Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I was catching up on Danny & Tim's internationally renowned UK Scriptwriters' Podcast (LINK), while I was walking the dog the other day, and they were talking about making time for yourself.

Tim mentioned he had booked some time off in February, writing it in his diary as he would any other appointment or deadline, to focus on his own work. He did this because he found when he was busy with commissioned projects he had little or no time to work on his own spec screenplays and by setting aside time for himself he was able to do just that.

I was chatting to Daniel Martin Eckhart at LSWF last October and he was also talking about taking a year out from his commissioned work to focus on his own ideas. He had been working non stop for years on other people's projects since he was handed his first commission and felt it was time to concentrate on his own specs.

I have the same problem. Back in December 2011 I planned to write a second draft of my comedy heist feature A FIST FULL OF EUROS, then in January 2012 I landed my first commissioned feature screenplay. I've been working steadily ever since and I still haven't found time to get back to the script. And I probably won't do for some while yet, as after I've finished my latest commission I'll immediately start a new one.

It's the same kind of problem I had when I worked full-time and struggled to find the time to write. But I made myself find the time, made myself sit down and write, even when I didn't feel like it.

It's great being busy but I do miss working on my own stuff when I'm working for other people. So I've decided to book myself in my diary for some me time, one day a week until A FIST FULL OF EUROS is done. But which day to choose?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


The producer and director of my first commissioned feature have moved on from my polished draft and rewritten it themselves. I have to admit I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about this at first.

It was a very tough first commissioned feature to write as the producer and director were very precise about what they wanted, even to the point of spending four hours on Skype with me going through the final draft of the script line by line. It was incredibly difficult to put my own mark on the script and at times I became frustrated, especially when I didn't agree with what they were asking of me. I worked very hard on the script to give them what they wanted while also making sure it was the best it could be. Now they have informed me they have moved on from my draft.

I haven't seen the new draft so obviously I'm a little nervous because I know some of their suggestions for changes wouldn't have worked. It's hard to accept that things are now out of my control as my name will still be on the credits. I keep thinking, 'What if the changes they made don't work? What if they've made the screenplay worse? What if the screenplay is now utter rubbish and everyone is going to think I can't write?' Of course that's just my writers' paranoia popping out to say hello and I really shouldn't be listening to it.

The fact is there are always going to be changes to a screenplay, even during production, and as a writer I have to trust the vision of the producer and director. It doesn't matter what I think. It's their film. What matters is the producer and director get what they want. My doubts and fears don't come into it.

So I've decided I shouldn't fear being rewritten as it's just part of a process. I did my job. I did it well. A new draft is not a bad reflection on me. I've given them a great base from which to move forward and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished film.