March 31, 2009

(SIRIUS 6B, Year 2078) On a distant mining planet ravaged by a decade of war, scientists have created the perfect weapon: a blade-wielding, self-replicating race of killing devices known as Screamers designed for one purpose only — to hunt down and destroy all enemy life forms But man’s greatest weapon has continued to evolve without any human guidance, and now it has devised a new mission: to obliterate all life. Col. Hendricksson (Peter Weller) is commander of a handful of Alliance soldiers still alive on Sirius 6B. Betrayed by his own political leaders and disgusted by the atrocities of this never-ending war, Hendricksson decides he must negotiate a separate peace with the New Economic Bloc’s decimated forces. But to do so, he will have to cross a treacherous wasteland where the deadliest threat comes from the very weapons he helped to create.

check out the trailer here

Taped this last night and hoping to watch it at the weekend as my evenings are given over to writing Boat Gypsies and watching The Wire. Trying to watch more sci-fi to help me with Carcass development so having read the synopsis I had to see this.

anybody out there seen this?

Film Council First Feature Development Fund

March 27, 2009

Posted my application to Film Council. They have a first feature film development to support uk filmmaking. They offer up to £25,000 to develop the films they support. No information on how that cash is to be spent though. Very competitive to even get selected for an interview for further information on the project. I have applied with Carcass. 12 week turnaround for info on the project so I’ll post again July-ish when I hear something back. They supply feedback on the project but once you apply you cannot apply again with the same project. The fund is to support writers rather than Directors so speaks to the importance of script development as far as the UK Film  Council is concerned. This is a Writer-led fund not a Producer or Director led fund.

Empty Bed Blues

March 23, 2009

Went to see playwright Stephen Lowe‘s Empty Bed Blues at the Lakeside Arts theatre on Saturday.

“In 1929, DH Lawrence and his wife visited two wealthy young Americans, hoping they might finance an edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The quartet proves to be a potent, unpredictable combination.

Penniless and desperate to find a publisher for his “Lady Chatterley”, Lawrence and Frieda turn to a legendary couple of the American “lost generation”, the drug fuelled poet and publisher Harry Crosby and his beautiful sculptress wife, Caresse. Their passionate experiment in the total excess of living collides with the Lawrence’s more painful relationship revealing a major clash of culture, of class and of sexual desire.”

A really really stong piece of theatre. Really well-written, fantastic cast, really strong Direction by Matt Aston the Artistic Director.   The show has finished at the lakeside and is going to the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre. See here.

The Director was discussing afterwards a potential American transfer of the show.

here’s a blog of the produiction of the show.

ventmedia did some great visuals that added to the narrative thems explored in the piece. There were some ‘look at me’ moments visuals but again they worked well. Most of the time the visuals added additional emotional depth to the themes expored through words.

rural touring project- treatment feedback

March 18, 2009

Received some feedback on my Boat Gypsies treatment for my rural touring project. Ivan Cuttings from Eastern Angles is mentoring the project alongside the Theatre Writing Partnership.

Here’s a sample of the feedback.

There’s good stuff here and the setting and characters are potentially rich territory and possibly good theatre (though some of the demands are more filmic).

I like the wit and the sense of jockeying for position in a world suddenly denuded of adults and the freedom and indecision this brings. Suddenly they are asked to be adults and find their own motivations and desires.

Having said that I feel the piece desperately needs a driving mechanism. At the moment it’s drifting along with a series of moments, not always played to their full hilt, and a complete lack of urgency.

This is not helped by your style of treatment, which focuses too much on the clever lines they are going to say, which are clever and I enjoyed them, but which tends to indicate these are the stars of the piece instead of the characters themselves. Instead I needed much more of how their journey develops both practically (leaking, directions, fuel, eating) and emotionally (I want to get off, I need some space, who’s driving this, who’s running it) and the outside events (police looking for them, hospital trying to contact, guy on the run with firework bag (?), assessment insurers, lockgates etc) so that this potentially very good dialogue always surprises us and takes us as we’re concentrating on something else.”

Me and my ‘filmic demands’!

I generally agree. I work from images first and then lines and then narrative and then plot. So I agree about the lack of urgency but think it’s important that I keep some elements of drift as these characters drift along on the boat. Then piece has it, so it is inherent, in its bones so it can then be picked up on and played. What I will do next writing wise is to start working on characters, then narrative then plot, then dialogue. Writing generally as I go along with only some of these thmes developed. Then i go back redrafting as I go. It may not be how others do it but it works for me. Check out this series to see other writers talking about their process. The Dialogue.

Due to chat to Ivan this week to start writing next week hopefully.

Cosmos- a journey to the stars

March 17, 2009

Went to see Cosmos- a journey to the stars last week. The show was the culmination of an education programme by Dragon Breath Theatre in association with Curve Leicester and Theatre Design at NTU. It is aimed at young children ( 5-10). Using multimedia, dance, pupperty, performers and promenade theatre is worked really well. It is part of Dragon Breath’s art and science programme. Nettie Scriven and Peter Rumney are the Artistic Directors of Dragon Breath.

It will be on again at Curve Leicester in may as part of the Spark Children’s Art Festival

here’s the website for the company. copy and paste it to as google produce links to sites things about viruses otherwise. Some weird algorithm thing I imagine  .

24 Degrees Readings_thoughts

March 10, 2009

The 24 degrees readings:

  • Rosemary Jenkinson Basra Boy (stage)
  • Geraint Jones Cocks and Robbers (TV)
  • Laura Lomas Ashes (stage)
  • Emily Steel Boom Boom (radio)
  • Tom Wells God and that (stage)
  • Chris Wilson Playing the Game (Radio)
  • were performed last friday at the Royal Court. They were all Directed and casted pieces.

    All were good and well performed. I particularly liked Playing the Game (Chris Wilson) and Ashes (Laura Lomas). The Playing the Game excerpt was a funny monologue about a boy struggling with the family dynamics after the loss of his mum, I think.  Ashes was a scene set on skegness beach between a boy and his estranged alcoholic dad. Touching portrayal of two people desperately trying to connect.

    What was interesting was it was difficult to place the pieces as to the nature of the  excerpts out of context, so this is why I think the plays were about the above rather than know. I havent read a full draft of any of the 24 Degrees peices other than mine. Talking to Emily Steel (Boom Boom) afterwards and her excerpt consisted of various moments from the play conflated together.   So the Director had seen these moments as being significant to put together to give a flavour of the piece, almost regardless of where they occured in the play. It worked very well.

    I had some good verbal feedback about Carcass from the BBC Writers’ room scriptreader and am looking forward to receiving the feedback electronically. I wish to develop it to send on to the Film Council First Feature Script Development fund so am trying to wait for the feedback before I do so.

    it’s been a good project and I will try and keep in contact with some of the writers i’ve met.

    24 Degrees Culmination

    March 5, 2009

    Attending a reading at the royal court tomorrow as the culmination of the 24 Degrees Royal court/ bbc writers room project. This is the second project of this type that I have participated in after taking part in ‘the 50’ .

    Not sure whether the contacts one makes will result in any of my work being made at any point in the immmediate, near or distant future but what has been useful is that I have produced more work as a result of both schemes or had the opportunity to develop pre-existing ideas so it’s been good.

    Looking forward to hearing the readings tomorrow. Also off the the British Museum as I haven’t been before.

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