Thursday, 17 December 2009
Euroscript Screen Story Competition 2010
Deadline: midnight 31st March 2010
Now in its 16th year, the Euroscript Screen Story Competition 2010 is an opportunity for screenwriters to develop their scripts to a high, marketable standard through an intensive, creative and focused script development programme.
1st PrizeThe winning writer will receive one-on-one professional guidance to develop his/her screen story from treatment or first draft.
DEADLINE: 31st March 2010
FEE TO ENTER: £35 per treatment.
Submissions for next year's Digital Shorts now open!
Digital Shorts is the South West region’s key development and production initiative for new and emerging filmmakers.This year, we’re looking to commission 4 films, with running times of no more than 10 minutes, at budgets of between £10,000 - £15,000. All themes, styles and subjects will be considered including animation and documentary.
The commissioned films will be drawn from a ‘development pool’ of 8 projects/ filmmaking teams who’ll be supported through an intense 8-week development phase. Working with a professional development executive, producers and other collaborators, you’ll advance your chosen project to the point at which it can be ‘greenlit’ into production through the programme.The 4 greenlit films will go into production over Summer 2010, for delivery in August 2010.
Saturday, 3 October 2009
IT**was a problem last time, but the college has its own state of the art IT (and isn’t located near a secret government communication centre,) so that should be better this year.
Oh and one more thing - Hypnotism is expressly forbidden by the terms of the Festival‘s contract with the college. You have been warned.
* Speaking of which, it‘s also one of the few places in the country where there shouldn’t be a queue for the ladies - there are only 2 gents on the whole site!
**That’s I.T. obviously, not the eponymous Big Bad from the 19?? Steven King novel ‘It’.
***Feels strange to say ‘we’ - it’s not like I’ve had that much to do with setting up the festival so far!
Saturday, 1 August 2009
Last time I ended with a question: How? How do you find the motivation to write when you‘re working full time?
It’s taken me a while to get back to that one, because frankly I have absolutely no idea.
This week, I did 4 hours writing Sunday and 3½ hours Monday. Sounds admirably consistent, except for 2 things: 1)I was day off Sunday, and worked all day Monday; 2) I actually did 3½ hours writing Monday, as opposed to 4 hours staring at the laptop and occasionally sighing.
I wish the fired-up motivated Monday me could tell the shiftless, struggling Sunday me how he does it. The truth is, some days you’re in the mood, and it all flows, and some days you‘re not and it doesn‘t.
But I do write when I don’t want to, and that counts for a lot - if you only write when you‘re in the mood then you have a hobby. It’s all very well saying you shouldn’t force you muse (man,) but you have to put the hours in. Ok, there are times when you need a break, when you need to get away from it. But I always try to err on the side of carrying on, however hard it is.
The key word here is professionalism. In the day job, I sometimes feel tired, de-motivated, frustrated, bored. Sometimes, you’ll be stunned to hear, I don’t want to be there. If you have job that doesn’t at least sometime makes you feel this way, then you are very, very lucky. Please e-mail me your address so I can kill you, ear your skin to your job and take over your life.
The point is, I never, ever say “fuck it, I can‘t be bothered with this,” and go home and watch a DVD instead. I’d have to check the company’s disciplinary procedures, but I’d probably be sacked if I did. But when I’m writing, I do sometime say “fuck it, etc…” Why? Because when I‘m writing I’m my own boss and frankly I’m a bit of a soft touch.
So that brings us back to the original question - How do you find the motivation to write?
You just have to decide to do it. Then do it. It’s as simple and as hard as that. Apply bum to seat. Write. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes.
Some people are more naturally driven. Anyone who’s ever met Adrian Mead wouldn’t be surprised that he managed to write while doing two jobs 6 days a week - the man’s a positive mountain of energy! But the idea that some people can do it, and more specifically, the idea that you’re not one of them, is dangerous. If you think you don’t have the motivation, then you won’t - it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
A wise man once said, “Do, or do not. There is no try*” Now objectively, this is not true. You can of course, try and fail. But subjectively if you believe that you will succeed, then you’re more likely to.
I’ve had a bit of competition success lately, and I’ve also started writing more - I’ve got back to doing 20 hours a week consistently. These facts are probably not unrelated. But of course I had to find the motivation to write the script that did well in the first place.
Which brings us back to sitting down to write - once you get into the habit of writing, you get better at it. Then you get some good feedback, it motivates you, and you build up a bit of momentum. The more you practise, the luckier you get.
So you have to find that initial motivation from somewhere - passion, ambition, revenge, competition. Believe that you have the choice. Believe that it is in your power. And if you don’t believe it, do it anyway!
* alright, a wise muppet.
Friday, 24 July 2009
Saturday, 18 July 2009
Thursday, 16 July 2009
We are very happy to announce our 2009 BlueCat Semi-Finalists.
This list represents approximately the top 1 percent of over 3200 submissions received this year.
Congratulations to this very select and talented group of writers. What incredible work we received from all entrants this year.
Finalists will be posted on July 23rd.
Gordy and Heather"
Monday, 13 July 2009
Then one day, I decided I was too old for model aeroplanes. So, rather than pack them up and put them in the loft, I chucked them out the window, one by one, to see them smash. For some reason, the memory of this really upsets me. It almost feels like my teenage self was smashing up little me’s toys, and makes me want to go back and give the skinny (!) little bastard a clip round the ear. (And while I’m at it, tell him to stop sulking and learn how to talk to girls.) Sorry, wandered a bit off topic there.
** don’t ask okay? Just don’t
Thursday, 2 July 2009
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Sunday, 21 June 2009
I’ve been watching Mad Men Season 1 on DVD, and it inspired me to post. Not about the intelligence and subtly of the scripts*; nor the depth and perception of the characterisation, or the sheer quality of the acting; not even the breathtaking beauty of the design and photography. No, what I wanted, need to say was about… the blurb on the sleeve.
Specifically this quote, from Metro: “AS NEAR TO GENIUS AS TV GETS”
As near to genius as TV gets. As near to genius as the dumb, humble, upstart medium that has given us The Wire, The Sopranos, Shameless, I Claudius, Buffy, The Singing Detective, Fawlty Towers, Cracker, Dexter, Doctor Who, Band of Brothers, Edge of Darkness, Boys from The Blackstuff, Blackadder, The Simpsons, Hustle, The West Wing, Twin Peaks, The Twlight Zone, Generation Kill and The Clangers gets?**
Of course there’s a lot of crap on the telly. But guess what? 90% of everything is crap (It’s called Sturgeon's law) You could even argue that TV is the most exciting medium at the moment, certainly in America.*** Can you name a body of work in any medium as entertaining, as exciting, as innovative, as insightful as the output of subscription cable TV networks like HBO and Showtime? (The Sopranos, The Wire, Dexter, Mad Men etc.) Because if you can, I’d love to read/watch/listen to it.****
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Tuesday, 26 May 2009
Saturday, 16 May 2009
Friday, 8 May 2009
Saturday, 25 April 2009
It works like this: mornings are dedicated to Script Factory training sessions (we assume that all attendees have a working knowledge of screenwriting theory so sessions are focussed on areas that cause difficulties for many of the writers that TSF work with); then, afternoons are devoted to sessions with a fantastic array of established industry guests who will offer lessons learnt from the frontline of filmmaking.
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
I met Diana Dors once, when I was young (she died in 1984, so I must have been under 12.) She was opening a Fun Run that my Dad was taking part in. I remember being told to go up to get her autograph. Of course, I had no idea who she was. All I remember is a a big lady in a fur coat with a huge white Rolls Royce. I wish I remembered more. She seemed like someone who enjoyed life and had a sense of humour about herself - she once described herself as “rather like Britain's naughty seaside postcards”
Monday, 6 April 2009
Well no. Watchmen is a brilliant, utterly gripping film that totally held my attention for 3 hours. This despite the fact that I knew exactly what would happen in every single scene, so faithful is the adaptation.
Saturday, 4 April 2009
"The creators of Channel 4's English Civil War drama The Devil's Whore have begun working on a follow-up set during the Restoration period.
C4 head of film and drama Tessa Ross has given creator Peter Flannery and co-writer and executive producer Martine Brant seed money to develop a new series.
Brant said they were fleshing out storylines that would tackle the immediate aftermath of the four-part series, using Charles II's restoration of the English, Scottish and Irish monarchy in 1660 as a starting point.
The follow-up has yet to be formally commissioned as C4"
Saturday, 28 March 2009
I’m tempted to say that everything about me is important, but these things are relative, so here goes -
Thursday, 12 March 2009
Sunday, 8 March 2009
The story was basically Chinatown set in West Yorkshire, with the ending of Taxi Driver tagged on, and this was the biggest problem - I just didn’t believe it. Bent coppers and dodgy property developers are a staple of 70’s drama, but these were just so damn evil it stretched credibility. Sean Bean was great as the smug, corrupt, racist, and (it’s very strongly implied) child murdering Property Developer. He‘s certainly a contender for villain of the year: He gets the police to torture and murder journalists, and to gleefully cover up his killing of women and children. Police violence and corruption was undeniably terrible and endemic in the seventies, but this sort of conspiracy is more at home in James Ellroy’s 1940’s LA than Yorkshire in the year of our Lord 1974.
The central case was very obviously inspired in part by the murder of Lesley Molseed and the false conviction Stephan Kisko, whose substitute is here presented as so obviously incapable of murder that only a conspiracy could explain everyone else believing his guilt. The truth was probably more prosaic - the police were under pressure to close the case, and willing to convince themselves and everyone else that the nearest available weirdo did it. It was about conviction rates, not conspiracy.
It’s the sort of institutional dysfunction that The Wire deals with brilliantly, and it‘s a tale that’s worth telling. Unfortunately, this story is told from the journalist’s point of view, so the investigation is seen here only from the outside.
David Fincher’s superb Zodiac is similar in many respects - telling the story of a famous crime from the 1970’s mainly from the point of view of a journalist, but Fincher sticks obsessively to the facts. In real life, Lesley Molseed wasn’t killed by an evil capitalist protected up by a corrupt establishment. She was murdered by a taxi driver, Ronald Castree, who was convicted based on DNA evidence in 2007.
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Thursday, 26 February 2009
Get it Noticed - Get a Meeting - Get it Made
FREE script report
FREE market workshop
FREE script meeting at SWF 2009
SCRIPTMARKET 2009 will open at 9.00am on Friday 27th February and will run until 5.00pm Thursday 30th April..
Even if you have written or optioned a great spec script, getting it noticed, getting feedback and getting meetings to progress it can be an uphill battle.
Script reports can be expensive and while you may resent some of the advice they give, feedback and script meetings are essential to the development of spec scripts in their journey to the screen.
Famous and successful Spec Scripts (a script speculatively written without a commission) include Joe Eszterhas' Basic Instinct, Shane Black's Lethal Weapon, M.Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense, Gregory Widen's Highlander, Stev Pavlou's The 51st State, Zach Helm's Stranger than Fiction and recently Nick Schnek’s Oscar nominated Gran Torino, which was more or less ignored by Hollywood until Clint E. got his mitts on it.
Great films like these can and do come from unknown or emerging writers and producers, but how do you get anyone to pay attention? Scriptmarket can help kick start the process. One meeting won't get your script into production but it can start the journey of getting your writing on screen. For some people the script report is their first exposure to industry feedback and criticism.
Monday, 16 February 2009
"Friday, January 30th, 2009
We are delighted to announce the launch of the British Short Screenplay Competition 2009!
The early postmark deadline will be March 20th 2009, and the final deadline May 8th.
For more information and an entry form see the BSSC rules page.
Click here for more details, and Let The Contest Begin.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Click here for the full story, and click on the links to hear the rant in full!
Monday, 26 January 2009
I didn’t expect to like Skins. What I saw of the first series left me cold, so I skipped Series 2. That got better notices, but a quick skim through the on-line reviews suggests that this series hasn’t gone down as well - they all say it’s trashy, superficial and exploitative - as if that’s a bad thing!
I thought it was reminiscent of two great British film genres. Well, alright, one great one not so great. The former is my favourite unrecognised genre - The British Youth Movie. Films like Trainspotting. Quadropenia, Hard Day’s Night, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Tom Jones - Cool, irreverent, amoral, bawdy, a bit Rock and roll.
(It’s a peculiarly British genre, I think. The nearest Hollywood equivalent is the gangster movie - which is a telling difference. America’s cinematic rebels want to escape poverty by using violence to get rich. Ours want to escape the class system by having sex and getting wasted.)
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
To read more, click here and the magic of the internet will transport to London, 2058. See you there.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
"In Dollhouse, Eliza Dushku plays a young woman named Echo, a member of a group of people known as "Actives" or "Dolls." The Dolls have had their personalities wiped clean so they can be imprinted with any number of new personas, including memory, muscle memory, skills, and language, for different assignments. They're then hired out for particular jobs, crimes, fantasies, and occasional good deeds."
from the shows wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dollhouse_(TV_series)
Massive, massive Buffy fan, but for some reason the trailer doesn't blow me away. But Whedon can do little wrong in my eyes, so can't wait.
Dollhouse airs in The States in Feburary. No UK broadcaster has picked up the series at the moment, but it's from Fox and Sky are promoting on thier website, so do the math. http://tv.sky.com/ones-to-watch-in-2009/28