Monday, November 16, 2009

Edward Woodward, 1930 - 2009

Edward Woodward, star of The Wicker Man, Callan, The Equalizer and Common as Muck, to name but a few, has died at the age of 79.

I feel terribly sad at the loss of someone who has been a screen presence throughout my life, and has left such a fantastic body of work behind them.

BBC item



Edgar Wright on Edward Woodward

Post-weekend update

The best laid plans, eh?

The weekend went well. I failed to complete the first draft of The Preservationists but will do so in the next few days. The reason for non-completion? Mainly that weekends are perhaps not the best time to lock yourself away in your writey den. I knew that certain jobs would need doing, and that was fine, but Sunday afternoon became a casualty of necessary maintenance on the garden, and whilst it's true that I could have stayed up and worked into the small hours I was happy enough that I can finish it this week not to bother.

Friday saw 13 pages written, a respectable start.
Saturday was another 13 page day.
Sunday saw only five pages written.

So that's about 31 pages written of a likely 60.

I'm out laughing at Eddie Izzard on Tuesday night so I'm unlikely to get any work done then but the rest of the week looks good. If I were a betting man I'd bet on wrapping on Wednesday night.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Catch up TV

I've been watching stuff and I thought I'd share...

Medium - You know, it's funny. I was always aware of Medium. I knew it existed. I knew it starred the lovely Patricia Arquette. Somehow I never bothered watching it though. I think I may have made some assumptions about the nature of the format and/or the quality of the show, based on what I don't know. Anyway the twittering of Mr and Mrs James Moran inspired me to take a look at the first episode. The first episode inspired me to watch the second episode. The second episode - well you get the idea. Medium is excellent and I'm happy to tell you why... The relationship between the main characters is totally believable, they are very real, rounded, flawed characters. Patricia Arquette and Jake Weber portray a couple who don't always see eye to eye but love each other deeply, and usually find a compromise together. There is a variety in the stories that I didn't expect. Most of all though I enjoy the interaction between the characters, and those unexpected shocks they slip in sometimes. It's a great series and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Burn Notice - I had heard murmers about this series but hadn't seen any until I stumbled upon a Burn Notice marathon on the USA channel while Emma and I were in New York in the summer (meant to post about that but never got around to it - Best. Holiday. Ever. New York is now my second favourite city). It's a brilliant show. Anything featuring Bruce Campbell is always going to be worth a look, but the premise, the tone and the performance of star Jeffrey Donovan make this excellent viewing. Think Hustle with a dash of Bond and a broad streak of humour. I haven't actually seen that much of Burn Notice yet, but now Lost is out of the way (probably) I plan on catching up.

Spooks - They're back. I love a bit of Spooks and I think the partnership between Ros and Lucas is about the best team the show has had. Hoping this series can match up to last years engrossing story arc.

FM - Caught up on this thanks to Virgin Media's ITV player. Just brilliant. Great cast, great scripts, great show. The only downside was the pop star cameos - appearances are OK but actually having them play a song while the characters watch is BORING! Hoping a second series will be forthcoming.

Lost - After eighteen months and 103 episodes I am finally up to date with what I have come to think of as probably the best and most consistent series of all time. Now I'm resisting the urge to try and watch it all over again before the sixth and final series starts next year. So far so good...

Something I've NOT been watching though is Survivors - Where is series 2..? I could have sworn it started the same time as Spooks last year. OK, I know I was vocal about my issues with the first series but I still liked it (it's post apocalyptic - I can't really help myself!). Besides the last couple of episodes were much stronger - the final episode in particular was riveting, and surprising! Add to this the fact that the second series was filmed in my fourth favourite city - Birmingham - and colour me excited. Bring on the further adventures of Tom Price! Still don't understand *that* credit though...

Come back soon for more stuff what I've been watching!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Time May Change Me

I think my calendar is broken. It's telling me November but that can't possibly be right can it? Hmm. Seems my phone is broken too. And my laptop. And my watch. Oh hang on, I don't wear a watch...

Hello and welcome to a new update on my blog.

Despite the acceleration of 2009 (I suspect we may have skipped September altogether) the year continues to go well. I am almost completely treatmented up and ready to write the first draft of my new script. It's intended as a pilot and has the working title of "The Preservationists", in fact I like that title so much it may stick. I've booked Friday off and my intention is to write like a bastard for three days before collapsing onto the sofa on Sunday night with a glass of wine to have my pants scared of
f by The Waters of Mars. If all goes well this project will be the long awaited (by no one in particular apart from me) follow up to BBC writersroom's request to see my next work.

Once the first draft of The Preservationists is completed I'm going to forget all about it for a month or so while I do a full rewrite on my horror feature, The Quiet Night Inn. That should take us up to December when I'll have a tinker with The Preservationists before resurrecting a long dormant feature film script and starting it from scratch over Christmas. I'll probably be after some power of three action around then too, so let me know if you're interested - I'll return the favour naturally.

Exciting stuff which will take me up to the new year - hopefully with three decent scripts and a fair bit of momentum. In the new year I have some new projects to start, including a strong idea for another horror feature (something more... urban this time), a sitcom and various other half formed ideas. Most of all I want to start with a clear desk. Hence the frantic work in the next couple of months.

"So how come you're so enthusiastic about your work again?" You're probably not asking. I'm glad you asked. It's because there's something I haven't told you, dear reader. A couple of months ago I left my employer of some ten years for a job that allows me more flexibility, a shorter commute, and some hope of having the energy to work when I come home of an evening. I was sad to leave the old firm, they've been good to me and I will always be fond of them, but there are changes on the way and it was a prudent move. Happily my new job has been a terrific success. I'm home much earlier in the evening and writing most evenings.

I'm feeling positive about the future for a lot of reasons, but particularly because I've worked on my writing more, and harder, for the last few months than for a long time. There have been a lot of changes over the last couple of years; leaving Cardiff, Emma becoming a teacher, buying a house, and so on. My change in jobs feels like the last piece slotting into place. Finally I can commit all my energies to making it as a screenwriter.

As long as nothing else comes along and demands all my attention...