Monday, January 31, 2011

Luck vs Talent Part 2

To sum up the last blog I consider competitions to be about 20% talent and 80% luck.

But what about when you start to send your work out there into the big wide world of producers and production companies? This, I feel, is a totally different ball game altogether. If you have done your research on the company you are sending your work to, created a good online profile, networked your butt off and made many writing friends and contacts in the TV and film industry, then you have significantly reduced the odds of success in your favour.

Networking is the biggest and most important part of this. Build up those contacts, meet new people, befriend fellow writers, it's the difference between saying you're a writer and making a living as one. The effort you put in may not pay dividends straight away, but years down the line someone you once met might remember you as a hard working, conscientious, friendly person just when someone has asked them if they know any good writers. If someone already knows you, or of you, and more importantly they like you, then luck doesn't even factor in to the equation. Your hard work and your affable nature will get you into more places than luck ever will. Or to put it another way, you make your own luck and the harder you work the more luck you have.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Luck Vs Talent

Are competitions a true reflection of talent, or is luck, not talent, the major factor of success?

This is a very good question and one I've been pondering now for a month or two, trying to decide if I should stop entering competitions and concentrate on submitting my work to producers, etc. I have come to the conclusion that if you lack talent then you're never going to win, after all talent is what screenwriting competitions are looking for, and a good script and writer will eventually rise to the top. However, I do believe that luck plays a far greater role than most people might think and that talent, to a certain extent, takes a back seat in writing competitions, especially in earlier rounds.

What makes a script stand out? I don't need to tell you this again, because most bloggers have discussed this at some point, and to be truthful the answers are pretty much the same. I feel it's basically all down to what the reader likes, or doesn't like. Your script may be the bee's balls, a perfect example of the techniques of writing, but if yours is the twenty-third TV drama featuring a circus clown with a sideline in solving local crimes he has read in a row then he might not look upon your script with too much favour. If yours had been the first on the pile chances are you would have made the cut.

It might also be the case that the reader hates your style of writing, your subject matter or even you in particular, where as everyone else in the known universe loves what you do. The reader may simply have got out of bed on the wrong side that morning and decided he wasn't going to like anything he read that day. As a writer you can narrow down the possibilities of rejection through hard work, research and practice, but you can never account for the luck factor no matter how hard you try. Luck is a bugger I can tell you.

So after much thought I have decided to limit the competitions I enter this year to save myself a great deal of frustration and cash. I don't enter them looking for affirmation either, because I don't need it, nor want it. I write for myself, not what I think people might like.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Traveller Production Kicks Off

I wrote The Traveller over a two week period last November from a treatment by Peter Mitchell. Even though the writing process was a challenge, working closely with director Musaab Ag (pictured below right), trying to merge his ideas and mine to create an exciting, tense, gripping script, it was an experience I thoroughly enjoyed, and one we are both eager to repeat as soon as possible. There was even a late Wednesday night session of last minute changes conducted over Skype.

It was a genuine delight to find someone I worked well with, someone I could bounce ideas off and have my opinions on their ideas listened to at the same time. It was a wonderful collaborative process which has created a finished script I'm extremely pleased with.

Shooting starts today (not sure how long it goes on for), which includes closing off a major highway near Dubai so they can crash a car and roll it into a ditch; that gives you some idea of the scale and ambition of the production. I wish them all luck and look forward to seeing the finished production very soon. I really can't wait for our next collaboration. As my three-year-old son would say, 'is exciting.'

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Short Film Script Available Part 2

After failing to progress to the semi-finals of the BSSC competition my short drama Chameleon, about a school boy physically abused by his father who forms a close friendship with another boy from his school, is now available to all you lovely directors out there, for the usual remuneration of course.

Please get in touch for details and a copy of the script via my website

Friday, January 14, 2011

Short Film Script Available

Some sad news. Due to unforseen circumstances, and some rotten luck on a previous occasion, my comedy short film script The Dead Side Of Life finds itself without a home once again. The script was in the hands of the up and comming talented director Susan Clark, but she is now unable to go ahead with filming. Sometimes projects collapse at the last moment, it's the nature of the business, so I harbor no ill feeling towards Susan at all. She was also extremely gutted she couldn't film the script as she had hoped. Sometimes these things just happen. We will stay in touch and hopefully collaborate together again in the near future.

I love The Dead Side Of Life script and really want to it get made, but not at the expense of quality. So I'm only proposing to let this script go to someone willing to make it within three months of agreeing to do so. I am not prepared to let the script sit unmade in the hands of anyone longer than this, so no time wasters please. To secure the making of this script, but also to make sure it is done before the summer, I am offering the script for a bargain £50.

Are you a film maker in search of something fun and cheap to make? Do you deliver when you say you will? Then this is the project for you? If you really aren't sure you can follow through then please don't reply. If you try I will release the hounds on you!!!

Check the script out on my website (click here), and if you're interested please email me including a brief CV and any links to your work online.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Working Hours

Thank God we're in the New Year, I missed my routine. I'm not one for working on the fly, I just can't do it, I have to organise my time. So now the boy has gone back to nursery I am now back at my desk regularly until the new baby comes when all my writing plans will fly out of the window. Here is the new schedule of my working week.


7.30am - get out of bed.
8.35am - take the boy to nursery and walk the dog.
9.15am - sit down to write.
11.50am - collect the boy from nursery and eat lunch.
12.50pm - take the boy back to nursery.
1.00pm - sit down to write.
3.50pm - collect the boy again and then try to mix house work and playing with the boy.


7.00am - get out of bed.
9.00am - try to write while looking after the boy.
12.00pm - eat lunch.
1.00pm - try to do more writing while looking after the boy.
4.30pm - prepare dinner, wash up lunch stuff, housework, before the wife comes home.


7.30am - get out of bed.
8.35am - take the boy to nursery and walk the dog.
9.15am - sit down to write.
11.50am - collect the boy from nursery and eat lunch.
12.50pm - take the boy back to nursery.
1.00pm - sit down to write.
3.50pm - collect the boy again and then try to mix house work and playing with the boy.


7.30am - get out of bed.
8.35am - take the boy to nursery and walk the dog.
9.15am - sit down to write.
11.50am - collect the boy from nursery and eat lunch.
12.50pm - take the boy back to nursery.
1.00pm - sit down to write.
3.15pm - go to my third job to get there by 4.00pm.


7.30am - get our of bed.
8.30am - take dog for walk.
9.00am - take child to toddler group.
12.oopm - return home for lunch.
1.00pm - try and write while looking after the boy.
4.15pm - drop the boy off at a friends and go to my third job to get there by 5.00pm

Sometimes if I have a slow day I'll also try and work in the evenings, but I do have to spend time with the wife.

What hours do you get for your writing, and do you think it's enough?