Friday, 25 July 2008

That Novice Feeling...

If it’s true that it takes an average ten years to carve out a career in screenwriting then next June when I graduate from university, will officially mark the beginning of year one.

A scary! and exciting thought!

I think I’m going go and lie down for a bit...

(cue tumble weed)

Time passing...

Ok I’m back.

Hopefully the following are some familiar feelings with some of you and are just a part of developing and things I’ll grow out of:

‘Time is running out.’

‘I’m taking on too much and looking for that overnight success.’

‘I’m trying too hard to succeed and then being disheartened even though my goals were unrealistic in the first place.’

‘I’m constantly worried that a similar idea will be released and kill my babies. So everything needs to be written straight away!’

‘I pile on loads of unnecessary pressure and as a result question my ability and staying power.’

‘I constantly put myself down by others apparent confidence because of my lack of.’

What I should be thinking is:

‘I’m not superman and need to relax!! It’s for the long term and so enjoy it.’

‘I need to do more writing than worrying.’

‘Being negative will get me nowhere.’

I’m hungry for this and often worry I won’t be tough enough in the long run. So I feel like if it doesn’t happen soon then it won’t happen. So I’m trying to do everything.

Being at university adds to that pressure and the desire is transformed into a sudden need to succeed and quick!! The course from the outside is seen as a quick way into the industry and being a great writer. But for most they’re forgetting the all important journey of learning and how high those expectations of you really are. And for me being around that denial and negative attitude slowly had me thinking the same thing and not truly understanding how hard it really is to succeed and how good you really have to be.

I just need to chill out about it all and find some solid ground to sit down on and build those steps one by one.

Oh that novice feeling…

Knowing when to stop talking :) and saying goodbye to that quick solution and secret door in. Amongst other things...

It’s going to be a long ride and I’m in.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Requiem. The Sir Peter Ustinov Rewrite.

I've just finished a very successful rewrite of Requiem and I'm buzzing a little bit. I received a disappointing 65% for the assignment a few days ago and despite not having my feedback i embarked on a rewrite. I knew why i received a lower than expected grade and what needed to be improved so I wasn't going into it blindly. The reason for the rewrite was to enter it into this year's Emmy script competition. The Peter Ustinov Award to be precised.

The deadline was yesterday and I only knew my mark four days ago. So the pressure was on and without a doubt it helped.

The entire rewriting process was incredible and especially for a script that I thought was near-enough locked down. I was surprised that it wasn't as tight and finalised as I thought. So it was a pleasure to be able to not only fully realise my vision to the page but to even go beyond that. Links and opportunities that I never considered before came out of nowhere. Clarity of action and descriptions improved four-fold. The most heartbreaking but subsequently rewarding part was in getting scenes to flow page by page and that's getting them to end at the end of a page or half-way through and not have little bits hanging over. A few scenes were extended due to this and ended up becoming real gems and adding to the overall script in ways that I couldn't have imagined. It's incredible. I can't wait for future rewrites if this is anything to go by.

The Emmy Competition;

I'm not completely sure if Requiem is suitable enough for the 'family audience' criteria or even what they're looking for. It's no run-of-the-mill script and I've even surprised myself with it so I'm not entering it half-heartily. At first I was excited at the script being entered and still am. But I thought the odds are stacked against me so I shouldn't get my hopes up. But the most important thing is that no matter what I'm proud as hell of my script and I'm looking forward to other people reading it and telling me what they thought and how the experience was for them.

'It's these scripts, characters and stories that give life to us...not the other way around.'

- Robert Yates (Giving Life. Post)

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

I'm Writing A Play.

What the hell?

About a month back I came up with this modern day fairy tale which in an insane world somehow hasn't been done before. It has to exist and I'm sure it does (although I hope it doesn't) but I've never seen anything like it. So I'm going to write it.

The idea at the time was seen as either a one-off television drama; reality-based with this magical element or an illustrated children's book, which would be perfect also. But after speaking to a colleague he helped to reinforce the story's themes and essence and we came to the conclusion that a play would be the best and most suitable way to tell the story.

I've never written a play before and have read only a few (Death of a Salesman, This Is Our Youth, Hedda Gabler and The Importance Of Being Ernest) and have always thought 'it would be cool to write one someday' but without really wanting to or being able to.

For a long time my passion for film was insanely high and so interest or ambition in anything else never stood a chance. But over the last few years I've begun to branch out into territories I never thought I'd be equally interested in or even have anything original or appropriate for. Like television, which is now my main market; then short animations; comics and children's books, which like plays are in the background and are just waiting for their big bang.

I think what also has to do with branching out is down to me being realistic with my film ambitions as the television market is much larger in terms of opportunity and likelihood than UK film. And I know I can forget TV and film in America. However, anything is possible. But first thing's first.

The play. Not literally. It's on the board and will developed as usual. But I don't want to rush it as there's no need.

My ambition for this is to send it to local theatre groups to get some professional feedback and hopefully interest. I will also send it to John Foster, a lecturer at university who has relevant skill and experience in the area. There's also a colleague on my year who has an interest and background in plays and theatre.

All I need to do now is to just keep making progress with it and hopefully it's the start of something good.

Monday, 7 July 2008


I always feel weird when doing these blog entries because with some posts I feel that no one really cares what I'm doing or what it may seem like I'm bragging about. But I figure blogs are an online diary so it's more like talking to yourself than anyone specific or wanting attention or gratification. So for any readers keep the latter point in mind.

For instance, If I say a recent idea I have is incredible, unique, genius or the best thing since a knife that toasts as it slices (which I'll invent one day), its being said to myself. Its thinking and reflecting out loud so its always going to sound different to other people.

You've probably guessed by now that I have a complex with being misunderstood or misinterpreted - hence the disclaimer. So excuse the post. Although I'm sure no ones reading my blog as its a little remote so it does render this post useless. And yes there's another complex there.