Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Epic Battle With BT

It rages on... and on....and on. I'm surprised I'm being allowed to write this, because I'm sure BT are monitoring me, in fact I expect to be cut off in seconds.

Nope, still here!

The engineer has been out to look over my stuff, and all the connections in my house. "There's no problem this end" fucking shit, Sherlock, I've been telling you that for months. So now I've been passed on to their top team of investigators, who I imagine are the CFU (Counter Fault Unit) of the phone world. I imagine a Jack Bower type figure stalking the corridors of the exchange armed with a screwdriver, hunting down that elusive fault, tweaking its nipples and giving it what for. Apparently they are going to be my best friend until the fault is found and fixed. Such dedication, if only they could do something about the rising fuel costs.

Rejection Watch: Twice this week....bastards!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


- Another post in the occasional series of brilliant posts from Dom. Yep Indeedy!

As you know I hate rewriting. There is always a danger of doing too much, losing your focus and turning your script into a mindless pile of drivel, if it wasn't one already. What is needed is a bit of structure to those rewrites. Split them down, concentrating on different aspects of the script one at a time, so you don't get bogged down and confused as to what you're actually trying to do. Focusing on smaller tasks makes the over all job a lot easier. So here is my rewrite routine, invented by myself and not stolen from the ideas of other people.....honest!!!

Draft One: The 'get it done' draft.

You've done your outline, your treatment, polished your characters, so now it's time to write. So write. Resist the temptation to go back and edit. If you need to make notes then make them, but what is more important at this stage is that the script is on the page. It doesn't have to be brilliant, it just needs to be done. Now leave the script alone for a couple of weeks.

Draft Two: Structure.

When you come back to it and reread what you've written it's going to look pretty bad. Don't worry, draft two is designed to iron out any inconsistencies, any gaping holes in the plot, and to make sure that anything important you have introduced in the script later is set up earlier in the script. Don't be tempted to work on anything else at this stage, that'll come later.

Draft Three: Characters.

Do you know your characters? Are they believable? Do they have flaws the audience can identify with? Do they act true to their character, or do they do things simply because the plot requires them to do so? Characters need to be believable and to engage the audience. If they don't then you need to take a serious look at them. Don't forget, even the greatest hero has his own motivations driven by his own selfish desires. No one is all good, nor all bad. People are a mixture, with their own likes, hates, fears, and desires.

Draft Four: Dialogue.

Could you identify your characters by their speech alone? Everyone speaks differently. Go to a public place and listen to people having conversations, what they say, how they interact with others. This will help you individualise each characters' speech. Avoid writing regional accents phonetically, it makes them hard to read and will put readers off. Don't forget people are not always nice to each other, including friends and family.

Draft Five: Imagery.

Look for repeated words in your action description and find new ones to replace them. Look at your description. Could it be shorter, more direct? Is it flat and dull? Could it be punchier? This is the draft that could make a lot of difference to your script, so take your time with this one, even if you have to spend several days searching for just the right word to describe something. Remember screenwriting is all about imagery; TV and film are a visual medium. Make you scenes stand out in the mind of the reader.

Draft Six: Restructure.

Would your script benefit from telling it in a different way, or order. Take Memento for instance, an excellent film told backwards. The film could work both ways, but it adds an extra level of poignancy to it by being told backwards. Look at you script and decide if a liner plot is the best for your story. To be honest I'm always certain about the way I want to write a script when I start, but it never hurts to take a second look.

Draft Seven: Conflict.

Conflict is the essential part of a story. If you have no conflict then all you have is a script to go to sleep by. Look at each scene, is there conflict, even if it's between friends. Don't forget there are different levels of conflict, you don't need two people beating the crap out of each other in every scene.

Bad Example

Fuck you!

Fuck you more!

Good Example

Enamel sits behind the counter reading a comic, taking the occasional sip from a mug of tea. He doesn’t look up when Barnaby enters.

Sorry I’m late.

Ogling Angela Cooper again?

No! I would have been on time if I hadn’t knocked over
some silly old fart and spilt his shopping all over the pavement.
He made me carry it home for him.

Enamel looks up to dispense some sage advice.

You let people push you around too much, Barn.

Advice given Enamel returns to his comic.

Yeah, well no more.

Barnaby heads towards the shop’s back room. Enamel sticks his tea mug out at arms length with out looking up from his comic.

Barnaby sighs and takes the mug from Enamel before exiting to the back. Enamel smiles.

Draft Eight: The Opening Pages.

The first five to ten pages are very important. These are the pages a reader will look at. If they don't like what they see they won't read any further. So make sure your opening pages contain a great hook and are the best they can be. It's worth spending a bit of time on these pages to get them right.

Draft Nine: Back To Your Characters.

Yep, more character work. Make sure each of your characters' arcs are believable and satisfying to the reader. They can have either an upbeat, or a downbeat arc, or a bittersweet one. Remember, they have to be satisfying to the reader.

Draft Ten: Proof Read.

As I always say to my wife, "I'm a writer, I never professed to be able to spell, that's why they invented spell checkers." I'm a crap speller so I give all my work to my wife to check over. If you're spelling and grammar is as crap as mine hand your work over to someone you trust and give them a big red pen. Red is such a lovely colour.

That's it....or is it? Well no, now's the time to send you script out to others for their opinions. Once you've got that feedback you can start the process again. Remember, writing is all about rewriting.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Connecting to not

I had an inspirational blog planned this week, all about tackling rewrites and what you should concentrate on with each draft, but fate had other plans. Or should I say FUCKING BT BROADBAND BASTARDS decided that it was a good idea to crash my broadband for the second time in a month.

I've been in this property since October 2007 and the first weekend of every month, without fail, the broadband goes down for three days. The first time was irritating, the second frustrating and the third time I blew my top. I phone them straight away and they guide me through tests for about half an hour to check it's not my router that's causing the problem (I know these tests off by heart now). It's only then they grudgingly admit the fault may be at their fucking kidding, Sherlock!!!!! Cue a weekend with out Internet or Xbox, punctuated by several phone calls back and forth, only for the broadband to come back on miraculously at 9am Monday morning, presumably when the engineers come back from their relaxing weekend.

Yet I keep taking the punishment, I keep letting them convince me everything will work correctly after every call I make. But it doesn't and I don't change my broadband supplier. I'm a mug.

But this month I've finally had enough. The broadband went down as clockwork the first weekend of the month, and again I was with out it for three days. Then it went down again yesterday. I found myself doing something I very rarely do, screaming and swearing down the phone at some poor sod who wasn't responsible for my problem, but I'd reached the end of my patience.

If any of you out there are dissatisfied with the service you're receiving from BT BROADBAND then walk. Don't put up with their sloppy service and false promises. There is a large choice of providers out there, so shop around, don't let people walk all over you. You don't have to suffer crap broadband.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Here, at last, is AGN, which when translated into our mother tongue becomes 'Bait'.

View it here.


Friday, May 09, 2008

My Week

This week I have mostly been rejected five times.....

....which was nice.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

AGN Premier part 2

A screening once an hour on the hour, the beer flowed, food was munched and a good time was had by all.

TVVest, the local TV station were there and this is what they had to SAY. I wish I could read Norwegian coz I have no idea if they liked it or not.


Translation follows: Our employees are not satisfied to edit and film during working hours.

- We wanted to produce something that we did not do on a working day basis, which is commercial- and news, explains director Ørjan Hennes, who together with producer Tore Lofnes has done most of the post-production. Lofnes is also the cinematographer.

We see a man (Jakob Bentsen) who's jogging around Mosvannet. He's not in shape, but when an attractive woman (Merete Hammersland) smiles at him several times, he gains more energy and it adds more hope to his ego. But things change rapidly to something scary when he finally makes contact with her.

- I think it was either me or Tommy who came up with the idea that we wanted to make a film about a jogger around Mosvannet. our original thought was that we wanted to "pull the plug" so that all the water around would disappear. But that would take too much time in after effects, smiles Hennes.

Torfinn Ingeborgrud who's a teacher at Stavanger University and lightman Lars Børke plays an important part as co-actors. Arne Reidar Mortensen, production manager and primus-motor, Steffen Rogne did the sound, Henriette Framnes Time did credits, Rune Hagerup, catering and props, Ivan Bråten Stills, Andreas and Tommy did their planning and a

A certain Gunnar Gran came up with the title.

Enjoy this five minute long feelgood-horrorfilm premiere, Saturday and Sunday or watch it online.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

April Round Up

So AGN gets its press and media screening tomorrow. I really wish I had the money to jump on a plane and attend but I don't, so I'll have to content myself with reports from my friend, who will be attending.

If any of you want proof that blogs work then let me tell you that I was contacted yesterday by a production company looking for scriptwriters. Who they are doesn't matter; what does matter is that this blog and my website are getting noticed. All the hard work I've put into both is paying off, which is now leading to paid work, or at the least the possibility of it. So if anyone reading this is thinking of writing a blog, but isn't sure the effort is worth it, I have only one thing to say; what are you hanging around for, you doult, start blogging!!!! Don't worry I can handle the competition.

Buddha Of Birmingham has gone out to several production companies so I shall wait with baited breath. The waiting is the hardest part for a writer. We can deal with rejection, we get very excited, almost to the point of wetting ourselves, when we get work, but the waiting gnaws at your soul. Every time the letter box goes it's a mad dash to the doormat, flying through the air, sliding down the stairs on your stomach, only to find Pizza Express have a sale on. Post delivery time sucks!

Gnome is now finished and is my second attempt at a dialogue free script. I'm very pleased with the result.

Jump needs some more work on it, but is coming along very nicely.

I am yet to hear back on how two of my scripts have fared during filming, or even if the productions have gone ahead. I better make some calls.

Laters taters!