Monthly Archives: June 2007

A lovely day

Another day in London yesterday for meetings about ‘The Summoning’ and ‘K-Past’, which is definitely going to be called something else any day now.

I got a new phone the other day …

Bear with me, this is relevant.

Sort of. 

… it’s a Nokia N95, which has built in sat-nav. This plays on two of my greatest weaknesses: a love of gadgets and an awful sense of direction.

The prospect of fiddling with a gadget which actually leads me to where I want to go is very exciting. That the place I want to go is to a meeting with people who want to make one of my scripts is even better. That I get on with, and actually like, two out of the three people I’m meeting is about as good as it gets.

You’d be forgiven for thinking I don’t like the third person; but that’s not true – I just hadn’t met him before and was therefore unable to say either way.

The meeting was with producers Jonathan Sothcott and Gillian MacGregor, both of whom are lovely (Jonathan says I have to write he’s “dashing, witty, urbane, charming and phenomenally well endowed” I wouldn’t like to vouch for phenomenally well endowed and I don’t know what urbane means (something to do with houses?); but I’ll give him the rest) and Martin Kemp, who’s going to direct one segment and, I think, star in another and actually is dashing, witty, charming and really fucking tall.

Or maybe that’s because I got there first and was already sitting down?

After having had the meeting, I can say with some authority, he’s lovely too.

There were some notes given (and since actioned), some risotto eaten and it was time to move on.

Time for the sat-nav again.

Now, I know the second meeting isn’t too far away and with the power of my new gadget I should be able to quickly plan a route between …

No, actually all I’ve managed to do is wander into a lamp post. It turns out my third weakness is not being able to read and walk at the same time.

At least not walk in a straight line.

It also occurs to me that walking around holding a brand new phone at arm’s length and squinting at the sky is akin to holding a sigh which reads: PLEASE MUG ME.

So I pocket the phone and take the tube, since I already know where I’m going for the next meeting anyway.

Which is with Don Allen and Emma Dobinson about ‘K-Past’; and in the interests of fairness, they’re both lovely too.

All in all, it was a lovely day. I’m not the kind of guy who uses the word ‘lovely’ that much, but it does accurately describe how I feel about yesterday.

Apart from actually having to go into London which generally makes me want to punch people and scrub myself with Vim.

When I got home last night I had a couple of interesting emails. One from the American company I was talking to in Cannes asking if I could change the ages of the characters in the ‘Narnia style thing’ I’d pitched them. They felt 12 was too young, which is fair enough. I think I’d originally conceived them as 16, but since Narnia was mentioned as a reference point I thought I’d put them at the same age as the kids from ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ (8 – 13).

Of course nowadays, by 13 most kids are more interested in fags and Bacardi Breezers than having whizzo adventures in a wardrobe – and anyway, they have to get home because their babies need feeding.

Or so The Daily Mail would have you believe.

Regardless, the fact they’re inquiring about changing the ages of the characters has got to be a good sign.

The other email was from a producer I met out in Cannes and had dinner with a couple of times called Becky Adams. Becky was the only person at dinner who wasn’t producing one of my scripts. Of course I gave her my card so she could rectify this appalling faux-pas.

In her email, she points out we’ve already had dealings with each other last year.  She was looking for scripts and I sent her the synopsis for one of mine. She politely declined and I thanked her for her time – which was lucky. If I was the kind of guy who sends angry emails after each rejection, dinner would have been quite interesting.

She assures me now she’s met me she’ll be in touch about working together after she’s finished her current project. It’s nice to have this offer after a face to face meeting, it’s obvious to me that, having met me, she’s realised I’m ginger and need all the help I can get.

I knew it had to come in useful one day.

Categories: K-Past, Progress, Random Witterings, The Summoning | 2 Comments

A good place to be

I tend to lie a lot.

Not important stuff and never to friends (except when it is and I do).

I do, however, tend to be a little economical with deadlines. I don’t know where this compulsion comes from, but I don’t seem to be able to stop.

When people ask if I can have something done in an unreasonably short period of time, I always say yes – knowing damn well I can’t.

Then I somehow manage it anyway. Panic is a great motivator.

When people give me a short, but realistic, deadline, I shout about how it can’t be done and then do it in half the time.

It’s a pathetic writer’s version of Scotty’s ‘multiply repair times by four’ strategy.

When I was asked if I could finish the full draft of ‘The Summoning’ by the end of the week, I quickly denied it was possible – fully intending to have it done within two days.

Unfortunately, events and my own monumental stupidity have conspired against me. Through an embarrassing oversight I’m not really prepared to admit in public, I’ve suddenly found the twenty or so hours of writing time (excluding time for sleeping) I had reduced to ten – if I don’t sleep at all.


Still, that’s not impossible (in my deluded world) and I set off at a cracking pace (for a one legged asthmatic spider carrying a heavy load).

Then came an email – one of the six shorts which make up the film (ironically, the one which got me the job in the first place) is no longer deemed suitable. Can I come up with something else?

I argued the merits of the story, not because I believe in it, but because I’m too damned lazy to write a new segment.

They are, of course, absolutely right.

Did I say ‘bugger’ already?

So now I’ve had to abandon the linking scenes and go back to the ideas stage. Which maybe isn’t as bad as it seems, since I no longer have to forego my much needed sleep; but means my already full schedule just started to pile up.

As far as I can tell, the effects aren’t going to really start hitting me for another week or two yet, but I can already see the looming traffic jam on the horizon.

Do you know the really sad part about all this?

Apart from the monumental stupid thing which caused the initial fuck up?

I love it. I absolutely love it. I love the pressure, I love the hassle, I even love the lack of sleep. The potential to disappoint two or maybe three different producers is a great feeling.


Because a year or two ago, I would have been idly picking at the keyboard, wondering what to write next. Now I rarely have that luxury. I can’t remember the last time I wrote a spec script – they’re all on commission or request or at least for someone who’s expressed an interest in a particular type of story.

Yes it’s tiring, yes it’s stressful; but god damn is it a good place to be. I’m no longer writing into the void, wondering if anyone’s ever going to read anything I put on paper.

Everything I write these days (except, perhaps, this blog) has someone waiting to read it. Someone who knows roughly what it’s about, likes my work and actually wants to like the script.

Does life get any better than that?

Categories: Progress, Sad Bastard, The Summoning, Two steps back | 2 Comments

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