Shut Up and Write Me

image of Shut Up and Write Me


Andrew Johnston wants to write. They say there's a book in everyone and this is his. He started the Adventures of Sir Trawberry Moose a couple of years ago and left it in a drawer to ferment. Since then he's had two kids and is desperately attempting to be a model 21st century dad.

But he wants to publish a blockbuster detective thriller for children, fulfilling his creative dream at 39, when all the brilliant people seem to have already made it. A stay-at-home dad, he juggles childcare, finances and a marriage along with the constantly conflicting voices of two invisible (animated) friends, moose and pig. He turns 40 this year. His ambitious wife has given him a deadline...

Sherman’s March meets Roger Rabbit as Andrew makes his morning coffee, takes a shower, empties the cat-litter, fixes the eaves trough, whips up a carbonara, and comforts a screaming child, all the while haunted by his needy fictional characters. The harried vérité is punctuated by commentary from two of the author’s (animated) creations: Sir Trawberry Moose and Ron Pigfish, a cynical and unattractive character who, though not in the novel, has lots of unwelcome opinions.

Andrew’s journey takes him on a return to literary childhood haunts as he explores the minds of children’s authors who’ve inspired and influenced him. Emotionally retarded, manic-depressive, fascinating and disturbing, they come in all complexions. He seeks advice from instructors, agents and living authors on story structure, morality, representation, the rules of the game.

Throughout, his own characters will appear on screen, to help, goad or sneer at him (with the help of Flash animation and the improv talents of Second City).

SHUT UP AND WRITE ME is about realizing dreams. It's about the conflicting rules for men in the post feminist 21st century. It's about the absurdities and the banalities that inspire an imagination at work. It's about family tensions, roles and responsibilities. It's about never growing up. And finally, it's about having to grow up.


1 x 60 minutes


Director: Andrew Johnston
Editors: David New, Cort Bremner
Camera: Jeannette Loakman
Composers: Longo Hai, Geoff Bennett, Ben Johannesen (TTG)