Friday, February 29, 2008

why she blogs

'As to the question of whether blogging is somehow a cheap occupation because it is done for free, I would suggest that it fits comfortably among a minority of activities, including sex and charity fundraising, which actually make you feel better about yourself if done for nothing.'

Helen Smith reflects on her first year online on the WGGB website - click here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Script editing for writers, directors and producers

A five-day workshop which focuses on essential areas of scriptwriting with emphasis on script editing has been sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture.

The workshop will consider how to read a script, ask the right questions, break it down, create a shooting plan and execute it. Narrative dynamics will be discussed including the grammar of filmmaking; visual and creative approach; pace and rhythm; as well as shooting and editing.

A practical element will also be included. The facilitator, Robyn Aronstam, will use scripts and films that she has worked on as script supervisor including “Monsoon Wedding”, “Country of my Skull” and “Rendition”.

Participants are encouraged to bring a scene of their own to the workshop.

Application deadline: Monday, 3 March 2008. Course Dates: 13 March – 19 March 2008

Contact details, motivations and CVs should be sent to:
Connie Mosegedi: mosegedic 'at'

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Jon had some questions about blogging

• Why did you start blogging and why do you continue?

I was always reading blogs especially Danny's and Lucy's and started commenting occasionally and it grew from there. I'm not too interested in reading about craft on blogs - I prefer reading about other writers' journeys, successes, failures and schemes or what-have-you. Blogs provide a good barometer of what's happening in scriptwriting all over. I thought I might run out of things to post about in the beginning so stockpiled about 5 posts at first (and then ended up starting on exactly the same day as Pot.)
For about 2 weeks I don't think I had any readers at all and then it picked up gradually. My hit rate isn't that high but it suits me - I get about 10 visits a day when I don't post and 2 or 3 times that when I do. I'm very attached to my blog now - like an online handbag I rummage around in now and again. Mostly it helps focus my thoughts on scriptwriting etc. Sometimes it is just fun.

• How do you decide what to blog about?

In the early days I thought I'd blog about all sorts of intriguing scriptwritery things and review various scripts I'd downloaded and stuff (ha!) - but now I veer more towards the anecdotal. Every so often I'll post a meandering ramble linking disparate trains of thought. I love adding images and the fact that you can now post cell-phone videos straight on to blogger. If I ever shelve anonymity and say goodbye to this blog then I may well do it in a video post.

Quite a few scribos have slowed down lately and it seems to have a knock on effect. I don't consciously sit down and think of something to blog about - either there's a story or there are opportunities etc. Strangely my most banal posts end up being the most popular - like brads (!) or toes. Recently someone typed 'what can I do about burning toes with black spots all over them?' into google and then spent 3 minutes on my blog. Well visitor, if you come back - my advice is "See a doctor. Immediately!"

• Do you write straight out or pre-plan what you’re going to write.

I tend to write it up first in word and then post. I get annoyed seeing typos after I've posted. The only time I write straight is when I'm doing a quick link or something.

• Do you censor yourself?

Definitely and more so as time goes on. Not just the karma thing either. Even with a miniscule readership, you start to become self conscious about who reads your blog.

I'd say if a working relationship or some scriptwriting endeavour turns a bit sour, it's probably best not to post screeds of vengeful bile - although it may be tempting. Things can turn in your favour again - in fact I've just experienced this in regard to a situation I posted about.

I also censor myself about family. I'm not anonymous on facebook but I am here (well not to those who know me) and that offers potential for collision....

So what about you?


Sunday, February 17, 2008


Bits and pieces really this one. February's whizzing by with much happening under the radar and intriguing opportunities opening up here, there and everywhere. Is that vague enough to deflect blog karma?
Lately have been budgeting and re-budgeting. Once in a while, every scriptwriter should perhaps sit down and minutely cost a film (any film - short or feature) - if only to realise how much more gratifying the process of scriptwriting is - ha!

What else? - interesting post over at WC Martell's blog today He suggests that the key to writing successful films that are both political and mainstream - is subversion. I would agree.

Local news for those who may not have spotted it is that the briefs are up - that's the SABC'S latest request for proposals - a hefty document at 126 pages) so if you want to save paper, then probably better just to print out those that are of interest. There are only a few drama briefs.

That's it for now. Laters.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Ok so now for the "scriptwritery tomes meme" - as tagged by Elinor - here's my mixed bag. My all-time favourite is second from top 'The Fragrance of Guava' which I've mentioned before - not really about scriptwriting at all. Anyone recognise the dark green binding second from the bottom (he he - er yes still reading it!!) Apologies for the blurry phone photo - might upload a clearer one in a minute....
BTW I tag Robin as I don't think anyone else has yet...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Times online filmschool

Lots of exciting articles and information now available online (for those who are unable to get hold of the Times newspaper). Yesterday was all about scriptwriting. Catch up by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

earth rat

Happy Chinese New Year of the earth rat!
The Rat Year is a time of hard work all round for everyone - a good year to be resourceful and think on your feet. People born in an Earth Rat year are supposed to be realists, logical, inventive and shrewd.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


The toes on my left foot have been plaguing me lately and I feel like cutting them off. I used to get chillblains in the UK a lot especially in winter time, but it's hot over here now and what I have now is fairly similar; itchy but burning and more like water blisters. I thought it might be the pool but can't see why really. Then I thought it could possibly be gout (there's a lot of it about over here) but a quick surf indicated that it probably wasn't (the internet really is a hypochondriac's paradise) Anyway gout sounds far more painful - and affects the joints - apparently you can't even bear to have a bed sheet lightly pressing upon a gouty toe - they get that sensitive. Plus gout seems to be affected by diet. I only eat two-legged meat for a start (bar the odd rasher) and I don't drink red wine or spirits only pinot. Maybe it is the swimming. Hmmm. I should try lavender water tinged with pink - but that didn't do the Pobble much good...

local scene

Four new South African films on release now or coming to the cinema later this year. Read an overview here.


The solar eclipse on 6th February (7th in some parts) will likely be significant for scriptwriters (closure, moving on - an end to the WGA strike is indicated - ha!) Benefits may not be seen until a few days afterwards.

For writers who want to know more about what the February eclipses have in store, read TJ Macgregor's horoscopes for writers at Booktalk - they've just been updated here.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Imitation of life

Imagine a scene where two Moslem women with Down's syndrome, (separately) walk through a busy market place full of animals and people and announce that they have birds to sell. Then they stop and throw open their burqas - the signal for remote controlled bombs, hidden under their garments to be detonated. Afterwards, 93 people (including the women themselves) lie dead.

Shocking bloody and nasty and most of all real.

As I watched the news yesterday, my conflicting thoughts (as a scriptwriter) were 'wow that's cinematic!' and (as a parent) 'f*** how callous'.

I suppose this dual response typifies one of the most difficult tasks in scriptwriting: - provoking
an emotional reaction through visuals.

In fact yesterday's news from Baghdad seemed almost like a re-working of that nail-biting scene from Gillo Pontecorvo's classic
'Battle of Algiers' where the 3 Algerian women shed their burqas and smuggle bombs out of the Casbah to explode in the French quarter...


Anyway what else? This year is off to a good start. Have been working gently on a treatment for a TV thing. For some reason I started doing it all on A5 to make it read like a little book - do you ever do weird things like that? (No - I won't send it off like that!- I just like the size for now.) plus the other project seems to be zooming along quite nicely.

So here's to February . Slurp!