Fleeced

2009

So here we are at the end of the year, hell at the end of the decade and …

Actually, when does the decade end? Is 2010 the end of this decade or the beginning of the next one? Tricky number, zero. Still, fuck it. If the Romans couldn’t get to grips with it then why the fuck should I? I mean, they built roads and shit while all I’ve ever done is push buttons on a keyboard … and even that I do pretty badly.

Mind you, have you seen the roads in Rome? Shockingly bad. Fuck knows how those people supplied an empire.

But I digress.

Did you have a good Christmas? Did Santa bring you everything you wanted? I asked for World Domination and some French Fancies but the fat git failed on both counts. How was 2009 in general? Mine went almost exactly like this:

JANUARY

I realised we were living in the 21st Century … nine years after the fact.

Discovered Oli stops reading when he reaches his own name and then talked briefly about magic puppies with Lego faces.

Tries to get someone to hold my hand.

Learnt, once again, communicating by email results in appalling scripts and that the more notes someone has for you, the better the script is.

Revealed I had a BIG IDEA … with no time to write it.

Had a pile of work, so massive and so daunting … I decided to fuck everyone off and go to Disney Land instead.

Didn’t go to Disney Land, just knuckled down and attacked the pile of work.

Talked about a Writer’s Vision – basically how to lie in order to get money.

Revealed to the world that Satan talks to me through the TV and told me I have to leave Pipex and sign up to Sky Broadband or he’s going to make me rape, kill and eat next door’s babies.

Fielded an email from an American Production company looking for something almost exactly like the BIG IDEA. It’s right easy this marketing lark – you just sit there and wait for them to call you.

And then saw Seven Pounds and got depressed because I can’t write like that.

FEBRUARY

Had a pointless conversation with an Air Hostess in the middle of a forest.

Got bored.

Decided, more or less on a whim, never to speak to anyone ever again.

Named and alphabetised my T-shirts.

Decided I didn’t want to be in Battlestar Galactica.

Revealed my obsession with Creative Screenwriting Podcasts.

Got confused about Easter.

And got bored once more, this time by Benjamin Button. Fuck it, if he doesn’t pay any interest in his own life, why should I?

MARCH

Failed to blog about THE A TEAM V DAD’S ARMY and DAISY DOGNUTS. No, I have no idea what that means either.

Talked about the technical difficulties involved in writing a script … although for the life of me I can’t remember which fucking script I was talking about. I may have been making shit up to make myself seem cool.

Shit a solid gold brick.

Explained why this:

Made me into a writer.

Discovered a clone of me from the future used to stalk me in the past.

Got attacked by a T-Rex and rescued by Spiderman.

Got nominated for a Rose d’Or. Sort of.

Met up with Lara Greenway and Terry Wogan in Madam Tussauds.

Got emails from actors asking if they could be in a film I didn’t write. Only to find out I may have written bits of it, sort of.

Realised I could carry all my scripts around on my phone, all the time.

Got annoyed about mugs and companies who sell themselves as cool without actually telling you what their products do. Like Apple.

And offered to buy people lunch.

APRIL

Got nominated for a BAFTA. Actually, this has nothing to do with me.

Dropped an imaginary phone into an imaginary vat of home brew at Dan Turner’s imaginary house.

Wrote a script to an extremely complicated and prescriptive set of rules. Rules which the producer who set them immediately complained about.

Karma Magnet came out as a DVD extra.

Pimped some stuff for someone else.

Got fucking angry about the media’s ‘information’ about Swine Flu and declared it was all fucking bullshit and no one was going to die from it. Bird Flu, anyone?

Warned people their ideas would make a 90 page script into a 180 page script. They didn’t listen, I wrote the script, they got upset.

And filming started on a sitcom pilot … so I hid in Crouch End.

Wow, nothing really happened in April, did it?

MAY

Got annoyed about story drops – the point in a film/TV thing where you could stop watching and not feel like you’d missed the next hour.

Got really unreasonably upset about MOMENTS LATER. That must have been a particularly bad day.

Just for the Record began filming. I went to hide in the Caribbean and got sucked off by an air steward in First Class. There was a video of that and everything … but I seem to have lost it.

Got a phone call from the Mail on Sunday who wanted to talk to me about not being in Cannes.

Took a meeting in a room chock full of little rubber pigs – every single one of which bore a sticker proudly proclaiming: THIS IS NOT A TOY

Went to Nuneaton. Never again.

Apparently I went on holiday somewhere, but for the life of me I can’t remember where.

Oh, and I bought a new laptop:

Touchy touchy!

JUNE

Came over all positive for a moment and said some nice things. Hopefully that was just a phase.

Launched Jack Tweed’s movie career. Great.

Went to the Screenwriters’ Festival and drew some sperm:

Muttered something about being forced to promote stuff even when I thought it was shit

Saw a preview/promo for Fleeced:

Saw a trailer for Just for the Record … which has since been removed. Damn.

Saw a poster for Just for the Record … which has since been binned.

Tried to make sense of Spatulas, Iguanas and a fruitbowl.

Attacked a man on the bus so I could rip this page from his paper:

Because of this paragraph:

Which is about a sitcom pilot I co-wrote.

And came over all nice again and promoted other people’s short films.

JULY

Finally explained about the movable goalposts of excitement.

Held a meeting in a street which was on fire.

Attended a screening of Splendid. It was.

Got hassled by an all female Squad of pissed up Motown fans. One of whom insisted she was a natural blonde with the landing strip to prove it who went on to kick me in the chest with a spiked heel. I quite enjoyed that day.

Got angry about morons giving James Moran a hard time for writing good telly.

Did this:

For these people:

Deleted more than I wrote.

Ran out of ways to procrastinate and very nearly had to do some work.

And saw the trailer for the sitcom pilot I co-wrote:

AUGUST

Oh, and a music video from the same:

Another trailer for Just for the Record. This one’s still there!

Took part in a three-way conference call between New York, Barbados and Crawley. (I was in Barbados, but strangely my car was in Crawley).

Was told I wasn’t allowed to photograph an imaginary gorilla and used it as an excuse to show this trailer again:

Finally realised (but haven’t fully accepted) that NO ONE FUCKING CARES ABOUT SCRIPT FORMAT.

Confessed I frequently imagine I’m Steve McQueen.

And tried to work out what I wanted out of the SWF.

SEPTEMBER

Are we all still here? Are you as bored as I am yet? Yes? Good, moving on.

Saw a trailer for Exposé.

Signed contracts and received feedback for the BIG IDEA. Wait, did I mention I sold the BIG IDEA without trying? No, not to the American Production company, but to a different American Production company. Actually, my friend sold it for me without my permission or knowledge. Suits me, as long as I don’t have to do any work.

Made some cats out of blue icing.

Talked about two adaptations and how they’d missed the fucking point. Since I’m now working on two adaptations I look forward to people throwing that blog back in my face.

The Dutch gave me some money, via the BBC.

So did Sweden, Denmark, Italy, America and Russia.

And, for reasons which escape me, babbled about furniture for far too long.

Is that it? Is that all I did in September? Was it a short month this year?

OCTOBER

Hooray! This is nearly over and I can go and do something more interesting!

In October, I lost my rag with Microsoft.

Got suckered into thinking this was a real school orchestra:

Got stuck in a rant about designing cars and then bought one to cheer myself up.

And … that’s it? That’s fucking it? What the fuck was I doing in October?

NOVEMBER

Went to the Screenwriters’ Festival – fannyed around, didn’t really make the most of it and met a lot of nice people. Like Hayley McKenzie – she’s lovely. Oh, and I compared cock size with Simon Beaufoy. I’m not telling you who won.

Masturbating monkeys … I still don’t really want to talk about that.

Tried to sell my car via my blog. Bizarrely, I actually sold it in absolute darkness, during a storm and a power cut to two Eastern Europeans who paid cash and didn’t want to test drive or even inspect it.

Got all mellow and wibbly over stuff like this:

Wrote an open letter to directors.

Wrote an open letter to writers.

Wrote an open letter to producers.

Hmm … looks like I did more in November than October but still, come on! Have I really been too busy to blog?

Yes, I have as it happens …

DECEMBER

 Moaned a lot about writing constantly without actually writing any scripts.

Pointed out the target audience for a script is the producer and the director, not the people who pay to go and see a film. That’s the target audience for a film.

Spoke to a wall.

And that was it. That’s the entire fucking year.

I can’t help noticing the beginning of the year involved a lot more blogging than the end of the year. I’m sorry about that (unless you hate my blog, then I’m happy for you) but I have been exceedingly busy. I’m currently working on four feature scripts as well as keeping all the other plates spinning and blogging has become an expensive luxury.

January and February 2010 promise to be absolutely fucking mental and possibly completely impossible – but hopefully once this lot is out of the way, normal blogging service will be resumed.

And by normal service I mean me talking shit in extremely long-winded, ill-thought out and ill-advised posts.

Happy New Year to you all, see you in the next decade!

Or maybe the last year of this decade … depending on how you count it.

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Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, Bored, Career Path, Exposé, Festivals, Fleeced, Industry Musings, Just for the Record, Karma Magnet, LVJ, My Way, Progress, Publicity, Random Witterings, Rants, Sad Bastard, Software, Someone Else's Way, That Band, The Wrong Door, Things I've Learnt Recently, til Death, Two steps back, Writing and life | 1 Comment

Fleeced promo

Last year … or maybe this year?

What year is it?

Hmm … no, it was last year.

Last year, a feature script I wrote – one of the first feature scripts I ever wrote, one of the six for anyone who can remember what that means – Fleeced went into production … sort of.

As it turns out I’d got the wrong end of the stick somewhat and actually they were just shooting a promo to try and raise the money for the film proper.

And here it is:

I was going to link to the Facebook group too, but it seems to have disappeared.

Never mind, I’m sure it will be back.

There’s a blog here though. Does that help?

Categories: Fleeced | Leave a comment

2008

Another year over (nearly). How was your 2008?

Mine was suspiciously like this:

JANUARY

George MacDonald Fraser died. I was a bit upset about that.

I set out to write a feature in six days (due to some ridiculously bad time-management skills). I actually managed to write it in three … and it was shit.

I found out I had no idea what blue pages actually are. Or rather, I knew what they were, but not exactly what they looked like and how to do them. I’m still not 100% sure but I’ve come up with my own version and no one’s complained so far.

Whilst on location for ‘K‘ I managed to work out a cheap way of throwing an actor off the roof.

I got fired from a film and inexplicably became obsessed with tin foil as a direct result. Looking back on that, it might have been a teeny tiny nervous breakdown.

I learnt how to write a sex scene which won’t upset actresses, then got called a sexist by Piers for using the word ‘actresses’.

Weirdly, someone asked me to put more swearing into a script. I’ve never been asked for that before or since.

K‘ started shooting.

I began a new script and immediately tried to hide under the tin foil again.

I bought my first ever calendar.

And to wrap January up, BBC Three announced the airdate for ‘The Wrong Door‘.

FEBRUARY

I learnt how to keep actors happy. Or happier, anyway.

I finished the first draft of the new script and for some reason felt the need to post a video of my friends and I massacring ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’.

IMDB made me happy.

After a couple of years of faithful service, I abandoned this room:

Office

And moved into this one:

22022008132

Which has a sofa for me to lie on whilst wrapped in tin foil:

22022008130

And a light switch shaped like a nipple:

22022008126

All to make space for my soon-to-be-arriving daughter. My old office looks more like this now:

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And then I got memed. I didn’t like it.

 

MARCH

I decidedthe new script was going to be my last low budget film and from now on I was going to concentrate purely on some TV specs.

I started work on two more low budget films. Since I can’t remember what they were, they obviously went the way of most low budget films and imploded on contact with reality.

I wrote a lot of shit about strategy.

Adele Silva completely failed to mention me in Hello!

I learnt taking meetings when your brain is in a different time zone is a bad idea.

I got invited to a mysterious gathering.

I learnt I used to live in Croydon – or at least that’s what the Croydon Guardian believes.

I worked out how to introduce a character without having her in the scene.

And then I got dressed up as Captain Kirk.

n534632306_758690_8843

 

APRIL

Wow, are you still reading? Really?

I went to the thing I got invited to – a BBC shindig and chance to meet the producers of the BBC’s New Comedy Unit. Where I stood in the corner for a few hours, got very hot, very angry and completely failed to meet any of the producers of the BBC’s New Comedy Unit.

I realised there are very few female sidekicks.

I picked up even more low budget film work.

Abi Titmuss completely failed to mention me in The Sun and then promised to continue to never mention me in public. I decided not to believe she existed.

Karma Magnet turned up online. People seemed to like it.

Abi Titmuss made good her promise and failed to mention me in Closer.

I confirmed, once and for all, actors don’t really have sex in sex scenes. Unless it’s porn.

I got to write for Doctor Who. Not the show, or even the current Doctor, but for Sylvester McCoy and that’s good enough for me.

I decided some actors needed punching in the throat.

And then the new script started shooting, so I went and hid in the Caribbean.

 

MAY

 I finally gave in and went on set. It was fun. I made tea.

Shouted at people for getting upset about not winning competitions. If you’ve entered the Red Planet Prize this year, you should read this post again.

I had a day off. That was nice too.

Someone said something nice about me on IMDB. I immediately became suspicious.

I had another shout at people for being idiots and starving themselves to death whilst failing as a writer. Get a proper job, for fuck’s sake.

Had my first, and so far only, guest post.

Wrote a short guide to dealing with notes which basically involved a lot of swearing and some minor violence.

Hmm … May was a bit rubbish, wasn’t it?

 

JUNE

I decided to murder my old spec scripts and just deleted them.

I rescued  my old spec scripts from the recycle bin and hid them where I couldn’t find them.

Fleeced‘ started filming – that’s three features so far this year.

Got another black belt – also my third.

Went on a bit about loving the treatment I was writing. I wish I hadn’t now.

Shouted a bit about questions and then took two weeks off because:

dsc00076

Seriously, who gives a fuck about the rest of the year?

 

JULY

Oh, you’re still reading, are you?

Fine, come on then.

Shall we just have one more photo of Alice?

alice

 Aw.

Anyway.

In July I organised a museum heist.

Got invited to a screening of The Wrong Door.

Went to the screening of The Wrong Door, met loads of people including Doctor Fox, Sarah Morgan and her boyfriend, didn’t make a tit of myself (except with Doctor Fox) and managed to steal a T-shirt:

100720080791

Two days later, I had to give the T-shirt back. A handy tip – if you steal something, don’t mention it on your blog.

Learnt how to be constructive with my criticism rather than just scrawling SHIT on the script in red ink, wiping my arse on it and sending it back.

Met Gordon Robertson after knowing him via email (not in the biblical sense, that’s impossible) for a few years. He’s a nice bloke.

And then waffled on a bit about random shit to avoid having to do any real work.

 

AUGUST

Crap. Still working on that fucking treatment.

Got asked an annoying question.

Got offered a shit load of imaginary money.

Got asked if I wanted to run a sketch writing workshop. I didn’t. Then I thought I might. Then the guy stopped talking to me. So I didn’t.

Didn’t have dinner with Gordy Hoffman.

Bought a new computer:

773911

It has touchscreen. I like touching it.

Discovered cats and touchscreen computers don’t mix.

The Wrong Door got a lot of publicity in the run up to the show – 12 of the 14 reviews I read were very positive. 2 were very negative.

The Wrong Door kicked off. So did a guy called Ben Randall who was so upset he didn’t find a programme funny he came all the way over to this blog to call me names.

 

SEPTEMBER

The Wrong Door had the highest opening of any show on BBC Three (about four people) which seemed to greatly upset a handful of Internet loonies who went on and on and on about it for fucking ages.

I made the mistake of suggesting the people coming to my blog to call me names because they didn’t find a TV programme funny were a bit mental. Several people took great exception to this and went far out of their way to call me names in an effort to prove how mistaken I was about their lack of sanity and a real life.

Got my first death threat. Actually I got two death threats and one offer to rape my three month old daughter to ‘teach me a lesson’. That was nice. Perfectly sane behaviour that, I thought.

Still working on that fucking treatment.

Had a superb meeting where people offered me lots of money. I didn’t, and still don’t, really believe them.

Got offered another low budget feature film. That’s more like it.

Yet more abuse about The Wrong Door. One guy has taken to posting insults then changing names and agreeing with himself. He doesn’t seem to be able to grasp concepts like IP addresses, I can see it’s all one guy. I assumed this was a guy because I like to think women have better things to do.

There was a new trailer for LVJ. Again.

An old project threatened to spring back to life … and then didn’t.

Finally finished that fucking treatment.

Oh and a bit more abuse about The Wrong Door.

On a serious note, all that abuse was a bit wearing. You write in the privacy of your own room for years until someone decides they want to make your work. You’re pleased, they’re pleased, the show comes out and generally people either like it or turn it off. Then a small contingent of morons think it’s perfectly acceptable to come and call you names, threaten your family and generally behave like cunts because – horror of horrors – THEY don’t like it. It’s depressing and it’s demotivating. I expected to be slagged off in papers if the critics didn’t like something I’d written. I expected to be slagged off on forums or other people’s blogs – all that’s fair enough; but the sheer persistence of a few individuals who felt the need to come here and spout off about it did actually get me down.

Until Oli sent me a cartoon. Which explained everything and really cheered me up. I decided I would find some way to repay him, somehow.

I completely failed to do some writing and in a gargantuan procrastination session, I redesigned my website.

 

OCTOBER

I revealed the one true secret of screenwriting THEY don’t want you to know.

The Wrong Door finished.

The abuse didn’t.

Took on far too much work and struggled to cope.

Found out I didn’t have a second act. Bit of a bugger that one.

Had a dream about Jason Arnopp, James Moran and an over-ground submarine.

Fixed the second act thing and discovered it no longer matched the ending.

Wrote a whiny post about writing treatments in the hope a certain producer was reading and would let me off for not turning in a treatment he was expecting. It didn’t work. Turns out he can’t read.

Wrote a writer’s vision for a sales pack – I don’t have any vision.

That guy’s still answering himself on The Wrong Door posts.

Found out I’m a celebrity.

 

NOVEMBER

Is anybody still reading?

Why?

Are you fucking mental? Go outside and play.

November:

The second-act-less treatment went to script stage. Bugger. Now I have to write the fucking thing.

Saw some footage from Fleeced. Was pleasantly surprised.

Found out I’m an anal bastard.

That loon is still at it, still posting bile and answering himself. It’s been three months!

Didn’t get an email from Kristen Kreuk.

Made Alice do some writing for me:

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She’s better than me, so I banned her from using the computer.

Got horribly busy.

Actually did some work.

Ate some soup.

Got upset about writing the first ten pages of a script.

Painted the lounge, got high on paint fumes, wrote a load of shit about writing sketches. I have no idea what my point was.

Got a request about re-writing. Wrote a loooooooooooooooooooooooong post about it.

Got sacked from a project I didn’t know I was involved in.

Learnt that A and B are the same thing.

Talked about bookcases and wallpaper. No idea why. Probably trying to avoid working.

Got all arsey about the word ‘what’.

That lone loon’s finally stopped commenting. I miss him, the crazy bastard.

 

DECEMBER

Hooray! December! This post is finally over and we can all go home!

Assuming any of you are still here.

Met some more writers in the pub: Paul Campbell, Danny Stack, Lara Greenway, Michelle Lipton and Oli … as well as the normal crowd. They were all nice. I told Danny and Michelle the secret which isn’t really a secret – just something I don’t bother telling people. Danny immediately left the pub, Michelle wanted to hug me.

Got angry with ten imaginary people because there were ten of them.

Panicked. Finished the script.

Cut out every other word in the vague feeling it might make it exciting and mysterious. It didn’t.

Told people how to wait. Not sure why, probably avoiding some other work.

Declared my love affair with Apparitions. Which I still haven’t seen the last episode of. I’m a fickle fucker sometimes.

Had some fun. It was fun.

Met James Moran. Told him the secret which isn’t really a secret – he seemed to find it funny.

And there you go. That was 2008 for me. How was it for you? 

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, Bored, Fleeced, K, Karma Magnet, LVJ, My Way, Progress, Random Witterings, Rants, Sad Bastard, The Wrong Door, Two steps back, Writing and life | 18 Comments

Same difference

One of the things I love about the whole ‘collaborative medium’ of film making is the sheer difference between the idea and the finished product. Yeah, sometimes it can be a bad thing which leaves you speechless, staring at the screen and shaking in numb horror; while a single thought echoes round and round your brain:

“What the fuck have you done to my script?”

Other times though, the divergence is a good thing and produces unexpected results. I’ve been watching a few rough cuts of scenes from Fleeced* and at first I thought one of the characters had been completely miscast. He’s so far removed from the character I’d envisaged, I struggled to accept him as my creation; but then that’s the point – he isn’t.

I wrote the character one way, but the director interpreted him completely differently. The actor has come along and added his own spin and before you know it the result is the polar opposite of the character I originally intended. It’s amazing how you can have him saying the same dialogue in the same story and yet have a completely different result.

And you know, once I got over the initial ‘that’s all wrong’ reaction – I really like the way he’s come out. I don’t know if he’s better than my intention; but he’s certainly no worse and works really well in the context of the film.

You could argue if I’d described him better there wouldn’t be any ambiguity to exploit – but I like seeing how things differ by the time they reach the screen. It’s a part of the process I find fascinating; I love finding out how others interpret my work. If I didn’t, I’d write, direct and produce my own stuff; but apart from that sounding like a hell of a lot of work and me being too lazy, I think it’s a shame to miss out on that melting pot evolution of ideas.

Most writers can’t write, most directors can’t direct and most producers can’t produce fuck all. Hyphenates are usually people who fail at more than one thing and I’d rather specialise in being distinctly average in one area. Plus, I get the added excitement of having to wait to see how it comes out.

Sure, sometimes it goes wrong, but sometimes it goes so right.

* I really should re-write that synopsis, it’s not my finest hour.

Categories: Fleeced, Industry Musings, Someone Else's Way | Leave a comment

I’m back

… and I’m kicking bottom.

So, d’ya miss me? Huh? Did ya? D’ya miss me?

I bet you did.

Come on, ‘fess up; who’s been waiting eagerly for my return?

None of you? Really?

Oh.

Okay, fine. Sod you then.

I’ve been having a great time. Thank you all for your congratulations on the last post, they’re all much appreciated. So far Alice is a very laid back baby …

She tends to sleep more than she whinges and we’re all feeling very rested and happy.

I haven’t done a scrap of writing in the last two weeks and I’m itching to get back into it. The next week’s already mapped out and a few other projects are lurking in the wings waiting for a spare day or two to shine.

Although I’ve been bone idle for fourteen whole days, things have been ticking over in my absence and stuff has been happening without any extra effort from me. In the last two weeks:

1) Fleeced started shooting. This is my third feature to go into production this year and I can’t help thinking one every two months isn’t a bad average. The cast includes George Calil, Alan Convy and Natasha White; and it’s directed by Humaira Shah … beyond that I don’t really know anything. I’ll post more info as and when I get it.

 

 

2) An old project, one I thought long since dead, has resurfaced and threatens to spring into life once more. I was so convinced this one was dead it hasn’t even crossed my mind for months; but apparently there is a way forward. Wheels have been set in motion, steam is building up and I’m currently wandering the globe (or at least the UK … and by email, which probably doesn’t count as wandering) trying to get the band back together.

3) An extremely well established project, one which had got so far down the line it didn’t seem feasible it could go wrong, has gone wrong. Sort of. In the best traditions of the industry it threatened to implode in a frenzy of incompetence, political bullshit and bitchy back-stabbing. Although, that may have all been sorted now.

4) I got an invite to a screening of The Wrong Door, which takes place next week. I’m looking forward to this as I have absolutely no idea of what to expect. The weird thing about working on a sketch show is you don’t know what any of the other material will be like or how much of it will be yours. To be fair, I have read a handful of other sketches from other writers; but I’ve no idea if any of them made the final cut.

And 5) I got a few quotes in an article on TwelvePoint.com, written by our very own Lucy. Since this article was featured on the very first day of the launch of this fantastic new site; I’m chuffed to have at least got a vague mention. Probably not quite as chuffed as Lucy to have actually written the article; but chuffed none-the-less.

And that’s about it. Isn’t that enough considering I’ve done nothing for two weeks?

Oh, and to back up Stuart Perry’s post about Cyril Connolly’s quote “The pram in the hallway is the enemy of art” …

Bollocks.

Where there’s a deadline, there’s a way.

Categories: BBC, Fleeced, Progress, The Wrong Door, Two steps back, Writing and life | 11 Comments

Take ’em out back and shoot ’em in the head

A few years back (2004? 2005? Can’t remember) a producer I knew was going to Cannes (maybe it was 2003?) and he wanted ‘ a pile of feature scripts’ to take with him.

It was 2002, definitely.

Or maybe 2001.

Fuck it, it was years ago whenever it was. Anyway, in January he said he was going to Cannes. By May I’d written him six feature scripts. Two of them were re-writes of earlier scripts, four were completely fresh.

As it turns out, he didn’t take any of the scripts with him – he either forgot them or didn’t have space in his suitcase or some other fairly useless excuse.

Over the next few years those six scripts, with the addition of one more became my spec library. I whittled away at them on my own for a while, submitted them to TriggerStreet and used the feedback to re-write them until they were all in the top ten.

Satisfied they were all of a reasonable quality, I sent them out to anyone and everyone who would read them. Currently, of those seven scripts, three are under option; one lies in pieces, after I dismantled it to discover why it was shit and never quite got round to putting the pieces back together again; and three have never had any interest whatsoever.

Well, that’s not strictly true. One of them won me some script coverage which in turn got me a discussion with an American manager which in turn led absolutely nowhere. The general consensus is it’s a fantastic script; but too British for America and too expensive for Britain.

The other two … nothing. No one has ever shown the slightest bit of interest in them. One of them is a very personal story which doesn’t quite work. The other is a rom-com: a great concept which isn’t quite realised properly.

A while back I came to the conclusion these scripts just weren’t good enough; but I continued to send them out on the grounds someone might be stupid enough to make them. I mean, people like all kinds of shit so why not these three? Maybe they’re not as bad as I think they are?

Or maybe they are exactly as bad as I know they are.

Today though, I have decided: no more. I am officially retiring the last of these three spec scripts. No more will I send them out in the vain hope of finding a home for them. These three club-footed children of mine are finished. It’s over. Nobody loves you kids so get in the sack, hold onto these bricks and it’s a dizzying plunge into the icy waters of oblivion for you.

Bye now. See ya. Bye, bye.

I’m not deleting them, of course – just in case; but I’m no longer actively sending them out or letting people read them. If someone happens to ask me specifically for something which is identical to one of the scripts then maybe I’ll fish them out of the river – but barring that unlikely scenario, they’re gone.

With that in mind I’ve also removed all of the sample scripts from my website. All of the sitcoms and TV series and short films – all gone. None of them are representative of my writing now, they all show what I could do three or four years ago.

I’d like to think I’ve improved a little since then.

My watch word from now on is quality, not quantity. I’ve build up a nice CV and it’s now time to focus on newer and better material.

So there.

As an aside, I’ve just had an email this morning telling me one of the three under option, FLEECED, starts shooting in 18 days. That’ll be my third feature produced this year and we’re only half way through. With a baby arriving this month, another blackbelt grading this weekend and The Wrong Door hitting BBC 3 in the Autumn … I’m really liking 2008 so far.

Categories: BBC, BBC Sketch Show, Career Path, Fleeced, Progress, Random Witterings, The Wrong Door | 10 Comments

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