One of the projects I’ve been working on for a while now is a sitcom called ‘That Band’ which is the brainchild of Lee Otway, who in another life was Bombhead in Hollyoaks.
Lee’s a really sound guy, someone I’ve got a lot of time for so even I’m going to sit down and watch Channel Four at 18.30 tonight to see his return to Hollyoaks. I’ll even be hanging around to see the post-credits tag, because that’s how much I like him.
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 …
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.
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’
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:
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.
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.
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.
Expressed a desire to project a photo of my balls onto various people’s faces.
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!
Confessed my sexual fondness for a cartoon character.
Ranted about working for two producers who hated each other.
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?
Reinstalled Quicktime so I could watch a film trailer.
Talked about the snow for fucking ages.
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.
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:
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 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.
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:
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?
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?
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.