Friday, September 29, 2006

Last 2 weeks..

a quick recap:

low lights:

near constant low-level stress

not ever having the time to even review footage in my mind

manic panic mother

not speaking to my daughter for more than half an hour each day

VIP set visits..


accommodating parliamentary security guards

shooting though the partial solar eclipse - weird and chilly

eating good food and not having to cook


being so busy

champagne and tangerine breakfast on day off


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Touch wood

Just realised that getting a blog is a bit like getting another email address - unless you post on other blogs or tell someone - no one is going to know about it. I've had one visitor so far - and that was me! Ha! Ah well anonymity suits me.

The pace of life picked up considerably this week. BTW - this is all to do with a children's educational TV series I've scripted and will direct in a couple of weeks. We've managed to access a local astronomical observatory as our key location and the place is magnificent. Ticks all the boxes. Not only is there a massive telescope housed in an orbic (?) building but it has a floor which rises and the roof cranks open. How great is that? - ok perhaps not so good sound-wise. Maybe I'm a bit excited from the tour. People actually make telescopes there. It feels like a major coup . Touch wood.

There - superstition even creeping into my blog. My granny in Wigan was oh-so superstitious about too many things. When I was little I once made the mistake of giving her a real-life peacock feather for a birthday present. She hissed under her breath as she thanked me, then picked it up wearing rubber gloves and deposited it in the back of her sideboard. I think she threw it away as soon as I left. Never mind.

Feeling flush today, I finally put in my order for '26a' (OK Simone?) so hopefully it'll arrive by the end of the month.

BTW that horoscope for writers hasn't updated this month has it? Hmmm


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Life is not a plot!

I hate genre. There I've admitted it - I hate genre. But what I really hate are these snappy 'summed up Hollywood genres' (as in the Film Council's 25 words or less contest criteria) - like 'fish out of water comedy' (yak!) or 'zero to hero'. Why can't it be a fish-out-of-water tragedy? Or a hero to zero? OK OK I know these are tried and tested genres that rake in squillions but some day folks are going to get tired of formulas aren't they?

I prefer strange, thought-provoking films. Or obscure cult movies. Or new genres. John Heffernan called 'Snakes' "kickassian". Bring on the new genres I say.

Snatched girl - a great movie waiting to be made

Well there's been that big story in the news about the snatched Austrian girl Natascha. Sad but fascinating and has all the ingredients of a great movie so I'm sure chequebooks are being waved at her as I blog. Stockholm syndrome or not, she sounds remarkably self-possessed. But who knows the full story yet? Her rumoured pregnancy indicates a more subversive side to what went on. But still - it's the type of story I'd like to tell. I can already see those mesmerising, circular cat and mouse scenes between the caged captor and child - dark and disturbing. Here I must point out I don't do 'dark and disturbing' much at all - I just feel drawn to the details of this story- the little girl who ran away when her parents were arguing and met a wolf ... a truly grim fairytale...

Here and there

Caught up on past Writers Guild e-bulletins (different info than on their blog) today plus discovered the Scriptwriter's Union here is undergoing massive changes for the better even though - unlike Writer's Guild - it is pretty capital-centric i.e. all the wonderful talks, happenings shenanigans, jobs are based in the 'big city' - faraway from us sea-siders. Of course, there's more to it than that - a huge historical, cultural and social divide between 'us' and 'them'.

My (major) revelation today is: 'thinking time is just as important as doing time'. I'm not one for recklessly attacking the keyboard every morning, empty headed. I find when I've thought a script through (in its entirety) then it's much easier to bang it out on the page. Whereas if I'm struggling obliquely with some facet of the story - then usually it ends up not working well. In fact my 3 best scripts I managed to knock out within 21 days mainly because the 'story had fallen' into place - like an egg.
What about you?

I now have this series I'm mulling over - spanning there and here. I am now going to pad it into 13 eps for submission to a local broadcaster before the end of Sept. Earlier this year another project outline received positive feedback and is something else I must thrash out by the end of the year. Again it spans two worlds. After five years here, its the 'there' bit I'm now having difficulty with. Aside from the one page outline, I beat sheeted the first third and scripted 5 pages - what a crap way of working huh? I now I need to thoroughly think through the whole story before I go any further. It needs to 'drop'.

Now it is 8pm. I've put my daughter to bed. Earlier I delivered 2 lemons from my garden to my mother. I emailed my soon-to-be wed sister asking her to tape ultra controversial drama to be broadcast next week. I did a couple of follow ups on my latest script BM but no actual writing. Hmm..

I was also daydreaming about a derelict Victorian mansion fairly close to where I live now - beautiful huge building - and imagined setting up my various film related businesses there + photographic gallery (husband) plus writers' tearoom (Granny)..


Boo hoo

Already had to edit first entry (prior to going live) due to a rejection received this morning. Very generic letter - no hint of anything positive to be teased from it. Yeah I know a form letter means its didn't push any buttons anywhere. But I have been wondering if all the major institutions now send their employees on courses on how to deliver/write rejection letters.

'Don't promise anything you can't give. Don't offer any hope because the writer will follow it up immediately. Never write any subjective or critical comments that the writer may question. Never offer any reasons for rejection beyond 'the high calibre of proposals received'. Always open the door to other new projects at some indefinite time in the future... etc'

So now I'm re-thinking the purpose of this blog and wonder whether I'll actually launch at all - boo hoo - so much better to have positive feedback and news to unveil at the outset. Well this same proposal was pitched to the main broadcaster here last month - so I'm not losing hope completely. In fact the whole idea was developed with audiences over here in mind. When you have a foot in both worlds you tend to get caught in between.



First a link to horoscopes for writers I just found - perfect for those empty days when waiting just gets too much:

'Here you'll find astrological insights on the best times to court your muse or to sign contracts, to start your book or revise it, to go on tour or postpone it. You'll be able to plan for the times your creative flow may be blocked or when that flow is racing so fast there's hardly time to sleep. You'll discover the most propitious times in a given month to negotiate with agents and editors or with your clients'

August was quiet month for writing and feedback.

My soon-to-be-married sister will shortly be moving to Clungunford which I tried to find on Google Earth but apparently it doesn't exist. Another reason I now need to increase my script income rapidly is to pay for plane tickets to wedding. And on most airlines it's full or two thirds fare even for my four year old (who told me today that her best friend had asparagus in her lunch box. Now what kind of mother puts asparagus in her daughter's lunch box?) Plus there's 'no hand luggage' to think about.

This afternoon the hub (who has been having a few twinges in the chest lately) went off to have himself checked out. First the student doctor said he had 'an enlarged heart' - (which a quick search on the www will indicate is pretty serious) But then the senior doctor said he was perfectly fine. Relieved? Not quite.
Who would you dis/believe?

About a week ago I set up an email filter to alert me via mobile to certain 'work' emails. And today it worked for the first time! Peep peep. Woohee - I rushed home to open a photograph of a rather dark hall suggested for a shooting location. Hmm will have to re-filter the filter methinks.