Another year over (nearly). How was your 2008?
Mine was suspiciously like this:
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.
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:
And moved into this one:
Which has a sofa for me to lie on whilst wrapped in tin foil:
And a light switch shaped like a nipple:
All to make space for my soon-to-be-arriving daughter. My old office looks more like this now:
And then I got memed. I didn’t like it.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
Seriously, who gives a fuck about the rest of the year?
Oh, you’re still reading, are you?
Fine, come on then.
Shall we just have one more photo of Alice?
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
I completely failed to do some writing and in a gargantuan procrastination session, I redesigned my website.
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.
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.
Is anybody still reading?
Are you fucking mental? Go outside and play.
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:
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.
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?