Monday, 14 December 2009
With an end of year blog coming soon to rectify my lack of blogging recently and to give me a swift hard kick in the arse, normal service should be resumer, or any service at all would be nice, seems like I've dipped out with the terrestrial signal.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Friday, 16 October 2009
Can't believe how fast the year, really need to get these scripts finished. And the novel.
Normal service will be resumed around here.
Saturday, 22 August 2009
The problem this catastrophe left me with was a years worth of writing stuck in limbo. Today i'll be getting the discs back rescued from my old laptop's hard drive and i'll be able to get back into it, but for a week there I was a mess.
No writing, no creativity. It almost killed me. Maybe it was the kick in the teeth I needed to show me that I need to do this. It's not something I can switch off.
The trouble is the new laptop has left me penniless and paying off my Mum for the next few months, making my job, that I hope one day the writing will lead me away from, even more essential.
At least I dont have a car that can fail on me and cost me obscene amounts of money.
OK, back to the writing, as soon as I've figured out how to re install everything.
Monday, 13 July 2009
It doesn’t really matter I suppose it’s not like anyone was chomping at the bit to read this, but I hope if you stumble across this you’ll find it interesting. The following contains what happened at the event, and what nuggets of information I gleamed from it which may help your writing endeavours.
The presentation began with some numbers, the writers room gets over 10,000 scripts to read per year. That number is rising by around a 1,000 each year. It takes four months from submission to getting feedback on average. If your script hasn’t grabbed the reader within 10 pages it is discarded without a full read and doesn’t get feedback. Those 10 pages are essential. If you manage to get the reader’s attention in those your script will get a full read and will be sent back with feedback.
The presentation was done with a ‘common sense’ power point, which power pointed out the obvious. If they have to point out some of the errors they did in that power point I dread to think how bad some people’s scripts are.
Apart from the power point they had a clip of Simon Ashdown’s and Jeremy Dyson’s Funland. The clip was of the opening moments of the series, and was used to outline what the writers room are looking for from those opening pages of your script. If you have the DVD, watch it, take notes.
Basically my thoughts were that the opening outlined the following:-
1. Set the tone of the series
2. Bring out the mystery, or hook to grip the viewer
3. Introduce the MAIN characters
4. Beware exposition, maybe begin with an action sequence
5. Tell the story visually
6. Focus- Give the audience a focused way into the story
Following this was the usual screenwriting book rubbish about character goals and structure. Not rubbish advice, just the kind of information which is everywhere. The real interesting stuff was in the figures. So, here we go with some percentages:-
80% Do not get past the first 10 pages, so get no feedback
17% Get a full read of their script and feedback
3% get invited to send in another script
1% get forwarded to a BBC commissioner
Not heartening figures, but all screenwriters must savour that challenge...OR DIE!
The last titbit of information I picked up was that the writers room will look at short film scripts as long as they are over ten pages in length. Next few weeks I will be sending through a short film of mine for them to have a look at, to begin the fight against the 20% feedback figures.
Good luck everyone.
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
In good news, am in touch with a producer who really wants to make a short film from an idea I pitched to him. Hope that works out. Have planned most of it, to the minute detail in some of the gory details, just not sure of how to end it. It'll come to me, just have to wait and keep my mind open.
There's an oppurtunity to write an episode aimed at 6 to 12 year olds for CBBC on the BBC Writers Room, which i need to get sent off by next Monday. I'm also re drafting some things as i would like to take a script with me to the BBC writers roadshow, which i am going to in Liverpool on July 1st.
There's a mini update, back to work now.
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Horror film pitch idea has been sent off. Keeping everything crossed i hear something back on it, i like the idea so may write it myself after i've re drafted everything i already have. Or may be writing it if the idea is taken onboard.
Come on pitch, work your magic.
Sunday, 31 May 2009
So i've started working on a script for the CBBC oppurtunity on www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom it's based on an old novel idea I had and got 40,000 words into, although a lot has changed in the new version to get the story going a lot faster. Also I'm working on a new horror feature film idea.
Add this to all the stuff i sgtill need to work on:
My TV drama idea needs its first two episodes re drafting, and also some more episodes started. There's an idea called Heartbroken, which is my favourite which i want to get perfect for The Writersroom roadshows visit to Liverpool on the 1st July. I also need to re draft my script frenzy script. andget some short film scripts going to support the one I've begun sending out entitled Susie Pepper's Teeth.
Alos need to find some paid writing work over the summer.
Busy, busy, busy. Stupid house needs loads of work on it too. I'll be dead come the end of the summer.
Thursday, 30 April 2009
So here it is, i've worked a month for this and it was touch and go whether I'd make it, but i have. 100 page script done in 30 days. It's a nice first draft under my belt for drafting which i'll start in a couple of weeks.
I'm so proud i finished it, but don't have much time to write about it now. For one, i'm all written out, had to finish the last 13 pages today, and i have other work to do too. but now i have proved to myself I can meet deadlines.
Adrenalin is still pumping.
More thourough post on the experience coming soon, until then bask in the picture, there's one in the sidebar too. Very, very happy.
Friday, 24 April 2009
Current word count is 69 pages. (69, tee hee, so childish)
So, what have i learnt from Script Frenzy.
1. That i like to procrastinate. It's amazing isn't it. I'm a professional at it.
2. I write better to music. It really gets me into the emotion. Next writing project will be fuelled by a soundtrack. The soundtrack to this project, still untitled, has been mainly the new Veils album, Sun Gangs, especially the title track.
3. Not having a plan is incredibly stupid, and means i can only write in small snippets. theni have to stop to think about what happens next. With a plan i assume the writing of the first draft could flow far more freely.
4. Doing the Frenzy has made me believe i am a good writer, as on a few occasions i have really got into the moment and felt emotions for my character. Which i never thought would happen, I always scoffed when i heard writers saying they cried when they killed off a character.
5. On the flipside of point 3. Even when not having a plan, if you write and create a world or a character if you keep writing something has to happen therefore forming a plot for yourself.
Do not fear writing.
Will i finish? Will i be a winner? These are the big questions now. I feel i have to finish to call myself a writer, i need to bring this thing in for deadline.
31 pages, one weekend and whatever spare hours i have in the evening. Shopping trip tomorrow for coffee to keep me awake and maybe some celabratory booze for when i win. Positive thinking.
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
That attempting to write a 100 page script in 30 days would be so hard. I was trundling along fine, in fact i still am i suppose, i'm up to scratch with the word count. 49 pages so far.
But... I think i've just hit the wall. Last night i didn't ge to sleep until 5am, i stayed up writing late and then had script going through my head so couldn't sleep. More worryingly i woke up at 10am. 5 hours sleep. Meaning i just sat in a slumber staring at my computer screen all day asking "What are you?"
Need to have a big blitz on sxript front over net few days as i go back to work next week and hoped to have a lot of it done by that time, as it's going to be hard to write after i'm back in work.
But there again in front of me is that wall.
I know what needs to happen in the screenplay, and roughly how it's going to end, i just don't know the scene directly in front of me. Hopefully the next ten pages will be the most difficult and after that it'll be plain sailing.
In other news secured a deal to keep me writing the film blogs over at the In/Out magazine website. Check out the Monsters VS Aliens review from this week, and some of the older posts if you haven't checked out the blog before.
The link is:
So now i'm off to replenish my mind and body with sweet sleep. Will cross the official halfway point tomorrow as it's the 15th of a 30 day month, and i should hit the 50 page mark. Stay tuned for next update. Thanks for reading. Goodnight.
Monday, 6 April 2009
Thursday, 2 April 2009
Script Frenzy has begun, the quest to write a first draft script totalling 100 pages.
My work so far, 2 tv drama hour long episodes and a half hour pilot for something else, and a short film script have all been docked at first draft stage. They will be revisited after this hectic month is over. This hectic month where i hope to add to the first drafts and have a first draft film script to my name as well.
How's it going? you many ask. The imaginary words of an imaginary reader. Well two days in and i'm 5 pages into it, this rate will only leave me with 75 pages so i must speed up, firstly i'll stop writing th.......
Saturday, 21 March 2009
Also got to draft my kids novel, really going to have to get a move on with that. Some more procrastination first, plus only 15 pages off finishing episode 2 of TV drama nd need to plan out a couple of film ideas, both utterly depressing. Lovely.
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
So there's some stuff I need to mention on here because i've been meaning to for a few weeks.
In no particular order:
I saw Watchmen. My views on the film can be found on my regular blog that I write for In/Out magazine. Here's the link http://www.inoutmagazine.co.uk/blogs.php?blogauthor=robinbell
Need to learn how to make those links shorter.
Next, well just had a bitch of a month money wise, I'm sure this is a struggle for many a writer, judging how many hours they can give up at work whilst keeping the money coming in. Hopefully on top of this now.
Lastly I promised Danny Stack that I'd link to his short film scheme, Ican't donate (see above paragraph) but here's the link to check out see what you can do. http://dannystack.blogspot.com/2009/01/short-film.html
That's all from the blof entitled Stuff
Sunday, 1 March 2009
Last Sunday saw my first appearance on radio, on the Richard Holland Inexperience at http://www.calonfm.com/ discussing the oscars and films. this was after a day of frantic comedy sketch writing for the oppurtunity that came up on writers room over at the BBC. www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom
I think the radio show went well, although haven't heard it back yet. Should I? Or will hearing my own voice send me to my own death?
The week continued and I redrafted a few pages of my TV drama, which was rudely interupted by mountains of marking for my teaching job. URGH!
What started off as fun, writing these sketches, ended up becoming very stressful indeed. Three sketches were needed by Friday morning, working with a writing partner and struggling to get i partner on Movie Magic Screenwriter working, it became hard work.
They were done, if we had more time they could have been better, but they were sent and I'm kind of happy with them. So drafting took a back seat. Writing took a back seat and now I feel beaten down by last weeks workload.
Next week sees the Wedding Present come to Wrexham and Doodle Planet, but hopefully I'll be able to get working through that draft again, or just start something. It's all about getting that motivation again and again. So here goes.
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
So what's new?
Well, I've been watching some early Scorsese film. Beginning with who's that knocking at my door?, his student film which although amateurish in places still has flashes of Scorsese and the direction is very inventive during what could otherwise be seen as 'nothing' scenes. Boxcar Bertha has more of a plot and, due to Roger Corman's demands, something is always going on. The climax to the film is good too. Mean Streets is the first well known Scorsese film, hopefuly everyone has seen this film, if not stop reading this blog and watch now. De Niro has an alluring swagger and the constantly moving camera is always engaging also. Lastly i watched Alice doesn't live here anymore, which is the most un-scorsese-like out of all of them, a womans picture for one, a melodrama for two, very mainstream also. Ellen Burstyn is fantastic in it though and there are some great moments.
Been to the cinema a couple of times too, my favourites this year so far have been Gus Van Sant's Milk, a great performance by Sean Penn, only rivalled by Mickey Rourke's in The Wrestler. Another favourite was Revolutionary Road, but i still hope Slumdog Millionaire gets those Best Picture and Best Director Oscar's.
Right now I've just finished watching Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, George Clooney's first deirectorial effort, more importantly from a Charlie Kaufman script. Based on Gong Show host's Chuck Barris' autobiography which states that he was also a CIA agent whilst working on TV, it's a great premise, which is told well. apparently Kaufman fell out with Coooney during the making of it. I'm off onto the net now to find out more.
I'll just leave you with my writing tales of the past few weeks. Worked through episode one of The Dole, my TV drama script, but then left it as I had an idea for Episode 2 which i am halfway through now. Finished redrafting my childrens novel. also started a short film script but that is going a bit wrong. Will try and blog about that before the end of the week.
Friday, 23 January 2009
I can see or feel some problems with it already.
· I believe one of my characters changes personality about halfway through just because I didn’t know how to write for her to begin with and the character formed throughout the process.
· Need to strengthen the thread that holds the story.
· I know the story is very slight because the characters all have to meet i’ve been busy setting everything up so need to put more story in there.
I am really excited by this process though. Drafting and re-drafting my novel felt like a massive and daunting task whilst this feels more like fun, I’m sure it won’t in a week or two and I’ll be regretting that last comment.
To cap the day off the Harlan Ellison book Shatterday came through the post today so it’s been a good un all round.
Sunday, 18 January 2009
Anyhow, as soon as I awoke I started to write some resolutions, I'd never done this before so it felt strange. What came out wasn't so much New Year's resolutions but writing goals for the year, hence the title not being New Years Resolutions.
So here's my writing goals for this year, up on the internet for everyone to see, which sort of forces me to get a move on and do some work, or everyone will be able to see that I've failed.
Here they are:-
1. Finish redrafting my childrens novel and send it off to publishers, agents etc
2. Write the sequel to above novel. (First Draft)
3. Write two film screenplays.
4. Write a full tv series.
5. Write a tv pilot out of an unfinished novel I wrote a couple of years ago.
6.Write a short film
7. Write a t least 5 short stories, finish one I started last year.
8. Build a portfolio of stuff.
Actually i think number 8 is hopefully achieved through numbers 1 to 7.
So far I have wrote 1 short story. Working on some of the others. would love to hear other people goals for this year, so send me an e mail if you want.
Saturday, 10 January 2009
Here's what i've been watching this week.
The Hours- the film which Nicole Kidman won an oscar for - by a nose. I really enjoyed it, even though the tone of it was depressing, it all worked well. After reading the novel i wondered if it would work as a film. It did. Great performances, great film. Want to go and see Stephen Daldry's new film out at cinemas at the moment, The Reader.
Isolation- low budget Irish horror film about a gentically modified killer mutated cow foetus. Yes you read that right. Lots of gore and medical instruments. The medical instruments make me feel far more uneasy than the gore does.
In the valley of Elah- Loved this. Starring Tommy Lee Jones, it focuses on him trying to find out what happened to his son who is reported AWOL after returning from the war in Iraq. Written and directed by Paul Haggis, who was responsible for Crash and also wrote Million Dollar Baby, Casino Royale and more.
Outpost- All i have to say is super strong supernatural zombie nazi's. Sold yet? Takes a while to get going but the last half hour is a brutal joy.
Also been watching Seinfeld. Upto Season 3 at the moment. Love this programme, i promise to write a blog upon it in the future.
That's all for now. Bye.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
Basically i just want to write a blog so that my page doesn't look crap and empty. I could jazz it up with some pictures and videos and stuff, but i don't know how to do any of that *sorry*. I am technologically retarded. Getting this far with my blog has been hard enough. It irks me how easy kids find computers these days. They don't remember the days when you had to go into a seperate room to have computer lessons, because the computer was so big it needed a whole room to house it. They wouldn't even believe you if you told them that computer screens had basically one colour, green, with a lighter green when you typed something. God, i'm sounding old. I'm only 27, honest. No, that is not old.
Well i seemed to have waffled on a little and haven't even come back to the main reason i'll be blogging yet. One is to meet fellow writers. Novelists and screenwriters as i currently am working on both. In the planning stages of a film screenplay, a psychological horror. In the writing stages o a tv series, which is unfortunatley fluctuating between a sitcom and a more serious drama, need to sort that out. Lastly, am on the third draft of a childrens novel.
I'm off to work on adding links and stuff to this blog. Please comment if you stumble across it, even if its just to say hello or to be nasty. Be nice to know someone has found it.