So that was 2015.
No flying cars, there were hoverboards … but they didn’t hover, they just set fire to people’s houses.
Behind the scenes I had a thrilling and exciting year … but I can’t really talk about it.
Not yet, anyway … but one day. soon.
This is what’s immensely frustrating about being a scriptwriter – all the exciting things happen (and often die) out of the spotlight. By the time I’m allowed to talk about things (because contracts have finally been negotiated and signed) it’s old news and any excitement is feigned.
Well, not feigned … diluted. Like having to remember how excited you were about a Christmas present you got last year when it’s since been broken by the kid next door.
But hey, it’s been a busy year with lots of stuff going on. On paper, it probably looks like not a lot … but that’s just the nature of the business. I’ve done a few uncredited rewrites, one of which has just been released … which is a yay I can’t publicly acknowledge.
But never mind. If I was in it for the applause, I wouldn’t be a writer.
The rest of 2015, the bits I did talk about, went something like this:
Apparently all I did in January was talk about 2014, which although it included Ghostbusters and a suspicious looking codpiece …
… seems a bit of a waste of a bloggy month.
Ah, hello groove I was wondering where you’d gone.
February was a proper blogging month full of blogs and … well, just blogs.
First off I tried to get you all to commit acts of phone-related mischief by adding ‘Okay Google’ phrases into scripts which would punish anyone who had their phone on in the cinema.
Did any of you do it? Please say someone did it.
Then I defended Footloose because … it’s fucking Footloose. Footloose is awesome.
After succcessfully re-educating the world about the joys of ’80s dance, I went on to prove the three act structure is fine – stop trying to reinvent the wheel, it works just fine.
And then I immediately explained why it doesn’t really work that well for a scriptwriter.
Aren’t you glad you’ve got me around to explain these things to you?
March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb …
I, on the other hand, came in with a thing about the joy of failing …
… stumbled into a confused ramble about clichés …
… mumbled something I can’t be bothered to reread about page thinking …
… compared Joss Whedon to HTC and rambled about how frustrating it must be to be either of them …
… and went out with an in-depth discussing about liars and lying for a living.
April is where things got interesting …
Just not at first. First I wondered if maybe you shouldn’t really be able to point to the midpoint in a film.
Then I used my blog to educate my producer as to why he shouldn’t get his hopes up about the first draft I was just about to deliver …
Just as it might have got interesting … I got angry about spoilers instead.
Then it got interesting. I had a phone call …
It was Danny Stack … and he didn’t want anything except a chat.
Where it got interesting was it kicked off a string of phone calls between me and … well, just people. Nice people. People like Calum Chalmers.
And it carried on with more nice people like Robin Bell, Andrew Mullins and Dominic Carver.
In fact, most of May was taken up with phone calls, broken only by me trying to figure out how to write the perfect cameo (it worked! I wish I could tell you how well it worked … but I can’t) and to celebrate my 10th wedding anniversary.
Oh and I went on a bit about competition and how much I enjoy it.
June continued the #PhonePhill-ing bringing delightful chats with Dee Chilton, Rosie Claverton and Rebecca Handley.
In fact, June was all phone calls apart from one post about being better and how we should all pursue knowledge as if it were a … thing. I don’t know. Insert your own simile, I’m tired.
July brought yet more telephone awesomeness …
This time in the shape of Mac McSharry, James Moran, Jay Sutherland and Terry Newman.
As well as yakking to people, I also (gasp!) worked over a weekend.
Apparently this is so shocking to me I felt the need to blog about it.
I also made an uncredited appearance as Iron Man at a little boy’s birthday party in a homemade, cardboard costume:
I enjoyed that.
In August I had a little panic about potentially offending someone I quite like by giving them script notes. In order to cover my anxiety, I wrote this post about the kind of script notes I get and how upsetting they can be … if you don’t take them in the spirit they’re intended.
Later on, I followed that post up by giving myself notes on an old script.
I also pretended a meal/drink with some friends was a sort of #PhonePhill episode … even though it wasn’t.
But it did lead to this picture, which is my favourite of the year:
I rounded off August by highlighting my inability to not focus on background detail.
Man, I did a lot of blogging in 2015. Too much, some might say.
In September I added one more thing to a script and felt the need to tell everyone.
Then I added a second thing and banged on about that too.
I did a thing about tokenism and … well, I don’t know what my point was there. Feel free to read it and let me know.
Oh, and then I added some nonsense to Jason Arnopp’s blog post about hands.
I kicked off October by contrasting Rose Tyler with Jurassic Park … which, you know, is clearly two different things and needs a blog explaining why.
And then … the future arrived!
I meant to take a photo of myself with my trousers on inside out … but I didn’t. Possibly because I don’t think I wore any in October.
Instead of wearing trousers, I watched some videos about deleted scenes from all three Star Wars films:
I say three because I’m a prequel denier. At that point I was adamant there were only three Star Wars films. Now, of course, there’s been another half of a Star Wars film.
Hopefully we’ll find out in a couple of years whether or not any of it makes sense.
Just when you thought I’d forgotten about it, another #PhonePhill – this time with William Gallagher. He’s written a book, you know. Bits of it are about me.
Inspired by the resurgence of telephonic communication, I immediately didn’t do it again and instead waffled on about River Theory …
Expressed my love for the Verity podcast …
And raved on and on and on about this speech from Doctor Who:
Oh, and I found this photo of a Burt Reynolds crab.
Which brings us to now. All I did in December was a handful of short blogs about other people’s stuff. Things like:
Arnopp’s patreon campaign, the UK Scriptwriter’s Handbook and the Heaven Sent/Hell Bent scripts.
There were meant to be more, but there wasn’t.
I didn’t even wish you a merry Christmas.
There, I did it.
And so, with this year nearly spent, all eyes turn to the next one.
Hopefully it’ll include at least one blog about my new office:
And loads and loads about my next script to be produced:
Happy New Year, let’s chat soon.