Thursday, 30 December 2010
It's the end of the year already? They get faster every year. So fast it's tought to remember what I've done.
So, to round up here's my writing highlights from this year.
1. Murky Depths Commission
After meeting Terry Martin from Murky Depths at Wales Comic Con in April i just had to buy the stunning Issue 7 just for the cover artwork. WOW. After reading the issue I thought I had a story that would fit, it was just unfortunate that it was in the format of a short film screenplay, and a celebrated screenplay at that which had recieved praise from the Welsh Film council and been shortlisted for the Golden Brad Awards, but on both occasions there had been mention that the script was unfilmable, so it came to me that the only way to pull this story off visually was in the format of a comic strip.
Transferring the screenplay into a comic strip script was difficult but also one of the most creativly rewarding things I've ever done, and after it was accepted by Murky Depths you'll be able to see the stunning finished product in Issue 15 of Murky Depths coming out in February.
2. Shortlisted scripts
As mentioned above my short film script Susie Pepper's Teeth got shortlisted for the Golden Brad awards. And in the second half of the year my TV drama script 'The Dole' got shortlisted for the Red Planet Prize. Both of these gave me great confidence in my writing.
3. The Fear of Living
My proudest achievment of the year, a short script I've written being made into a short film. Hopefully it'll show at some festivals next year, particularly Frightfest my personal favourite film festival. Leigh Jones directed this creepy little story to perfection and I hope we'll create some more films together in 2011.
More info on the Fear of Living can be found at the films blog http://www.thefearofliving.blogspot.com/
4. Funny Bones
Most of my paid writing work so far has come from academic writing upon film with articles on The Dark Knight, Superman, Thai horror film Phobia, Michael Haneke's Hidden and this year my favourite piece on my all time favourite film which you should all see, Funny Bones. I've always wanted to write upon the film and last year I got to.
5. Doctor Who
If you know me at all you know that I love Doctor Who, and this year i got to write some stuff for it. An upcoming article in Vworp Vworp meant i had to interview Gareth Roberts, I look forward to seeing that article as the first issue was great so I'm excited to see what my contribution will look like in this stunning magazine. I also had a Ninth Doctor story published in fanzine Blue Box, and have a Second Doctor story appearing in the next issue.
6. My scripts
This year I've realised that I write good scripts. The first draft of the recent feature film script I've wrote is my best first draft yet, bustling with ideas throughout and my first typically genre script as well. The dole is now also finely tuned as a good pilot script. i just need to master a comedy script, which I'm working on.
Going through that, it's been quite a good year, but as always next year can be better.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Please come back here and leave comments to discuss the top 10.
Monday, 20 December 2010
Two of the largest lessons learnt so far are:
1. How to handle rejection- if you want to be a writer this is the first thing you have learn because for most assume that there will be plenty.
2. How devastating it is to have a script that just isn’t working. This happened to me with my first feature.
Or has it?
I’ve thought it for a long time, then a few ideas to rescue it came to me, it still didn’t work, but then a few more ideas came. Now someone else is looking at it for me and who knows where that will lead. The other script which I’m not sure what to do with is a comedy/sci-fi hybrid that I think is very good, but maybe just not that funny. This can be redeemed I believe, but the new year asks many questions about my writing, over which projects to commence with. I have a fast paced drama series which i have some script notes on to look over, I have my all new feature script first draft, and there is also the BBC Laughing Stock opportunity which I have a glorious new idea for. There are also a few comic scripts and a really great radio script that I’m working on, and let’s not forget The Fear of Living, the short script I wrote that should hopefully be playing some festivals next year. There will hopefully also be a couple more projects in development, but more on that when they actually happen.
This shows that both rejection and realising that scripts aren’t working can both be used to motivate you as a writer. Actually you have to use them to motivate yourself, they provide the fire in your belly for writing, well, that and food, of which i will eat plenty over Christmas, keeping me fully stocked for the new year.
I'm sorry for a generic blog post for treat 9 but I was missing doing a normal blog. Hopefully the last three treats will make up for it. Keep your eye out for them.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Logline- Once you miss the repayments who knows what you’ll have to payback.
A shady office contains a suited, shadowy figure, a man of mystery, and a mysterious package.
Less a man of mystery, Chris, 33, a recent divorcee, discusses his overdraft with a friend Andy, who gives him a number for someone he knows can help. Chris calls the number and arranges an unbelievable deal with the robotic voiced Jeremy, with Chris’ promotion coming up the repayments will be easily made.
Unfortunately for Chris, the promotion is delayed, but when he calls to inform Jeremy that he can’t adhere to the repayment plan Chris realises that the deal really was too good to be true.
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
A few months ago me and Jim, who you can find on the blog http://www.thereisspaceshipsoverdeeside.blogspot.com
well, we met up and over the course of a few hours recorded some really lo fi noisy tunes.
3 in fact.
And they are all up on soundcloud for you to listen to.
So go here and have a listen.
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Friday, 10 December 2010
Thursday, 9 December 2010
More importantly, anyone out there wonder what happened to Art Garfunkel?
Download the sound file to find out. Get it here:
Monday, 6 December 2010
Arm Wrestling has long been the playground barometer for strength, popularity, and a great way of making friends. It’s a challenge, a test of muscular power. It’s all about the bicep. It was taken very seriously when I was at school. Dinner hour became arm wrestling club. The first rule of arm wrestling club is you don’t talk about arm wrestling club. If you did the teachers and playground supervisors would find out and put an end to arm wrestling club.
After the end of the school day, Eye of the Tiger would be on the ghetto-blaster and the dumb bells would be out, a bar would be installed across your bedroom door to do chin ups. No one seemed to want to swallow the pint of raw egg though. Arm Wrestling club was important but not that important, plus it was all about building up the muscles in your arm, how could raw egg help that?
What we never thought of doing was eating Petits Filous , which apparently has calcium to help make your bones grow stronger. This helps the girl in the advert win back her friends’ marbles. Surely this would obliterate his self esteem, to be beaten by a girl at arm wrestling would mean the end of your world and there would be no point in ever showing your face again.
But it’s all based on a lie. It wouldn’t matter if she’d have eaten her Petits Filous, the calcium might help your bones, but you need muscles to win at arm wrestling. She would have lost, you’d have never got your marbles back and people would have mocked you for making a girl fight your battles. That’s the real world, the world which arm wrestling club prepared me for.
Friday, 3 December 2010
Thursday, 2 December 2010
The world’s most boring man was about to die. Only he didn't know it. He was sat at home living his life in the most boring way possible. The day before he'd been lying in a hospital bed, letting his usual boring thoughts fire against his dull synapses, when the doctor came by his bedside to tell him the bad news.
"I'm afraid it's worse than we thought."
"Oh" said Mr Boring. This was not his actual name, which was so boring it would induce a coma in anyone who read or heard it.
“I’ve got two pieces of bad news for you.” continued the Doctor. “Firstly I’m afraid we’ve found you have lung cancer.”
Mr Boring took it all in his stride, to do anything but would be to break his boring mould. The doctor was taken aback; this moment usually induced tears, snot and high emotion. He decided it was a refreshing and relaxing change, and boded well for his second piece of bad news.
“Secondly, we also found that you have the onset of Alzheimer’s.”
Mr Boring took a second or two to take it all in. Then spoke one sentence.
“At least it’s not cancer.”
He walked home at a slow monotonous pace wondering why on earth he’d been at the hospital in the first place. Upon arriving at his boring two up two down home, in which he lived alone Mr Boring had a spark of memory. Maybe these illnesses make me interesting, he thought. He smiled, the first smile, in fact the first sign for years that he even felt emotion, to himself. The moment passed quickly though. Fourteen seconds after thinking the thought he’d forgotten the moment ever happening, forgotten it forever. Mr Boring was back to where we joined him at the beginning of the story, sat at home living his life in the most boring way possible, oblivious to the fact he was about to die.
Mr Boring had the most boring selective memory. Over the next few weeks he remembered to go into work every day to do the most boring of jobs, but forgot to go to a house party he had somehow been invited to.
He remembered to pick up Charlie every morning. Charlie was in his twenties and was temping during the summer holidays to fund him through university. Charlie sat quietly everyday in the passenger seat, and they travelled to work in silence.
It was a normal Friday and Mr Boring picked up Charlie for another boring day in their boring job. Their job consisted of pressing the number 5 followed by Enter every thirty seconds for twelve hours. This normal Friday was changed by one small utterance made on the journey to work. It must have been another spark of interest firing in Mr Boring’s brain, for as they waited, and waited, and waited some more at a roundabout he turned towards Charlie and spoke.
“My favourite day in work is Friday.”
“Why’s that?” replied Charlie. This was turning into a conversation now.
“Because for two days after it you can pretend you’re not coming back.”
This made Charlie smile, which made Mr Borings heart skip. He’d never made anyone smile before. Maybe he was becoming interesting. This moment made it the best day of his life, the only thing which sullied the day was the constant coughing.
The coughing continued all through Friday night. Every time Mr Boring coughed he wondered what was making him cough. He thought he must have been coming down with a cold. Unfortunately it was his lungs in their last throes of life, and equally unfortunately Mr Boring never got to pretend for two days that he was never going back to work. Most unfortunate of all was that Mr Boring didn’t get to see Saturday morning, at around four o clock in the morning those cancerous lungs just stopped working, and he died. Because Mr Boring had no friends it was weeks until he was found. Apparently the smell was very dull and boring.
This was the end of Mr Boring’s life, he had nothing else to add to this world. You’ve now learnt about his death, to tell you anymore would be to bore you into the same fate.
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Tomorrow is the first day of opening your advent calendar as we count down to yet another Christmas. Wasn't it January only a few moments ago?
Anyway as an extra bonus treat, and to make me do more stuff on my blog I will be posting the twelve treats of Christmas up on my blog before Xmas Day.
These could be anything, mainly becuase I haven't decided what they're going to be yet myself, so stay tuned as I go mental trying to update my blog with twelve treats before Christmas.
While you wait for the first treat here's a link to something you should treat yourself too, and quickly before they are all gone.
Brilliant sketches throughout, the goon on Page 7 is my favourite.
Now i'm off to learn how to have a picture be the link that you click. If anyone can inform me of this in the comments, please do.
Sunday, 31 October 2010
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
The story features the seventh Doctor and Ace. If anyone isn't as nerdy about Doctor Who as my good self and the sweaty masses who love it now, the seventh Doctor was played by Sylvester McCoy, who I believe has just been offered a role in The Hobbit. Anyway the story, entitled Escaping Sunbeams, contains a boys diary, burning monsters and a shoelace.
You can buy it through paypal from email@example.com. and it only costs £1.50 in the UK, and only £2.50 in the rest of the world. so you have no excuse, it's just pennies. Please buy it, it's a good old fashioned fanzine and I'm really proud of my story in it.
On a final note Gallifrey News Base is a blog i always check for Doctor Who news and to see my name on there was quite a thrill, here's the link to that.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Firstly, the inspired by science award is offering £5,000 to writers who have a project inspired by biomedicine, in order for them to develop the idea further.
Shine Pictures is offering £25,000 to develop a BIG idea, so get your hollywood heads on for that.
And finally White Lantern pictures are looking to make a film with actor Mem Ferda details can be found at www.killerscript.co.uk
Good luck All!
Saturday, 11 September 2010
A quick read through and redraft and Thursday night, I sent off the full script.
Also yesterday Friday 10th September, was the day my first short film was shot. Done in a day, with one location, one actor and no budget. I'm hoping it comes out ok, because it was so much fun to film. There will be plenty of details on www.thefearofliving.blogspot.com in the coming months.
It'd be nice if you could follow that blog and show some support. I know you'd be following something you haven't even seen, and know practically nothing about, but it may build up some excitement for the project.
Sunday, 5 September 2010
There's not much on there at present, just a synopsis for the film, but keep checking there will be some exciting news coming this week.
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
The adaptation went smoothly, and hopefully in the run up to it appearing I'll be able to post some script samples, and previews of the story.
Make sure you have some money spare in February to purchase your copy.
Friday, 6 August 2010
EXTREME CINEMA- SICK
I have been defeated by a prime example of extreme cinema. You may not have heard the term extreme cinema, I use it to describe something that you wouldn’t usually see and that may have a mental effect, usually with the audience wishing they could un see some of the visual imagery presented to them.
I’m a fan of cinema that pushes boundaries and could list off a fair few. Harmony Korine’s Gummo is a tough watch but I can’t really explain why. Weird would sum it all up. In the horror genre there is often, as there should be, extreme imagery and themes. Recently Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs took me on a journey as it got more and more extreme throughout, a really confronting and challenging film. And there’s always the films of Miike Takashi, his ‘comedy of sorts’ Visitor Q, which mines extreme material and themes throughout, and his more seriously presented violence seen in Ichi the Killer and Audition.
Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible is told in a vertigo inducing manner with its backwards narrative and swirling cameras, but it’s the grubby nightclub violence and extremely long and hard to watch rape scene which lingers in the memory. Rape in cinema has always been a contentious point but when presenting rape I believe it should never be presented in a light hearted manner. Kirby Dick’s documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated presents the argument that violence is presented in American mainstream movies as having no consequences, action films aimed at a family audience show people getting shot, but no blood, it’s all for fun. Surely this is the wrong way to present something horrific, with showing the consequences being the right and moral thing to do.
It was a documentary which defeated me in its extreme nature. Made again by Kirby Dick, it was called Sick: The Life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist. It is the story of Bob Flanagan who punishes his body that he feels he has no control over because of his cystic fibrosis. The film has scene after scene of sadomasochism, one involving a nail and a sensitive part of the male anatomy, but this isn’t what packs the extreme emotional wallop. We follow Bob right up until his death, up close and personal. The camera actually records his final hours. I found it all too much, which suggests this is an extremely well made film about a man who lived to the extremes, and didn’t just watch them from the safety of his living room. Even that proved too much for me. Watch with caution.
Monday, 19 July 2010
Some good news before i go on holiday for a week. The first round advancements have been made and looks who's in the final 150.
CLUE: You'll find my name there.
It's shortened to 100 on the 25th July, the day before I get back from holiday.
Thursday, 8 July 2010
COMP: Favourite Rolling Stones album? if anyone matches my favourite i'll send them a story i wrote about Art Garfunkel
So reply to me on twitter or in the comments here for a chance of winning.
Yes i think i may have gone mental.
In other news there's an interview i did with Spaceships over Deeside on their blog.
Have a look at that if you are so inclined, and find out about there Herzog/Deneuve EP. I have a spare copy if you want a listen.
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Also though, this gives me opportunity to pick up something creative as well, as The Lodger article for VWORP VWORP I have that, but also I have picked up my radio script again and am working my way slowly back into that.
Whilst also keeping my fingers crossed for some more comic strips to come off for me, there are plenty of ideas ruminating. Then next is getting some of my films ideas finished.
Lots of finger crossing. But first there's lots of waving as I wave of my first packages of my novel going out to be judged tomorrow.
Thursday, 1 July 2010
I've recently had a bit of a douglas Coupland binge. First re-reading his first book Generation X. I first read this when i was 16 and didn't get as much out of it as i did this time as i approach my thirties.
Then i read Life After God. This blew me away, one of the greatest books I've ever read, my favourite quotes from this book, coming up over the next few days.
Monday, 28 June 2010
Here's the Murky Depths website if you want to have a look
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
So here goes:
Even though it's my week off it's been pretty busy, the weekedn saw me write a 10 minute scene for the BBC Writersroom opportunity 'Five Days In May' which required you to write a short 5-10 script concerning the election.
Once that was done, another opportunity popped up
Follow that link there to see it. This meant developing an existing idea, which I'm still working on but am moments from finishing.
Add to this a Funny Bones article i need to finish off for Splice, which my article on Cache by Michael Haneke will be appearing in very soon.
Also my upcoming articles for Vworp Vworp.
Still writing my radio play.
Two comic book ideas that I'm trying to write.
Writing a dark film script with my writing partner.
And finally, finishing off and preparing my childrens novel to send off to literary agents.
Hopefully have all this cleared out of the way for the summer where i intend to focus on a film idea circulating around my head.
I hope you consider yourself fully caught up.
Saturday, 24 April 2010
In lieu of any writing news, I am working on lots of things just don't want to curse them just yet by writing about them in here, I'm going to post up a weekly recommendation. Be it book, film, TV series or some music. It probably won't end up being weekly, instead occuring on an ad hoc basis.
I'm currently reading, and loving, On The road by Frank Skinner. It's his tour diary/journal of his 2007 tour, beginning with his Edinburgh show right through to the end of the tour following how he chooses material and refines his act through all the ups and downs and insecurities of the stand up comic.
As with his previous book, Frank Skinner which was a straight forward autobiography, On The Road is painfully honest, even more so this time as Frank explores his deeper thoughts and worries incessantly about his age and his act.
The real reason for starting this recommendation feature and for choosing to write about this book are two passages from the book that really stood out. I'll quote them here and hope that it is ok to do that.
The first quote is when Frank is discussing his love of art galleries, and also shows his fascination for another topic, an area where comedians can mine so much material, journalism and its constant blurring of reality to its own ends.
"In twenty first century Britain, where, according to the papers, everybody's drunk, illiterate and carrying a knife, people still queue up to look at beautiful things."
The second quote blew my mind, summing up everything I've always wanted to say about Middle England, this is one hell of a rant, I think i actually punched the air when reading.
"Middle England is a vague concept, but to me it refers to that great mass of people who never question or even consider anything outside of the mainstream view; people who worship at the altar of the great god normal. They tut and wince their way through my set, hate The Fall, dismiss modern art as rubbish, wear a tie with Homer Simpson on it, think comic books are just for children, like a 'few jars' at the weekend, say 'anything really' when asked what kind of music they like, don't swear in front of women, wear baseball caps, go on and on about their kids, sneer at Goths, think Shakespeare is boring and never miss Top Gear. I wish they'd fuck off and stop dumbing down the world and STOP getting worked up about things that DON't matter and START getting worked up about things that DO."
Couldn't have put it better Frank.
Monday, 19 April 2010
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
A few friends have decided to join me in the blogosphere. Firstly, Richard www.richardholland-spuriosity.blogspot.com He hosts a Daily Quote, has tuneful tuesday a stunning saturday matinee movie poster and more.
Then Jim joined http://thereisspaceshipsoverdeeside.blogspot.com/ Find him there, he's currently listing the top 10 opening riffs.
Meanwhile I've been sending stuff off, I have a pitch and a short story entered into Big Finish competitions. My TV drama script submitted to BBC Writersroom. A short story submitted to a upcoming collection. Still looking for a home for a short story entitled Witch Ball. My favourite which is a bit worrying considering its lack of a taker so far.
Also joined a writers group, Northwest Playwrights. See how that goes. Got a 4 minute scene to submit for next month, will fill you in on how that went.
Pressure's on to keep this entertaining with all the new competition from friends. so remember check their blogs out, and go and re watch my short film The Quarry. You know you want to.
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
I've made a short film. It's only a little experimental thing. When walking on the weekend, we were lucky enough to stumble on this weird abandoned quarry. I took a few photos and filmed a few bits.
WAIT! I should be saying this is disturbing found footage, that's what sells films nowadays. Anyways, I edited bits together and put some music over the top and, hey presto, a film. Sorry to deconstruct the magic.
Hope you enjoy, THE QUARRY.
Friday, 2 April 2010
So, within the last week have been to Amsterdam for a few days, where I went to Anne Frank's House, which was utterly heartbreaking and then to the Rijks Museum where I got to see the Night Watch.
It looked more impressive, and bloody huge, up close. Heidi couldn't stop thinking the guy at the front was Bill Bailey. Also just heard Peter Greenaway's new film is based on this painting, so may have to check that out. I'm a glutton for punishment.
My next blog for In/Out magazine, link is on the sidebar, confronts this gluttony in looking at extreme films, name checking Gummo, Irreversible, Visitor Q and more along the way. But the focus is an extreme film which defeated me, Kirby Dick's Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist.
You're lucky that I chose that picture, the alternative was him nailing his cock to a stool with a hammer. Do a quick Google search you'll find it. I won't harp on too much about it my thoughts can be found in my In/Out blog, hopefully be up next Tuesday.
Finally, I've decided to give Script Frenzy a miss this year. Main reason is I've got too many other scripts vying for attention. Need to get a few things finished before i can move on. Saying this I'm considering writing a radio drama during this month. Idea has been in my head for ages and is called The Trees.
Have a good Easter weekend and enjoy Doctor Who saturday night. You may be able to tell I'm a little excited.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
What to do?
Saturday, 20 February 2010
Just a wuick note to let you know an article of mine is in the current issue of Gorezone magazine (Issue 53) www.gorezone.co.uk
The article concenrs Thai horror portmanteau 4bia, which is available on DVD soon. Here's the link to purchase it if you want to http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/9730616/Phobia-4BIA/Product.html
Lots of writing is still being done here, will inform about that soon.
In the meantime I'd really like to recommend this magazine, if you're into Doctor Who, especially the magazine throughout the years it's a must buy.
Thursday, 28 January 2010
Currently i haven't set any concrete writing goals this year, but i have sent a few submissions and made some good contacts, written an article on Michael Haneke's Cache for Splice magazine, been commisioned for another article, and hopefully other stuff happening there.
Got loads to redraft and I've promised myself not to write something new until april, where i will consider another year of Script Frenzy.
Slowly getting excited by this year, if you're a writer I'd love to hear what you're upto and discuss writing and maybe even collaborate if we find something we could work on together.
So, Get in touch.
Friday, 1 January 2010
I made some writing goals for myswelf in 2009, so I'll juct check through those and see how i got on, after that i can develop some writing goals for this year which i will post up in the next week or so. I also intend to post up my favourites of 2009, albums, TV shows, films, etc.
But here's the writing goals from last year.
1. Finish redrafting my childrens novel and send it off to publishers, agents etc
Didn't achieve this one, it was always the next job in line, an kept getting pushed back because it's such a big job to undertake, this is a priority for this year.
2. Write the sequel to above novel. (First Draft)
Again not done, one chapter in.
3. Write two film screenplays.
Half achieved this one or actually, quarter achieved this one, i wrote one first draft, which has now undergone 4 drafts and is a bitch to get right, and have another one all planned out and ready to write.
4. Write a full tv series.
Two episodes of a drame written, one kids TV pilot, one sitcom pilot, and another thing i'm playing with but i'm not sure how it'll turn out, but again nothing completed.
5. Write a tv pilot out of an unfinished novel I wrote a couple of years ago.
Not started but too many other things on the go, may come back to this idea in the future.
6.Write a short film
I full achieved this one, writing at least 3 short film scripts, this year i hope to get at least one made, i will keep writing the odd short film script, they are quicki and usually fun.
7. Write a t least 5 short stories, finish one I started last year.
8. Build a portfolio of stuff.
I'm getting there.
Need to up my work load this year now i kow how much of a challenge this is.
Positive points of the year: Commisioned articles for Splice magazine, which has continued. The In/Out blog which has continued, and the fun of creating new characters and stories, just need to knuckle down and get things finished and start approaching people with them.
Will sort out goals for this year soon, need to push myself. Let's hope for a good year, for everyone.