Progress

The new regime

I’ve been told I don’t blog frequently enough by Martyn Deakin. Martyn’s an excellent writer and all round decent bloke. He’s someone I both like and respect. You should hire him. Seriously, go do it now.

And, you know, he’s right … but he can fuck off.

I’ve been busy, I’m not here for your entertainment. It’s not my job to fill your worthless lives with diverting tidbits, nor to regale you with (largely imaginary) tales of …

What’s that?

Oh.

Right, apparently it is my job to do all that. Apparently that’s what being a writer is all about.

Bugger.

Okay, so a funny thing happened to me today on my way to the secret writing island …

Actually, it didn’t. I had a lovely flight and had many an interesting conversation including ones about ‘the first ever genital piercing’ and ‘how to wake someone up with a spoon’.

I also had a lovely meal on the plane of creamed tomato soup with chive créme fraiche and coriander micro cress, followed by braised cheek of beef with horseradish mashed potatoes, cumin-scented hispi cabbage and red wine jus and topped off with a lovely lemon-curd-filled lemon cheesecake with raspberry couli .

That’s really not important, but it was yummy and I felt the need to share. The words, not the meal itself. I’m a bit Joey in that respect, I don’t share food under any circumstances.

Anyway, here I am, ensconced on my secret writing island and ready to roll up my metaphorical sleeves.

My sleeves are metaphorical because it’s too damned hot for real ones.

And so begins the new regime.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know I’ve decided to draw a line under the work I’ve done to date* and to pursue new career paths. Largely in the hopes of actually making a decent film. Or failing that, to know for certain the film is shit because of my script and not because of adventures it’s enjoyed on the torturous road to production.

The plan was to withdraw, write in isolation for a year or so until I had some scripts I wasn’t embarrassed of, and then make my triumphant return in a burst of technicolour splendidness.

I lasted about three days, snapped, rang up a director I know and asked him if he wanted to work on a new project with me.

Happily he does. Even more happily, he likes the idea and now all I have to do is write it. And be awesome. The former is well within my capabilities, the latter … well, we’ll see.

Oh, and then we have to try and make the fucking thing.

That’s probably the tricky part, but we’ll jump off that bridge when burns it down around us.

The beauty of the idea is it’s easily scalable. Five or six actors, one location (ish) and no special effects. It can be shot for pennies or for well, it’s all pennies I guess. This film could be made for thousands of pennies or billions … we’ll have to wait and see. It could even be split up and shown as webisodes if all else fails. The important thing is control, to execute the idea to the best of my ability as opposed to the best of people who haven’t got any.

Best of all, it’s an idea I want to write. Done well, it’ll be a complete and utter sci-fi head fuck with a very sweet and heartwarming tale at its core. Done badly, it’ll be … well, it’ll fit in with my back catalogue, if I’m brutally honest.

And there you go, that’s where I am. Warm, happy and full of cheek. Braised cheek.

How are you?

——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

* save a few hangover projects which are still in development – four at last count, although a fifth may just have lurched back into life and punched its way out of the grave. Much to the horror of Aunt Nellie who was kneeling on said grave, paying her respects at the time. Poor Aunt Nellie, she may never recover from the indignity.

Categories: My Way, Progress, Random Witterings | 4 Comments

How’s the writing going?

Blimey, it’s been ages since the last post.

Well, not ages.

Not like two Ice Ages and a Bronze Age; but very probably somewhere around a month, which is like half an Ice Age in Internet terms.

So how are you? Are you good? Syphilis cleared up? How’s your hubby? Dead? Oh, I am sorry. Oh, you murdered him … I have no idea how to react to that. Well done?

How’s the writing going?

Now, I don’t know about you; but I fucking hate that question. It’s not really a question writers ask other writers. Writers tend to ask something more along the lines of “What are you working on at the moment?” because at least you can answer that one honestly and succinctly. “How’s the writing going?” tends to be asked by non-writers. Beyond a generic, conversation stopping ‘good’, how are you supposed to answer it?

Actually, in all probability, all the person asking the question wants to hear is ‘good’ so they can tick that box. They’ve successfully remembered a tiny detail about your life, have integrated it into the conversation so they look like they care about you and now they want to move on to talking about themselves. It’s like when someone you vaguely know asks how you are – they don’t want to get into a long conversation about the death of Auntie Edna and how it’s affected your depression. The correct response is supposed to be: “Good, yeah. How are you?”

But that’s beside the point. I am a borderline sociopath with scant regard for human convention and a crushing need to be brutally honest in all aspects of life (apart from the bits where I lie habitually). If someone asks me how my writing’s going, I want to give them an honest answer … but I can’t. Because I don’t know.

I mean, here’s my year so far:

 

I’ve had two films released both theatrically and on DVD.

That sounds good right? That sounds extremely good. In fact, in scriptwriting terms, that’s fucking amazing … but to non-writers, that sounds about normal. Well, normal depending on how they view your ability. If they think you’re a loser who only fantasises about being a writer, then it confuses and amazes them:

What, like real films with actors in proper cinemas?

Yes. Real films, with actors you’ve heard of in an actual, proper cinema with walls and popcorn and mystery-meat hotdogs and everything.

Oooooooooh! You’re not just a lying bastard after all!

If, on the other hand, they think you’re a serious, highly-paid professional (which I rarely get mistaken for) then it probably sounds a bit shit.

Obviously, the truth is (some ludicrously high)% of “scriptwriters” never finish a script; (a similarly ludicrously  high)% of scriptwriters never sell a script; (a further ludicrously high)% of sold scripts never get turned into films and (a really ridiculously ludicrous)% of scriptwriters who accomplish all three of these things never, ever work again.

I’ve had nine feature films produced now. In industry terms that’s both surprising and fucking amazing. The fact the resulting films (or at least the ones released so far) are utter shit is completely beside the point. Climbing Everest is always an achievement, no matter how badly you fall off the other side.

So, you know, two films out theatrically and on DVD in one year is awesome … but they are shit. I mean, absolute dross.

Actually, let’s be fair here – one is an appalling pile of sloppy elephant turds, the other I can’t bring myself to watch.

So is that good or bad?

 

I’ve been offered four other feature films so far this year

I have no idea if that’s good or bad. How many feature films do you get asked to write in six months? Am I on the motorway or the cattle track of the scriptwriting world? I just don’t know.

I turned them all down. Is that good? Or is that really, really fucking stupid?

 

I’ve overseen the writing of four seasons of PERSONA

PERSONA, if you didn’t know, is a daily smartphone drama series. You can download the app from the App Store or Google Play and watch three minutes a day of top notch drama in the palm of your hand for absolutely nothing.

I’ve been involved in six seasons of PERSONA so far, four this year. I can honestly say it’s the most consistently good project I’ve been involved with. So that’s good, right?

On the other hand, I’ve fucking hated almost every minute of it.

So, um, that’s bad, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not hated the show or the producers or directors or even (most) of the writers; but I’ve hated my role and the amount of time it’s taken up. I’ll probably blog about that in more detail one day.

 

Out of the blue, I got asked to submit sketches to a BBC show

That’s definitely good.

Probably.

Actually, I suspect my name was on an old mailing list and it’s a mistake. Oh, and either the show was never made or my sketches weren’t used. Either of which tilts it back towards the bad axis.

Or does it? I don’t know. It’s nice to be asked, TV has a similarly ludicrously high percentage of ‘going nowhere’ – it’s the norm, so it’s probably good no matter what the outcome.

Probably.

 

I’ve got two more feature films on the go

This is definitely good.

Definitely.

Although, PERSONA, sketches, life, marriage, fatherhood and exploding engines have all got in the way of these two, with the result being … well, there’s no result. Not yet. There have been far too many distractions to give them my full attention; but all the writing-based ones have been resolved now and it’s full steam ahead.

Probably.

Maybe half-steam sideways?

 

There’s a phone game being developed as a companion to a script I wrote

This is good. This is exciting. This … has absolutely nothing to do with me. I mean, it’s all progress, right? Just nothing I’m actively involved with, so … is that good?

 

There’s a webshow being filmed as a companion piece to a script I wrote

This too is good. This too has very little involvement from me. Although, I think not being heavily involved is a good thing because it doesn’t distract from the stuff I’m supposed to be doing.

 

And … um …

No, that’s probably it. I think I’ve forgotten something, but it’s beside the point. The point is: I have no idea how the writing is going, so how am I supposed to give an honest answer to people who don’t actually want one?

It’s a conundrum I’ll never solve to a question which prompts a confused sigh and a feeling of intense hatred. So do me a favour, ask me a different question.

Preferably one on Sci-Fi.

Categories: BBC, Career Path, My Way, Progress, Random Witterings, Writing and life | 8 Comments

2011

As the year limps to a close in a trickle of damp grayness, it’s time to reflect on what’s gone before and wonder vaguely about what may come.

How was your 2011? Mine went something like, if not exactly the same as, this:

 

JANUARY

I began the year by joining Twitter. Actually, I began the year by tweeting using an account some mysterious person set up for me against my will a year earlier. I still don’t know who that was, but would dearly love to know.

Wrote a post about a project so secret I can no longer remember what it was about.

Offered to write someone’s name on a fighter jet.

And then gave a free video projector to anyone who wanted it. Turns out the people who wanted it most were the people who were supposed to have been given it eight years earlier until idiocy intervened.

 

FEBRUARY

I was a guest on #scriptchat (transcript here) and waffled at great length about getting work without an agent.

Karma Magnet turned up online. You can still watch it here.

Persona launched!

If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, then I’ve failed and that’s pretty much all there is to it.

I revealed my deepest secrets. No, wait, not secrets … just a bit of witter about junk files.

And then tried to encourage everyone to whip off their drama condoms and ride that script bareback. Dramatically speaking.

 

MARCH

In which I finally explain how to read.

Gave some people £25 each.

Explained what a reboot means for the hard of thinking.

And explained why having your script re-written was exactly like having your best friend spunk in your face. (An analogy which came back to haunt me months later when someone pointed out I’d spunked in their face.)

 

APRIL

Karma Magnet was shown at the Brighton Movie Bar and I was invited to talk shit about it. And talk shit I did. And I won the movie quiz. ME! I WON FOR I AM THE WINNER (on this specific occasion).

Had a bit of a rant about sexism.

And another rant about getting excited in the wrong places.

And another one about why you should all feel inspired by my presence.

Then apologised for not ranting more.

 

MAY

I went on holiday and did this to my child:

Stole ideas from Jason Arnopp.

Felt guilty, so I linked to the Stormhouse teaser:

Was amazed to find out half of Neil Gaiman’s Doctor Who episode was exactly the same as half an episode I’d outlined for Big Finish. Just not the good half.

Told you all how to eBehave. Actually, this one’s important, you should all go and read it and spread the word.

Took you on a tour of my rooms on the secret writing island:

And reviewed a book I didn’t want to read about a program I don’t use.

Actually, somewhere around here Strippers vs. Werewolves went into production; but for reasons too horribly complex and horribly horrible, I didn’t actually mention it until months later.

 

JUNE

Explained why having to do re-writes mid-production is a good thing.

Denied I’d written The Dark Knight Rises. Because I didn’t.

Shouted at critics for reviewing the script they haven’t read instead of the film they have seen.

And promised to include more joy in my scripts. Joy like this:

 

JULY

I learnt a new word! Callipygous … and then explained why you should never use it in a script.

Explained why comedy is and isn’t subjective.

Called a producer a parochial twat.

Wrote a film-makers’ glossary. Wish I hadn’t.

Swore at Final Draft. A lot.

Debated misogyny. Still not convinced I spelt it right.

Gave you one of the most useful writing tools you’ll ever use: snippety-snip.

And voiced an opinion on gangsters and the low budget movie industry.

 

AUGUST

I explained why I keep swimming with the gangster fishes.

Demanded you tell me what to feel.

Explained my career in a series of pretty graphs and charts. Like this one:

Explained why I quite like being replaced on a project. Sometimes.

Warned everyone to stay clear of hyphenates … whilst consistently using a slash instead of a hyphen. I did a flowchart too:

And unsuccessfully tried to give everyone £30.

 

SEPTEMBER

Finally admitted I’d done the production re-writes on Pat Higgins‘ Strippers vs. Werewolves:

And listed all the lovely press about it.

Told people to stop hassling me, the script will be done when it’s fucking done.

Ranted about notes … before remembering Sam Bain said it better.

 

OCTOBER

Persona relaunched.

This time for the bargain price of free!

iPhone app here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/persona-drama/id417940950?mt=8

Android app here: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.appmedia.persona

Explained the secret of success

Talked about the sheer horror of realising someone’s made a bad film out of your script.

Stalker had its London Première – hooray! Here’s the trailer:

Strippers vs. Werewolves had a fantastic set report in Bizzare Magazine:

http://www.bizarremag.com/entertainment/movies/11503/strippers_vs_werewolves.html

Highlighted why slagging people off and then asking them for a job is a bit daft.

Re-wrote Monty Python’s Parrot Sketch in an ill-advised attempt at humour.

Mumbled about being depressed in the middle of every script.

Was disappointed by the American art for Strippers vs. Werewolves:

Tacky. And has one notable lie on it.

Blogged about Fade In scriptwriting software – nearly what I want, but not quite.

And finally revealed the AFM Promo for Strippers vs. Werewolves:

My favourite comment about that promo is:

Looks pretty bad, but I like werewolf movies and tits, so I’ll probably watch it.

NOVEMBER

In which I finally admit there are no stupid notes.

Explained why Scrivener is brilliant … but no use to me.

Defended soapstars.

Reaffirmed the old maxim: PATRICK STEWART IS ALWAYS RIGHT.

Gave away a (very) small library.

And began using Fade In scriptwriting software because the developer developed it to suit me. Sort of.

DECEMBER

Explained how to think.

Debated the lack of comedy tribute acts.

Explained how to action a note now and undo it in the future.

Expounded my theory on how writers sideline themselves.

Went to see Piers‘ production of Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales. It’s awesome, if you hurry, you’ll catch it too.

Rambled on, at great length about mystery in TV

And rounded off the year by analysing decades old Star Trek films. Because I like to be topical.

—————————————————————————————-

So that was 2011. Wow. I explained lots of stuff, didn’t I? Did you need those things explaining to you or was I just being presumptuous? If the former, you’re welcome. If the latter, sorry.

But onwards and upwards!

What does 2012 hold?

Well, hopefully it holds nothing new.

Or rather, nothing new film-wise.

I’m hoping not to get involved in any more writer-for-hire jobs for a year or so. I really, really want to write some spec stuff, you know, something just for me.

I’ve got one or two commitments to tie up and then I’m going to (hopefully) spend the whole year writing stuff I want to write so I can build up a decent catalogue of spec scripts and venture into pastures new.

I say hopefully because I am easily swayed by money and may end up doing something completely different. Feel free to sway me. I like a good swaying.

How was your 2011? Did you enjoy it? Have you learnt stuff? What will 2012 hold for you?

Whatever happens, have a great New Year and I’ll see you in January.

Categories: Career Path, Future Tense, Industry Musings, LVJ, My Way, Persona, Progress, Publicity, Random Witterings, Rants, Sad Bastard, Software, Someone Else's Way, Stalker, Strippers vs. Werewolves, Things I've Learnt Recently, Writing and life | 2 Comments

Persona re-launch

Persona, the daily 2-3 minute continuing drama series created exclusively for smart phones, re-launches on Monday the 26th of September.

Which is, fuck me, next Monday!

It’s September? Nearly October? Which is nearly Christmas? Which is nearly next year? How?

I’m sure I should remember more of the year than I do.

Regardless, Persona is re-launching. The app is free to download, as is all the daily content. All you have to do is swivel your eyeballs in the general direction of your phone and you get a daily dose of soapy goodness.

 

In the run up to the re-launch, someone somewhere has decided to roam the streets hassling passers-by and forcing them to say nice things about something they haven’t seen yet.

Like this:

and this:

Despite repeatedly refusing to be involved, I’m still somehow the Lead Writer and having to deal with writers far more talented than me. It’s humiliating, it really is. Every time they turn in a script, my self-esteem sinks a little lower. I don’t like being exposed to quality, it’s very upsetting.

But there you go: Persona, re-launching next Monday. Download the app at some point and then tell all your friends. Or don’t, just watch it on your own and it can be your dirty little secret.

Categories: Persona, Progress | Leave a comment

I’m back!

Actually, I’ve been back for a few days now; but it’s taken me this long to plough through my emails and phone calls and …

No, I’m lying. No one ever emails me and I only missed one phone call from Aunty Susan; and she only rang up to call me names. I just like to sound important in public.

Who missed me? Anyone?

Anyone at all?

Not even you there at the back?

Oh you did? Goodness, thank you.

How was my holiday? Pure erectile awesomeness.

We stayed here:

Did a lot of this:

[youtube-http://youtu.be/kBjDpJmL8tQ]

Went to some places like this:

And saved a third of our plane fare by doing this:

All in all we had a brilliant, relaxing time on a beautiful, sun-filled Greek island surrounded by some lovely people.

I highly recommend it.

The only small issue is I appear to have blown every single penny I own on a week in the sun.

Bugger.

I need cash. Quick. By my reckoning, food is going to get a bit scarce somewhere around the 21st. I need a script I’ve been working on to go into production, like, next week or something. If only such a thing were possible.

Oh wait …

Categories: Progress, Random Witterings | Leave a comment

2010

I know it’s traditional to do your end-of-year-blog-round-up at the end of the year you’re rounding-up, but I didn’t, so I’m doing it now.

And no, I haven’t caved in, bought an iPhone and then failed to wake up for three days in a row (although I do find it highly amusing and can’t wait to smile smugly at certain friends of mine whose most cherished and deeply held belief is ‘Apple products never go wrong’.); but I’ve just been excruciatingly busy with Persona … which the more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed completely failed to manifest itself two days ago. There is a reason for that, but it will have to wait.

So, what did I do in 2010 (which I can’t believe I’m talking about, it’s so last year)? Well, I did something rather like this …

JANUARY

I explained how to be happy, in a rather long winded post which went on for so long it annoyed the piss out of me; Lord knows how you felt about it.

I discovered there was a 5,50 in the morning, ate my first school dinner since I was 11 and became the world’s first, ginger Bollywood consultant.

Updated Quicktime.

Discovered a watched kettle does boil and took a video to prove it:

Equated ‘In the Night Garden’ to genital piercing.

Then ran head-first at a wall and played with some bunnies.

FEBRUARY

Posted lots of behind the scenes videos for ‘Just for the Record’.

Talked about Piers‘ Writers’ Social.

Got lost in America and had to ask where I was.

Updated iTunes.

Spend a weekend in a fabulous house on Anglesey (which may or may not have some connection to St Seiriol) with a Lord who taught me how to con money out of people on Waltzers and a young woman who tries to bring helicopters down by hitting golf balls at them (but is considering giving it up because she almost hit a car and feels that’s a bit dangerous), whilst working out a plan to invade the Falklands as the first step towards exploiting the untapped mineral wealth of Antarctica and being served dinner by William Wordsworth’s great-granddaughter … surprisingly, this wasn’t a dream and did actually happen.

Failed to get mentioned in The Sun, Broadcast and GMTV.

That was pretty much it for February.

MARCH

Wondered if Caprica would get any better – decided it wasn’t worth spending the time to find out. Did it get better?

Got given a note I didn’t understand.

Accidentally saw Superman Returns and got all shouty and upset.

Updated Quicktime and iTunes.

Explained how to deal with notes by wearing a skirt and letting other men in skirts stab you.

Broke down exactly how I deal with a thirty-day deadline … badly, is the answer, in case you were wondering.

Went to Piers‘ Writers’ Social.

The DVD for ‘Just for the Record’ became available to pre-order.

Remained unconvinced by 3D. I’m still not convinced – good idea or pointless gimmick?

APRIL

Got very stressed because I was working on five projects at the same time – five! How pitifully small that number seems now. My stress dissolved in the face of this pretty picture:

Which may or may not be in pre-production around about now. Probably isn’t.

Got held prisoner in France due to a dastardly plot involving my parents, British Airways and an Icelandic volcano.

Got a bit disappointed by the Daleks and their magic Easter egg.

Decided I don’t trust anyone’s opinion.

Updated Quicktime.

Got in a bit of a tangle about an exclamation mark!

MAY

Updated Quicktime.

Spent three days shitting myself here:

Stayed awake for 36 hours, whilst travelling eight hours across five time zones so I could get to here:

Just so I could attend the premiere of ‘Just for the Record’

Updated iTunes.

Went to see ‘Just for the Record’ in the same cinema I went to see all of the films which initially inspired me to be a writer. A film (based on) a script I wrote showing in an actual cinema! And not just one cinema, several across the country. Something I wrote got a theatrical release! … Shame it was a bit shit really.

Explained how cold reading helps get you out of holes you dig by being thoroughly unprofessional.

Realised IMDb ratings may be a slightly better work of fiction than the films themselves.

Was deeply surprised to find ‘Just for the Record’ in the DVD charts. Number 13, if you’re interested:

Updated Quicktime.

Went on a long and pointless rant about builders.

Updated iTunes.

Went on a long and pointless rant about isms.

JUNE

Was surprised to receive a smattering of complimentary emails.

Updated Quicktime and iTunes.

Stole some money:

Wrote my most popular post of the year: It’s not fair

JULY

Listened to two Jamaicans argue about the best way to spray paint an elephant.

Had a First Look at LVJ:

Got called a lying bastard for failing to recognise Apple as the true inventor of video calling.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Pause/beat – not the fucking same.

‘The Wrong Door’ came out on DVD! No one bought it! Hooray!

Got angry about some spelling.

Updated iTunes.

AUGUST

Updated iTunes.

Promoted some random shit.

Updated Quicktime.

Saw some films.

Updated iTunes.

Failed to understand semi-colons.

Updated Quicktime.

Invented a new sport.

Failed to win at the sport I’d just invented.

Updated iTunes.

Got removed from a project for waiting too long for them to send me some feedback.

Updated Quicktime.

Made some robots swear:

Updated iTunes.

Swore I’d make the robots swear once a month, just for fun.

Updated Quicktime.

Failed to make the robots swear ever again. This will probably be a lifelong failure.

Updated iTunes.

Got annoyed with people slagging off Richard Curtis.

Updated Quicktime.

Someone set up a Twitter account in my name … still don’t know who.

Updated iTunes.

SEPTEMBER

Realised I don’t know what iTunes is or why it’s on my computer. I mean, I know you can use it to buy music and stuff; but what’s all the rest of it for? As far as I can tell it’s something which gets between your computer and an mp3 player or a phone and … makes it all a bit more complicated. A bit like a geriatric butler who insists on chewing your food for you. I mean, what the fuck is it for?

Decided to uninstall iTunes.

Got excited about a poster I haven’t seen for twenty-five years.

Liked ‘Roger and Val Have Just Got In’ even if no one else did.

Uninstalled iTunes.

Moaned about people fucking up my (admittedly poor) scripts by removing, changing or otherwise tampering with the protagonist AFTER the fucking script has been shot.

Uninstalled iTunes.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Uninstalled iTunes.

Went to the theatre – nothing blew up, no one got naked and there was a surprising lack of giant killer robots; but it was actually very enjoyable.

Updated Quicktime.

Expressed a desire to project a photo of my balls onto various people’s faces.

Uninstalled iTunes.

Uninstalled iTunes.

Updated Quicktime.

Uninstalled iTunes – what the fuck is this shit? Where does it keep coming from? I don’t want it. I don’t need it. Please, please fuck off!

Gave up and updated iTunes.

OCTOBER

Tried to name a space shuttle ‘Brian’.

Updated Quicktime.

Learnt there is such a thing as a one word pitch.

Updated Quicktime.

Had a warm gooey feeling because I did something uncharacteristically nice.

Updated Quicktime.

Got confused between my imagination and a piece of paper.

Updated Quicktime.

Tried to decipher the numbering system of a script competition.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated Quicktime.

Realised iTunes seems to have given up asking to be updated.

Updated iTunes.

And Quicktime.

NOVEMBER

Confessed my sexual fondness for a cartoon character.

Updated Quicktime.

Ranted about working for two producers who hated each other.

Updated Quicktime.

Wished Apple would just make Quicktime work properly in the first place. Or at least the last place, since it seems to update every fucking two days and still doesn’t actually fucking work. What exactly is updating? Is inability to play any fucking file whatsoever?

Uninstalled Quicktime.

DECEMBER

Reinstalled Quicktime so I could watch a film trailer.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated iTunes.

Updated Quicktime.

Updated iTunes.

Updated Quicktime.

Talked about the snow for fucking ages.

Updated Quicktime.

Realised I’d spent more time updating Quicktime than fucking breathing. In fact, I’d go so far as to say updating Quicktime is 80% of my social interaction with the world.

Talked about some loveliness.

Realised Quicktime hasn’t asked to be updated for a week. I miss that little guy.

Did something I didn’t want to do and enjoyed it.

Made writing ridiculous complex with all sorts of colour-coded formulas.

Where’s Quicktime? Why isn’t it talking to me any more? Have I upset it somehow?

Got really excited about the trailer for:

And began the nine day countdown to … nothing.

UPDATED QUICKTIME! HE’S BACK! HE DOES LOVE ME! … Bollocks.

And that was about it. There wasn’t a lot of actual blogging happening this year, primarily because 2010 was the year of taking on too many projects. 12 features in all. 12 – fucking ridiculous. Behind the scenes, unblogged, I managed to work my way through 9 of those 12 features – 3 of them are still waiting patiently in the wings; invented the format for, hired writers for, developed, wrote and script-edited Persona (which has been delayed, but is definitely starting in January this year); attended a lot of meetings; met the world’s most pretentious man; travelled 8402 miles in 16 hours just to wank into a pot; became a sort of Producer; was forced to interact with actors; set fire to lots of things which went fizz …. bang; ruined four rolls of really expensive wallpaper; loved my wife and my daughter and generally had an absolute fucking ball.

What does 2011 hold?

Well, Persona for one thing. Those last three films and then a break from films for a while. Probably. Maybe some features going into production. Twitter – maybe? I might just follow people for a while and see what happens. And … um … sleep. I need some sleep. Quite a lot of it, really.

Happy New Year!

Categories: BBC, Career Path, Industry Musings, Just for the Record, LVJ, My Way, Opportunity, Persona, Progress, Publicity, Rants, Sad Bastard, Software, Someone Else's Way, Sparkle, That Band, The Wrong Door, Things I've Learnt Recently, Two steps back, Writing and life | 2 Comments

Persona – 9 days to go!

Persona, the new smartphone drama I’ve been working on, launches in nine days.

Just think, when you wake up on January 1st with your world spinning, kebab smeared over your chin, your head a hundred pounds heavier and your wallet a hundred pounds lighter* you can climb over that boy/girl/farm animal (who seemed much more attractive at 3 am in a dark club/toilet/stable), pull your iPhone out of the pile of blood-flecked vomit and squint through your hangover (and shattered screen, if you’ve got an iPhone 4 – they aren’t very drunk proof) to watch two-ish minutes of awesomeness.

Wouldn’t that just get the year off to a good start?

Until you find out you’re/she’s/Daisy’s pregnant, diseased and remarkably clingy; but that’s okay because he/she/Daisy loves you and even though his/her/Daisy’s doctor/vet said he/she/Daisy shouldn’t really form close attachments so soon after his/her/Daisy’s breakdown, he/she/Daisy knows he won’t complain in your case, because you’re so wonderful and anyway his severed head’s in his/her/Daisy’s fridge/feed trough – which serves him right for looking him/her/Daisy in the face.

Let’s face it, 2011 isn’t looking that good for you right now – best just to revel in the two-ish minutes it’ll take to watch Persona and hope he/she/Daisy picks a fight with his/her/Daisy’s own reflection and slits his/her/Daisy’s own ridiculously ugly throat.

Ah, New Year – it’s the same every year. The one day of the year you’re COMMANDED to have fun. You MUST enjoy yourself. If you stop smiling for even a millisecond, fifty, pissed-up fucking strangers pounce on you and demand you “Cheer up for fuck’s sake, it’s New Year’s Eve!”

Fuck off, fuck off all of you! I know what fucking day it is, I’m not fucking stupid. Why else do you think I’m standing in this hell hole dressed like a gay Mexican?And can you please just back the fuck off? Just one fucking millimetre so I can get enough space in this sweating, heaving mass of B.O. to raise the drink I’ve had fruitlessly crushed against my chest for four hours to my momentarily unsmiling mouth? I’ve fucking paid the same as you to be in here, you know? Fucking shit loads to stand here listening to the world’s worst DJ playing the world’s worst music to the world’s worst fucks.

I don’t want my fun arranged months in advance. I don’t want to have fun on a specific night because you tell me I’m supposed to. I want my fun to be … well, fun. New Year’s Eve I’ll either be locked in my bedroom, hiding under the duvet … or patrolling the streets with a sniper rifle.

BANG! Cheer up for fuck’s sake, it’s New Year’s Eve!

New Year’s Day, on the other hand, I’ll be watching Persona.

On Mandy’s iPhone, obviously.

Assuming she hasn’t shattered the screen by placing it on the table too vigorously between now and then.

Ooh, look, a logo for Persona:

I love when the artwork starts turning up – it’s the first sign of realness. Not quite as good as the teaser trailer, of course. That’s when you know it’s all hurtling towards you with frightening inevitability.

Oh look, there’s a teaser trailer:

Wow, that really doesn’t tell you anything, does it?

Do you feel teased? Do you?

So there you are, Persona starts on New Year’s Day. Salivate, salivate now. And whilst doing so, why not become friends with App Media on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/app.media

Or follow their meandering rants on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/App_Media

And remember, we’re still looking for writers

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* Five hundred pounds if you live in London.

Categories: Persona, Progress, Publicity, Rants, Sad Bastard | 6 Comments

Persona

“No, I don’t want to do it. I’m not interested.”

That seems clear enough, doesn’t it?

“No” as in … no.

“I don’t want to do it.” surely expresses a lack of acceptance on my behalf? Or at the very least a desire not to be involved.

“I’m not interested.” that must mean the project doesn’t interest me enough to want to work on it?

Even if it’s not that clear, the half an hour spent outlining exactly what my objections and reservations were, why drama doesn’t interest me as much as genre* and how I just don’t have the time anyway must have got my point across?

Surely?

Although apparently not, since Persona starts shooting today and I’ve not only co-ordinated the writers, been forced to meet and interact with dozens of actors, developed the format for the show, script edited seventeen drafts of three stories by three different writers and written a ‘New Writers’ Brief’ for anyone interested in joining the core team … but also written a fourth story myself.

How the fuck did that happen?

And how come it hasn’t actually impacted negatively on the mountain of stuff I was already working on? I think I must have finally given up sleeping altogether.

So what is Persona?

Well, I’m glad you asked that. Even if you didn’t, I’m going to tell you anyway. Unless you stop reading, then you’ll never know.

Persona is a daily, two minute, continuing drama series delivered directly to your shiny (or scratched and toilet dropped) smartphone. Purchase the app for a teeny, tiny, miniscule price and you get the content delivered direct to your phone forever more.

Four interlocking stories a month, split up into bite-sized daily appisodes which combine and rebound to build a complex, coherent world. The starting point for Persona is an Internet Dating site: www.i-heart-u.co.uk which allows us to shoot off into a myriad of different lives, situations and dilemmas. Not all of it’s about dating, the website is just something at least one person in each story is using – for reasons good, bad or nefarious.

That’s the theory anyway – it starts shooting today, be interesting to see how it all pans out.

For the curious among you, there’s more info on www.app-media.com.

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*Sci-fi = Drama plus space/giant robots/time travel. Horror = Drama plus zombies/vampires/monsters. Action = Drama plus shit blowing up. Comedy = Drama plus jokes. Drama = Drama plus … nothing. Drama is Genre minus stuff. The fun stuff.

Categories: Persona, Progress | 11 Comments

Unlucky for some

Just for the Record‘ went on sale today … and straight into the charts at number 1!

And number 3!

Um … hang on, is that right?

Oh I see …

I’ll start again.

Just for the Record‘ went on sale today … and straight into the charts at number 13!

Look, here’s proof:

Okay, so that’s Asda’s chart, but it still counts. Apparently it’s thereabouts in most places, which is quite nice.

One small worry, because there’s always one, is in most places they’re using the distributor’s cover:

Meaning most of the people who’ve bought it think they’ve bought a gangster film, as opposed to a comedy. Asda, bless ’em, look like they’re using the flip-side of the cover which actually portrays it as a comedy:

Which is also nice. I imagine there are going to be some quite miffed Danny Dyer fans who kick back for a night of British violence only to discover there’s no ACTION and nobody gets CUT. At least not in that sense. What can I say, except ‘I’m sorry’? You were lied to – not by me, I hasten to add.

For anyone who’s thinking of buying it but hasn’t yet, please read the following carefully:

IT’S NOT A BRITISH GANGSTER FILM!

Honestly.

It’s a comedy. Or at least it’s meant to be. Decide for yourself if you think it’s funny or not.

Still, number 13, eh? Fancy that, I’m in the charts! This calls for an extra strong cup of tea. I might even skip the decaf and go fully loaded … but perhaps not. No need to push the boat out quite that far.

Hee, hee … I’m in the charts.

Categories: Just for the Record, Progress | 3 Comments

Just for the Record – coming soon to a cinema (possibly) near you!

Just for the Record, the film based on a script wot I wrote (not, you’ll notice, the film wot I wrote – I wrote the script, other people took it off and made a film out of it. Script/Film – not the same thing) is being released in cinemas on May the 7th.

Personally, I find that rather exciting.

Not quite enough to add an exclamation mark to that sentence, because I’m just not that kind of guy. (!)

“What cinemas? Where?” I hear you cry.

Which is odd, since I’m currently trapped in a remote country house in France. And surely that should be ‘Which cinemas?’

“Which cinemas? Where?”

Hold on, I’m getting to that part. Jesus, you fucking people.

From the 7th of May, Just for the Record is showing in Apollo Cinemas in six splendid and worthy locations:

Amazingly, these six cinemas are NOWHERE NEAR WHERE I LIVE!

Nowhere near.

Fucking miles away, in fact. Hundreds of fucking miles.

In a strange bit of synchronicity though, Leamington Spa is where I grew up.

Well, sort of. It’s where I spent my teenage years. Growing up is perhaps an optimistic term for a man who still salivates over the Toys’R’ Us website.

I want this for my birthday, by the way.

The Apollo in Leamington, formerly The Regal, is where I saw Return of the Jedi, Gremlins, Back to the Future (1,2 and 3), Rocky 4 (got involved in my first riot outside), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, E.T. and almost every other film which made me want to write films in the first place.

That’s quite exciting.

To me, anyway.

Just for the Record! In the cinemas! Soon! Ish!

Oh fuck it, here’s the trailer again:

And for those of you who similarly live nowhere fucking near any of these cinemas, here’s the Play.com link again in case you feel the need to pre-order the DVD.

Categories: Just for the Record, Progress | 8 Comments

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