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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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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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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Glimpses of The Underwater Realm – part one

As the Kickstarter campaign continues for The Underwater Realm project, I thought I would take you through some of the development from my writer's perspective. When Realm Pictures won the Raindance/Pepsi Max MAX IT competition in 2010 (with this moving short), they were given the opportunity to première a short at Raindance 2012. Initially, we were talking about a ten-minute film concerning this Roman soldier who drowns in battle and wakes up able to breathe underwater. We went through various iterations of the idea, involving everything from a bleak journey across the ocean to that first wondrous glimpse of the city of Atlantis. I have e-mails from Dave, charismatic director (you can see him talk enthusiastically here on a weekly basis). They go: "stuck with where to go - thoughts?" accompanied by beats/outline/script to which I reply: "How about something more like this:" ...with a completely different thing that bears some relation to the original, with a follow-up note like "The major point is that I...
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Darling Goals of May

Having returned from a relaxing break away from my day job and my tech, it's time to knuckle down and return to work. Script Frenzy and Realm Production Meeting are over. The screnzy script is in a drawer and I've knocked together some audition sides for the Underwater shorts. So, what now? These days away have been great for percolating ideas and five brand new plots sprung fully-formed from my thigh...I mean, brain. But, like fine wine and decent cheese, these ideas need some time to mature. Therefore, my goals for this month are: - Final draft of The Greenwich Project, ready for sending to a comedy prodco - First draft of new children's tv project Origami Stories - Penultimate/final draft of horror short And now I've declared them, so I'm trusting the internet to hold me accountable. Finally, one more May resolution: do not attend production meetings before drying hair. Especially around sneaky DOPs. Evidence in video below: [Also, there are some awesome people talking about a breath-taking...
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Waiting for Go

I hate waiting. I am an extremely impatient person. The acquiring of a smartphone was such a blessing because I finally had something to do while waiting for appointments, friends to show, trains to arrive. Right now, I'm waiting to hear back from six different writing opportunities. Two - Laughing Stock and Phill Barron - have graciously kept me updated at regular intervals. Another is one of my friends, who I know has started a new job. One month of waiting down, probably another one to go. There's a competition I submitted for that I haven't heard a whisper from, so I'm assuming a silent rejection on that front. And then someone I hit up for a short collaboration and an answer to a Mandy.com ad, which left my inbox barely two days ago. Obviously, I'm not expecting a response to those just yet, but they're adding to my pile. Surely, someone wants to e-mail me! Then I remember that it's Saturday and normal people have lives. Time...
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Plays and players

Just got back from seeing The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish and Lunch Hour. Fast, funny and incredible for one-act, one-location plays. Then, my friends wanted to head out for drinks and chips. I am on a diet and wanted to walk home. Suddenly, everyone's afrit for my personal safety but I wander off anyway. Big mistake. Oh, I'm perfectly fine and unmolested. However, I saw monsters in every shadow and kept going over in my head the scene from my short where the heroine walks alone across campus, watched menacingly from the shadows... Turned up at home with my heart pounding a mile a minute and an impatient text from my friend ensuring I'm back safely. Safe and sorry, yeesh. Things more interesting than my inability to walk home without scaring myself silly: A great article on how to be your own script reader - in the face of your own worst critic and glamoriser. Samuel Clemens' idea of a book review Throw money at...
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One to one-hundred-and-ten pages

I went on an excursion to Bristol to visit a friend. From Pads, it's about ninety minutes, so I left the laptop at home and took the hard drive (for TV catch-up) and the iPhone. I do my best writing on trains. But would that hold true without keys beneath my fingers and the ability to do more than one thing at a time? Turned out pretty well. I opened up my scripts in Celtx and fiddled about with them - the major downside was not being able to copy and paste long sequences, as I overhauled my final fight scene in Steampunk Assassins. I also looked up an old draft of the script using Dropbox to see if I still had an old scene that may get reworked into the finale sequence. The other project I worked on was my entry for the Laugh A Minute competition, which is inspired by Lucy V's call for sex. Unfortunately, nobody actually has sex, but...
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A million different doors

Firstly, congratulations to the exceptionally talented team at Realm Pictures for winning the Pepsi Max It competition. You can see their award-winning entry here and the production blog for their next project here. So, with all this talent exploding just down the road, surely I should be drawing some inspiration and cracking on with my Next Big Thing? Obviously. Which is why I'm updating my blog. I finished my entry for Laughing Stock and then...what? There's my Baking Lawyer rom com feature that I started to plot - then realised it was only half-baked (*groan*). I struggle with the "Fun and Games" parts of the scripts - the fun, trailer set pieces. I much prefer my turning points and my dark times. Then there are a couple of short to medium length shorts that I have brewing in my brain. I wonder if they might be a better use of my time - and have a little more flesh to them already. There's also a...
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Max Effort, Max Reward

Another quiet weekend at home, with the snow disrupting my travel plans for next week, but hopefully protecting my family Christmas. And my trip to see my dear friends at Realm Pictures These are friends from my childhood, people I grew up with and grew my love of film and drama. And they are my talented inspirations. They've made a short film about film-making for the Pepsi Max It Legends competition. And I confess that, when I saw it, I shed a tear. Because it portrays the struggle of the indie film company and the hard work and dedication of so many individuals. And it's our story too. Check it out here....
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