What happens when you give me a 30 day deadline

Day 1: 30 days to go, but no time to waste. Open Final Draft, new document, title page: TITLE by Phillip Barron and some contact details in the bottom corner.

There, the perfect start.

That’s enough for today, I think.

Day 2: What the hell is this about again? Better look at the treatment.


Ah, right. I see.

That makes no fucking sense. Who signed off on this piece of shit? Better go back to basics, time to get the index cards out.

Where the fuck are my index cards? Right, I’ll go buy some new ones and start fresh tomorrow.

Day 3: Oh there are my index cards, on the index card shelf. What fucking idiot put them there? Never mind, you can never have too many index cards.

Mind you, 47 packets is perhaps edging in the direction of too many.

Right. Index cards. 8 cards, two for the first act, four for the second, two for the third. Give each one a title which describes the action in each sequence.

No, I can’t be arsed.

New plan, jot down some scenes and pin those fuckers up.

After lunch.

And perhaps a film.

Day 4: So what did I achieve with the index cards in the forty minutes back at my desk between lunch and tea?

Eight cards for the first act. Good, very good.

Two for the first half of act two. Bad, very bad.

Three for the second half of act two. Hmm.

One for act three, which just says ‘hero saves the day’.

Frankly, that’s shit. I’d better redo them.

Day 5: Have now completely re-done all the index cards. They’re exactly the same, just on red cards instead of blue. Fuck this, it’s the weekend. I’ll start again on Monday.

Day 6:

Day 7:

Day 8: Cool, enjoyed that. I’m feeling refreshed now and ready to start work. Step one, tackle those damn cards.

Nope, they don’t look any better in green.

Do you know what? I’m not feeling it today, I’ll try again tomorrow.

Day 9: Goddamn it (especially for Lucy) will somebody please write a fucking blog? I’ve read everything I possibly can, watched half of YouTube and am now researching cabbage for no fucking reason. I need to procrastinate people, sort if fucking out.

Guess I’ll have to do some  work.

Wow, I’ve written 43 pages! I’ve earnt my bed tonight.

Day 10: Deleted 43 pages – they were fucking awful.

Balls, the whole week’s ruined now. I’ll start again next week.

Day 11:

Day 12:

Day 13:

Day 14:

Day 15: Okay, 16 days to go. Loads of time. Right, where am I? Title page? Check. Index cards … I’m not sure about the green. No, fuck it – forget the cards, just write. Write like the wind.

Write like the wind? What the fuck does that mean?

Ten hours later, I’ve designed a machine which can transcribe random gusts and squalls into seven different languages.

Feelin’ good – I’ll sleep well tonight.

Day 16: Okay, so … title page, check.

Actually, I’m not so sure about the title.

No, for fuck’s sake don’t dick about. Write, just fucking write. 15 days left. 110 pages in 15 days …

I can’t do that kind of maths. It’d be much easier to divide it by ten.

Day 17:

Day 18:

Day 19:

Day 20:

Day 21: 110 pages in 10 days – 11 pages per day. Easy.

Mind you, it’s Sunday today.

Day 22: 110 pages in 9 days – 12 and a bit pages a day. Best do 13 today to be on the safe side.

Fuck, I can’t work in this house – too many distractions.

Day 23: Have relocated to the Caribbean.

It’s nice here. I like it. Should be able to get loads of work done.

Mind you, I’m tired after the flight. I’ll start fresh tomorrow.

Day 24: Bollocks! I’ve left my index cards at home. Now what the fuck am I going to do?

Was there anything on them? I can’t remember. I can’t even remember what colour they were. Right. Fuck. Okay, when’s the next flight home?

Day 25: No time to write today, flying home.

Day 26: Green. The index cards are green. Or at least they were, I’ve just re-done them in yellow.

Looking good.

Day 27: 4 days. 4 fucking days and I’ve done nothing. Not one fucking thing. This calls for some serious thinking.

Not thinking, writing! It calls for some serious fucking writing.

110 pages divided by 4 days … that’s 27 and a bit pages a day. That’s do-able.

Isn’t it? Okay, write.

Write, write, write.

Day 28: 18 hours of writing yesterday. 18 fucking hours!

Only got five pages to show for it, but hey! 18 hours, eh? Not bad, not bad.

Five shit pages, mind you; but I’ll re-write them later.


Still, I’ve done some work! I’ve actually done some fucking work!

Shit work and not enough of it, but it doesn’t fucking matter. I’m off the bottom and swimming for … something.

Right, right, right. 105 (ish) pages in three days – 35 pages a day. That’s going to be fucking difficult, better think tactically.

Day 29: Ha ha! Fuck me, I’m clever. I’ve relocated to the Maldives! That means I’m now 5 hours ahead of the UK.

5 hours! I’ve got an extra five hours to work before the deadline!

But wait, it gets better. I told the producer I’m still in the Caribbean – 5 hours behind the UK. That means I’ve got an extra 10 hours to work! 10 hours! That’s practically a whole day!

Unfortunately I spent 11 hours on a plane getting here, but that’s not the point.

Better get some sleep, big day tomorrow.

DAY 30: What the fuck happened to the month? I had 30 days to write this script and I’ve done nothing. Fucking nothing.

Except for 5 shit pages.

I think I’m having a heart attack. I’ve gone blind with panic, my heart’s hammering like crazy. Fuck. Fuck!

Type. Just fucking type.

Faster. Type fucking faster.

Day 31: It’s 1 minute past midnight (Caribbean time). 1 minute ago I emailed the script. I did it, I made the deadline – sort of. Fuck knows what the quality was like, I guess time will tell. What the fuck happened? How did I manage to waste a whole month?

What a twat.

I’ll tell you this, I’m not doing this again. Next time someone gives me a 30 day deadline, I’m doing five pages a day from day one.

Would that be enough? 5 x 30? Is that 110?

Yeah, probably.

Anyway, time to unwind and relax before the next project.

True, it’s due in seven days, but hey – I can’t work all the time, can I?

Categories: My Way, Random Witterings, Sad Bastard | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “What happens when you give me a 30 day deadline

  1. Oh, I know this so fucking well. I had a 14days-deadline and wrote 75 pages in 2 days because of my damned procrastination.

  2. Pingback: 30 Days by Phillip Baron | Wish I Could Speak Whale

  3. John Fox


    Got that iPlayer thingy working that I sent you?


  4. Pingback: Script Frenzy « Michelle Lipton

  5. This is beyond hilarious. I will be tweeting immediately. 🙂

  6. Rozzie

    Did you really go to the Maldives and the Caribbean? I’m so jealous if that’s true. Obviously, I don’t envy your index card hell.

  7. Pingback: How *NOT* to write a script in 30 days (Script Frenzy Fail) » Script Frenzy tips & resources for writing a script, screenplay or comic in a month

  8. Pingback: Hillary DePiano.com » How *NOT* to write a script in 30 days (Script Frenzy Fail)

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