Thursday, 30 December 2010

Round up of 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

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

Treat Ten: The Top Ten of 2010

WOW, looks at all those ten's in the title. It's time for the top 10 films of 2010. Go to my IN/OUT blog to see my choices for the best 10 films of the year.

Please come back here and leave comments to discuss the top 10.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Treat Nine: Red Planet Prize, Lessons & Pictures, Christmas approaches

Last Friday saw the announcement of the Red Planet Prize, unfortunately my script didn’t make it, I thought this would hurt a lot as I held out a LOT of hope for the script, but after my initial sulk, I gathered my thoughts and remembered I’ve just finished a first draft of a feature script which is the funniest, most concise piece of writing I’ve managed yet with a first draft, I have plenty of scripts at different stages of preparation and a notebook brimming with ideas. And now I’ve been writing a sufficient amount of time that I have enough confidence in my own writing to nurture these ideas and know which ones to take further.

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

Treat Eight- Payback

Here's the logline and the first few lines of the synopsis, anymore would give too much away, for what I thought was going to be my first produced short movie. It didn't turn out to be, that was The Fear of Living in the end, but this one is still bubbling away. Let's hope next year it gets made, and that this whets your appetite.

Logline- Once you miss the repayments who knows what you’ll have to payback.

Synopsis- 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

Treat Seven: The Fucking Vampires

Something a bit different for Treat Seven.

A few months ago me and Jim, who you can find on the blog
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

Treat Six: Fear of Living Trailer

Here's the link to the Fear of Living blog, where there is a trailer for the film. There me be a new Transformers trailer and a new Thor trailer but this is where it's at, The Fear of Living trailer. Have a look and please spread it for us on the twitter and all those other sites.


Friday, 10 December 2010

Treat Five: Disturbing image

Saw this in Wrexham the other day in one of those cheapo nasty shops that I never know the name of. Hope no one gets this for Christmas.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Treat Four: Art Garfunkel

Been mega stressed as to how to upload this, so if anyone knows how to embed a sound file within your blog let me know.

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

Treat Three- Arm Wrestling

Some time ago i submitted an article to the Guardian Guide Hard Sell, although it wasn't used it did get some positive feedback. Here is the article on the Petits Filous advert. You know the one, and if you don't it's this one.

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

Treat Two: Image from the Fear of Living

Go here to find treat number two, the first image from the short film I wrote, The Fear of Living, you'll get a chance to see it next year.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Treat One: The Death of Mr Boring

The Death of Mr Boring

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.