Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Secrets nobody was keeping...

So, here’s the thing they don’t tell you. Well, someone, somewhere probably did tell me, but I wasn’t listening. It could be that someone’s screaming this in my ear right now, as I type, but I wouldn’t have noticed because I’m remarkably self absorbed. Also, the radio’s on.

Treatments and outlines and ridiculously important, and being good at them is stupendously important, if you want anyone to pay you for writing.

I don’t mean that in the same way that McKee means that – that’s a writer’s treatment, and whether they’re a good or a bad thing is for the forums. I’m talking about the selling documents.

Because let’s say you’ve done your homework, read a bunch of scripts, practiced your screenwriting, got yourself a nice portfolio and a sample script and an agent and all that good stuff, and let’s say people like your sample script and ask for more – and you’ll probably want to come back with a bunch of ideas. And as they probably won’t like most or all of these, you writing full scripts for each would be a tremendous waste of your time and theirs, and everyone would crawl into a corner to slowly die whilst wishing there was an alternative.

Come out of the corner! There is an alternative! It’s the treatment (for your blues).

Sorry, got carried away a bit there and ended up on a bad pun. It won’t happen again. I had a point... oh, yes. Practice writing selling treatments as much as you practice writing scripts. 1 page pitches and several page episode and character outlines... Because you might be fantastic in bed, but if you make a bad impression on the first date, that lucky lady/boy/ladyboy will never get to find that out.

Who wants to hope I was talking metaphorically there?

In other news, I’ve started a Twitter account. Well, technically, I started it ages ago and never posted anything, but then Bill Cunningham started following me, so I thought I’d better, or he’d come and cover me with his mad bastard pulp. Anyway, I’ll probably get bored of it soon, so you can just blamed Bill for the atrophying lump of code-flesh now sitting on the right hand of the screen. Bill, incidentally, has already got bored and stopped following. So begins the rot.

In other other news, apparently my ability to pre-emptively dress like the Doctor has glitched, as I haven’t started wearing a bow tie and a tweed jacket. Oh course, what’s happened here is that there’s been a genre telly atom mash up. Happens with time-travellers occasionally – The Doctor has started dressing like Rupert Giles, I’m still dressing like me, and Giles must therefore be dressing like both the Doctor and me. That, or blue and brown suits were never that rare anyway.