Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Scalar measures of worth...

The sitcom is coming along nicely, having reached the 19 page mark last night. I know measuring writing output in terms of quantity rather than quality is kind of prosaic*, but I always like it when a script starts to feel heavy when lifted in one hand, and 20 pages of A4 does it for me. This, along with literally** dying after running from the car park to the office is giving me the nagging suspicion that I may be no longer the lithe athletic whipper-snapper that I never actually was in the first place.

Oh, and it's funny, hopefully. The Sitcom: Hopefully funny, definitely heavy. I'd buy that.

Also, my new, sweatshop free, vegan, union made and oh-so-beautiful trainers arrived this morning. I feel like a better person already. Admire them, and by extension me, below:

Ooooooooooh. So pretty.

* So very, very nearly a pun.

** Not literally.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Wooooooooooooo!

That was the sound of joy, by the way. I sound like a deflating balloon, an air raid siren, or a ghost when filled with happiness. Which is appropriate enough because...

Being Human has got a full series.

This is a very good thing.

If you didn't see Being Human at the start of the year, it was a flat-share dramedy about a ghost, a werewolf and a vampire in their twenties (literally for their werewolf, more just of a twenty-something 'vibe' for the others).

As I've said here, here and here, the pilot was tops. Now we have another six episodes*. I feel this is a personal triumph for me, Piers, Jason, Rob and David. We went on and on and on and on about it until they made a full series. This idea intrigues me, and I will be rolling it out to every aspect of my life.

Work on the sitcom is coming along at a nice, comfortable but not slack pace. This is also a good thing. On the whole, I'd say that good things and better than bad things. Hooray for them.

UPDATE: Also excited about the reappearance of Blake's 7**. Hooray for British genre telly!

* I am available to write any or all of them, incidentally.

** Still available.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Today is an exciting day...

It is a momentous day. Because today, somewhere out in LA, Joss Whedon is going to shoot the Dollhouse pilot.

It's time for the children to come in from playing; Daddy's home.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Pushing my patience...

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love the living dead. They don't even have to be shambling brain eaters. I'm happy for eloquent, friendly walking corpses to populate my fiction. And I wanted to like it, I really did. But...

I do not like Pushing Daisies.

Perhaps I was hoping for too much, based on American hype - I love American telly, but generally only telly that the Americans do not love. Knowing that it was intentionally Amelie-esque should have probably set off some alarms as well, as I thought that was the most overrated film of the past eternity.

But it's not the twee that gets me, nor the stylisation. It's that fucking voice over.

Stupid narrator, with his E4 man voice, and his constant wittering on and on about things WE CAN SEE ON THE FUCKING SCREEN. "The pie-maker picked up his fruit..." Yes, I know, I just saw him pick up the fucking fruit.

Whatever happened to show, not tell? When did it become okay to show us something obvious and then tell it to us as well? And we are told, on regular 10 minute intervals that the pie-maker can raise the dead, but only for a minute before he has to touch them again, returning them to the dead, or someone else must die.

Oh really, Mr. Voiceoverman? You should have said.

Now I'm done slagging other people's shows... Work on the sitcom is going okay. Still at the outlining of part two, but I think we're going to a good place. The issue I'm having is with my own internal PC policeman.

The show's leads both have disabilities, one with spina bifida, one with a spinal injury. It's not a gimmick, it's important to the whole set up of the piece. The trick is, what jokes can I make? At what point do I just become Jim Davidson? Hopefully never ever ever. I'm avoiding jokes about disabled people, which I don't think are funny anyway, and sticking with jokes that people with a disability might make. I think I'm doing okay.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Seems reasonable...

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith today announced that specialist ANTI-TERROR POLICE forces are going to be posted into MUSLIM communities, including schools, in an attempt to curb RADICALISM and EXTREMISM.

Ms. Smith also declared that in her war against CURDLING DAIRY PRODUCTS she has ordered that all DOUBLE CREAM be left out in the HOT, HOT SUN, and that lemon juice be added DIRECTLY TO THE COWS.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Where did that come from?

Heard back from the guy at Mandy.com last night. He's already got someone in mind for the script I'd originally showed an interest in, but liked the sample I provided, so it looks like I might be working on something else with him. Dandini.

This leaves me with ten pages of a comedy script (I wrote the intro scenes as an example) that won't be used, and will end up being very different from the finished script the other writer's working on.

Or, to look at it another way, I've got half a sitcom.

One I had no intention of writing. One that's come out of nowhere. One I like quite a lot. How did that happen?

Spoke to the guy who had the original idea. He's fine with me developing it myself, as I'd gone in a completely different direction to what he'd envisioned (but with style, obviously). So, now I have to come up with a different plot for the second half so as to avoid conflicts, and bam! Another piece for my portfolio.

Magic.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

And relax...

Well, that sucked. Last week was stupidly, insanely, James Moran-level busy, but sadly not with writing. Huge project and nasty deadline at work meant I ended up working a 50 hour week, not something that fits comfortably into my bourgeoisie office-boy existence.

Having no real time to concentrate on writing meant I was way more productive than normal, kind of a reverse procrastination. Heard back from an agent who liked Nighshift, so sent off Seven Spires to them; they didn't think they were the kind of thing that could sell currently, due to there being lots of similar stuff already on or in development (the Zeitgeist remains forever two weeks ahead of me...) but said some very nice things about them, and me. Anyway, they're into reading whatever I write next, and they don't generally take unsolicited malarkey, so 'win', I say.

Had someone who's in a position to get pilot scripts to that there Hollywood read and like Nightshift, which is all sorts of dandy, though he's not in a position to do anything with it until later in the year, which of course gives me time to relocate the action of the pilot script Stateside. Even if it comes to nothing, it'll be a fun rewriting exercise.

Replied to an ad on Mandy.com, and wrote up the first ten pages of a comedy film, a departure for me, as an example.

Recieved much lovely feedback on my short script The Fixer Upper. Have cut a bit at the end which was meant to be cute but, according to more than one person, not just the filthy mind of Jason Arnopp, sounded a bit perverse. I am, however, RUBBISH and have got nobody their promised quid-pro-quo* feedback to them yet. Sorry, everyone.

So, actually a busy week writing wise, despite an insanely busy week non-writing wise. I would say that I should have weeks this busy more often, as it would spur me on, but I'm not fucking insane.

* Sorry, love, don't speak Celtic.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Guidelines for writing a deleted scene...

Someone surfed in looking for that very search term yesterday...

Keeping my monstrous ego a little bit in check and assuming that they weren't looking for guidelines on how to write a blog just like mine, I imagine they wanted to know how to write a scene that gets deleted from a film or TV show. So...

Write it poorly, young apprentice. Make it unnecessary. Reveal no character. If a comedy, ensure that the jokes aren't funny. You'll be well on your way to your scene never making it to the screen - if you're really lucky, it'll never be filmed.

Good luck.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

It's like the Matrix, but, y'know, backwards...

Real life is intervening in my cyber life, a massive deadline at work accounting for my sub-par level of posting recently. Once it's done, I'll get back to giving this blog the attention it deserves.

Side note: I may be terribly last week, what with everyone talking about Doctor Who and that, but weren't the last two episodes of Torchwood just a little bit ace? I laughed, I cried, I hurled*. Torchwood series 3, should it emerge, will be a different beast altogether, but if they can bring Billie back after saying that she would never ever ever ever return, Tosh and Owen can probably hope for a guest spot at the very least.

So, in the absence of real news, I give you a one item list** of vegetables that could also be the name of an alien race in Doctor Who: the Celeriac. Oh, yes, you fear the Celeriac now, don't you, Dok-tooor?

Oh, also, I apparently haven't said "fuck"*** on the blog in two months. Consider this remedied.

* One of these isn't true. Have fun trying to guess which!

** No, I don't think this counts as a list either. I may add to it later. Peace.

*** I am both big and clever.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

The Office Worker Character Class: A Spell List...

Summon Sandwich-Man 1

Conjuration (Summoning)

Level: Office Worker 1, Sor/Wiz 1 Components: V, S, F/DF Casting Time: 1 round Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) Effect: One summoned provider of baguettes Duration: 1 round/level (D) Saving Throw: None Spell Resistance: No

This spell summons a provider of sandwiches (typically called Terry). It appears outside of your office and acts immediately, on your turn. It provides you with a choice of baguettes, rolls and occasional cakes to the best of its ability. If you can communicate with the sandwich man, you can direct it not to provide sandwiches, to provide sandwiches to co-workers, or to perform other actions, though you will be required to engage in an arcane mix of inane banter and comments upon the weather.

This verbal component of the spell involves wondering when the sandwich man will appear. He will typically appear within minutes of voicing your concern that he will never bloody turn up, and that you haven't had any breakfast this morning, so you are starving.

Arcane Focus: Between £2.40 and £2.60 in change.