I was out and about the other day, for occasionally I’m allowed time out from behind my monitor as part of the EU’s ‘introduce a writer to fresh air initiative’, when I got an email from an old contact asking if I had any scripts I could send them.
Um … no, not really.
Well, okay, sort of. A few shorts maybe. Oh, and there are a couple of odd features knocking around which might one day deserve a re-write.
Okay, yes. I have a few things I can send you … except, I can’t. I’m not at home right now.
True, I have this very clever program which lets me use my phone to tell my desktop to email scripts to people from anywhere in the world – but it has one fairly limiting flaw: I have to leave my desktop on all the time. Which seems a bit wasteful in these times of global climate change.
Second option would be to find somewhere to sit down and either use a wireless network or my mobile as a modem and send the script from there. But again, that has a flaw – I have to have my laptop with me and I don’t always feel the need to cart it around. I rarely take it to Tesco, for example.
This sort of thing bugs me. I feel like I should have my scripts to hand all the time – just in case. I frequently get emails from people I work with who have unaccountably lost the latest draft or are out and about and want the script sent to someone and are inexplicably incapable of doing it themselves. And what happens if I meet someone who wants to read something and I have to wait a whole hour or two before I can get home to do it?
What then? Hmm? Disaster, that’s what.
So I was mulling over solutions. I read on someone’s blog about keeping copies of your scripts in the boot of your car – but that seems a) so 20th Century b) relying on me having my car closer to hand than a computer and c) a fucking fire hazard when your car’s as old and likely to burst into flame as mine is.
I toyed briefly with carrying a tiny USB flash key around with me all the time. They’re small, I could fit one on my keyring with my entire back catalogue stored on it … and still be completely unable to send the damn things to anyone. I’m still ashamed of that line of reasoning on the grounds it’s fucking stupid and still requires access to a computer to work.
There must be another solution …
And then I realised how retarded I was being.
The event which sparked off this fairly pointless chain of thought was receiving an email whilst being without a computer … receiving an email on my phone.
A phone which has 16gb of memory plus a 4gb memory card.
I’m staring at a device which not only has ludicrous amounts of storage space, not only can send and receive emails independent of a computer; but, crucially, is never, ever far from my person.
There’s a solution here somewhere. I can feel it meandering through my brain …
Nope, it’s gone.
Suffice it to say I now carry everything I’ve ever written around with me all the time:
638 synopses, treatments, outlines, notes and multiple drafts for 40 feature films (20 actually written, 20 never got past the arguing stage); 114 of the same for 16 short films; 481 more of the same for 13 different TV projects and a silly 751 sketches. 1,984 documents at my fingertips 24 hours a day and the majority of it almost completely useless at any given time.
And that’s not including the three online series, the musical, the folder labelled ‘Postcards’ which I’m loathe to look in in case it’s something disappointing and the tantalisingly named ‘Other Projects’ which seems to contain two files which aren’t in English.
In total there are 143mb of data which really doesn’t seem that much when you look at it. What the hell have I been doing with my life? Surely I should have written at least 1gb worth of material by now?
Still, it’s all there – poised, ready and waiting. Not only can I now email any script to anybody, anywhere in the world at any time at the drop of a hat. Or the press of a button. Well, several buttons I guess … but I’ve also got everything backed up to a third location just in case there’s a sudden and catastrophic calamity which destroys both my laptop and my desktop.
And that flash drive I lost six months ago which must be in the house somewhere.
Okay, yes it’s a little pointless – but at the same time … ain’t technology marvellous?