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  • Rachel Brettell

TMCM Inspiration: December 2022

five things I didn't know about remote copywriting

Film - CODA

If we can’t enjoy a shamelessly feel-good film in December, when can we? And CODA is heartwarming indeed. In many ways it’s a classic coming of age story about a family learning to communicate and a daughter who dreams of escape. But somewhat less classically, that daughter happens to be the lone hearing member of her family; all three deaf roles are played by hearing impaired actors, and more than 40% of the film's ‘dialogue’ is in American sign language (don't panic - subtitles).

What’s more, unlike much of the feel-good fluff out there, this film actually got me thinking. Particularly about how we communicate. Yes, the language they use is signed, but is also inventive and beautiful. Each individual signs differently, so the creative choices made to shape the artistic signs they use bring so much to the film, just like the expressive and innovative way we choose our words can bring so much to our copy.

The cast also manage to convey their individuality and authenticity, particularly Troy Kotsure, who improvised throughout (and who’s signed description of jock itch had me laughing out loud). A timely reminder for anyone in the business of communicating that finding your own ‘voice’ is challenging, but crucial. And alongside the many sweet, tender and charming moments, the film is also joyously frank and irreverent. The signed insults shared between siblings (‘sh*t nugget’ and 'twat waffle’ are personal favourites), are comically timed to perfection, delivered with panache and a welcome reminder never to take ourselves too seriously.

Gone are the days of a word doc, sent by email

Podcast - 13 minutes to the moon. BBC Sounds.

If it all gets too much this Christmas and you just need to get away from the in-laws/children/Michael Buble before you kill someone, now you can. To the moon no less. Over 12 episodes, Kevin Fong retells the thrilling story of the 13 minutes before the 1969 Apollo 11 lunar landing. It’s escapism storytelling at its very best - gripping first person accounts, raw emotion and the suspense of overcoming extraordinary adversity. And don’t get me started on the epic Hans Zimmer score.

Meetings take on a whole new meaning

Email - Anna Jones

Every time an email drops from Anna Jones, I smile. Best known for her environmentally focused vegetarian recipes, her newsletter is a refreshingly random fortnightly rundown of things she loves and good things to click on. Whether that’s pies, projects or podcasts, she invariably shares an eclectic smorgasbord of fresh ideas and inspiration. Think Gwyneth Paltrow minus the cray cray.

Book - Wintering: the power of rest and retreat in difficult times by Katherine May

Alongside the tinsel, overindulgence and good cheer, Christmas can be challenging, lonely and stressful.

Katherine May's book ‘Wintering’ reminds us that opting out of misery generally isn’t an option, and instead suggests that we embrace our winters. By winter, she of course doesn’t just mean the cold, rather describing it as that ‘fallow period in life when you're cut off from the world, feeling rejected, sidelined, blocked from progress, or cast into the role of an outsider.’ She also astutely points out that ‘everybody winters at one time or another; some winter over and over again.’ So if you are looking for a surprisingly hopeful, comforting and contemplative read as an antidote to the forced festive smiles, May eloquently describes what so many of us feel. In doing so, she reminds us that we are not alone. And that spring is invariably just around the corner.

Work creep is tricky to keep in check

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