Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Primeval - Love It Or Hate It?

Primeval - The end of the second series has come and gone, but was it any good?

I'm still struggling to like this show and sometimes I'm not that bothered if I catch it or not, evidenced by the fact I missed two and a half episodes this season. I want to like it because it has so much going for it; Douglas Henshall is a fantastic actor, Ben Miller adds the aloof comic touch, Connor and Abby's will they/won't they relationship, a good sci-fi premise, and bucket loads of creatures. Where the series fails are the gaping holes in logic and the formulaic episodes.

Gaping Holes:
  • Why are all the anomalies located within an easy car journey from the hub?
  • Why are there never any recorded instances of past anomalies appearing and letting creatures out, say for instance in Victorian times?
  • Why are only creatures stumbling through the anomalies? Surely if there are ones in the future people from that time period should be able to visit?

Formulaic Episodes:

  1. Anomaly appears.
  2. Monster enters through it and starts killing people.
  3. The team wade in with out any preparation.
  4. One or of the team find themselves in danger and in need of rescue.
  5. Team member is rescued.
  6. Creature captured.
  7. The team realise there is another creature on the loose.
  8. Other team members put in danger.
  9. Team members rescued yet again.
  10. Second creature captured.
  11. Anomaly closes.
  12. Rinse and repeat.

The other thing that gets me is that Prof. Cutter never carries a weapon...never, ever!!! Now I'm sorry, I don't care how high it is you don't go after monsters armed only with your I.Q. If I was chasing monsters, deadly ones known for their killing abilities, I'd be armed with as many big fuck off guns as I could carry. You just wouldn't walk into a situation and hope you will find a matchstick with which to fight off a Sabertooth Tiger.

The early episodes of Smallville were formulaic, centering around the 'freak-of-the-week'. The producers soon realised that this format wasn't going to work if they were to retain their viewers. So the formula changed and the series became a hit. I can't help feeling that if the producers of Primeval don't up the ante, move away from the formulaic, and start taking some risks with the story, then there won't be a fourth series.

So what do you think of Primeval?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


My four minute Norwegian script AGN has nearly finished post production. It's had a preview screening and went down very well. A couple of shots need to be trimmed and one or two sound effects are still to be added.

Although I was promised it would be done by the end of February this has now been put back until the end of March, due to the fact that it is being worked on at weekends when the director and editor have the time. Hopefully it won't be too long and I'll be able to upload it to my website.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Meet

Up at 6.50 am (that's what early morning looks like; out of focus and bloodshot) to catch a train from Poole at 7.55am. Only the train was cancelled. What??? Yep, cancelled. A track fault between Brockenhurst and Southampton meant I had to travel by coach from Bournemouth to Southampton, on the only double decker to double as a freezer. It was bloody cold and the other passengers and myself had to snuggle up for warmth.

Finally I made it to the meet twenty minutes late, after dodging past the numerous buskers on the underground, with my head down and hands in my pockets protecting my cash supply. I met Dan the director in Cafe Nero and bought him a coffee. What a lovely chap, very professional, organised and imaginative. His keeness and ideas for the project were an inspiration. The script is in good hands.

I still have to pinch myself when I think The Dead Side Of Life is going to be made. Don't get me wrong I've had stuff of mine made before, but this is different. This is not a student production it's a professional shoot, with professional actors, purpose built sets, and there's even someone writing the music. Fantastic! You guys are in for a real treat.

Then I went on to meet Jason Arnopp and James Moran. Unfortunately James couldn't make it. I suspect the BBC have him in one of those Torchwood alien cryogenic chambers, with a note saying, "Only defrost in a ratings emergency." Shame he couldn't be there, but Jason and I had fun. Such larks! I have to say that Jason is one of the nicest people I've ever met. No I'm not sucking up, I mean it. He didn't try and get my pants off like Mr. Moran suggested and Jason even offered to buy me a drink...I think I love him. We had a very chatty lunch and agreed to meet up again soon.

So despite the awful start it was a worthwhile trip and I can't wait to see the finished product and put it on-line to show you guys. I shall keep you all informed of its progress.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Big Smoke

On Monday I'm off up to the Big Smoke (London Town for those not in the know), to meet a director about shooting my short film script The Dead Side Of Life. Yes it's happening, it's actually happening...HUZZAH!!! And it's my first official "MEETING" for one of my own projects. Fan-fiddly-ducking-tastic!!!!!!!

After extensive research (about two minutes worth) I am now prepared for the meeting. What do I need to remember for the day?
  • Have a shower (very important unless I want to smell).
  • Brush my teeth (bad breath is not appealing).
  • Brush my hair (so it doesn't look like I haven't bothered with it in weeks, maybe even months, I can't actually remember to tell you the truth, and it does need a cut quite urgently).
  • Clean clothes (baby puke stained tops are not going to make the right impression).
  • Polo Mints (for the eliminating of bad breath when my mouth goes dry).
  • Copy of the script (so I can make notes and stuff ready for the inevitable rewrite).
  • A nice shiny leather bag to hold said script in, with pens and business cards safely tucked away in the bag's many inner pockets (my wife bought the bag. I like my bag. It's my man bag).
  • Money for the train fare, buying coffee (I need to be alert for the early morning meeting), sandwiches and paying tramps to bugger off and stop annoying me with their foul alcohol breath. I'm not sharing my Polo Mints with anyone, you fuckers!
  • Maps (lots of maps so I know exactly where I'm going and what time I have to be there by. Punctuality is a good skill to have and I'm very anal about it too. If I could take my sat-nav with me, I would).
I think I'm ready. Wish me luck.

Oh, I will also be meeting up with Mr. Jason Arnopp and possibly Mr. James Moran if he can tear himself away from the BBC for a minute or two. If James doesn't turn up he has warned me to watch out for Mr. Arnopp's wandering hands. Advice noted!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Direction Update

After taking Lucy's advice and throwing myself out there, offering my services to all and sundry in a cheap and obvious bid to make new contacts, I've had a couple of surprising results.

The first is a director showing an interest in my 10 minute comedy short The Dead Side Of Life. He wants to make it, and make it unaltered. Fantastico!!!!!!

The second, a probable collaboration with another writer who has connections with a famous director.

This networking lark's a doddle.