Wednesday, 9 January 2008

New Year? What do you mean there's been a new year? What was wrong with the old one??

Belated New Year wishes from the faraway city!

I had some time off from writing over Christmas (and felt really bad about it!) and I’ve been busy rewriting my Metlab script TECHNICOLOR since then, so not much time for blogging.

The script is still rough and raw, and there are things I know need working on, but overall I‘m happy with it. I managed to solve my, er length problem - The exploratory draft was 75 pages long, but I‘ve managed to get it up (behave!) to 90 without padding it out (much.) Originally, there was a huge info dump in the first scene, so I’ve cut that and made the protagonist work for the information more. I sent it off Monday, so I’m waiting for the feedback from my lovely script editor. I’m sure she’ll be gentle with me! ;)

So since everyone else did it last week, here’s my brief review of the year!

I had quite a good year, writing wise. I got onto the metlab scheme, and got to the semis of the BSSC again. Which is nice. I think I’ve improved as a writer - THE GIBBET, my BSSC script, is easily the best thing I’ve ever written; I’ve become better at story; I'm getting more visual in my writing; and I’m started to rewrite more instead of just polishing. Character is a development issue, and I am worried that I‘ve improved at story and structure at the expense of voice, but generally I‘m heading in the right direction.

One issue was that I didn’t do enough feature spec writing, so I need to focus on that more this year. Spent too much time ameboing on BSSC, Digital Shorts, SFX Pulp Idol, Make your Mark on Film, The Bridport Prize, Euroscript etc, etc. (I worked out that metlab was the 31st competition I entered in the last 2 years!)

I only wrote one new feature, THE FEARLESS, a sci fi thriller, which didn’t turn out very well, but I’ll come back to it one day, cos it’s a good idea, and the structure is reasonably sound.

I spent quiet a lot of time rewriting DRAGONS, my fantasy epic. Entered it into a loads more competitions, where it did absolutely nothing, although last year’s draft got a full read from BBC writersroom, and script reader Jo Rose thought it was good enough to submit. It is an absolutely ridiculous thing for a spec monkey to try to write, but I love it to bits, so I‘ll probably to give it another crack.

So many ideas, so little time! I was planning on writing a rom com called ONCE AGAIN this winter - I submitted it to metlab along with Technicolor, so I‘ll definitely write at least one draft of that this year. Of course, the main focus is metlab and Technicolor, but I’m also thinking about what to do for the BSSC this year (3 scripts ?!?) and I'd like to get a short made at some point.

But the best thing that happened this year was getting out and meeting people. Before this year, I didn’t know any other writers, and I’d put off the whole networking thing. I attended Euroscript’s Pitch and Premise Course. Adrian Mead’s Insiders Guide to TV, 2 WGGB events, The Script Factory’s Script Reading course this year, but best of all was driving for the Screenwriters Festival (BTW, I found out this week that Steven Soderbergh worked as a volunteer driver at the Sundance Festival the year before he got his big break!)

I blogged about meeting people like Bill Nicholson and Ashley Pharoah here, and here. And here. And here. Here too. Also here. Okay, got a bit carried away there!! But the highlight of the SWF, and of all the other courses and events, was meeting so many fellow spec monkeys, and of course, keeping in touch with y'all via this blog, not to mention ‘meeting’ the rest of you out there in the scribosphere.

So here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New (-ish) year!

All the best




Anonymous said...

You have achieved an awful lot and i am soo proud of you in doing this and all your networking things. Love you lots. xxxxx

Jon Peacey said...

And a very belated happy new year year to you too (and probably to U2)...

That's surely a fine last year and here's to a good one presently!

Been nice bumping to you on this 'ere Scribosphere too.