Monthly Archives: July 2008

Writing Karma Magnet

I had a vague idea people might be interested in how a script changes from treatment, through the first draft to the final shooting script and the finished film.

Mind you, I also had a vague idea I could Velcro my baby to the wall when I needed to use both hands. That was wrong so I hold no hope for this new inspiration.

However, I’ve never let the prospect of being wrong stop me and Alice did eventually recover, so I’m ploughing on regardless.

Karma Magnet started life as a pitch for Channel Four’s ‘Coming Up’ competition.

They weren’t interested.

But never mind, because Martin Kemp and Jonathan Sothcott of Black and Blue Films were.

My original idea was sparked by being generally annoyed at how easily people ascribe things to fate. People look at things which are amazing coincidences and try to make them less amazing by fitting them into a pattern: it was fate, or one of the Gods or Karma or Santa or someone or something like that.

A friend had recently lost his mind by looking back over his life and trying to find a common thread, one which linked all of his experiences. It amazed me how an incredibly intelligent man could genuinely believe all the events of his life were linked (other than by having happened to him and each effect being the product of the preceding cause) and then find an external force to blame.

This human gullibility, the desperate need to believe the universe cares one way or the other what happens to you, was the jumping off point for this treatment.

I’m assuming everyone can work out you need to click on the blue words to read the document.

I can’t remember getting any notes about the treatment and so the first draft was more or less a literal translation.

There followed a short period of development with most of the changes being about reducing the number of scenes by amalgamating some and cutting others; and the addition of an additional twist for the end.

The final shooting script also included extended radio and TV reports which could carry on in the background and a doubling of the length of the rooftop scenes – the fear being they would look too choppy in the final version. As it happens, they were fine and the additional lines gave us more to choose from in the edit.

So there we are, a brief overview of the treatment, first draft and final shooting script.

If you’ve actually bothered to read all or any of those, then why not go Dread Central and re-watch the finished film?

Go on, you know you want to.

Oh, and if anyone’s interested in my patented Velcro baby-care system, please send a large cheque and a promise not to sue.

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Categories: Karma Magnet, My Way | 9 Comments

Multiple credits

Have you ever looked at the credits on a film and wondered how they can have got through so many writers? There’s a temptation to assume the first writer must have been shit and replaced with the second writer; but sometimes the list can include four or five successful writers – they can’t all be incapable of writing, surely?

Well, yes, sometimes they can. Part of the problem there, of course, is not everyone agrees on what ‘good’ writing is. We can all reel off a list of points: sparkling dialogue, interesting characters, a gripping plot … but all of these things are subjective and not everyone agrees on what they actually are. I’d say it’s easier to identify bad writing, but that’s not true either.

Not everyone likes the same thing.

On the other hand, some successful writers are absolutely fucking awful. They aren’t successful because they’re good, they’re successful because they sound like they’re good. They talk themselves up to such a point they get paid ridiculous sums for their work and when they deliver a pile of shit, it gets hushed up because the production company doesn’t want to admit they paid over the odds for someone who can’t write their own name. It could well be they were good at one point in the past, before their ego got in the way; or it could be they wrote one piece of absolute genius by accident and have lived off it ever since.

Anyway, here’s an incomplete and totally inaccurate list of why you end up with more than one writer on a film:

INCOMPETENCE

As discussed, sometimes this is the writer; but sometimes it’s the producer or director. Writer A might deliver exactly the script he was asked for, only to find out the people who did the asking had no idea what they were asking for.

“This script’s rubbish, it’s got a giant monkey in it – how shit is that?”

“Well, you did ask for a sequel to ‘King Kong’.”

“Yeah, but I meant something like ‘American Pie’ meets ‘Casablanca’.

At which point, Writer A gets fired.

CHANGE OF DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER … OR BOTH

Director A gets Writer A to write the script. Director A then falls out with Producer A and gets sacked. This usually involves someone sleeping with someone else’s partner. Director B loves Writer A’s script but because Producer A hates Director A and everything he touched, Writer A gets sacked. Writer B adapts Writer A’s script and does a half-arsed job but they’re still happy … until Writer B is spotted having a drink with Director A’s neighbour and Producer A gets into a strop and fires him.

Director B shouts at Producer A who then has a nervous breakdown.

Producer B sacks Director B to avoid being shouted at and hires Director C and Writer C.

By this point, no one can remember what the original film was supposed to be about, so they decide to play it safe and just remake something from the sixties … badly.

CHANGE OF PLAN

Writer A gets hired to write an Action film, because that’s what he’s good at. Producer A wants to sleep with Actress A, so he changes his mind and turns the film into a female led Rom-Com. Actress A refuses to sleep with Producer A who fires everyone and then has a nervous breakdown.

Alternatively, Producer A asks for a particular kind of script. Writer A delivers exactly what he’s asked for and everyone is very happy. Producer A then talks to his friends who convince him his original idea was rubbish and he immediately blames Writer A for not ignoring the original brief.

DEATH

Sadly, sometimes a writer dies before finishing the script.

Sometimes, it’s not so sad and the world has one less talentless alcoholic.

OUT OF TIME

Writer A has six months before he needs to start work on his next project. He thinks six months is loads of time to write a film, but has failed to reckon with the Producer and Director’s inability to reach a consensus. Director A thinks the script needs more emotional depth; Producer A thinks it needs more tits. By the time they’ve agreed that emotional depth can be delivered topless … Writer A has moved on and the whole fucking mess gets passed on to the hapless Writer B.

OUT OF MONEY

Sometimes Producer A will promise Writer A ‘X’ amount of money in advance and ‘Y’ amount of money on delivery.

By the time the delivery date is reached, so many people have had nervous breakdowns, died or slept with other’s partners there is no more money to pay the writer. Writer A refuses to release the material; but due to a bizarre contract clause, retains his credit.

Writer B is hired to write a new script for less money and no credit, so the Producer can retain the kudos of having Writer A’s name on the film. Because Writer B is rubbish, Writer A gets blamed for the appalling film and never works again. Conversely, Writer B goes on to run a major studio.

There are many, many other reasons why a film can have more than one writer; but strangely, the script not being good enough is fairly rare. The basic message is: at some point it’s going to happen to each and everyone of us. When it happens to you, don’t get angry, don’t get upset. Just accept it in good humour, make sure you can find someone else to blame and then follow whoever fired you home and key the fucker’s car.

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Not so secret tease

There’s now a teaser trailer for The Wrong Door:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wrongdoor/

All together now: Ooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Thanks to Amoebaboy for pointing that out.

Categories: BBC, The Wrong Door | 5 Comments

Meeting of minds

A few hours ago I got a phone call:

“Hey, where are you?”

“On a train.”

“Cool, where you going?”

“Falkirk.”

“Where the fuck is Falkirk?”

“Scotland.”

“What the fuck you going there for?”

“To meet a mate. Well, I say he’s a mate but I’ve never actually met him.”

There was a long pause.

“So how’d you know him?”

“I met him over the Internet.”

There was an even longer pause.

“So … you’re going on a blind date?”

Not exactly. Now I come to think of it, it is a bit odd. Having accidentally found myself in Glasgow, I decided now was the ideal time to go and see Gordon Robertson – a man I’ve known for three years, but have never actually seen or spoken to.

So how do I know him? The power of the Internet, of course.

Flashback to 2005 and several deluded, yet hopeful writers are terribly excited to have been chosen for Shoot the Writers! Seemingly we’d beaten off all opposition and were now faced with the very real prospect of winning a nationwide competition and becoming incredibly famous.

As it turns out, the show was pretty bad and was buried in the late night schedule – still, it was a telly credit and not to be sniffed at.

At about the same time I’d started writing for The Treason Show and was having some moderate success. Gordon recognised my name on the running order and from the Shoot the Writer’s forums and introduced himself.

Three years later and we’ve been in semi-regular contact ever since. We read and slag off each other’s work – in the nicest, most constructive sense – we used to compete for Treason Top Trumps– until I gave in and conceded to his superior output; and we’ve each been among the first to see any completed projects the other has wrangled and finagled through production.

In short, we’ve been keeping a semi-jealous eye on each other’s career, being as supportive as possible whilst being slightly envious at the same time.

And today we’ve finally met.

I’ve just got back in fact and I can say he’s a jolly decent chap. Although bordering on the Scottish side, something which doesn’t really come across in his emails.

We met, we had some food and we talked a lot.

I didn’t kiss him though, I don’t like to put out on a first date.

So there you go. If any of you are ever at a loose end in Glasgow, I can heartily recommend popping over to Falkirk and sampling Gordon’s hospitality – he even bought me a present (well, it’s for Alice; but I opened it for her on account of her not being able to use her thumbs yet) which I thought was particularly nice.

Hmm … maybe I should have put out after all?

Categories: Random Witterings | 3 Comments

Words about me

Look, look! Words about me, people talking about me and stuff:

http://board.sitcom.co.uk/thread/8203

Categories: Sad Bastard | 7 Comments

Feedback

A friend of mine has this project in production, one I was curious about and really wanted to read. He’s not the writer, but being the generous soul he is, he said yes.

So he sent it, I read it and I thought that was that … but he asked me what I thought. Now, I wasn’t going to say anything, since I’d asked him to send it to me and was pretty certain my opinions were unsolicited and unwanted. However, he asked, so I told him.

I didn’t like it.

It was just a first draft, but I thought it had a lot of problems and said so. I tend to be fairly frank with my opinions – I think it’s a waste of time and insulting to fob someone off with pointless platitudes.

My friend disagreed with my opinions, which is fair enough, they are just opinions after all. He told me everyone else involved in the project loved the script – which, to be honest, surprised me, I really did think it had a lot of problems.

My friend sent me the list of notes the writer was actioning for the second draft and I was even more surprised – the notes written by the people who loved the script were exactly the same as the ones I wrote. They covered exactly the same points and flagged up problems in exactly the same areas.

The only difference was in the tone of the notes, these people are heavily invested in the project and intend to make it; hence their notes are very positive. I have no interest in the project, beyond wanting my friend to do well, and my notes honestly pointed out what I saw as the flaws.

So where I’d said it wasn’t dramatic enough to be interesting; they’d said the plot needed a few more twists.

Where I’d said the main character spontaneously changes personality halfway through; they’d said the character’s journey needed to be a little more gradual.

And where I’d said the supporting characters didn’t have any character; they’d said perhaps more can be made of the main character’s relationship with the supporting characters.

Basically, they were nice, I wasn’t.

My notes were written like a viewer who wanted the project to be good, but ultimately didn’t care if it wasn’t; theirs were written from the perspective of people who’ve invested time and money in the project and desperately want it to succeed.

Personally, I think their notes are better.

Their notes lead to a better script, mine lead to a binned project and a pissed off writer. It’s been a bit of an eye opener for me and something I want to learn from. From now on, whenever I read and comment on a script, I’m going to put myself in that frame of mind – someone who wants the script to be better.

It’s a simple change for me, but it makes a massive difference to the resulting notes. From now on, I’m going to phrase all my notes in positivity; from now on I’m going to spread the love.

Categories: Random Witterings | 8 Comments

The Wrong Door screening

Well, that was … you know what, I’ll start from the beginning.

A couple of days ago I thought I was having a heart attack. I can’t say I was overly concerned since I figured it was probably like a stitch and I could just ‘run it off’. However as the pain got worse and worse and began to restrict my breathing, I was wondering if maybe it was something a little more serious. I don’t really like to bother the NHS, so I just left it to see what would happen – an interesting experience when you can’t lift your arms and breathe at the same time – and eventually the pain settled in my spine.

I think I’ve just pulled a muscle in my back, but it’s right over the spine and is pretty painful. Painful enough to be distorting my posture, pulling my hips over to the left and causing my right shoulder to dip alarmingly. If I want to keep my head upright, I have to move it towards my left shoulder – which causes more pain. If I want to keep it in line with my spine, I have look like I’ve got my head tilted to the right – kind of like George Clooney’s floppy neck, but without the looks, money or charm.

If you’ve ever tried walking with your shoulders tilted, your head at an angle and your hips thrown the opposite way, you’ll know two things:

  1. It’s impossible to walk in a straight line.
  2. You end up limping along like a demented scientist’s assistant.

So it came to pass I left home at 10.45 yesterday morning looking like an ginger Quasimodo on his way to fetch the marster a new brain.

I spent most of the day with Lawrence Pearce going over Mixed Up and talking about some potential new projects. I was sitting down for most of that, so I think I got away with my corkscrew posture.

All well and good and a lovely time was had by all. Or at least me, anyway. I wouldn’t like to speak for anyone else.

In the evening I made my way to Notting Hill Gate for the pre-screening drinks with the cast and crew of The Wrong Door.

Not wanting to repeat the same mistakes I made last time, I decided I was going to storm into the pub and hurl myself at the first person who looked like they might have something to do with the show.

Steadfastly I marched up to the pub, straight past it and into Starbucks for a quick cuppa.

No sense rushing into things.

One refreshing cup of tea later and I’m ready to mingle like a fury.

How the hell am I going to recognise these people among the normal pub crowd? Don’t know, don’t care – just get in and get on with it.

I barrel into the pub and am a bit surprised to instantly stumble on a table full of people chatting over a sign which says RESERVED FOR THE BBC. So surprised in fact that I whizz straight past the table without stopping; but that’s okay because it gives me the opportunity to grab a drink and peruse the layout at my leisure.

There are a row of tables reserved for the BBC, the first one is full of people who are in full conversational flow – they seem to be having fun and I don’t really want to interrupt them.

The second table however has one solitary occupant and she’s my target. Brilliant! I can get chatting to her and she can introduce me to someone else and before you know it I’m in a proper conversation.

Start simple.

“Hi I’m Phill, I’m one of the writers.”

“Hi I’m (didn’t catch the name), I’m the wife of one of the supporting artists.”

Then, presumably in response to my blank look:

“One of the extras.”

Oh.

Bugger.

She doesn’t know anyone here either. Still, she was a nice lady so we chatted for a half hour or so before Chris Taylor arrived and I finally had someone in the room I knew well enough to chat to. Not only is Chris the man who got me the Wrong Door job in the first place, but we also co-wrote LVJ together. I’ve known him for years and better still, he knows everyone on the production team.

Chris introduces me to a lot of people, explaining which sketches I wrote and everyone is very complimentary and friendly. The two hours leading up to the screening goes very quickly and, apart from squinting at everyone through lopsided pain, I really enjoyed myself.

Then we decamped to the cinema, which was a lovely old building with a proper old-fashioned auditorium with loads of leg room and what I first took to be a really impressive sub-woofer until I realised it was probably just a passing tube train.

They showed us the first two episodes of The Wrong Door and it’s absolutely fucking excellent.

It’s hilarious, there’s nothing else to say.

And I’m not even talking about my sketches, of which there was one fairly long one in each episode, but the show as a whole is just brilliant. I found it very difficult to judge whether my sketches were funny or not, but people laughed so I guess they must be. I was sitting next to Thom Tuck who played one of my characters who said it was one of the most depraved and demeaning things he ever had to do.

Which I consider a personal achievement.

On the way out, I bumped into the principle cast of my sketches and decided to introduce myself to Neil Fox who plays, um, Doctor Fox:

“Hi, I’m Phill Barron, I wrote the sketches you did.”

“Oh hi, they were great.”

“No, you were great.”

Then we kind of ran out things to say to each other. This would have been a good point to wander off, but unfortunately someone was blocking the door and chatting so we stood there in fairly awkward silence for a good minute or so.

Which is quite a long time to not say anything to anyone. Try it. Approach random strangers, introduce yourself and then don’t say anything for a minute. See how you get on.

Outside I nearly had the same problem – there were about 170 people there, we all spilled onto the pavement together and I momentarily lost sight of everyone I’d been introduced to. Luckily, before I inflicted myself on anyone else I was spotted by the lovely Sarah Morgan and her equally lovely boyfriend, Tim. Sarah’s one of the Wrong Door writers who reads this blog and recognised me from my photo, despite me not being black and white in real life.

We all decamped to a nearby bar where I had a good chat with Sarah and Tim. Well, I say a good chat; but it was more like a good shout with a lot of ‘eh?’ and ‘what?’ thrown in as we were competing with a DJ who refused to turn the music down. There was no one in this bar except for us lot, but he wasn’t having any of it.

“People want banging tunes, innit?”

“No, people want you to shut the fuck up.”

But he didn’t.

The rest of the night flew by and I actually managed to get a decent chat with the producer and head of the New Comedy Unit, Jack Cheshire, without falling asleep or staring blankly at him. He’s a really nice guy and we had a decent chat about the show and other stuff. I even managed to pitch two projects to him – sort of. I just mentioned some stuff and he asked to read them, which has got to be a good thing.

Although, perhaps I shouldn’t have told him I couldn’t send them to him because they were shit?

Yes, now I come to think of it, that was probably the wrong thing to do.

Oh well.

I met loads of people after that, although I think the highlight for me was the director, Ben Wheatley’s, story about doing unspeakable things to Prince’s food.

Overall, I had a great night. So good in fact that I missed the last train to Eastbourne and arrived at Victoria hoping against hope there was an inexplicable extra train at two in the morning.

There wasn’t.

Or at least I don’t think there was, someone had helpfully stolen the ‘E’ page from the timetable; but as far as I could tell the next train was at five-thirty in the morning.

I felt and still feel pretty awful about this. I didn’t really want to leave Mandy with the baby all night and feel like a very bad daddy.

Yes you are, you fucking wanker.

Sorry, that was Mandy. Can’t argue with that.

Luckily for me, not so much for Mandy or Alice, Chris stepped in and offered me a bed at his place and I finally rolled home at 10.45 this morning – 24 hours after I left.

I really am, very sorry.

Not fucking good enough.

No.

So anyway, I had a great night, met some nice people and hardly embarrassed myself at all. I even managed to steal one of the production team’s T-shirts:

Technically, this belongs to Robin Hill, so if you want it back Rob, let me know.

And the best part of the night for me? Not one person noticed my lopsidedness – or if they did, they were polite enough not to comment.

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, The Wrong Door | 18 Comments

Screening tomorrow

I’m off up to London tomorrow for a screening of The Wrong Door, the sketch show I worked on for BBC Three.

Like I said the other day, I have no idea what to expect. Not only do I not know how much of my material made the final cut, but I’ve no real concept of what the overall style of the show is, how it looks or what the other writers have contributed.

Some things I do know about my sketches:

  1. I’m pretty certain I’ve got some material in the show since they’ve invited me to the screening. Unless the plan is to get me up to London then refuse me entry while everyone else points and laughs. I’d like to think the BBC has better things to do.
  2. I’ve been told one series of sketches is one of the main-stays of the show – as far as I know there are two in each show; but who knows what changes have been made during editing?
  3. IMDb lists one of my characters in the cast list – Pippa Haywood of Green WIng fame, if anyone’s interested.
  4. At least one of the photos on the above invite looks like a still from one of my sketches; but it could be a coincidence.

Some things I know about other people’s sketches:

  1. There’s a dinosaur called Philip.
  2. There are a lot of clowns.
  3. And ninjas.
  4. Maybe even pirates too.
  5. Um … that’s about it.

Actually, I know quite a bit more than this having read the pilot script and seen a few bits and bobs; but I don’t want to give the game away. Suffice it to say, I’m really looking forward to the screening and can’t wait to see how it’s all turned out.

Categories: BBC, The Wrong Door | 6 Comments

Breaking and entering

I’m trying to organise a museum heist at the moment … and it’s proving to be a bit tricky.

It’s for a film, obviously.

Unless this is a double bluff? Some kind of feeble online alibi?

Which it’s not.

The problem starts with the production demanding six characters be used in the heist; and on my first attempt I managed it with only one. This won’t do and, frankly, is quite worrying since I appear to be a criminal mastermind.

A few years back I spent the afternoon casing the British Museum for a different feature project, with a view to writing an action sequence which interrupts a heist. I wandered around for an afternoon, making notes and feeling decidedly dodgy; my business card was gripped tightly in one hand, ready to be offered as an excuse for marking security features on the maps they handily provide. Funny how some research comes in handy years later.

Fourteen years ago, a friend and I planned a robbery of the cinema we worked at. I thought it was a purely intellectual exercise, something to while away the long summer days when the films were shit and everyone had gone to the beach instead. Unfortunately, he was deadly serious. A fact I only found out when he actually started buying some of the equipment.

I’ve had some interesting friends.

Funnily enough, I did eventually get sacked from that cinema for theft and vandalism; but that’s a different story.

Suffice it to say it involved Maltesers and Kurt Russell – another tale for another time.

But I digress.

So I’ve managed to crack a large museum with only one character, making the other five completely superfluous – time for a rethink.

I’m now up to five characters and I’m really struggling to find a job for the sixth. Or rather, I can think of something for her to do, but therein lies another problem.

This is only a heist film up to a certain point, after which it changes track and the heist is (more or less) abandoned. The problem there is the first half of a good heist film is full of little things which make no sense until they’re put into play near the end. Suddenly the seemingly random action becomes a clever and secret way of avoiding a pitfall.

Good heist movies keep you guessing all the way to the end.

But what if you haven’t got an end? What if none of the seemingly random and pointless set-ups have a pay off? All you’re left with is a set of random and pointless scenes. I don’t want people coming out of the film going:

“Great film, but what the fuck was the point of the rubber chicken?”

The sixth character would look decidedly odd and completely unnecessary because the reason for her being there won’t ever be revealed.

One way round it would be to spell out exactly how they’re going to do it and what everyone’s role is; but that won’t work either. Apart from being boring and talky, it takes too much time and I need that for something else later. I could do something funky and clever, a flash-forward which shows what her job is going to be, but again, I hit the page count issue.

The other snag is this has to look and smell like a heist film to begin with and that includes leaving little things a mystery for later.

Funnily enough, writing it down like this, it doesn’t seem like a problem at all – I can think of several ways round it; but when I sit down to write the treatment they just slide away and the logical flaws are revealed.

So it’s back to the drawing board.

I’m sitting here, surrounded with little bits of card with things written on them like:

Shut down the alarm system.

or

Take out the phone lines.

And another pile which explains what can go wrong with every step and how they’d need to switch to a back up plan. I’m trying to divvy them out between the characters but I keep hitting the same snag – it only takes five people and that’s stretching it. I will get there eventually; but it’s taken longer than I originally thought.

It’s funny what skills you need as a scriptwriter: I’m mentally designing a museum and its security system; then I’m trying to crack it. The temptation is to design flaws which I can then exploit; but since that’s a bit on the shit side, I’m trying not to. The key is to make the security clever and the criminals very clever.

Unlike real life where heists generally involve a group of masked thugs wandering in somewhere and hitting people – no style. Security firms are rarely that clever in real life either.

Another friend of mine, a security consultant, one day found himself consulting on security (because that’s what he did) for a large department store. He spotted a camera which could spin through 360° – a useful tool, if it hadn’t been placed up against a pillar which blocked the view of half the shop. He dutifully pointed it out to the store manager who thought about it for a bit, agreed with him and had the camera moved to the other side of the pillar.

When faced with stupidity of that magnitude, my friend did the only sane thing – he robbed the store blind and walked off with £18,000 worth of goods. Like I say, I’ve had some interesting friends.

Meanwhile, back at the point: I’m still not finding a role for this woman. This museum now has better security than the Bank of England and it’s still rob-able by five people.

And rob-able isn’t even a real word.

Maybe I’m being too picky? Maybe I should just go with a flawed plan which makes no sense?

Worked for all the ‘Ocean’s 1#’ films and no one seems to notice or care. In the first film it took 11 of them to do about 4 jobs. For example: two people pushed the cart with the little Chinese guy into the vault while another guy put the explosive in completely separately – why? Why not put the explosives in the cart and have one guy push it?

The second film?

Don’t get me fucking started.

Sorry, back to the point again.

This woman, what the hell do I do with her? I’ve half a mind to make one of the other guys deaf, mute and blind so she needs to go along as an interpreter – but it’s not that sort of film.

Maybe she could just provide the catering?

I will crack this eventually, but right now it’s bugging the hell out of me. Still, it’s an interesting problem to have and screenwriting is all about solving interesting problems.

If it was easy, it wouldn’t be fun.

Categories: Random Witterings | 9 Comments

I’m back

… and I’m kicking bottom.

So, d’ya miss me? Huh? Did ya? D’ya miss me?

I bet you did.

Come on, ‘fess up; who’s been waiting eagerly for my return?

None of you? Really?

Oh.

Okay, fine. Sod you then.

I’ve been having a great time. Thank you all for your congratulations on the last post, they’re all much appreciated. So far Alice is a very laid back baby …

She tends to sleep more than she whinges and we’re all feeling very rested and happy.

I haven’t done a scrap of writing in the last two weeks and I’m itching to get back into it. The next week’s already mapped out and a few other projects are lurking in the wings waiting for a spare day or two to shine.

Although I’ve been bone idle for fourteen whole days, things have been ticking over in my absence and stuff has been happening without any extra effort from me. In the last two weeks:

1) Fleeced started shooting. This is my third feature to go into production this year and I can’t help thinking one every two months isn’t a bad average. The cast includes George Calil, Alan Convy and Natasha White; and it’s directed by Humaira Shah … beyond that I don’t really know anything. I’ll post more info as and when I get it.

 

 

2) An old project, one I thought long since dead, has resurfaced and threatens to spring into life once more. I was so convinced this one was dead it hasn’t even crossed my mind for months; but apparently there is a way forward. Wheels have been set in motion, steam is building up and I’m currently wandering the globe (or at least the UK … and by email, which probably doesn’t count as wandering) trying to get the band back together.

3) An extremely well established project, one which had got so far down the line it didn’t seem feasible it could go wrong, has gone wrong. Sort of. In the best traditions of the industry it threatened to implode in a frenzy of incompetence, political bullshit and bitchy back-stabbing. Although, that may have all been sorted now.

4) I got an invite to a screening of The Wrong Door, which takes place next week. I’m looking forward to this as I have absolutely no idea of what to expect. The weird thing about working on a sketch show is you don’t know what any of the other material will be like or how much of it will be yours. To be fair, I have read a handful of other sketches from other writers; but I’ve no idea if any of them made the final cut.

And 5) I got a few quotes in an article on TwelvePoint.com, written by our very own Lucy. Since this article was featured on the very first day of the launch of this fantastic new site; I’m chuffed to have at least got a vague mention. Probably not quite as chuffed as Lucy to have actually written the article; but chuffed none-the-less.

And that’s about it. Isn’t that enough considering I’ve done nothing for two weeks?

Oh, and to back up Stuart Perry’s post about Cyril Connolly’s quote “The pram in the hallway is the enemy of art” …

Bollocks.

Where there’s a deadline, there’s a way.

Categories: BBC, Fleeced, Progress, The Wrong Door, Two steps back, Writing and life | 11 Comments

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