Wednesday, 29 August 2007

The Deleted Scenes is away...

I'm moving house. Blog to recommence soon. Peace out.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

You are, in fact, it.

So I’ve been meme tagged. Ambivilent feelings here: my place in the scribosphere has been validated. I’m part of the meme. Can’t pretend I wasn’t feeling a little left out till Martin tagged me, bless him. So good feelings there. Bad feelings, because only about 15 people actually read my blog (hi!), so the poor little meme may die before it even has a chance. Sniff. So, on to the song choices...

If I was in an action horror movie, featuring some variation of the living dead:

I am a revenant, by The Distillers. It’s a roaring punk song about being a zombie. I don’t feel I need to explain this one further.

If I was in a tragic romantic indie effort, possibly directed by Michael Gondry:

Birds, by Electrelane. Starts off sweet and sexy, ends up frantic and sounding like the singer’s about to cry. Beautiful. Plus I used to work with the lead singer’s girlfriend, so claim-to-fame points also.

If I was in an adaptation of American Gods:

Run On, by Johnny Cash. The book’s about old gods travelling across America, grifting the public and each other. Can’t think of a finer theme for their misdeeds than Johnny, whose voice sounds like Odin himself, singing about God taking out conmen.

If I was in an episode of Hollyoaks, or possibly the OC, where someone had just died...

Running Up That Hill, by Placebo. Because... well, because it sounds like someone just died in a teen drama.

...and the self promoting final item...

If I was in a Cornish teen/soap/horror called Seven Spires...

Dayvan Cowboy, by the Boards of Canada. Spooky, cool, guitars, samples, mucho mucho eeriness. Used by Channel 4 to advertise a documentary on Gordon Brown, it will one day be the theme tune to my hugely successful TV series. Yes it will. It will.

So... to pass it on.

Okay, Chip Smith, Lexi, and if you’re out there blogging anywhere, Rob Bullen.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

The Sleepy Time Theatre of Cruelty...

I'm awaiting an e-mail from someone that may get me that little bit closer to, y'know, actually working.

Imagine my frustration when I awoke from a dream where I was sitting on a train with said person, as he explained with a big smile that it was a go project and I was to begin writing straight away. I was cursing that dreams can't, no matter what Gabrielle would have us believe, come true.

I later dreamt that I was being held at gunpoint by police for a MURDER I DID NOT COMMIT, which was shortly followed by a sizable nuclear explosion.*

So, on balance, dreams not coming true probably for the best.

* The latter dream may have, in some small part, been inspired by the monstrously stressful experience that is trying to sell one property at the same time as buying another. Gah, I say, gah.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Seven Spires, thirteen months...

It’s been a fun month here in the enchanted forest we call The Deleted Scenes. We all met Spec Monkey. Who apparently also has a mum. Hello Mrs. Monkey. I dissed on very popular TV characters, became a Simpson’s character, and got some strong abrasive alkali in my eye. Oh, how me laughed.

I’ve also been rewriting Seven Spires a lot. I’ve had seven out of my nine power of three reviews, which have been a big help... thanks to Piers, who I’ve yet to officially big up. Big up you.

Also plenty of Zoetrope reviews in, including gems such as “Speech between the characters gave the illusion of real conversation”. Well. Looks like I might have a chance at this writing lark after all.

Seven Spires Miniseries Part 2 Outline

I’ve made significant progress on the outline for Part Two of the miniseries, which was way overdue. I was having trouble with leaving enough room for it to be spun off into a proper series, as the two leads would probably get the hell out of Dodge (well, Seven Spires) as soon as the miniseries finished. Last Thursday, I came up with a plausible explanation for them to stay, bounded in to my girlfriend to make sure it was plausible and not just desperate (she came out at plausible), and wrote the a one page outline that night, which you can see in this handy Gif. Like Spec Monkey, me am not see mess.

The full version expands these disorderly pencil notes into a fourteen page treatment, at present. If I could direct your attention back to the Gif... you see that gap where there aren’t any notes, near the end of the third act? That’s a great big narrative hole. I’m hoping to plug it this weekend.

Then, along with the 90 minute first half, the treatment will shortly be winging it’s way to the lady-who-is-an-agent-but-not-my-agent-but-who-is-kind-enough-to-talk-to-me. At that point, we’ll hopefully come to a much shorter sobriquet for her, either simply “my agent” or “the lady who no longer talks to me”. The second one’s still pretty long, but I’ll be typing it less.

When up till 2 last night working on the treatment, I remembered the initial impetus to write Seven Spires - to write something short. Silly me. Then, because People (capital P because these are professional people) liked it, I’ve ended up working on it in one form or another for thirteen months: pilot version, miniseries version, copious rewrites of both, future episode outlines, background history documents, phone calls, meetings (I got bought lunch and everything). It has not been a short process. So many other screenplays have been gestating in my head, then ignored because of it. Once the treatment’s finished, I’m going to make a semi-firm promise to myself not to write another word of Seven Spires until someone pays me to. Amen.

Taking advantage of competitions/opportunities that are free to enter (aside: did anyone else see that Whale Farts won Scriptapalooza? That better be a damned fine screenplay with a title like that) a reduced version of the Seven Spires pilot will be shortly flying off to the Red Planet, and my knockabout monster movie Dead Air has already in cosmopolitan Bristol as my entry into South West Screen’s development programme.

It’s been a while since I’ve looked at Dead Air, and it’s overwritten, but the story’s good fun. It was pitched back to me by an agent as ‘very Snakes on a Plane* meets Sean of the Dead meets Die Hard’, which for an action horror movie with jokes set on a plane, I think is a pretty good recommendation. Fly my pretties, fly.

I’ll let you know how things turn out.

* The screenplay actually predates the Snakes on a Plane hoo-hah by about six months. And is waaaaaay better, of course.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Introducing Spec Monkey...

Spec Monkey
This is Spec Monkey. He's the monkey who writes scripts without being paid. He's my new mascot.

p.s. Proper entry at the end of the week. But for now, look at the little monkey. He writes scripts, y'know.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

And the winner of Worst Superpower is...

... invincibility. Not invulnerability, a la Superman, though that's a bit of a downer too.

I'm talking here about those good and few who can sustain hideous injuries and keep on bouncing back, even from death. We're looking at Wolverine, Captain Scarlet, Captain Jack Harkness and Claire Bennet.

Now, don't hang me. I know these are all popular characters. But their superpower blows.

Why? Two reasons.

Number one: Everything humans want, strive towards, enjoy and need is based on us knowing that we're gonna die. Think about it: if you're never going to die, what's the point of eating fine food, having sex, painting a fine master-work, writing that amazing screenplay? None. They're all based on an urge to survive as long as we can, and then when we can't, to leave something behind to say we were here. Immortality? One big ennui-athon.

But Anne Rice pretty much said all of that*. Which brings me to...

Number Two: The first rule of superpowers states that any possessed superpower must be used, visibly, as often as possible. So being able to recover from death? That's just asking for trouble.

Wolverine gets shot in the head in X-Men 2. Do any of the other X-Men get shot in the head? No. Claire Bennet has a fatal accident almost every week. How many cheerleaders every year get their necks broken by bumping into a charging football player? My guess is the number'd be pretty slim.

Then there's Captain Scarlet. He dies, at least once, every week. He's rubbish. He's meant to be a super-spy. Captain Blue never dies. Captain Blue could kick Captain Scarlet's ass. Captain Scarlet? If he was a better super-spy, he wouldn't have to regenerate every week.

And dying every week has to hurt.

Flying's okay though.

PLUGGY UPDATE: I'm still looking for one more body on the final PO3 round for Seven Spires...

*but if you don't believe me, dig out DooM II, key in IDDQD and see how long it is before you get bored. The answer? Not very.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Round 3. Ding!

Hey all. Rounds one and two of my Power of Three completed on my Red Planet competition entry, Seven Spires. Many thanks to the good fellows at Zoetrope who formed round one, and from round 2...

Jason Arnopp;
Robin Kelly; and
Martin Adams.

Mega props to all.

I'm going to be rewriting over the next couple of days, so any volunteers for round three are hugely appreciated... sign on up, people.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Best. Website. Ever.

Yes, it may be a gimmick to promote a sub-standard film, and ultimately bring money both to News Corp and Burger King, so promoting this link may not count as my finest day as a lefty vegetarian, but...


UPDATE: Now with added girlfriend.