Wednesday, 29 August 2007

State of Play

Down from the cave, and back to work. I’ve been working at this writing lark for about two years now, so I had a little anniversary think about where I need to improve, my goals, and what to write next

The provisional results are just in, so…

Where I need to Improve…

I need to work on premise more, to make sure my ideas are fully developed, and as original as possible.

I need to plan more.

I need to pay more attention to story, and work on credibility and flow.

I need to focus on character more.

I need to work on making my characters more vivid and rounded (and keep an eye on how the audience see them.)

I need to visualise not verbalise.

I need to make sure my dialogue is not too on the nose.

I need to rewrite, not just polish.

Basically, I need to improve in just about every area! But at least I know that I do…


Getting a short film made is still my short term goal, so I’m working on my Digital Shorts proposals at the moment.

I’ve decided to try to get into fun-packed world of script reading in the medium term, as a way of making money within the industry. So I’m going on The Script Factory reading course, and I'm going to (try to) read a script a day to develop my reading muscles before looking for gainful reading employment.

I also need to think about getting into TV long term. I probably prefer TV to film at the moment, and there’s more money in it"! But despite this, and despite having been on Adrian Mead’s course, I’ve been too film focused so far. I’m going to the WGGB BBC writersroom event on Sept 13th, which is a start - anyone else going?

What to write next

I’m working on shorts at the moment, but still not too sure what to do after that.

I need to look at writing something for TV, and I need to write a feature spec that producible (ie low budget) , but commercial. And it (obviously) needs to fire me up. Got a few ideas knocking around - one of which is a new take on the 1st script I ever seriously wrote, which may or may not be a good idea!

So that’s where I’m at. How y'all you doing?

Thursday, 23 August 2007


Okay, here goes - you have to imagine you're in a particular kind of movie, and what your soundtrack will be.

The deal is, you have to come up with five types of film (or use these ones below if you can't think of any) and tag five other other people. Here's mine:

Rom Com - Don’t like rom com much, unless we’re talking Sturges, Capra, Hawks - those guys knew how to add a bit of snap and sass to make the soppiness bearable. But I fucking love Let’s Take a Chance by Lisa Richards, it‘s the only song I know that can bring a tear to my eye just about every time I here it. It’s on Dave Godin’s Deep Soul Treasures Vol 2 and if you ever get the, er , chance to hear it, then it’ll blow you away.

Contemporary Action Thriller - Elephant Stone by The Stone Roses - always saw this soundtracking a chase sequence, probably involving people running through back alleys. A track that‘d make Neighbours seem sexy and exciting. The Peter Hook produced version, obviously, not the lame John Leckie re-mix.

Rites of Passage - The Saturday Boy by Billy Bragg. The story of my teenage years. Of course, I’m fine now. (see also Freak Scene by Dinosaur Jnr. Or Catch by the Cure. Or Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want by the Smiths. Or Temptation by New Order. Talking of whom…)

Sci Fi/ Space Opera - Ceremony by New Order. A song too big and too sad for this world alone.

Western - Like a Soldier by Johnny Cash - ‘cos I like it, and I could see it playing over the end of say, The Searchers or Shane. Come back Shane!!

I tag Stuart, Dan, Oli, Piers, and Will.

Monday, 20 August 2007

time out

I’m having a week off to catch up on a bit of reading, and to have a bit of a think about this writing lark.

So I’ll be sitting in the mouth of a cave, high above the far away city, thinking about where I’m at, and where I want to go from here. I need to work out what areas I need to improve on as a writer, and how I’m going to do so. I need a proper career strategy, and finally I need to decide what to write next.

Or I could just spend the week watching DVD's ;)


Wednesday, 15 August 2007


I need someone who is willing to read FOUR scripts!!! Ok, they’re only about 6-9 pages long each at the moment, so it’s only about 30 pages in total.

They’re for the Digital Shorts scheme - I‘m probably going to submit 2, so I need feedback on them and a recommendation as to which are the best.

I’m polishing at the moment, so I’ll be looking to send them out Friday evening.

Any takers?


I got the following e-mail from the nice people at the BSSC

Dear Martin,

Thank you for your interest in the British Short Screenplay Competition and your inquiry. First of all apologies for the delay in replying to you, your email was filtered out by our spam filter.

And now - many congratulations for qualifying to the first round! Well done!

We hope to publish the second round qualifiers by end of August and further rounds there after. Usually there are four qualifying rounds and then the semi-finalists. We will be sending out a newsletter to inform everyone when each round is published on the website.

I hope that helps and good luck in the next round.


Friday, 10 August 2007


Had all my PO3 feedback from OLI, JASON and PIERS. Big up to them. It was my first time, but they weren’t gentle with me! And I deserved it too - let’s just say amongst the lesser of many Spec Sins was the unforgivable use of the “well I thought that went well” clam. Oh yes, it was that bad. So slap on the wrist, and must do better.

I've done 2 PO3 reports myself, and it made me realise how much hard work Script Reading is. Or more accurately, how much hard work writing a report is, cos I actually enjoyed the scripts, so god knows what it‘s like wading through dull or badly written scripts day after day. And I didn’t even have to do the synopsis, which according to Mr Stacks is the hardest part!

Anyway, that script has been put back on the cyber shelf for now, I’m going to plan b for red planet. Someone said that first drafts are often “stupid drafts,” and I know I can improve it, but it’s a question as to whether I want to develop that idea, or work on something else?

Meanwhile, I’m working on my Digital Shorts proposals. I’ve got 2 (very) rough drafts so far and a few ideas at various stages, so big week of that next week if I‘m to get to my goal of 4 first drafts by the end of next week.


Saturday, 4 August 2007

Two Imposters

Through to the first round of the BSSC! Hooray!!!

Makes up for failing in the Nicholl, Bluecat, and being a scriptapa-loser, I supose.

After blowing my blog wad with a couple of long and rambling blogs, been a bit blogged out. I'm re-writing and polishing for SWS and Red Planet, and trying desperatly to cobble something together for the Digital Shorts program, as well as power of threeing and trying to do a draft for a graphic novel collaberation - there just arent enough hours in the day! And I dont even have a job!!

How does everyone else do it? When do you find the time to write? And how many hours do y'all do a week? I do 45-50 - but like I said, no job, so that's about the equivelant of doing a full time job (if you count commuting!)

Still, we love it don't we?