So, how did 2007 go for you?
Mine went something like this:
Decided to stop fannying around and use two contacts I have at two production companies to submit ideas for TV series.
As of yet, I still haven’t managed this.
In a similar vein, I vowed to devote myself to writing at least one spec script in the coming year.
Failed there too.
I entered the Gumball 3000 script competition.
I thought the competition had disappeared up its own arse, until I found this. Hmm, did Mike Figgis really enter this competition?
I received the following notes about a feature film which was due for imminent production:
“We want the two Cuba Gooding Jnrs to be African tribesmen, one a medicine man and one a chief, who Tom Jones promised jobs as Traffic Wardens.”
“there is a mine of comedy related to having a dragon spunk bomb explode up your ass and the consequences thereof. I would encourage you to pursue that line of thought”
“I’ve got this animatronic stag’s head…”
and my favourite:
“Tom Jones should be more like Idi Amin.”
The film still hasn’t been made.
All in all, January was a bit of a failure. The only really positive bit was buying a board to cover with brightly coloured index cards.
I quite enjoyed that bit.
Feb kicked off with the Gothenburg Film Festival where, against all odds, The Evolved was being screened. It went down really well and even sold out; I fucked up my first Q&A and still got asked for an autograph by a deranged Japanese fan.
Upon my return, I decided to be more proactive and use one of my cinema contacts to arrange a screening of the film in the UK.
Still haven’t done that.
I somehow got bombarded with scripts from people who wanted feedback. Why did they choose me? Who knows. I tried to oblige for a while, but it was getting on my nerves and taking up far too much time – so I said no and it all stopped.
Christ, all this seemed much more exciting at the time.
I lost £90,000 of money I hadn’t even received when a potential feature film budget got cut in half.
On the plus side, the feature still hasn’t been produced so I haven’t actually lost any of the money I haven’t received.
Not much consolation.
I spent four hours watching someone light a bottle of whiskey and wrote an advert for scented hemorrhoid cream.
And got paid for both of them.
I decided to stop telling lies and remove all the bullshit from my CV.
Chameleon, a martial arts feature film, disappeared up its own arse. No one told me, I found out by accident.
I fought a man whilst dressed as a granny. To be fair, he was dressed as a granny too.
I decided, rather randomly I thought, to send a script into the BBC Writersroom.
They didn’t like it.
And that was pretty much all I did in March.
Depressing, isn’t it?
Ah, right. April must be where it started to get better …
Someone described The Evolved as a “new low for the British Empire”.
I’m quite proud of that.
One of my sketches featured in a ‘Best of …’ thing, despite me not having entered the competition.
That was quite special.
I offered a brief rant about bloggers cloaking themselves in anonymity whilst simultaneously trying to promote their writing … and the next day hordes of people (very small hordes, possibly just two people) revealed their real names.
I’d like to take credit for that, but I suspect it was just a coincidence.
I had a meeting with Don Allen about writing a film for him. I was on top form in that meeting … I babbled incoherently about random things until we ran out of time; and … HOLY SHIT! I got that job.
A week later I met Jonathan Sothcott about him using one of my short scripts in a horror anthology – five shorts in one feature. He had my script, one other and needed three more. I pitched six ideas, he loved five of them enough to not even bother contacting the other writer and upped the film to six shorts in one feature.
He turned out to be Martin Kemp‘s business partner and between them they knew enough people to pack the film full of celebs.
DOUBLE HOLY SHIT WITH CHOCOLATE MONKEYS ON TOP!
I was right, things did get better in April.
May kicked off with a bout off contract signing.
The BBC Writersroom included me on their blogroll. I was one of nine links then, there’s only ten now – so I’m quite chuffed by that.
Thank you Mr … am I allowed to mention your name? Or will that provoke howls of jealousy from other non-linked-to writers?
I’ll just leave it, you know who you are.
I wrote all six segments of the horror anthology which became known as ‘The Summoning’.
I went to Cannes: crashed a car; crashed some parties, got some expensive dinners bought for me; nearly spent 23,000 Euro on a poker table (not gambling, I nearly bought it in a charity auction); got harrangued by a producer who kept asking innane questions; met some nice people; saw one shit film and spent an obscene amount of money.
Was it worth it?
Swore a lot.
Met Martin Kemp.
Walked into a lamp post.
None of these things are connected.
Poured Diet Coke into my laptop.
Optioned another feature film.
Got upset about stamps.
Killed a character because his name started with the wrong letter.
Got my phone bill from Cannes.
Cried about my phone bill from Cannes.
Briefly believed a Welsh woman was an Indian man in a kilt …
AND THEN SOME FUCKING CUNT POURED TEA INTO MY LAPTOP.
Okay, so I poured a teensy, tiny bit of Diet Coke into it a few days earlier; but this guy poured a whole cup tea in and then fucking denied it.
Son of a bitch.
Bastard fucking son of a bitch.
Bastard fucking whore-mongering, cock sucking, son of a bitch.
Oh, and I submitted some sketches to the BBC on a friend’s recommendation.
Karma Magnet was filmed, starring Gary Kemp and Adele Silva; and directed by Martin Kemp.
I wasn’t there.
The whole laptop saga kicked off. Read all about it here, here and here.
A gay laptop.
Almost immediately afterwards I met Abi Titmuss.
She was very polite and didn’t laugh at my girlie pink laptop at all.
At least, not to my face.
Oh, and I lied about talking to John August.
A month of highs and lows.
Fucked about a bit.
Slagged off creative people.
Mentioned to the world about how nice my wife’s breasts were.
Met a load of the fellow bloggers for the first time, most of whom didn’t believe I exist.
And … um … that’s all I did in August.
Pathetic, isn’t it?
A new first for me, I turned down some paid work.
And then obsessed about it for
months weeks … a bit.
Had a request for more sketches from the BBC and bought a toasted sandwich maker to celebrate.
Was sick from eating too many toasted sandwiches.
Slagged off writers in general, for no good reason.
Hit myself in the face with a big bastard sword.
And then fell asleep in a meeting at the BBC.
A particularly good month, I thought.
Got a bit upset about mobile phones in movies.
Found out the BBC meeting didn’t go quite as badly as I thought.
Wrote a feature film in five days.
Swore never, ever to do it again.
Shouted at the BBC producer for not using script writing software – haven’t spoken to him since.
Met Gary Kemp.
One of the potential feature films got cancelled … and became something a lot, lot cooler which I still can’t talk about.
Wet myself with excitement.
And finally reached saturation point with projects and had to start turning down work in earnest. I turned down a lot of work in October – if you’re one of the rejected: sorry.
Wrote a factually, morally and in every other way just plain wrong rant about the term ‘Continuing Drama’.
Admitted to having a Batman costume.
Met Lee Otway.
Got asked to write a treatment for a feature which included the words nudity, vampire, caribbean and Nazis.
That was fun.
Had a cup of tea ruined by an explosion in an airport.
That wasn’t so fun.
And found out the BBC sketch show is using some of my stuff and wants to cast someone really, really exciting in my sketches … but not from the producer who still hasn’t been in touch.
Got asked to write three more treatments for three more feature films.
Met Terry Stone.
Slagged off producers.
Slagged off writers, again.
Got a free T-shirt.
And finished off the year by discovering a guy offered to completely fund one of the potential feature films.
So, where does this leave me? What conclusions can I draw from this year?
Um … I should learn to keep my fool mouth shut?
What does 2008 hold?
Well, so far I’ve got one feature shooting in January, one in February and another ten in development which could spring into production at any moment.
But they probably won’t.
I’ve got a TV series being prepped to do the rounds, with three others hovering in the wings of potentiality and a BBC sketch show hurtling through production as we speak.
Or as I speak.
And this morning, I managed to negotiate myself a bacon sandwich.
With HP sauce.
All in all, 2008 is going to be a great year.