Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dom's Life Rules

Four rules I live my life by that have helped me become a better writer.

(1) Change The Way You Look At Life.

If you think of yourself as unlucky you will see bad luck everywhere. With the glass half full the unlucky person will say, "I've only got a bit left." The lucky person will say, "It's not empty and I didn't pay for it."

(2) Make Opportunities.

The more you try the more opportunities open up to you. If you have a script you want to send out to producers then follow the carpet bombing method. The more people it is sent to the more chance there is of it landing on the right persons desk at the right time.

(3) What's Important To You?

Take a little time now and again to slow things down and reflect on what's important to you.

(4) Expect Good Fortune.

Believe good things will happen even when bad things are happening. Never give up, only unlucky people give up. Lucky people keep going and eventually get their reward.

I am Buddha, hear me roar.....meowwwwwww.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Will They; Won't They?

I have just emailed the second draft of my script to the production company. Now I'm scared.

This has been a rollercoster ride for me and a real eye opener. I think I've been through about every emotion there is with the second draft. I haven't doubted myself so much for so long. But now isn't the time to doubt as I've sent it; now all I can do is wait. I've followed their notes but there is always the chance they won't like what I've written and drop the project. I have no idea how I'll react if they do.

My other half keeps telling me to be positive about it. The thing is I am normally a very positive person. My positivity is infectious and most people can't help being positive about things too while I'm around. I'm not arrogant, or at least I would hope I don't come across like this, I just have an unfailing belief in myself and I can't look at life in any other way than 'the glass is half full'. Half full is infinitely better than just plain empty. So why if I'm normally so positive am I acting like a paranoid freak?

It matters, that's why! Everything I've done in the last ten years has led to this day. I need to get this option on my script to validate those last ten years and the direction I have decided to go with my life. And I need the money.

Have you guys wanted anything so much you have almost burst?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rewrite All Right

Your eyes are bleeding and you can't feel your legs. You've been sat at your computer for so long you've forgotten what 'outside' looks like. Rewrites are hell!!!!

Rewrites make you paranoid, as you're constantly questioning what you've written. "Is it good enough?" "Does this character work in this scene?" "Are my brains dribbling out of my nose?" You start to second guess yourself over the rewrite you're doing for a production company. You've read their notes several times and you worry even more that you're not quite getting it right. It seems to matter more when you're writing from someone else's notes. It matters when there's a chance it might get made, so instead of writing something and being happy with it you keep looking at it and asking yourself, "is it really good enough?"

Then you start to become paranoid about yourself, "am I really any good?" And that's when you become paralysed, your fingers poised on the keyboard but the connection between your creativity and your fingers broken. Amazingly the only thing that does work are your tear ducts.

You begin to realise you've been so tied up in your work you're neglecting other things. Your girlfriend pops her head around the door and asks, "I need some new shoes." "Fine," you say, "just don't bother me again, I'm busy." Before you know it she's bought two pairs of shoes, a pair of riding boots and a £45 dress from Debenhams. Now your wallet's paranoid too. And amazingly your tear ducts still work.

In the end you just give in. The newly rewritten script is shoved in an envelope, sealed and addressed. "Right, that's it," you say as you leave the flat for the first time in weeks to post your work of art, feeling dizzy on all that fresh air.

You get back to the flat and sit down in front of the computer again. You rip open the envelope and throw the script into the bin, "OK, just one more rewrite and then I'll post it." You're not surprised to find that your tear ducts still work.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Drink Of Choice

Most scriptwriters I've know love their beer. Is it alcoholism or is it something about the business that drives a scriptwriter to drink? Or is it a little of both?

While I was at Bournemouth University doing a BA (Hons) degree in Scriptwriting For Film and Television it was the norm to discuss your work, or other's work, over a few beers in the student union bar. Even the lecturers were partial to a few pints.

So what is your drink of choice?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Procrastination is a trap anyone can fall into. It's trapped me now as I'm meant to be doing a rewrite but I'm writing this instead. I'll start my writing in a moment, but first I'll go and make myself a cup of tea.

It's an easy trap to fall into and one that's hard to get out of. "I'll just check my emails," or any number of things can get in you way and interrupt your flow. So how can you avoid it? Here's my guide to the essentials.

When you get out of bed in the morning only allow yourself to do the following - Go to the loo and eat breakfast. If this takes more than half and hour you're procrastinating (or you might be constipated in which case I suggest laxative). Once done sit in front of your computer and start writing. It's that easy, but yet it's also so difficult. "But what about a shower and brushing my teeth?" What about them? You're alone in the house so who's going to care that your breath smells, or that you haven't shaved in a week, that your hair has enough grease in it to fry chips and that you've been wearing the same underpants for the last four days. What's important is that you sit in front of your computer and write. No looking out of the window, no checking your emails, no checking the news on TV, no playing your X-Box, no reading the paper and no making a cup of tea every five minutes. Set yourself a time to start and a time to finish and don't let you bum move from that computer chair until that time is up. And above all write, write like your life depends upon it.

"But what if I have a block?" Just write. Write anything, it doesn't matter what just as long as you write. It may well be rubbish but when you come to do the rewrite you can sort it out then, what you need to do is fill those pages. Don't worry about quality for the moment it's quantity that matters more at this stage.

There is one important question I ask myself every morning, "What is a writer?" If you answered with anything other than, "Someone who writes," or you had to think about it, then you're already procrastinating. Go and bloody write!!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Olaf Lovin'

Where has Olaf Legend gone? Has he become a victim of his own success?

We all loved Olaf, or at least most of us did. There were a few who sent him hate mail, but then if you write about your mother you have to expect her to hit back. So why did Olaf court such adoration and hate in equal amounts?

Olaf to me summed up everything that is writing; the seemingly constant rejection, the paranoia, the self-doubt, the ridicule from your so called friends when you tell them what you want to do with your life, the constant search for validity and the hope that one day it'll all be worth it. And on his journey he made us laugh. We thank you for that, Mr. Legend.

So why has he disappeared? I can only assume it all got too much for him. Poor lad, we'll miss him. RIP my friend.

What is you favorite Olaf Legend moment and why?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Vanishing Act

Following on from the last post, and after reading Danny's post earlier today, I can't help feeling that a lot of good British sci-fi shows have been unnecessarily axed after only a season or two. We are talking good quality drama with engaging characters and innovative plots. So why are great shows like Hex, The Vanishing Man and Ultraviolet disappearing from our screens?

At first I thought maybe it's because these shows can't compete with American imports? British shows like Ultraviolet provide great drama but the only thing I can see that they lack compared to American shows are visual effects. American shows have bigger budgets so more money is obviously spend on special effects and CGI. British TV simply can't match this but surely that means the writing has to be better? If this is so why have shows, such as above, vanished from our TV screens so quickly? I don't know the answer and there are probably multiple answers, a different one for each programme.

So fellow bloggers which British TV programme do you wish they would bring back and why?

Monday, May 01, 2006


So another popular programme has been axed from our screens.

Last week Richard Woolfe, Sky One's newly appointed Director of Programmes, wielded the axe for the second time this month. Not one, but two flagship programmes of Sky One are now no more.

What is it with new Directors of Programming that they feel they have to start with a clean slate when they take over? Popular and innovative shows get the axe simply because they were the brain child of their predecessor and not because they were losing ratings. Surly any self-respecting DOP would want to keep a successful show because after all their job relies on good ratings? Or is it an act of ego?

It appears to me that a new DOP simply wants to take credit for their own shows and not the shows of their predecessor. They can't be seen to benefit from someone else's work so they axe them with scant regard to the wishes of the viewing public.

Hex was one of the few successful British Sci-fi series that could compete on the same level with anything the Americans could throw at us. So what is Richard Woolfe going to replace it with? Reality shows are at the top of his wish list apparently. No doubt we'll see several new shows with the world CELEBRITY in them, featuring some unrecognisable people who's only claim to fame is that they one appeared in the Big Brother house for about thirty seconds, or someone who once dated Jade Goody. We lose good quality drama for that? Thanks a lot Richard Woolfe, lets hope you're not in your job for long.