements of the characters - a challenge when you consider they had been animated to correspond with a different language.
He said: “No one had every heard of making a film this way round - complete your 97 minutes of animation and then you write a script.”
It did, however, give Richard the chance to work alongside the stars of the UK release, including Harry Potter star Rupert Grint, comedian Rob Brydon and impressionist Alistair McGowan, as he refined the script.
“I had to sandpaper some of the lines even more so the actors voices were spot on with the mouth movements,” he explained.
He added: “Rob Brydon is a lot of fun.
“He really is never more than five minutes away from doing his impression of Richard Burton. I was very impressed with him.”
As scribe, Richard has also been able to include some references to Boston in the film.
Richard, who today lives in Oxford, wrote a Boston United fanzine, dubbed From Behind Your Fences, and has included a number of nods to The Pilgrims.
He said: “Some of the jokes I have put in about the football in the film are sly observations about some footballers who played for The Pilgrims in the 1990s.”
He has also made reference to his first pet, Rico, a parrot at his father’s pet shop in the town.
It is the name of Rob Brydon’s character.