A Work of Art – short film

A Work of Art is a British horror/drama short film I worked on last year and am proud to share with you all today! I was approached by Cameron King, who I met through Persona. His directing partner Emma Ashley had an idea for a grisly psychological horror and asked me if I wanted to write the script. I was delighted to work on this gruesome and frankly terrifying idea, with themes of obsessional love and the lengths an artist will go to for his work. If you would like to read my original script - the version we finalised before shooting - you can download it here. It's interesting to see what made the final cut and how the words on the page were translated to screen. If you enjoyed the film, please share and like the Facebook Page. We're hoping to take it on the film festival circuit this year and it would be great to rally some early support....
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2013 in review

So now is the time of year where writers waddle to their blogs, stuffed with Vegetable Wellington, and reflect on how everyone in the industry got the goddamn breaks except them. Or some such thing. My goal for this year was simple: seize my opportunities and write! Here's what happened: - I submitted my Cyber Crime Sleuth novel to Carina Press and it was accepted for publication. It will be published as BINARY WITNESS in May 2014! - I wrote the first draft of the Cyber Crime Sleuth sequel for NaNoWriMo 2013. - I wrote a short film called "A work of art", which was shot under the expert eye of Emma Ashley in August and is now in post-production. - I started work on a Wine and Women feature script with Nicholas John of Changeling Films. - I was a guest of Euro #scriptchat, talking about Multi-Platform writing. - I started a new blog series called Freudian Script about psychology for writers. It's been on hiatus but will...
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The Writer’s ADHD

I was a hyperactive child. My parents are very polite about it, but I suspect I was an absolute nightmare and the surviving video from that era bears out my suspicions. When I discovered reading, I calmed down and learned to channel my energy more creatively. However, I'm still easily influenced by orange juice or a sugar high, and I probably talk more than is strictly necessary or desirable. When it comes to writing, I often struggle to focus. Not on time = words = pages particularly, but more on chasing my next project instead of actually finishing the one I'm meant to be writing. (As evidenced by the fact I'm writing a blog post instead of adding pages to my latest screenplay...). But this even bleeds into those two writing basics: Format and Genre. It's the first words of your pitch - "a half-hour TV sitcom" or "a ninety-minute science fiction feature". More recently, perhaps: "a two-minute horror web series" or "bi-weekly fantasy...
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Things I’ve Been Doing Instead of Updating My Blog

You know that thing where writers leave you hanging for months because they're off having "thinking time" or pioneering the depths of the ocean? You know how much we all hate that? Yeah, I'm that writer. Except without the exciting excuses. I seriously doubt anyone's been waiting on tenderhooks for me to update this blog, but if you have been even the least bit tender or hooked, I apologise. In the meantime, I've been working on a number of things - some of which I'm allowed to share and some which are currently under wraps, alas. Remember that exciting series of short films set underwater? While we work on the feature scripts, the team decided that we would move sideways into graphic novels. We're currently working on the first issue and it's coming along nicely. The Realm Pictures crew are also currently working on a number of projects which fall under the category of Not Talking About It Yet. Suffice to say, the boys...
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2012 in review

This time last year, I looked back at 2011 and made some resolutions: "So, in 2012, I will: - Final FINAL draft Steampunk Assassins and send it to producers - Edit my Cyber Crime Sleuth (NaNoWriMo) novel and send to publishers - Finish my Asylum pilot, enter it in Red Planet Prize, and send it to producers - Make a short film - Get an agent - See Realm Pictures take Raindance 2012 by storm - Get married XD" Let's see how I got on: In January, I was given the opportunity to write for Persona and started developing my story. In February, I started developing a short film (which unfortunately came to nothing) and learned that I can take notes. In April, I adapted a screenplay into a stage play with Jack Ayers for the Brighton Fringe Festival, and I signed my first professional contract (for a project that went nowhere). In May, Persona aired, Small Chances was performed in Brighton, and I heard that Bryn Celli Ddu was being made...
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50 Kisses: Quaking and Breaking Hearts in 2 Minutes

So, I made the 50 Kisses longlist along with 507 talented folks! Thought I'd take a few words to talk about my script... Firstly, two-page scripts are a bugger to write. With Virgin Media Shorts and the generation with too many distractions to watch five minutes of anything on the internet, the two-minute short is gaining in popularity. At any given time, I have two or three of the things in a drawer, waiting to answer a script call. The problem with them is that you still have to fit a whole story into two minutes. Writing for Persona, with its 90-second appisodes, honed my skills with brevity but it's so tempting to write a vignette or a scene from a much larger story. Or, with Persona, to take an appisode off where they just go for coffee and talk about books (I wish my life had more appisodes where that happened...). Secondly, every script you write - every damn one - has...
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Just Who Is This Protagonist Guy And Why Do I Care?

Recent feedback on one of my scripts suggested that one member of my ensemble supporting cast should become the protagonist because she was the "most interesting character". However, in my opinion, she was too badass to be the protagonist. "What?" you say. "What's wrong with interesting, badass protagonists? You are filling your head with Jane Austen nonsense!" Well, hang fire, let me explain. And secondly, Jane Austen wrote interesting, badass, compelling and FUNNY protagonists. (She also makes for an excellent protag in that film with Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy. The protagonist is the central character of a piece. It is her story. More than that, she undertakes a journey in that story that changes who she is as she rises to meet its challenges. My badass character didn't change. She was badass at the beginning and she was badass at the end. She was the Han Solo of the story. The character I marked as my protagonist was flawed and suffered from his mistakes and...
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May: Persona, Small Chances and It’s My Shout

My secret New Year's Resolution for 2012 was simple: Get Something Made. Because, essentially, all your validation as a writer comes from people liking your stuff enough to bother about filming it/performing it/publishing it. It was my birthday on Friday (a belated Happy Star Wars Day to you all). And I could look at the month ahead of me and feel proud for all the work that went into it. And that, y'know, I smashed that resolution in Month 5. Persona Season 4 is currently airing through the smartphone app (get it for iDevice or for Android). As I haven't seen the final footage, I'm excited to see how it turns out. First ep looks better than I could've hoped! In Brighton this weekend? The play I co-wrote with Jack Delaney is premièring at the Brighton Fringe Festival - get your mitts on tickets here! And now for something completely different. While I was on the train to London on Friday, I received a phone call...
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My First Short Film: Change The World

My year got off to a cracking start! I've already talked about my great opportunity with Persona and now I want to shout about my first short film. I met my enthusiastic director Jack Ayers via Shooting People. He put a call out for short scripts and I answered by telling him what I was working on and linking to my script samples page. He replied quickly, telling me that he wanted to tell exciting stories about our modern world, short-shorts that had viral potential. We had a quickfire back-and-forth via e-mail about stories we were excited about, particularly based around London. We agreed to meet later that week at the BFI (where else?) and, after making sure we were the right two people lurking in the lobby, we chatted over tea about London-based stories, incorporating urban legends and city lives. We threw a few ideas around, agreeing on four we liked most to go on to develop over the next few...
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2011: My year with writing

This time last year, I reviewed where I was in my writing career. I thought I had written the penultimate draft of Steampunk Assassins. I was writing the first draft of The Greenwich Problem. I was planning to write a romantic comedy termed Baking Lawyer (which I abandoned due to fatal flaws). I determined that Military Monster needed a complete overall (which is still awaited.) And I put everything else on hold. And then 2011 happened. In January, I finished the first draft of The Greenwich Problem for the BBC's Laughing Stock competition. In February, Realm Pictures won the Raindance/Pepsi Max competition. This started them on the road to The Underwater Realm. In March, I was longlisted for Laughing Stock, which caused much excitement. In April, I attended the London Comedy Writers Festival, got some great advice and met some awesome creatives. I also wrote another feature script for Script Frenzy. In May, Realm House hosted the first UWR big production meeting. In July, Dave, Jon...
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