Pets and zombies

Every month or two I meet up with a bunch of exceptionally talented writers in London for gossip and booze.

This is, of course, a lie.

It’s not every month or two. It’s very infrequently, as and when I can make it. They meet up every month or two, I turn up occasionally to bask in their greatness.

Last month, the heavens had aligned properly and I could actually make the day. Possibly because the whole thing had been specifically planned around my schedule just to make me feel important.

Which it did.

As the booze flowed and the sheer loveliness of the company washed over me, I found myself being asked the same question over and over again (twice):

“Have you stuck to your promise and actually managed to work on your own project or are you working on half a dozen films again?”

If you’re new to the blog, have a short memory or just don’t care – earlier on this year I vowed to refuse all new work and write a pet project – something just for me.

I haven’t really seen anyone since I made the vow, so it’s a good question. To which the answer is:

Have I fuck.

(Sort of.)

To be fair, I sort of have. I have refused several projects and a couple of introductions which may have led to new working relationships.

Check me out, turning down work – just thinking about it makes my teeth itch.

Unfortunately, despite refusing the call to adventure on several occasions, I have somehow found myself working on five or six (depending on how you count them) projects.


Well, mostly zombie projects.

The funny thing about the film industry is projects rarely seem to die. Sometimes you think they’re dead on the seemingly plausible grounds the producer hasn’t been touch for over a year, doesn’t respond to phone calls or emails and appears never to have existed.

In cases like this it seems prudent to just give up. So long as they’re up to date with your payments, then … fine. Dead project, these things happen.

But then you get the call – they’ve found the budget and are heading into production!


First they need a teeny-tiny rewrite.

This appears to be the norm and nothing to get upset about.

The problem is there can be several zombie projects which reanimate at the same time. In fact, they do seem to spontaneously erupt all at once.

So two days after I’d finished my last job, my writing island was besieged by a small army of zombie projects, all of which demanded a piece of my brain.

A very small army, if I’m honest.

Three, to be exact.

Which, okay, doesn’t seem like a lot; but each script takes up a lot of mental real-eastate (of which mine is in short supply). Especailly when you can’t remember who any of the characters are or why you felt it was important to have so many of them naked.

So there are three zombie projects battering at my mind-door. On top of that there’s the new Time Travel Head Fuck project I’m doing just for me, and another pet project I’m (slowly) doing with a friend (actually, it’s my brother’s best friend’s brother; but we’re on first name terms, so that makes us best mates in my book).

Which is five.

Then there was the call I got recently:

“I’ve met a guy with some money, he wants to make a film, what do you want to write?”

That’s the sort of call you don’t pass up, even when you are steadfastly turning down every project which comes your way.

Admittedly, that’s all gone a bit quite since I sent in my wishlist of project ideas; but that may or may not mean anything. It could mean none of the ideas are desirable or it could mean the guy’s busy or even that he’s an incredibly slow reader. Hell, it could even mean he loves all the ideas and has sent them onto the money guy … who is so overwhelmed by the awesomeness he can no longer speak, type or point.

Or they could have all been shit. Who knows? Chances are, this opportunity will kick into gear to precisely coincide with something else going into production.

So although I have managed to resist new projects, I am still working on five (ish). Having said that, I suspect the three zombie projects have gone quiet again, so maybe I will be able to keep my vow for November/December … but I doubt it.


Categories: My Way, Progress, Random Witterings | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Pets and zombies

  1. Pingback: 2012 « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

  2. Pingback: 2012 | The Jobbing Scriptwriter

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