Kapital

50/50

A day later, how far did I get through my list?

  • Cast Report for ‘Kapital’.
  • Go through my files looking for sketches suitable for two women.
  • Read and consider a rewrite to a short film
  • Watch the latest edit of ‘LVJ‘ and make notes about possible changes.
  • Write a new segment for ‘The Summoning’.
  • Write a comedy short for a DoP I’ve worked with before.
  • Rewrite a feature which may or may not be going into production soon.
  • If there’s any time, write some sketches for ‘The Treason Show’/‘NewsRevue’.

Hmm, four of eight. Not so good. Let’s take those one by one.

  • Cast Report for ‘Kapital’.

Took an hour or so: two minutes to generate the report, half an hour to sum up the characters in a pithy sentence and the rest of the time to comb through the script and try to find all the non-speaking roles.

  • Go through my files looking for sketches suitable for two women.

This also took about an hour. Mostly because I had to open and read all these sketches I’d forgotten I’d written. Some of them were really funny, some of them were really shit. The balance is about 50/50.

Must try harder.

I only found 8 which were suitable for two women. That’s a poor show.

  • Read and consider a rewrite to a short film

Read it, considered it. I think it needs a lot of work. I’ve emailed my opinion, I’ll wait and see what the response is before going any further.

Would you believe it? I’ve just had the response. I’m going to have a stab at a rewrite at the earliest opportunity (next Tuesday).

  • Watch the latest edit of ‘LVJ‘ and make notes about possible changes.

This took up most of yesterday and today. The film’s less than two hours, but I had to keep stopping it, rewinding, making notes, comparing the film to the script – finding the original script and seeing what the fuck it was supposed to be about. Realising the actor was improvising and had forgotten to say key lines. Combing through the movie to find the odd second where people are turned away from camera and exposition can be dubbed in … and so on.

Despite the raw state of the footage and the lack of effects in some of the key space battles – it’s still absolutely fantastic. It’s hilarious where it’s supposed to be (and occasionally where it’s not) and it’s dramatic when it needs to be.

And that’s as good as it gets.

And I found out I wrote some great dialogue such as:

“I’d just taken down this big case, I was the man of the hour, you know? So I was hiding in the can; there was a light and this big, purple-faced creature; a bit like Joey’s mom only without that funny eggplant smell. Next thing I know I’m here, pant-less in trees-ville, being interrogated by a giant, two year old midget.”

Which unfortunately got improvised over and lost. Oh well, them’s the breaks. If you haven’t already seen the trailer, it’s here.

Oh, and in a moment of quiet reflection after lunch, I edited the first ten pages of a script and sent it in to the Red Planet Prize. I’m not big on competitions and I don’t expect to win, but everyone else is doing it and I felt left out.

This is tomorrow’s revised list:

  • Tweak the synopsis for ‘Kapital’ so it actually describes the new draft. (1 hour)
  • Write another music video. (2 hours)
  • Write a new segment for ‘The Summoning’. (3-4 hours)
  • Write a comedy short for a DoP I’ve worked with before.
  • Rewrite a feature which may or may not be going into production soon.
  • If there’s any time, write some sketches for ‘The Treason Show’/‘NewsRevue’.

I’ve got to get to number three, the others are extras which can wait; and I’ve got a meeting in London at 17.00 so I’ve got to leave here by 15.00. That means I’ve got to be sat at my computer by 08.00.

Hmm.

Who wants to take bets on me not achieving any of it?

Categories: Kapital, LVJ, Progress | 3 Comments

Back to work

I had a day off yesterday, and very nice it was too. It’s been a long time since I did nothing all day, or at least intentionally did nothing. I’m not counting the odd days I have when I sit at the computer and completely fail to achieve anything – they aren’t days off, they’re just annoying. Fortunately they’re few and far between.

I finished the second draft of ‘Kapital‘ on Sunday, just waiting to hear back from the production team now. I’m curious to know if it makes any sense. It does to me, but getting the balance of exposition right can be quite tricky when you’re working on a project. Particularly when said project is designed to be the first of a trilogy and events in the second and third films have to be foreshadowed here, without confusing people.

Although there is one overall story, each film has to be self contained. We don’t want to go for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ thing of only giving you a third of a story at a time.

There’s a meeting scheduled for Thursday, hopefully it won’t revolve around the rest of them calling me names and swearing at me.

The second draft was a massive pain in the arse … and the fingers, back and eyes.

It’s taken me longer than any rewrite ever has, I’ve been working on it non-stop from 8 in the morning until 11 at night, every day for ages.

Except when I haven’t.

Like when I went to the pub last Thursday – but even then I worked on the train on the way up and back. The first outing for my gay laptop, I might add. An outing which proved no one wants to sit next to a bloke with a pink laptop. One guy sat down, but after a brief glance at the sheer pinkness of the thing, he upped and left.

Space to stretch out on a train, sheer luxury.

But the second draft’s done now (until the next lot of notes come in) and it’s time to move on to the next project. Jason Arnopp asked me when the last time I worked on a spec script was, and I honestly can’t remember. As appealing as it is, it’s difficult to find the time amidst the list of the things pending for other people.

As it stands today, the list, in no particular order, is:

  • Cast Report for ‘Kapital’.
  • Go through my files looking for sketches suitable for two women.
  • Read and consider a rewrite to a short film
  • Watch the latest edit of ‘LVJ‘ and make notes about possible changes.
  • Write a new segment for ‘The Summoning’.
  • Write a comedy short for an DoP I’ve worked with before.
  • Rewrite a feature which may or may not be going into production soon.
  • If there’s any time, write some sketches for ‘The Treason Show’/‘NewsRevue’.

And there’s something else. Something I know I’ve forgotten which is lurking at the back of my mind. Something someone asked me about writing for them …

Nope, no idea. If you’re reading and I’ve left you out – I will remember, I promise.

For anyone whose work is on the list – rest assured YOU are top of the real list. YOUR project is much more important to me than anyone else’s.

Honest.

Categories: Kapital, LVJ, NewsRevue, Progress, The Summoning, The Treason Show | 3 Comments

The first hurdle

My gay laptop got its first real test this week – I’ve been away from home for four days and I can report it completely failed to be of any use whatsoever for three and five sixths of those days.

I got exactly one sixth of a day’s work out of it – one battery charge – before it packed up and stopped working. It turns out one major component failed to operate in a reasonable manner and it rendered the whole thing useless.

Me, I failed to operate in a reasonable manner – I forgot to take the power cable with me.

There’s a technical name for this sort of behaviour, in an uncharacteristic display of non-swearing I’ll let you fill in the blanks.

Suffice it to say, the ultra portable laptop suddenly seems a lot heavier when it’s no fucking use to anyone.

Luckily, I haven’t got anything I desperately need to do – like, for example, a feature re-write, a music video to outline, a perfume commercial to write, a batch of replacement ideas for ‘The Summoning’ and a new short film to tweak; otherwise I’d have got really upset.

Categories: Kapital, The Summoning, Two steps back | 2 Comments

Producery Wednesday

Right, so now the whole laptop saga is out of my system I can start catching up with the other exciting stuff that’s been happening.

Erm …

Okay, so not much really. Well, that’s not true; I had drinks with Abi Titmuss last Wednesday, that was quite cool.

But then again, even that statement isn’t quite true; it was one drink and there were four of us there: me, Mandy (my wife), Jonathan Sothcott and Abi. Abi wants to do a short film I wrote, Jonathan wants to produce it and Mandy just wanted a drink, so everyone walked away happy. Since I have a vested interest in all three things, I walked away the happiest of all.

From there we all went our separate ways, I met up with producer/director Don Allen and we talked over the rewrite for Kapital. We managed to close up the plot holes from the first draft and talked through the character changes needed for the new story – and it all seems to work.

Between these two meetings, I had a phone call from a third producer, Mark Shields. It seems LVJ, the never-ending project, is actually nearing the end of post-production. For reasons I’m not going to go into here (mostly because I don’t really know), LVJ has been in production for a little over seven years. There’s a trailer on the website, if you’ve got the time, it’s worth a watch: http://www.lvjmovie.com/videotrailers.html

 And there’s a production blog here: http://www.lvjmovie.com/blog.html

For the first time there’s a cut everyone seems happy with – it’s not perfect, but it’s watchable and makes sense – am I available to go and watch it and offer my opinion?

Yes, yes I am.

And I did, yesterday; and it’s really good. A lot of the effects are still missing, but the animatics help fill in the blanks, and some of the transitions need smoothing out – but overall it’s watchable, interesting, funny and surprisingly tense towards the end.

Surprising because I wrote it and know what happens – sort of.

The whole process has been unusual and someday I’ll be able to explain it in full, but today is not that day. Suffice it to say the film has been made against overwhelming odds and getting as far as it has is a real testament to the talent and dedication of the guys involved. It’s been a seven year shoot on two continents with more effects shots than ‘Titanic’ and a budget which spiralled from nothing to … well, nothing.

Despite all the problems, the final result looks like it might well have been worth all the effort and that’s good enough for me.

Categories: Kapital, LVJ, Progress | Leave a comment

Kapital – first draft verdict

Yesterday I trundled up to London to find out what Don Allen thought of the first draft of the script he commissioned me to write:

“What a load of shit. I can’t believe I actually paid you to do this, you incompetent, incoherent, cretinous nutsack. You have no right calling yourself a writer. Who are you trying to fool? You couldn’t write my arse.”

I could write it, I just couldn’t spell it.

Those aren’t his words, by the way. That’s the sanitised version.

Actually, that’s what I was imagining he’d say as I was on the train from Eastbourne, vaguely wondering where the conductor had got to. I’d had three hours sleep, been up since 04.00 and was feeling a little jinky around the edges. I’d nearly missed the train and had only just managed to dive on before it left.

What I really needed was a good cup of tea; but I’d settle for whatever that brown sludgy shit is they serve on the train.

But no, not only was there no conductor from whom to buy a ticket, but there was no buffet trolley guy running down the aisle with his head down so he won’t accidentally make eye contact and be inconvenienced by having to make a sale.

At Victoria, I found the first official looking person I could find and tried to buy a ticket. Only to have him make sucking noises and shake his head. Apparently it’s an offence to try and buy a ticket on the train, a fact all of the conductors have failed to mention once a week for the last few months.

I argued it would be helpful if someone bothered telling the passengers.

He directed my attention to the large poster right in front of us which says:

IT IS AN OFFENCE TO BOARD A TRAIN WITHOUT A TICKET.

In nice big red letters.

I did the only thing I could. I pretended I couldn’t read.

So he looks up the penalty fare – twice the standard single fare.

“You said you came from Eastbourne, yeah?”

“No. East Croydon.”

He didn’t believe me. Twice the single fare: £12.90.

For fuck’s sake.

After a bit more swearing, I paid the fine, then attempted to buy a return ticket and a tube ticket.

“Single to Eastbourne, that’s £18.90. Plus a travelcard will be–“

“You fucking what? How can a single from Eastbourne to Victoria be six  pounds less than the same ticket going the other way? A return from Eastbourne to Victoria is only 20p more. No wonder everyone in London looks so pissed off; they can’t afford to leave. Do you want a kidney as well? How about I just hack out a kidney and give it to you? Will that make you happy?”

Here’s a handy hint when you’re running a little late: don’t waste twenty minutes swearing at people who work for train companies.

Especially, don’t do it when the station is full of twitchy-fingered armed police in the aftermath of a weekend of terrorist activity.

Thoroughly pissed off and feeling a little light in the wallet, I hauled my tired arse up to Don’s office to receive his verdict on the first draft of ‘Kapital’. I was feeling an intriguing mixture of fury and trepidation. I wanted to punch someone and run and hide at the same time.

I settled myself down and let him lay his opinion on me. I don’t know why I get so uptight about this, no one has ever actually turned round and said they hate my work; I guess there’s always a first time.

But not this time. He really likes it.

And relax.

So we go for dinner. I tell the tale of the armed police guy putting his knee across my throat and we all have a laugh.

The script is only a first draft, but it’s a good solid base to go on with. Funnily enough, you can actually see where I finished writing each night. Particularly on the last few nights when I was writing 30 pages a day and working from 08.00 until 0.300. For example: the last scene I wrote on one of these nights involved two of the underworld’s most fearsome criminals getting into lion costumes and prancing around.

Not sure what I was thinking, but apparently too much tea makes me go a bit funny.

So there we go, another satisfied customer – still a way to go yet, but we’re off to a good start. I’ve got a load of notes for the next draft. Most of them are to do with character development and clearing up a couple of muddy plot points; but writ large among them, in big black pen is this:

NO FUCKING LIONS.

Categories: Kapital, Progress, Rants | 1 Comment

Research

This is really important, I can’t stress this enough. Before you go and meet someone about a potential job, do your research.

You need to know who, what, why, where and when.

Who are they?

What’s the job about?

Why …

No, wait a minute. Maybe the ‘what’ should be – What have they done before? Or is that part of the ‘Who?’ question?

Where and when? That’s easy, that’ll be where and when the meeting is. I’ll get back to you on the others.

They’re important though, whatever they are. Don’t go into a meeting without at least knowing a little bit about who you’re meeting. It could make the difference between you getting the job and looking like a complete tool.

For example:

Yesterday I had a meeting at 18.00. In the afternoon I dropped off the first draft of ‘Kapital‘, collected my cheque and attended a screening of ‘Thee Minute Moments’, director Don Allen‘s first movie. The second, hopefully, being ‘Kapital’.

After that I had lunch. I was sitting quite happily on my own when Don mysteriously reappeared, asked if I wanted company, dropped two actresses at my table and vanished.

This must be a bonus in my contract I wasn’t previously aware of.

They seemed pleasant enough, but as soon as Don had gone they said they’d rather eat at a different table.

In a different restaurant.

And they wandered off.

What can I say, I have that effect on women.

An hour now until the meeting, so I take refuge in Starbucks where I have my normal rage over the order:

“Tall, Grande, Venti? They all mean big. I want a small one, and don’t you fucking dare ask me what flavour tea I want. Tea flavoured tea. Got it?”

I’ve been thrown out of a lot of Starbucks.

And it occurred to me. I have no idea who I’m meeting or what it’s all about. It’s for a feature, I know that; but that’s all I can remember.

I do remember applying for the job and I have the letter I sent to remind me. What I don’t have is a copy of the original ad or indeed any memory of what it said.

I have a name. That’s it. And even that I’m not sure of.

Angus Parry, said the first email I received.

Angus Parry, that’ll be someone Scottish. He probably looks a lot like that bloke off the front of the Scott’s Porage Oats box. At first, I fully expected to meet a Scottish Shot Putter in a Kilt.

The second email was less clear. Angharad Parry.

Ah, that’s an Indian name. Obviously an Indian chap of Scots descent. Now I’m expecting to meet one of The Magoons. It’ll be some Indian guy in a Turban and a kilt. Maybe carrying a shot put, I can’t be sure.

Imagine my surprise when Angus Parry turns out to be a rather attractive, young white Welsh woman.

She wasn’t even wearing a kilt.

Right, yes. Now I come to think of it. Angharad does look like a Welsh name.

While I’m still reeling from this error in judgement, she hits me with the question:

“So, what did you think of the treatment?”

I think, I haven’t read it.

See how a little research can make the difference bettween getting the job and looking like a complete tool?

Can you guess how I came across?

As it turns out, I didn’t receive the treatment. Either I got missed out or my increasingly erratic email service decided I didn’t need to receive that one.

Either way I had to try and talk intelligibly about something I hadn’t read. Just like being back in school.

An apology, a spare copy of the treatment and a hurried scan later, the meeting was back on track.

How did it go?

No idea. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Categories: Kapital, Random Witterings, Sad Bastard | 5 Comments

Cheap Versions

One thought has dominated my mind this last week.

“I don’t think this is possible.”

Partly due to the laptop mishap, but mostly due to my blase attitude and general ‘it’ll be alright’ laziness. I left myself very little time to write the script for ‘Kapital’.

10 days ago I still had 100 pages to write. 10 pages a day?

Easy.

5 days ago, I still had 100 pages to write. 20 pages a day?

Easy, maybe.

Then I went out for dinner a lot.

2 days ago I had 60 pages to write. 30 pages a day?

Fuck.

Plus editing and I have to hand deliver it tomorrow. Or is it today yet?

Yep, it’s today.

Hand delivering means no last minute tweaks before emailing. It has to be right now for printing tomorrow morning. I mean this morning, in 7 hours.

I’ve been in a blind panic for most of the week; even when I was arsing around in pubs and restaurants, maintaining my vague semblance of tranquility.

“I can do this.” My surface thoughts told me.

“No you fucking can’t, and you know it.” Said my unconscious.

I’m good with deadlines, I rarely miss them. I tend to ignore them until they arrive, but I never exceed them. I honestly thought today was going to be the exception …

But it wasn’t.

I’m done and I’ve still got 12 hours to spare.

I don’t know exactly how it happened, but somehow I have 114 pages of glory finished and edited before me.

Reading back through it, I thought it was going to be horrible; but it’s not.

It’s quite good.

Mind you, my eyes are burning and I can barely think straight. So maybe my opinion is not to be trusted, but I think I’ve fulfilled all the criteria.

It’s going to be way too expensive to shoot as is, but it’s the draft I was told to write. The next step is to find out which bits we can’t afford and swap then for the cheap versions.

And that’s my handy hint for today. Or maybe this month. I don’t really give handy hints, I don’t feel I’m in any position to go handing them out; but for what it’s worth, this is mine:

Always have a cheap version.

Every scene, every sequence. Write the one you want to see, but always hold a cheap version up your sleeve.

And by sleeve I mean in your head. Not literally up your sleeve. That would be weird. Unless it’s currently in fashion, I have no idea.

Why am I talking about sleeves?

Cheap versions, right. Stay on topic.

Yeah, it’s twice the work and if you’re lucky, the cheap version will never see the light of day; but damn does it make you look impressive when people question it.

“We need to find a cheaper way of doing this.”

Always pause here. You don’t want to look like you’ve already thought about this. Coming up with it on the spot is so much more impressive.

BAM! Lay it on them. There’s your cheap version mofo.

Where’s my cheque?

Categories: Kapital, My Way, Progress, Random Witterings | 6 Comments

Killing Ken

I’ve writen 30 pages of ‘Kapital‘ today, taking me up to 90 in total.

Judging by the board, I’ve still got at least another 30 pages to go, which means I’m going to have to prune considerably before Wednesday’s deadline. 120 pages isn’t too long for this kind of script, but it feels long to me. I’ll be happier with 110.

At the moment, the structure feels out of whack. I think I’m taking too long to set things up, but I won’t find out until I re-read it.

No idea when I’ll do that.

I’m also fairly confident that this draft will be way too expensive, but this is the ‘dream’ draft. The next one will be more realistic, once I’ve managed to talk things over with the director and explain the cheap versions of the scenes.

Today was a new writing first for me. I killed a character because his name was annoying me.

No, that sounds bad. He has the same name as a friend of mine – that’s how lazy I am.

The name itself doesn’t annoy me, the problem is: the main character is called K (easy to type. Told you I was lazy), which is fine until you have any other characters whose name starts with the same letter, like Ken’s does. Then Final Draft won’t let you choose ‘K’ as a character name and always greys in ‘KEN’.

At first it wasn’t a problem. The character was only in one scene, I needed an Irish name, I have an Irish friend called Ken – that’ll do. No one speaks his name, the only reason he’s not called ‘IRISH THUG #1′ is because producers often tell me actors complain about numbered thugs because they like to have a name for their CV.

Fair enough.

By the way, the real Ken is just Irish, not a thug. He’s a very nice chap.

After Ken spoke, I deleted his name from the smart type list and tapped on my merry way. 

The problem comes when Ken keeps on reappearing. The fucker just seems to be everywhere, I can’t get rid of the bastard (character Ken, not the real one. I can’t even keep in touch with the real Ken).

Solution?

Kill the fucker.

So I have. Ken’s dead now. I killed him.

(Character Ken, the real one isn’t dead. At least I hope not, I haven’t spoken to him for a while.)

Some of you may have just taken the easy option and renamed Ken something else (character Ken, not … you get the idea); but I say you guys are just quitters. I wrote myself into this bind, I’ll write my way out.

And I have.

Ken got shot.

He deserved it, too.

In other news, more actors have signed up for ‘The Summoning’: Billy Murray and Toby Richards. There are at least three more, all women, but I’m not allowed to say yet.

For fuck’s sake, I’m rubbish at keeping secrets. I wish people wouldn’t tell me them.

Did I mention a friend asked if I wanted to write for a new BBC sketch show?

Can’t remember.

Oh wait, was that a secret too?

Oh, too late. He did. And I do.

As I’m writing ‘Kapital’ with one hand, I’m jotting down notes for sketches with the other.

I won’t tell you what I’m using to answer the phone.

The plan is to finish the script tomorrow. Edit it in the space between seconds. Deliver it by hand to the director on Wednesday, whilst attending a screening of his last film. Thursday I’ll knock out a dozen sketches and Friday I’ve got to write a treatment for a proposed feature.

Well, I don’t have to; but they’re threatening to pay me, so I want to. I pitched my idea to the producer and he called me some very nice names.

Well, one nice name.

To be fair, he called the idea the nice name, I’m just claiming that as a victory. You’ve got to take them where you can.

Right, that’s enough of this blogging malarky. Back to work.

Oh fuck, I’ve gone blind.

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, Kapital, Progress, Random Witterings, Sad Bastard | 7 Comments

Arrgh!

Right, time to knuckle down. Got to have the first draft of ‘Kapital‘ done by the 27th.

No problem.

Except, no, wait. Someone has rather helpfully poured tea into my laptop while I’m away from home and I’ve just had to spend four days staring at the completely dead screen of what is now just an expensive paperweight.

“I bought this ipod and haven’t got any songs on it” he says ” Can I borrow your laptop and nick some of your tunes?” he asks.

“Of course you can, just be careful you don’t … you fucking idiot!”

The actual order of events was: he sits down with my laptop and a cup of tea. I go to get the charger to plug it in. I come back, the cup is empty and he points out that the keyboard is ‘a bit wet'; but he has no idea how it happened.

“Did you drink your tea?”

“Yes. … Well, most of it. … Some of it. … No.”

“You spilt it on my laptop, didn’t you?”

“Maybe?”

He’s dead now. Buried in a shallow grave, marked only with one word: BASTARD.

So here I am, back where I started, with only 10 days left until the deadline. Not only do I not have a laptop for writing on the move, but I’ve also lost the work I’ve already done.

“Did you not back it up?” I hear you cry.

“Fuck you, you smart arsed prick.” would be my stressed response.

I’m confined to my desktop, hoping it goes the distance and doesn’t have one of its semi-regular bouts of shitness. I’m backing up now, believe me. Every twenty seconds.

On a more positive note, something really cool happened this morning. I got word someone wants to do a feature script of mine, someone who’s very, very famous in the UK and completely unheard of anywhere else. The part was written specifically for him, and he wants to do it. I’m very excited, I probably shouldn’t be, but I am.

Can you guess who it is?

I bet you can’t.

In fact I know you can’t and I’m not allowed to tell you even if you did. So there.

Anyway, back to work. Only another 100 or so pages to go. In 10 days, no problem.

Do you know what Don Allen, the producer/director, said when I told him I’d had a little setback?

“Good. You work better under pressure.”

That’s great, thanks very much. I’ll just lop off a hand too, shall I? That’ll really pile the pressure on. And then, 24 hours later, he chimes in with:

“Oh, sorry to hear about your laptop.”

Yes, so am I; but not nearly as sorry as the bloke what done it in. Bastard.

Categories: Kapital, Two steps back | 8 Comments

A sticky situation

I’m busy at the moment, very busy. Work is piling up, which is great, and I keep looking for (which is sensible) and accepting (which is very stupid) more.

Does that sentence make sense?

It does to me, but then I’ve been up since bastard early yesterday morning.

I had a lot planned for today, I’ve got a load of odds and ends to tie up before I start work on ‘Kapital‘, which is the new working title for the action/thriller feature ‘K-Past’.

I started off by writing up a report on a feature script I read last night. One of the questions the producer asked was: What could I do to make it better?

The answer is simple: I could burn the screenplay, that would improve it 150%.

To be fair, it wasn’t that bad and there were a number of things (apart from a good fire) which could improve it immeasurably.

Like wiping my arse on it.

No, it wasn’t that bad – it’s all fixable. Honest. Pay me enough and I can fix anything.

Next up was writing the elusive sixth segment of ‘The Summoning’. Producer Jonathan Sothcott and I came up with the idea at our last meeting on Tuesday. It’s a voodoo tale, so the first half of the morning was research; then it was down to work.

I tend to start with a two page outline, nailing down the salient points of the plot and odd bits of dialogue. I was about halfway through when I poured a can of Diet Coke into the keyboard of my spanky new(ish) laptop.

Funnily enough, my dad always warned me about the dangers of having a drink next to the computer; but I never believed him.

He was right. Sorry, dad.

After feverishly mopping things up with handfuls of wadded toilet paper, I was able to assess the damage.

It’s still working. Hasn’t gone ‘bang’ or ‘fizz’ or anything. I suppose I should have unplugged it and let it dry out, but I haven’t got time. Onwards!

Now, I have a complicated system of typing where I press twice as many keys and then delete the ones which aren’t needed.

Don’t ask me why, I don’t know.

The backspace key is the most used key on both my computers, I hit it almost every other keystroke. Which is a shame, because that’s exactly where I poured the Diet Coke. Two letters in, I hit backspace and watch in horror as it deletes the last letter and just keeps on going.

All the way back, to the top of the page.

Meanwhile I’m shouting NO! a lot and trying to find a spoon to prise the key up.

Why a spoon? No idea, what can I say, I’m complicated. Suffice it to say, there was no spoon in the vicinity of my laptop and I lost all of the text.

All of it, every single last paragraph, sentence, word and character.

I think ‘deeply miffed’ covers how I felt.

But wait! The ‘redo’ button! That beautiful little right facing arrow of joy.

Nope. Doesn’t do fuck all.

Start again.

Oh, and I’ve just realised I’ve got a spoon in my back pocket which has been there since breakfast. Joy beyond measure.

I prise the button up, hoping it won’t break. Clean it all out, then panic because I can’t get it back in. It’s an incredibly complicated affair with springs and clips and little plastic things which fly out when you look at them.

But I persevere and I prevail. Oh yes, no computer will ever best me.

Except now it’s shut down.

Why has it shut down? Shit! Is it death by Diet Coke?

Nope, there’s a power cut and has been for hours –  the batteries have died.

I’m going to have to do this the old fashioned way – pen and paper at the ready. Can I even remember how to use a pen? It’s been a while.

Fortunately, the power came back on and stayed back on; and apart from one little backspace mishap (two lines!) I was able to finish the outline without incident.

Next comes the script which flows out beautifully – even if it is a little on the long side – 19 pages as opposed to an average of 14 for the other 5 shorts.

A little trimming is probably in order; but after a read through, I decide against it.  I think it reads well, but I’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the official verdict.

I’ve even managed to invent a new language for the ‘voodoo curses’. It’s got a solid grammar, logical rules and is almost pronounceable. I just hope no one works out what it says – it’s not very voodoo.

I’d arranged to meet people for dinner, and I finished the script at four minutes to. How’s that for timing?

If anyone cares, dinner was Thai and it was very nice.

Oh, and I almost forgot – it looks like I’ve had another screenplay optioned. The contract has been agreed; I haven’t signed it yet, but since the details have appeared on the company website, I guess I can mention it. It’s a twenty-something comedy called ‘Geeked’, optioned by Black and Blue Entertainment.

That means I’ve got seven features in development now.

Seven!

That’s one for every dwarf!

I’m a little worried that having one of my scripts in development is becoming a fashion accessory, are people even reading these things? Will I fall out of fashion next month? Who knows? I don’t, but it’s going to be fun finding out.

Categories: Geeked, K-Past, Kapital, Progress, Sad Bastard, The Summoning | 12 Comments

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