Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Skinny

In The Loop

Caught this at the Electric on Friday and was very pleased with it. I heartily recommend the film, and no prior knowledge of
The Thick of It is required.


I think this is half way through it's run now but as I always seem to promote Charlie Brooker's television exploits why break the habit now? Here he uses his razor sharp wit to cut right through the media flim-flam and get at the guts of how the News works. If you haven't been watching you can catch up here, for now at least...


They're back, and they're making some brave changes to the set up. I'm a big fan of the show and series three continues to deliver. If you like Saturday night family drama then check it out.

Law & Order: UK

This has been fantastic, and has lost none of the pace or tone of the original in the transatlantic shift. I think we're in a mid-series break at the moment but you can see previous episodes here. Episode seven from the sixth of April has been the best of the bunch so far. I understand they made thirteen episodes for series one so hopefully it will be back soon. It can be strong stuff though, so be warned.

Waiting for Godot

My favourite Beckett, well it's everyone's favourite I suppose. Caught this in Malvern in March and was a bit blown away. The production hits London April 30th, you could do far worse than get yourself a ticket.


I finally got around to buying Adrian Mead's
Making It As A Screenwriter last month. Embarrassingly I hadn't bought it because I no longer have a paypal account (don't like or trust paypal after nearly getting badly burned a few years ago). I decided to open a new account just to get the book only to discover you didn't actually need one. D'oh!

Anyway if you haven't got it (and I'm pretty sure you have) then you really ought to snap it up. It's a bargain at £7.79 and the dosh goes to Childline.

I used to buy a lot of books about screenwriting but stopped because they all had more or less the same amount of useful advice in them. Also most were written by people whose names you never see on a screen, large or small, which says something, eh?

Mead's book is different. It's relevant, filled with example documents and clear, simple advice, it's witty and motivational. If you're serious about screenwriting this is the tool you need most urgently, click here to buy it.


I've been having a go on Trigger Street at last. Response to my script has been encouraging, and there has been some very useful notes. Towards the end of the month I'll compile a list of points raised and get ready for a rewrite next month.

I didn't realise quite how the credit system works, which is my own fault, but it turns out it's quite a lot of work to get credits so that your script get's reviews. It is if you're going to put your full energy into reviewing someone's submission anyway (which is only fair if you're going to expect the same in return). I now know that it takes me a good hour or more to read a script (more if I'm not enjoying it), and probably the same again to write up some notes. That's two hours per script, and for me it's coming out of writing time (unless I pick up a netbook or something, then I can do it on the train). That's quite a drain on your time, though worth it for the feedback.

I don't think I'll be putting all my energies into TS. It's fairly rare for me to work on a feature anyway and they have no forum for television scripts. It has been very useful with this specific script, if you're after unbiased feedback I recommend it. Doing a lot of recommending today!


Heartfelt congratulations to Jason, Dave, Oli and William for securing positions on the Red Planet workshop with Tony Jordan. Congrats also to Mark Wilkinson,
the winner of Red Planet 2009.


You may have noticed I'm updating this site less often. This is only because I'm being much stricter with myself as regards usage of time. All my energy is being put into writing at the moment.

When I sit in my nice shiny chair in my (Lamont Cranston-style) Sanctum I sit here to write, not to blog. Blogging isn't working, so it has to come second. In fact it's further down than that because it comes after planning too. Ahh, poor blogging.

Also a lot of this blog used to be television reviews, and me spouting off about telly in general. In fact that was initially how I intended to use it, I started blogging about my writing only when I saw others were doing it (No sheep jokes puh-leeease!). Since I read
Making it as a Screenwriter I'm somehow less keen to do this. I should be building bridges here. It's not like I'd go into work at the day job and email the MD to tell him his latest idea is shit, is it? I don't want to piss him off.

I'll still update as and when I can, and trust me - if I have news I'll be here like a flash. In the mean time though, I'll see you when I see you.


  1. My trick is to have an anonymous blog then you can say what you like... on the other hand it's not completely anonymous and the only thing I've been harsh about was Demons.

    And that deserved it.

  2. I'm definitely going to buy Making It As A Screenwriter. It's had so many recommendations from all the bloggers so it's definitely got a high regard from other screenwriters, which is very encouraging.

    Is it an e-book, or an actual book? I've been wondering about that recently...

    I say good on you for getting your priorities straightened out regarding writing. I definitely need to take a leaf out of your book in that sense.

    Trigger Street sounds good, but is it not similar to Celtx's "Project Central"? Over at Celtx you can post your scripts and anyone can review them - on Trigger, are the members mainly semi-pros or are there amateurs on there, too?

    Just curious really as it sounds as though it's pretty difficult to get your work reviewed on Trigger, whereas in project Central it's relatively easy - although the writing experience of the reviewer can be questionable.

    Anyhow, back to work for me! (Not writing unfortunately; the day job...)

    Happy writing :)