Monday, 27 February 2012

Web Series Interview 1: Danny Stack

In the run up to Twisted Showcase a web series you may have heard of in the last week or so, I'll be running a couple of interviews with the minds behind some great web content that I've enjoyed.

First up, Danny Stack whose comedy web series Liquid Lunch gained quite a following, and a definite fan in myself. Danny is one half of the UK Scriptwriters podcast and has a great blog that is essential for anyone interested in writing, that can be found here.

So, here's the interview.

You made a genre specific web series , a comedy, we’re going for psychological horror, do you think you have to be blatant with the genre for a web series or should this be a platform to try new things that would never be commissioned for TV and film?
I think it's probably a little bit of both! Genre always helps to classify what kind of show you're doing, and why an audience would be interested, but the internet gives you the freedom to do whatever the hell you like. So, yes, by all means, experiment or really push the genre boundaries. It all depends on the story, though. Stick to story as much as possible. Forget about gimmicks. Or at least, let the gimmicks feed or compliment the story, rather than distract or undermine it. Liquid Lunch was unashamedly a straight forward comedy web series - two blokes chatting in a pub - and I deliberately shot it like a comic strip (like panels in a newspaper). Kept it very simple, and let the story/dialogue be the focus.

Why did you want to make a web series?
I really liked the idea of Liquid Lunch, and knew that I could achieve it on a no-low budget. So, I did it! Initially, it was supposed to be a short film but early on, I realised that the style & story would be far more suitable for a web series.

How does your writing change when writing specifically for the net?
Your style of writing doesn't change (i.e you don't become a different writer), but the nature of webisodes has you looking at story in a slightly different way, in terms of pace and story development. Ideally, web audiences like things short and snappy, and nicely visual, too. And always try to end your webisode on a hook, to keep 'em interested.

What do you think you can achieve with a web series that can’t be achieved in other mediums?
You can do whatever the hell you like! You don't have to wait for permission. You don't need a lot of money. You don't need ANY experience. You can just do it! That's terrifically exciting. The internet is ours! Let's own it. It bothers me when budding filmmakers complain about what's on the internet. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT THEN! Show us what you got.

Are you targeting a different audience on the web than you would be for TV?
Slightly. Probably. Or, more precisely: the audience is the same, but the audience expectation is different. Web audiences can be more forgiving on rough production values, and give something a go based on the idea, and if it's any good. And preferably if it's short. This way, they can feel like they've "found" something, and attach ownership on it, and share it with their mates/network etc, and that's cool. On the flip side, web audiences can be very savaging on what they perceive to be bad acting, script, direction etc. But that's the internet for you.

Will Liquid Lunch have a second series?
Possibly! We could do it 'one year later', when Alex has returned from his travelling. Hmm... Am currently developing it as a pilot for a sitcom, as I still believe in the idea, and think it has loads of potential.

I'd like to thank Danny for the interview, and make sure you check out Liquid Lunch and don't forget about Twisted Showcase which launches on Thursday March 1st.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Twisted Showcase Launch & Writers

Today the TWISTED SHOWCASE website launched with the tantalisingly teasing teaser trailer. Already I've had questions about it. What's the guy staring at in the garden? And what is going on with Gareth David Lloyd's hand? Being the main two so far.

I urge you to check it out when the series launches next Thursday, March 1st. A lot of hard work from myself, Rhys Jones, Leigh Jones as well as everyone else who helped on the series, has gone into this.

Not to mention the writers. Where it all starts, and where it began on this blog nearly a year ago with a call out for scripts.

So it seems to make sense to announce the writers on teh same blog that the opportunity launched. Writers on series 1 include me and Rhys Jones. But enough about us, what about the other writers.
Well, we have Richard Holland who runs an amazing website Uncanny UK on the paranormal.
And Leslie Cummins, who describes herself as a writer of comedy and horror, and a social hermit.

I'm practically fizzing with excitement from the news stories about Twisted Showcase today. Please tell your friends and gather around next Thursday to watch Episode 1 Peter & Paul.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Twisted Showcase is near

The web series we've all been working on is approaching.
How do I know? Well apart from being part of the team that put it together and meeting up last Saturday to organise the launch, there is also to tantalise you.

Behold our glorious logo designed by Jonathan Edwards. I urge you to have a look through his website and his blog I Heart Pencils at They are both full of brilliant stuff.

There will be loads of news on Twisted Showcase in the coming weeks so keep 'em peeled.

Monday, 6 February 2012

100th blog announcement - Script in development

Hello, and welcome to this my 100th blog post, and with it some fantastic news. I have a film script in development. It's with North Bank Entertainment who can be found here
It's an exciting time and I hope to share with you some insights into the process along the way. For now I'll reveal it's a horror script, oh and it involves a werewolf.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Red Planet Prize - Picking yourself up

Today was the day, if you entered the Red Planet Prize, you found out if you were successful or not. If you were, congratulations, I got through last year and it feels great but this year I am one of bitter people rejected.

It's tough, After January which must be the years toughest months, dark mornings and evenings and it seems to go on forever until your post Xmas pay day, on top of that the annual cold usually strikes, then February starts and this. Sigh.

Makes you feel like you want to give in, right?

Well, here's how to pick yourself up. You ready for this starling piece of advice.


You have to concentrate on what you've got, it could be another script, just go for what ignites you in this moment.
Usually for me after a rejection I work on something other than the rejected script, fearing that if I look at the script too soon I'll resent it. Not sure if that would happen, but what that opens up for me is that I instantly work on another script, or if I don't have something else I can turn to it's a great time to write a new script.

Something to really fire you up would be to write a short film script that YOU could film. Then you know you're writing something that WILL be made. There are plenty of film festivals to send it too and you're cutting out someone making a decision on your script. That doesn't mean you be careless about it. You still have to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite. No getting out of that.

If you're writing a lot you should have plenty of scripts to send off places. If you've just had a rejection, make sure you fire something else off.
Use the rejection as fuel to keep you going. Every time you get one send something out, then if that comes back as a rejection send another. Keep ticking over.

Finally, and this is what I find hardest about rejection, let's confront the bewilderment about being rejected. This year I submitted a script I believed in more than any other I've written. Even more than my script which made the 2nd round last year, but it was rejected. As I said I've not revisited it, but I am bewildered by its rejection. Aptly it is a detective script, because I really want to get to the bottom of this. So maybe I should get this script read by someone, get some professional feedback. There’s loads of great people on the blogosphere and twitter who could help with that and it's only going to make the script better. So that's something else you could be doing.

After this initial burst of creativity this rejection gives you, go back to the rejected script work it up and send it out other places. Red Planet Prize only comes around once every year to 18 months, so get sending everywhere else you can.

My main point is FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE. If you're writing a lot you'll have other scripts that could be doing something for you. Don't waste time sulking about your rejection (or writing a long blog about it) because that’s time you could be writing.

If you read this thanks, it was partially to myself as well. So I'm off to break someone's neck, but fortunately for the world it's in a script.