Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012

Every year, for reasons I can’t quite remember, I do a post which rounds up exactly what happened to me over the past twelve months. To me, these recap posts seem interminably long, dull and quite pointless … but for some reason they always get read more than the original posts did. I have two theories to explain this odd behaviour:

  1. The majority of you wait until the end of the year so you can get the whole  sordid tale in one go.
  2. The majority of you are fucking mental.
  3. I said two theories, why would there be a three?

But with that in mind, let’s  begin. I promise this list will be as dull and as pointless as ever. We begin, in …

JANUARY

I began the year seven days after everyone else because I’m fucking hardcore, despite having been teetotal for 22 years now.

Maybe I just forgot the new year had begun?

Either way, I began with an explanation of one of my favourite writing techniques, THE BOX.

This technique is so awesome and so useful, not only have I not used it since; but I have no recollection of ever using it in the first place. I’m assuming I just made it up.

You know, lied.

Then I had a moment of genius. I know it was genius because Steven Moffat said it was. On Twitter. This is as close to a fact as you can possibly get without using things like set-squares and alphabet-heavy theorems.

This post garnered more views than my arse did that time I accidentally left it in Trafalgar Square. What’s more, people seemed to  like it. It wasn’t really anything much to do with writing and had more to do with my inability to repair a car … but it’s quite funny.

Essentially, I explained How to beat procrastination and was generally awesome while I was doing it. Assuming ‘awesome’ is a synonym for ‘a bit sad’.

You should read it.

I’ll wait.

I immediately failed to capitalise on this massive new following by bloging about some confused Thundercats and rounded off January by having a film I had almost nothing to do with, Stalker, released on DVD.

FEBRUARY

And lo, the second month did dawn and lower, I did shout a bit about baby-earrings, hotel sink-plugs, iTunes and shitty writing advice.

Ten days later, I was still pretty upset about people charging writers for bad advice and gave my own bad advice for free. This time about dual time-period script writing. I have since ignored every single one of these ‘rules’ … with catastrophic results.

I should learn to listen to me more.

Or at least learn to read the stuff I write.

I also got upset about Tuesdays and stupidity.

Decided Rosie Claverton is ace …

… and then drowned in bullshit.

MARCH

I watched Deviation in various international locations.

Wondered when The Descendants was going to end.

Showed you the quad for Strippers vs. Werewolves

… which is far better than the film itself.

And then went on a trailer frenzy for season three of Persona:

I finished March by getting into the quarter-finals of The Sitcom Mission.

APRIL

Don’t know about you, but I’m bored now. I’m also full of duck and empty of sleep. I might give up at any minute.

April!

April was the month … some stuff happened.

Stuff a bit like …

Pointed out ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITIES happened fairly regularly, best not to get too upset about them.

Explained the difference between a character being likeable and people fucking right off with their stupid fucking notes about kittens and fucking rainbows. Or something.

Swore I’d fucking show you all by explaining why script format was important. This would be it, the definitive guide to every aspect of script format explaining why I’m right and you’re all fucking wrong.

Which isn’t egotistical at all, it’s just the way of the world.

And then there was the Strippers vs. Werewolves première.

This post is well worth reading. It’s a master-class in how to blog about the première of your own film when you think it’s shit, without mentioning how shit you think the film is; but instead mentioning sausages. A lot.

Seriously, go read it. See if you can find any mention of how shit the film is.

They were fucking awesome sausages, mind.

After the première, the film came out in the cinemas because this is what happens.

Here, watch the trailer. Just because, alright? Just fucking watch it so I can have a rest from all this fucking typing.

MAY

I began May by making good on my promise to explain every aspect of script format. I started with the title page … and then gave up. For ever. I mean … what’s  the fucking point?

The 7th of May was Me Day when the whole world revolved around me for 24 hours.

It wasn’t my birthday or anything, it was just a day when the whole world gathered round to worship me and celebrate how amazing I am. Or was. You may not remember it because I think you were temporarily dead that day.

Ooh, this post on Script Trajectory was quite good. Must have been ill that day.

The papers in May did a mighty fine job of promoting the BluRay/DVD release of Strippers vs. Werewolves by pretending not to know something they patently do and being all sniffy about it in a headline grabbing way.

I can’t be fucked with this, I’m knackered. I’ll finish it off tomorrow.

JUNE

Hooray! It’s tomorrow!

For me, probably not for you.

June! The month of … more stuff.

Surprisingly little stuff, actually.

All I did was make a mis-step and bitch about people asking me perfectly reasonable questions.

Fuck you, June, you suck.

JULY

July was the month I was recruited by a clandestine organisation to invade a nation of pixie warmongers who live in an old forgotten tea cup behind my garden shed. I was given a spud gun, a nifty secret hat and a licence to break wind in public and sent off to murder pixies. After a series of, frankly, quite dull adventures involving grit and teaspoons, I found myself in Yakatang (the capital of the pixie nation, it looks a bit like Harlow only not quite so grim and with a few extra pixies). I was all set to assassinate King Ian (Yakatang’s chief biscuit maker and all round bastard) when I realised the whole incident was merely the result of a dodgy kipper that morning and I had actually invaded Lakeland, naked save for a pink Santa’s hat and brandishing a small clockwork frog.

Come to think of it, that might not have happened either.

I can’t really remember July, can you?

Oh wait, yes I can. In July I …

Went to the BBC TV Writers’ Festival, met all sorts of splendid people and burbled insanely about The Dukes of Hazzard at every opportunity.

I also said Fuck You, Mr Arnopp.

… and then got all serious with some musings on disability in scripts. That one’s worth reading again.

AUGUST

In August I declared myself FREE to whatever the fuck I want, any time I fucking want to do it!

Then did this …

… which probably wasn’t worth the effort.

Then I watched The Dark Knight Rises … which was worth even less effort.

I did fuck all for a couple of weeks and then I had a serious think about the difference between horizontal and vertical careers. Basically, producers can opt for horizontal careers, scriptwriters can’t.

I rounded off August by giving away literally hundreds of literal pounds … because I’m either nice or a complete fucking mug.

HELLO-is-it-tea-youre-looking-for-Mug

SEPTEMBER

Slipped off to the secret writing island for interesting conversations about ‘the first ever genital piercing’ and ‘how to wake someone up with a spoon’ before proclaiming I had a new regime … and then failing to do anything about it.

IMAG0891

Bigged up Helen Smith‘s new book The Miracle Inspector, because she’s all kinds of lovely and I felt like it.

The Miracle Inspector by Helen Smith

I paused for a bit longer and dropped in a secret plug for Jason Arnopp’s new book without anyone knowing I’d done it.

IMAG0911

Hmm … it kind of looks like I spent the entire month on my secret writing island. Wonder if that was true?

Ooh! I got really shouty about people giving bad advice!

message

Which was probably uncalled for. Except it wasn’t! Don’t listen to the cunts!

And finally I rambled a bit about changing writers/directors/producers on a film. Which is just fucking annoying, so stop it.

OCTOBER

For fuck’s sake, are you still reading? Go out, get some air. Have some fun or otherwise do something more useful than your time.

Like what I am.

October was the month I …

Rambled about recycling jokes.

BillHicksDenisLeary

Realised I shouldn’t be allowed to write horror movies because I don’t really like ’em.

photo

Wrote a long, boring, yet strangely fascinating blog about file names.

And then gave away a free BluRay of some shit or other.

Here’s a photo of me with a spoon.

E17TVaSociopath

Why? Why the fuck not?

NOVEMBER

Thank fuck this is nearly over. I’m not doing this again, I’m bored shitless, fuck knows how you feel.

Met up with some writers …

MP_0020468

… and talked about Pets and Zombies. A subject which is nothing to do with either, but just more dull talk about scripts.

And then I saw Looper and explained the RULES OF THE UNIVERSE. There are surprisingly few of them.

Wait, is that all I did in November?

Cool. Let’s hope December was as pointless and then I can go and get some food. I’m having a curry, in case you cared.

DECEMBER

Got beaten up by a four year old.

Explained why fighting naked isn’t always sexy and having your arse and boobs on the same side definitely isn’t.

tumblr_megw857zgq1rmx3kqo1_1280

Somehow managed to defend iPhones while slagging off myself. How the fuck did that happen?

Screenshot_119

And then promoted a festival because someone asked me to and it was easier than thinking of anything new to write.

totally serialized

And really, that was it. That was the whole year.

Fuck me.

I did do quite a lot of proper writing too, I just didn’t really talk about it much. I script edited hours and fucking hours of Persona, wrote far too much of it and worked on multiple drafts of seven features … so not too bad.

But not good enough.

I will do better next year.

Which is in about five hours’ time.

If you want proper stats and all kinds of flashy animation about all the stuff I blogged about this year, then you need help.

Or this link.

Hope 2012 was super-sexy-awesome for you, now stop reading this, go out and get pissed.

New-Year-2013-Celebration-Wallpaper-600x450

Categories: Bored, Career Path, Festivals, Industry Musings, My Way, Opportunity, Persona, Progress, Publicity, Random Witterings, Rants, Sad Bastard, Sitcom Mission, Someone Else's Way, Stalker, Strippers vs. Werewolves, Things I've Learnt Recently, Two steps back, Writing and life | Leave a comment

Totally Serialized

totally serialized

 

I got this the other day, thought some of you might find it useful/interesting:

TOTALLY SERIALIZED – SEASON 2
16 – 20 january 2013 at ciné lumière
http://www.totallyserialized.co.uk

From 16 to 20 January 2013, Ciné Lumière will hold the second edition of Totally Serialized, England’s only TV series festival. It will showcase the best of new productions from both sides of the Channel and also European TV shows – so Londoners can enjoy their favourite shows (The Thick of It, Spiral, Skins, Doctor Who) on the big screen or attend world premières of tomorrow’s cult series (Jo, Flight of the Storks).

TV fanatics, enthusiasts and newcomers will be able to discover the cream of French and British TV with the most amazing actors, screenwriters and directors in attendance, such as Hugh Bonneville and Jean Reno… and get totally serialized!

An industry day for professionals about European TV co-productions will be organised with panels, drinks and networking sessions on Thursday 17 January with Media Desk UK and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

The British TV industry has become more and more interested in broadcasting French TV shows, as a new trend reveals. Spiral is being aired on BBC Four whilst Braquo found a slot on FX. Borgia, financed by Canal+, is an immense success in Europe and is shown on Netflix UK. Sky Arts acquired the rights to edgy series Hard and Maison Close and the sketch show Women was screened by the BBC early this year.

Programme Overview

  • Premiere of the first episode of Spiral series 4, introduced by actor Grégory Fitoussi
  • Conversation with Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville
  • Night of Doctor Who fun with scary episodes, a masterclass with writer Toby Whithouse, fancy dress, music, quizzes and more
  • Screening of the first episode of the hit mini-series Labyrinth, based on the multi-million selling novel by Kate Mosse, followed by a panel Q&A with key creatives
  • World premiere of Jo attended by Jean Reno
  • UK premieres of hot Scandinavian TV series Real Humans and of innovative French shows Rebound, Spin, and The Church Men
  • Panel on TV screenwriting with Jack Thorne (The Fades, This is England), Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars) and French screenwriters
  • World premiere of Flight of the Storks directed by renowned filmmaker Jan Kounen
  • Comedy marathon of French and British sitcoms (The Thick of It, Peep Show, Kaboul Kitchen, Workingirls, Desperate Parents).
  • Skins revival to say goodbye to the cult show ending this year, with a screening of the very first episode and a Q&A with creator Bryan Elsley.

Totally Serialized is curated by Lorraine Sullivan (Honeybrook Consulting Ltd), coordinated by Orianne Bastar and organised by the Institut français du Royaume-Uni, in association with:

Capture
Venue: Ciné Lumière at the Institut français, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT

Info & booking : 020 7871 3515 www.totallyserialized.co.uk

Facebook: /TotallySerialized

Twitter: /ifru_london #totallyserialized

Categories: Festivals | 2 Comments

Mental inertia

Stephen Fry: Gadget Man on Channel 4

Have you been watching Gadget Man? I have, for I am a man who likes gadgets. Not that the former is in anyway essential to enjoy the programme.

The last episode I watched (which may or may not have been the last episode aired since I rarely watch anything at the time of broadcast) had Alan Sugar having a pop at Stephen Fry over his iPhone love. If you didn’t see it, Alan brought up the iPhone 4 “antennagate” nonsense and the silly rubber band fix; to which Stephen insisted it was never a problem, was wildly over-exaggerated and not one iPhone was ever returned because of it.

Now, I don’t know whether or not any of those statements are true. I’ve never owned an iPhone, 4 or otherwise, so it’s not really my place to comment. As an outsider I’m inclined to believe that it was wildly over-exaggerated because … well, don’t all phones lose signal depending on how you hold them?

butt-phone

I know my last few phones lost signal if you held them horizontally and covered both ends. Not a lot, granted; but if I’m in a very negligible signal area (like everywhere inside the M25) then it might just be enough to lose all of whatever paltry signal was there to begin with.

So the iPhone 4 lost a bit of signal if held a certain way? Seems highly probable and not at all an issue.

Like I say though, I haven’t owned one, nor bothered experimenting with Mandy’s iPhone so my opinion is worthless. I do think Apple handled the whole thing quite weirdly, firstly with that odd press conference telling people how to hold their phone, denying it was an issue and then giving people a free bumper case to fix the issue they said didn’t exist; but … yeah, I believe it was over-hyped Apple-hatred.

Screenshot_119

The second point interested me more though:

Not one iPhone was ever returned because of it.

At first I thought, bullshit. Not one? None at all? Really? Not one Apple-phobe received an unwanted iPhone as a gift and used antennagate as an excuse to joyously get rid of it?

That doesn’t seem possible, the world is full of belligerent people – surely at least one of them must have been unreasonably upset about this non-issue. There were certainly enough to sue, there must have been one person unhappy enough to return their phone? Just one?

But then, I thought … maybe not.

I know a guy who had the first iPhone (not the first, just one of the first generation ones) and he loved it. Loved it. True, it had one minor flaw (or two minor flaws, depending on how you counted it) – namely: if you called him, he couldn’t hear you unless he had the headphones in; but if he put the headphones in, you couldn’t hear him. During a phone call he could choose to hear or be heard, but not both … which isn’t really a phone call, it’s a walkie talkie conversation.

tin-can-telephone

But apart from his phone not actually being able to make phone calls … it was everything he’d dreamt it would be. He didn’t see this as a problem and made no attempt to return or exchange it. He didn’t even try to find out if anyone else had this problem or if he just had a faulty device … he merely adapted to the situation, lowered his expectations and went on with his (phone-call free) day.

Lest you think I’m having a pop at Apple users, let me assure you I’ve done similar things. I own an HP printer with a little screen. There are four touch buttons on the side of the screen and only three of them have ever worked. On the day I brought it home, I discovered one of the buttons didn’t work … and decided it was too much effort to take it back. I prodded it for a bit, realised it was a cursor button which moved the cursor to the left … but the right cursor button is fine and all the menus are looped. I don’t need to go left, I can just go right. Three extra button presses on the rare occasion I control the printer from the screen (as opposed to the more likely act of controlling it from the desktop right next to it, or the laptop downstairs or my phone if I’m not even in the country) vs packing it up and driving back to the shop … yeah, I can live with the cursor not going left.

3refoh

I think it takes something fairly catastrophically wrong before most of us will get upset about it. It’s a kind of mental inertia – an instinct to just make do instead of make waves. I have returned a  brand new phone before, but only because the screen had a discolouration on it; and even then I wondered if it would a) go away on its own or b) I’d just get used to it … which I probably would, given time.

So far this does seem like a long waffle about phones instead of writing.

And it is.

But there is a vague connection. I think that mental inertia applies to scripts too.

I know I frequently recognise a problem with a script when I’m away from my desk … but on re-reading decide it’s not a problem after all. Sometimes I ask the producer or director if they think it’s a problem and if they say ‘no’ then I just let it go … even though I know, deep down, it is a problem and it will negatively impact the film later on.

heads in sand

The thing is small changes in a scene can result in major changes to the script as a whole. It’s a constant balancing game between the time it will take to make all the changes which spring from making that initial change and how much leaving that problem untouched will damage the film.

Sometimes it’s genuinely not worth the effort. So some specialists will notice the issue and it will spoil the realism for them? So what? Most people won’t notice or care unless they go and look it up on a forum later (at which point they will claim the specialist knowledge all along). Is it worth changing the entire script to cater for a handful of people?

Probably not.

But sometimes, yes.

Sometimes that small change which ripples throughout the script is essential or the whole thing makes no sense.

Maybe the skill is knowing the difference?

Maybe the real skill is to not be lazy and always make the change because you want your script to be the best it can possibly be?

I don’t know.

I know I try to write by the mantra:

If you think it’s a problem, it is a problem – no matter what anyone else says. Change it.

I also know I’m human and essentially lazy. More often than not, I talk myself out of it, decide to put up with it or believe others when they don’t think it’s a problem.

Must work on that.

Must be the one person to take the phone back.

What does God want with a starship

Categories: Random Witterings, Writing and life | 2 Comments

Hawkeye’s arse

tumblr_megw857zgq1rmx3kqo1_1280

I’ve been enjoying The Hawkeye Initiative of late.

If you can’t be arsed to click the link, then the gist of it is female superheroes always get drawn in anatomically improbable positions, thrusting breasts, bums and crotches at the reader … often all at the same time. In order to ensure they get the maximum sexy-fect from the thrusting, they usually choose to fight crime in as little clothing as possible, preferably with only their nipples and crevices covered and all else on display. Male superheroes, by contrast, like to cover themselves up and sensibly protect their genitals from supervillain attack.

In order to demonstrate how stupid this is, people have taken to drawing Hawkeye in the same poses as the women.

tumblr_mefb5iT2us1rmx3kqo1_500

It seems to have started with this cover:

tumblr_medstiyyub1qas8ce

… and spiralled off into mass-hilarity.

tumblr_megs7eKoDB1rmx3kqo1_1280

Some people think it’s highlighting something stupid and/or offensive about the way women are portrayed in comics.

Some people think it’s just a giggle.

Others think it’s not a problem because female comic readers want to see strong muscular men flexing their strong muscles while male readers want to see women being all flexible and improbable.

Me?

Well, kind of bits of all of the above really.

I’m not a fan of semi-naked superheroes. Possibly because, no matter how sexy semi-nudity can be, I find it’s completely cancelled out by a lack of common fucking sense.

If you’re going to be crawling over the rooftops, getting shot at and climbing up walls then surely, for the love of fuck, you’d want to wear something unrippable and a little bit padded? Imagine climbing up a granite building, reaching over the ledge at the top and hauling yourself onto the roof.

Now imagine doing that with a bare midriff, dragging your naked stomach over rough stone as your entire bodyweight presses down on it.

Put some fucking clothes on, you twat.

Ow.

I have a similar opinion on reality.

Attractive woman on a night out, wearing practically a nightie in the summer = sexy.

Same woman wearing the same (nigh)nightie in the winter?

PUT SOME FUCKING CLOTHES ON.

Blue is my favourite colour, but not for skin. What the fuck has gone wrong in your head that you think no clothes are the best clothes to wear in the winter? You’re showing a basic lack of survival instincts and if attraction is mostly a primal urge to do with finding a mate with strong genes, then the primal bits of my brain are telling me you’d be an appalling genetic match – you couldn’t look after my offspring, you’re unlikely to survive the winter for fuck’s sake.

I’m as much attracted to the way people think as the way they look. Attraction for me is physical and mental. I can talk to someone I consider plain and end up fancying them. I can talk to someone stunningly good looking and end up thinking they’re a complete and utter twat.

Wearing the wrong clothes for the situation is not attractive. It’s fucking stupid.

I did this survival course once where we had to climb out of the water and into liferafts. Climbing into a liferaft is fucking hard and takes a lot of effort. Liferafts are not comfortable against the skin, plus water is cold. There were some women who turned up in bikinis, froze, scraped their stomachs and generally fell out of their bikinis.

Don’t get me wrong, I like tits. If someone falls out of their bikini under warmer, less stupid circumstances I consider it a good day. In this situation I just felt these women were remarkably stupid. Or at the very least, stylistically misguided.

Lady Gaga Proves That It Can Be Easy Being Green!

If you’re a costumed vigilante and you want to fight crime, wear some fucking trousers and a decent top. Preferably one with bits of armour and spikes in it.

But what if you have super powers? What if scraping over rough brick isn’t really a consideration because you have titanium-strength skin? You don’t feel bullets, let alone cold so why bother with anything other than the skimpiest of costumes?

Wonder Woman Punch

I don’t know about you, but every time Wonder Woman twats someone with an uppercut, I worry she’ll pop out of that corset. If Supergirl turns too quickly or takes a fairly longish stride she’d probably have to stop and tuck her clitoris back into her costume – is this sensible?

supergirl

Maybe these women are completely comfortable with nudity and feel they have nothing to be ashamed of? Maybe they could happily fight naked and only wear the briefest of costumes in public as a sop to humanity’s weird prudishness?

Maybe.

Just seems fucking moronic to me.

As for frequently drawing characters getting changed or taking a shower or lounging around the house in their thongs … I kind of … hmm. I like it, sometimes; but maybe less is more?

The worst offender for me was a Batgirl vs Catwoman book where Catwoman stripped off and ran into a nudist party and Batgirl stripped off to follow her.

paicomics- batgirl

What the fuck?

Okay, Catwoman … yeah, maybe; but Batgirl should have just stormed in and beat the fuck out of anyone who tried to stop or strip her. Batman wouldn’t have taken his clothes off in the same situation – it’s hard (tee hee) to be menacing when your cock and balls are on display – so why the fuck would Batgirl do it? It just makes her look like a twat.

As for the majority of female crime fighters being able to stand with their tits and arses pointing the same way … why is that sexy? Women are sexy because I am a straight man and programmed by evolution to find that specific shape sexy. Changing that shape into something with a front-arse or back-tits is just weird. If it’s not woman-shaped, it’s not a sexy woman.

Voodoo

The sexy-posing I waver on. I think it depends on the character in question. Batgirl, Huntress, Wonder Woman, Supergirl … no. I just don’t think it suits their characters. Catwoman, fuck yes. She’s absolutely a character who uses her sexuality to unnerve her opponents – male and female. She should always be draped over stuff or thrusting curvy bits at people … just not when she’s angry. I reckon it’s something she practises … but forgets when she loses her temper. Then it’s just arse-kicking time.

The legs-akimbo backflipping shit … again, I think it depends on the character – male and female. I’m quite happy to see Dick Grayson or Spiderman hurling themselves through the air doing the splits … but not Batman. Harley Quinn – yes. Poison Ivy – no.

Although I think Poison Ivy would be very sexy-posy most of the time.

So as a male, heterosexual comic reader who genuinely believes most situations in life can be improved with either full or partial nudity … can we just tone it down a bit? Or a lot?

Try and be anatomically possible; try not to have every female character capable of doing mid-air crotch-thrusting splits; try to limit the showering/changing scenes to every now and then and for fuck’s sake give these women some proper clothes to wear.

If for no other reason, consider this – I’m covertly training my four year old daughter in a variety of martial arts, partly for her own protection/fun/fitness; but mostly so she can, if she chooses, be a costumed vigilante when she grows up. Part of that training covers standing with her spine facing the right way, adopting a stance which protects sensitive areas from attack and not wasting time draping herself sexily over things when she can just punch the gun-toting maniac in the throat and be done with it.

But most of all, she’s my daughter and I can fucking guarantee that if she wants to fight crime she’ll be doing it in sensible fucking clothes.

Thor-ette

Categories: Industry Musings, Random Witterings, Someone Else's Way | 5 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.