Monday, July 24, 2006

The World At Your Feet

A while back I sent World Productions a copy of From This Day Forth. They read it, liked it, but rejected it because it was too similar to something they had just done. However, they went on to say that they loved my writing and thought that I have a talent worth pursuing and developing. They then gave me an open invitation to send them more of my work.

So another script has come back from World Productions this time Where Angels Fear To Tread. Again they liked it but it wasn't something they wanted to pursue at this time.

What do I send them next? I can't decide so I'm going to let you do so. Here are the two choices and their brief outlines.

Title: Sins Of The Father
Genre: Feature thriller/drama
Outline: Will Pearce (17) escapes his abusive stepfather and mother to return to his home town, and the father he hasn’t seen for eighth years. Will soon discovers his childhood memories are a lie as he struggles to come to terms with the violent world his father, Steve, inhabits. But his plans for a reconciliation are thrown into jeopardy when an attempt is made on Steve’s boss’s life and Will finds himself sucked into a life or death game of cat and mouse.

Title: Mr. Valentine
Genre: Feature comedy
Outline: The grass is greener on the other side. At least dreamer Barnaby Valentine believes this until his wish is granted and all women suddenly find him irresistible. It isn’t long before Barnaby realises even the greenest grass hides weeds and the odd obsessed teenage girl camping out.

In the best Big Brother traditions; which one goes, you decide? Please tell me which you think I should send and why?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Being Professional Part 1

There are thousands of us out there so how can we as scriptwriters make ourselves stand out from the crowd? By being professional, that's how.

Here is the first in a series of how to be professional starting with that must have tool of any writer, the business card.

A business card is essential for a writer because it's your point of contact. It not only holds your contact information, but it also tells the recipient that you're serious about writing and that your script wasn't written on the back of cereal packet during the breakfast the previous day (it might have been but we'll discuss presentation in another blog). It also tells the recipient that you're prepared to put yourself out there.

You don't have to have a fancy one like I do, a plain one, print on one side, with your name, occupation and contact details will do. Don't worry too much about cost because even if you only get a commission from one of those cards it will have been worth it. So make sure to get plenty printed. I found five hundred to be a good number.

I decided to spend a little more money on my cards and had a template designed especially for it. If you look closely at the card you can see that the script in the background is one of my own. No one will ever notice, but I know it's there and I get a kick out of it.

But having a business card is no good unless you're prepared to use them. Keep a small amount on you at all times (because you never know when you might bump into Russell T Davies or Ridley Scott) and hand them out when you meet people in the industry, or to people with contacts within the industry. I paper clip one to every letter or script that I send out. Most come back, but a few have been kept.

It's not uncommon in meetings for people to swap business cards. If someone gives you a card give them one of yours and keep their card in a safe place. If someone doesn't give you a card then give them one of yours anyway. Remember, you're promoting yourself here.

Use it, that's what it's there for.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Cat In The Hat

I have a hat. It's not any old hat. It's a writing hat. Terry Pratchett has a hat and now so do I.

You might ask yourself why does a hat make so much difference to your writing? It's because the brim of the hat is in my view and blocks anything that might distract me above it. Think of it as the same sort of thing as blinkers for horses. I'm less distracted when I wear it.

Besides it makes me feel more like a writer, it puts me in the mindset so I can sit in front of my computer for several hours and do that little something that eludes even the best of us at times - actual writing. It focuses me.

What do you guys and gals wear/or do to facilitate the flow of words that will one day become screenplays?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Ve Ver The Dogs of Var

Yesterday was my stag do. At 9am we went paintballing and as you can see from my wounds I got hit several times, including once on the jaw. That was very painful. It was so hot running around in those woods we were sweating buckets, but it was cracking laugh despite the fact there isn't a part of my body that doesn't hurt. My legs hurt so much from all that running around I can hardly walk today.

After paintballing everyone piled around to my house to watch the football (see Olaf, I told you all Swedes were rubbish, everyone kept yelling, "4-4-2 not 4-5-1 you dozy Swede"). After showering and downing two pints of water to regain some lost fluids we started on the beer. Two cases were quaffed before the final whistle had blown. During extra time we had a pizza delivered and the pizza delivery girl came and watched the football with us until it went to penalties, when she jumped back on her moped and raced to her next delivery to watch the penalties. I knew if it went to penalties we would lose, we always do. We can't take penalties for shit.

After the game we went into town. I would report what happened here but for some funny reason I can't remember a great deal. I think I must have been mugged of my memories because my head really hurt this morning. Some of the things that did come back to me during today include; lots of shots including sambuca, a never empty bottle of lager that changed flavour every time I drank from it (At one point it even tasted of pears), exploding a 2ltr bottle of diet coke using a packet of Mentos (you put the sweets in the coke bottle and then stand back to watch as the sweets react with the bubbles and send a fountain of coke 20 feet into the air which drenches your brother's trousers), losing a shoe, running down the middle of a main street without my trousers or boxers on screaming at the top of my voice, playing Halo 2 really badly on the X-Box 360 until 4am and being told to F#%k off by Susie when I woke her for the seventeenth time to tell her I loved her.

Susie woke up the next morning to be greeted by the sight on the left, a real sleeping beauty. I'm not really convinced that she had to take that picture to remind me of my stag do for all eternity. Still, it was a good sleep and much needed.

To sum up it was a wonderful day one I am finally recovering from at 9.30pm.