Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Happy Halloween!

Halloween PumpkinsSpooky season's greetings from The Deleted Scenes Screams, and from our Jack-o-Lantern mascots. Carved by my very own fair hand they were, with invaluable assistance from my girlfriend. They're called Pumpkor the Destroyer and Pumpkie, his slightly retarded sidekick.

Leaving work early today to begin Halloween movie night, as follows:
  • Severance - "a depraved horror (with some funny bits)" from perennial blogger James Moran;
  • Session 9 - Apparently very scaaaaaaary movie about asbestos cleaners in an abandoned asylum; and
  • The Frighteners - a creepy comedy to ease us out. Marty McFly will protect us from ghosties and ghoulies and long legged beasties.
I've somehow yet to see any of these, so mucho anticipation. Movies will be interspersed with pumpkin soup, pizza (sans pumpkin), and feeding trick or treaters from our enormous bucket of sweets - but no costume, no sweets. Don't come to my door saying you've come dressed as a chav, I know a chav when I see one.

Hope you have a scaaaaaaary Halloween.

I promise to stop saying 'scaaaaaaary' as of tomorrow. Probably.


UPDATE: Despite the date below, I did actually post this on Halloween. I know when Halloween is. Stupid blogger doesn't.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Seth Green battles hallucinatory werewolves...

Halloween preparations continue, with the rainy weekend featuring all known TV episodes where Seth Green is menaced by a demon who can see his inner fears and make them manifest, with hallucinations featuring a werewolf in some context (that’s the Buffy ep Fear Itself and the oh-my-god-it’s-going-on-forever miniseries adap of IT to you). Pumpkin carving later this eve.

On to the body of the post: There’s plenty of blogs out there from successful writers. Over in far LA we have John and Jane, over here we have the two Jameses and English Dave. Lots of great advice, but... they’re in the position to give advice because they’ve done stuff right. What they don’t make a lot of, a couple of ED war stories aside, is mistakes.

I do. Big ones. Huge great, evil mistakes. My ego’s big enough to think I’m a pretty good writer, and not big enough to think there’s some sort of conspiracy that’s keeping me agentless and unproduced. What is, I suspect, keeping me agentless and unproduced is GIGANTIC FUCKING MISTAKES.

So, every time I commit a mistake, or remember a particularly galling one, I’m going to write it in this blog. Partially as self flagellation to remind myself not to do it again, and partially so people who happen across them can think “He did what? That’s amazingly stupid. No way am I doing that,” and go on their webby way perhaps a little wiser. I told you I had a big ego.

So, the inaugural advice-based-on-mistakes? Count to ten. Count to ten, twenty, possibly a hundred, before doing anything. Allow me to illustrate with an anecdote from the recent past...

About 18 months ago, I sent out a screenplay to all the agencies that would take unsolicited scripts. A couple of rejection letters came, I shrugged them off, I’d expected this. Then came the fabled positive response. And, holiest of holy grails, it was from a BIG agency. You’ve heard of them. People who aren’t interested in writing have heard of them. Big.

They liked the script, and I was lucky enough to catch a new agent at said big company who was starting to build her own portfolio. She wanted to see more.

So I sent them more. What I should have done was counted to ten. Because all I had to send was my next script, which I’d discovered in-between sending off my inquiry to the agency and hearing back from them, everyone hated. I sent it anyway. Sensitive about this, I also sent the project I was working on currently, which people did like. Un-fucking-finished.

Unsurprisingly they came back saying that they didn’t love this as much as the first script, and couldn’t offer representation. They were very professional and polite about it. Far more professional than I had been.

If I’d have counted to ten, I wouldn’t have sent that package. If I'm honest, I’m not sure what I would have done instead... Suggestions on a postcard. But count to ten before you send them.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Because Tesco already has its Christmas decorations for sale. Because I love Halloween like Lohan loves Redbull and vodka. Because I can.

I bring you... The Deleted Scenes Screams - Halloween Edition.

If none of this makes any sense, you may need to refresh your cache. Peace out.

UPDATE: Because the standard layout is now back up, this post doesn't make the best sort of sense... so here's a screenshot so you can know what the small fuss was about (the tele was animated and everything).

The Deleted Screams - Halloween Edition 2007
Click for full size goodness.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Finally...

Everyone seems to get obscene search terms leading to their site, and despite my potty mouth, I'd yet to be blessed... until today:

"Veggie fucking"

How proud I was. How disappointed that person must have been.

UPDATE: People still keep coming here on this search term, which I admit I probably didn't help by including it above. So, to the person searching for it: Much as I welcome most readers to my blog, I can probably do without you. If the term means even remotely what I think it means, you're a bad person. And not in the way that Michael Jackson meant it.

Promised Halloween treat will have to wait till Wednesday Thursday, as I don't have the code ready yet. Oh yes, there will be code.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Meh...

Okay, so I didn't win the SWSWDC (couldn't be bothered to write the whole damn name out), but neither did more respected people than I. Would have been nice if someone from the scribosphere had won though. Who do I have to back-slap now, eh? Nobody, that's who. Well done Patrick Evans. Can't pretend I wasn't a little disappointed to have not done better being that nobody seemed to fucking enter though... but it was an old script. Meh. Meh meh meh.

Pitch gone into to Metlab (Limbo - the name of the pitch, that is, not suggesting that metlab itself is a formless white void), and still waiting on Red Planet, and to hear back from the BBC (both Seven Spires). Taking a bit of a break from researching Victorian sci-fi epic (fuck Pilot) because the house move has meant I now have access to all my lovely roleplaying books that have been in storage for the last two years. MMMmmmmm... Geekery.

Is this, perhaps, my most bloggy post ever?

UPDATE: For the avoidance of doubt, my Victorian sci-fi epic is not called Fuck Pilot. Though now I wish it was.

Monday, 15 October 2007

... hello?

Longest blogging pause in quite some time. No real reason. I have not moved house again. Discovering Penny Arcade and XKCD probably has a lot to do with it.

So... screenwriting stuff. The South West Screen Screenwriters Development Competition (still awake at the end of that title? Well done.) is announced tomorrow - or is it today? The site claims that the announcement will be on Monday the 16th October 2007. Which, technically, means they don't have to announce it ever ever ever, as that day doesn't exist.

UPDATE: Their page has now been updated with the correct information. Clearly as a direct result of my mighty blog.

Anyway, my Metlab application was been ruminating in my head for a while now, so tonight's the night to get it down on virtual-paper, before the inevitable disappointment that is tomorrow. Plus, it gives me a whole day to redraft. Bonzer.

For those of you tutting your heads at me, thinking I'm just a little competition whore, research is merrily continuing on one of the three projects I promised myself I'd write by September 10th next year.

Finally, if you like Halloween, or general scariness, make sure to visit next Monday. I've got something very special for you. Well, quite special... well, it's alright. Come anyway.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

The good life...

... no, nothing to do with Richard Briers, not that there's anything wrong with Richard Briers. He is, of course, lovely.

Just thinking that's it's a pretty good time to be an aspiring screenwriter at the minute. People seem to be going out of their way to help us. What with Red Planet, SW Screenwriter Development Competition, Pilot, and now the UK Film Council redirecting their efforts to make things easier for first time writers and directors.

You can read all about it here
. Yay for them. Now I'm going to go bag me that £25,000 development cash*.

* Actual amount may be considerably less, and will not come in a bag.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

You are not the contents of your wallet...

... and the writer is not his characters.

This story annoyed me. Just because a character on a show makes a racist comment, does not make the writer, actor or show itself racist. If they'd included a monumentally stupid and under qualified Philipino nurse as part of the plot, that might have been racist.

Is David Chase a gangster? No. Neither is Joss Whedon a vampire nor a vampire slayer, to the best of my knowledge. Rant over.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

More competition stuff...

Breezing past the 50th post with a cavalier attitude like the (happily settled with a girlfriend in a two bed terraced house) bad boy that I am... I bring you yet more competition info.

The announcement of the winner of the South West Screen Screenwriter's Development Competition has been moved back to the 16th.

So I'll just wait till mid October to win this and Red Planet. That's how this works, right?

I'm with the pilots...

UPDATE: I shan't be entering this anyway, as I can't afford to put myself up for eight weeks in Glasgow whilst also not working, but there are rumours to the effect that it is only for Scottish writers... read up here.

Woo-hoo! 50th Post!

Lianne has already posted about this scheme, but I'd thought I'd give it another big-up as on first inspection it seems to be, in the vernacular, fucking brilliant.

http://www.channel4.com/4talent/pilot.

Paid training, innovative pilots, for (potentially) non-repped, non-prduced writers? With a broadcast date already set? Hurrah. Check it out.

None of my current ideas fit, which means I have to come up with something entirely new. No bad thing, I says.