December 30, 2008

Wanted to do a post discussing my technique for developing scenes after waking early one morning and then being unable to sleep due to scenes from two projects running through my head.
The 4am creativity is a much discused phenomenon and Michael Rabiger describes ideation as the stage where ‘meat’ is put on the initial idea so I’ll try and discuss one of my many different processes with these two things in mind.
I tend to work in images, so ideas come from images mainly so I’ll find I’ll have characters talking to each other with very little context and I’ll try and fit that into the number of projects I have in various stages of development. ‘Bottom Up Design’ it also anothe way of describing this technique. So what I realise is that it’s the unconscious mind working through things for me. What I then find myself doing is imagining people interviewing me about the scene/project. This isn’t a deliberate technique I decide to do to develop the idea rather something that happens. It is the well-known technique of visualising a project in order to effect its successful creation. This interviewing of self is a kind of a version of ‘hotseating’ technique that Boal, Weston and many, many others discuss. The difference is that I am hotseating myself. This tends to result in clarity for scenes as regards metaphor, scene intention, drive, larger thematic concerns etc.
It struck me as interesting enough to talk about. The other technique I have is that if I remember these 4am ideas later on that day, or later then I figure it’s worth making a note of. Which explains this post. You can come to your own conclusions.
I like reading Jurgen Wolff’s email newsletter for the number of techniques he describes for generating methods and also for the places he gets them, business guru’s, psychologists, mental and physical well-being coaches as well as writers.

24 Degrees- Carcass

December 26, 2008

Started the rewrite a couple of nights ago. The major note from my project Mentor Debbie Tucker Green was basically ‘how does she feel?’
Rewritten the first 10-12 pages amd really happy with a scene which combines two previous scenes. The combination of the two scenes liifts both of them and now really explores Lucy’s romantic relationship and the nuances and dynamic of the relationship.
Got an interesting idea about sloughing off skin and the red rawness that follows, a really strong sequence in terms of images whilst also working metaphor wise.
70 pages to go.

Latest Project- Rural Touring Project

December 19, 2008

Just found out been shortlisted for a rural touring theatre project. Writer’s Lab09 is working with the pride of place rural touring companies to develop work over the next few months. Leisure Traffic is my project. It is set on a canal boat and plays with the ideas of nuclear families.

The project is a collaboration with Theatre Writing Partnership and the Pride of Place companies. twp are in pricess of developing their site so keep on going back to see what happens with it over the next few months.

Will start the workshopping process mid-January. Really trying to develop a site specific piece of work so this will be a good learning process. Piece has got fireworks in in and everything!!

24 Degrees- Mentor Feedback

December 18, 2008

Had a really good meeting with my mentor Debbie Tucker Green yesterday about my BBC WritersRoom/Royal Court Theatre scheme 24 Degrees. I am one of 24 writers selected from the UK to take part in this commission opportunity. Work can be produced for radio, stage, or screen.

Carcass is a feature length screenplay. The notes I got were incredibly detailed. The session overall and the notes in particular demonstrated to me by their very detail and volume how seriously Debbie had treated the script. After 20 minutes we were only on page 3 of the 63 page script!!

Lots of really good notes and things to consider. The weaknesses I felt in the draft Debbie agreed with which was good. These things can always be a bit of a test of the script analysis powers of the reader/ Script editor so good to see she ‘passed’ that. Some challenges and problems to resolve. and some great opportunities to create a really powerful peice of work  that can break your heart man!

Submission deadline is 5th Jan 2009 so some work to do over the holiday, festive break. Which is how I like it as I do get itchy when not writing.

Hopefully I’ll be able to post the script when the project is done and dusted. Four (or is it six? I wasnt listening)  of the scripts will be selected for a reading in February time so looking forward to hearing the feedback about my project.


December 16, 2008

Been reading a couple of books recently-
Story and Character:Interviews with British Screenwriters. Edited by Alistair Owens and What Happens Next by Marc Norman.. Story and Character is a compendium of interviews with Rupert Walters, Lee Hall, Richard Curtis, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, Shawn Slovo, William Boyd, Hossein Amini and Simon Beaufoy.
What is really interesting is the strike rate of scripts made to scripts written. Amazed how difficult it all seems to get work made and then how difficult it is once the script gets commissioned.
The Norman book, What Happens next is a history of American Screenwriting. Norman co-wrote Shakespeare In Love, though the interesting discussion about credits make one wonder who wrote what.
Not finished this yet but really enjoying this as I love old Hollywood history books, read quite a few already about the moguls and key Directors, Producers etc.

24 Degrees. Draft 1 finished

December 3, 2008

Finished and emailed my first draft of Carcass feature two weeks ago. should be having a feedback meeting with mentor Debbie Tucker Green next two weeks before embarking on rewrite for submission  to BBC WritersRoom/Royal Court Theatre for 5th Jan 2009.

Am looking to perhaps extend by 10/15 pages as it runs a little short for a feature at moment. think it’s running at 65/70 minutes at the moment. Plenty of potential to extend but awaiting feedback whilst getting some distance before i embark on it.

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