As the year limps to a close in a trickle of damp grayness, it’s time to reflect on what’s gone before and wonder vaguely about what may come.
How was your 2011? Mine went something like, if not exactly the same as, this:
I began the year by joining Twitter. Actually, I began the year by tweeting using an account some mysterious person set up for me against my will a year earlier. I still don’t know who that was, but would dearly love to know.
Wrote a post about a project so secret I can no longer remember what it was about.
Offered to write someone’s name on a fighter jet.
And then gave a free video projector to anyone who wanted it. Turns out the people who wanted it most were the people who were supposed to have been given it eight years earlier until idiocy intervened.
I was a guest on #scriptchat (transcript here) and waffled at great length about getting work without an agent.
Karma Magnet turned up online. You can still watch it here.
If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, then I’ve failed and that’s pretty much all there is to it.
I revealed my deepest secrets. No, wait, not secrets … just a bit of witter about junk files.
And then tried to encourage everyone to whip off their drama condoms and ride that script bareback. Dramatically speaking.
In which I finally explain how to read.
Gave some people £25 each.
Explained what a reboot means for the hard of thinking.
And explained why having your script re-written was exactly like having your best friend spunk in your face. (An analogy which came back to haunt me months later when someone pointed out I’d spunked in their face.)
Karma Magnet was shown at the Brighton Movie Bar and I was invited to talk shit about it. And talk shit I did. And I won the movie quiz. ME! I WON FOR I AM THE WINNER (on this specific occasion).
Had a bit of a rant about sexism.
And another rant about getting excited in the wrong places.
And another one about why you should all feel inspired by my presence.
Then apologised for not ranting more.
I went on holiday and did this to my child:
Stole ideas from Jason Arnopp.
Felt guilty, so I linked to the Stormhouse teaser:
Was amazed to find out half of Neil Gaiman’s Doctor Who episode was exactly the same as half an episode I’d outlined for Big Finish. Just not the good half.
Told you all how to eBehave. Actually, this one’s important, you should all go and read it and spread the word.
Took you on a tour of my rooms on the secret writing island:
And reviewed a book I didn’t want to read about a program I don’t use.
Actually, somewhere around here Strippers vs. Werewolves went into production; but for reasons too horribly complex and horribly horrible, I didn’t actually mention it until months later.
Explained why having to do re-writes mid-production is a good thing.
Denied I’d written The Dark Knight Rises. Because I didn’t.
Shouted at critics for reviewing the script they haven’t read instead of the film they have seen.
And promised to include more joy in my scripts. Joy like this:
I learnt a new word! Callipygous … and then explained why you should never use it in a script.
Explained why comedy is and isn’t subjective.
Called a producer a parochial twat.
Wrote a film-makers’ glossary. Wish I hadn’t.
Swore at Final Draft. A lot.
Debated misogyny. Still not convinced I spelt it right.
Gave you one of the most useful writing tools you’ll ever use: snippety-snip.
And voiced an opinion on gangsters and the low budget movie industry.
I explained why I keep swimming with the gangster fishes.
Demanded you tell me what to feel.
Explained my career in a series of pretty graphs and charts. Like this one:
Explained why I quite like being replaced on a project. Sometimes.
Warned everyone to stay clear of hyphenates … whilst consistently using a slash instead of a hyphen. I did a flowchart too:
And unsuccessfully tried to give everyone £30.
Finally admitted I’d done the production re-writes on Pat Higgins‘ Strippers vs. Werewolves:
And listed all the lovely press about it.
Told people to stop hassling me, the script will be done when it’s fucking done.
Ranted about notes … before remembering Sam Bain said it better.
This time for the bargain price of free!
iPhone app here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/persona-drama/id417940950?mt=8
Android app here: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.appmedia.persona
Explained the secret of success
Talked about the sheer horror of realising someone’s made a bad film out of your script.
Stalker had its London Première – hooray! Here’s the trailer:
Strippers vs. Werewolves had a fantastic set report in Bizzare Magazine:
Highlighted why slagging people off and then asking them for a job is a bit daft.
Re-wrote Monty Python’s Parrot Sketch in an ill-advised attempt at humour.
Mumbled about being depressed in the middle of every script.
Was disappointed by the American art for Strippers vs. Werewolves:
Tacky. And has one notable lie on it.
Blogged about Fade In scriptwriting software – nearly what I want, but not quite.
And finally revealed the AFM Promo for Strippers vs. Werewolves:
My favourite comment about that promo is:
Looks pretty bad, but I like werewolf movies and tits, so I’ll probably watch it.
In which I finally admit there are no stupid notes.
Explained why Scrivener is brilliant … but no use to me.
Reaffirmed the old maxim: PATRICK STEWART IS ALWAYS RIGHT.
Gave away a (very) small library.
And began using Fade In scriptwriting software because the developer developed it to suit me. Sort of.
Explained how to think.
Debated the lack of comedy tribute acts.
Explained how to action a note now and undo it in the future.
Expounded my theory on how writers sideline themselves.
Went to see Piers‘ production of Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales. It’s awesome, if you hurry, you’ll catch it too.
Rambled on, at great length about mystery in TV
And rounded off the year by analysing decades old Star Trek films. Because I like to be topical.
So that was 2011. Wow. I explained lots of stuff, didn’t I? Did you need those things explaining to you or was I just being presumptuous? If the former, you’re welcome. If the latter, sorry.
But onwards and upwards!
What does 2012 hold?
Well, hopefully it holds nothing new.
Or rather, nothing new film-wise.
I’m hoping not to get involved in any more writer-for-hire jobs for a year or so. I really, really want to write some spec stuff, you know, something just for me.
I’ve got one or two commitments to tie up and then I’m going to (hopefully) spend the whole year writing stuff I want to write so I can build up a decent catalogue of spec scripts and venture into pastures new.
I say hopefully because I am easily swayed by money and may end up doing something completely different. Feel free to sway me. I like a good swaying.
How was your 2011? Did you enjoy it? Have you learnt stuff? What will 2012 hold for you?
Whatever happens, have a great New Year and I’ll see you in January.