Blank Slate- research

November 25, 2009

Trying to watch The Loneliness of The Long-Distance Runner (1962) as research for Runners my Blank Slate application script. The disc has a bloody error on it and has now died in two machines. I’m nearly at the end so it’s a little frustrating at the moment. Got a little bit of business from it with the handcuffs at the beginning of the film being translated into office fob entry bracelets in my film. I’d never seen the film but had read the book years ago. The tone, attitude of the it’s main character and his rebellion was what led me to dig out  the film. There are oppportunites as with the handcuffs/bracelet to visually reference the Richardson film. I’ve finished the script and was looking for these little touches to enhance it. Might have to try and speed read the book as I intend to upload the script to the B3 site tomorrow or Friday.

Also this is my 200th post. I try to do two a week but not sure if i’ve managed that. 200 sounds good to me though.


Fela’s Wives-Images

November 23, 2009

Here’s some links to some images of Fela’s Wives. 1, 2, 3 I found it difficult when researching to find much info about his Wives which suggested a direction for the play to me. Any one out there knows of any images then send me a message.

This site has a zip file available to download of 18 images of the Queens. The images come from boxsets of his albums, 6 images per boxset. You’ll need to scroll down a bit to see the ‘download images’ link.

Blank Slate proposal

November 20, 2009

Trying to get into writing runners my idea for this year’s Blank Slate shorts run by B3 Media. carving out the time has been difficult as I have gotten out of my late night writing routine. Only got the next 6/7 days to complete it so need to get cracking. I am about 75% in with no idea of the ending. Need to finish and rewrite in that time.


November 18, 2009

read the vincente minnelli biog last week. also read one about quentin tarantino. now reading bad boy drive about Nicholson, Beatty, Hopper and Brando. Loose idea is that they all lived close to each other on Mulholland Drive, Cali.

It’s a bit lurid and potentially misogynistic at the moment. It might get better. Not holding out much hope.

Not researching anything in particular and as I read more biogs than I do novels these are simply the latest. Going to read The Suspicions of Mr Whicher next.

Blank Slate

November 11, 2009

This year’s Blank Slate scheme is now taking applications. Read the Guidelines to make sure you’re eligible. As the deadline 30th November it now means my writing break is over. Hoorah!!!

Nottingham Media Academy Hollywood Scriptwriting session

November 10, 2009

Attended a session put on at Broadway Cinema as a member of the Nottingham Media Academy. It was billed as Hollywood Screenwriting-Jumping the First Hurdle and was delivered by scriptreader James Barlett. Barlett has lived in America for the last five years. He delivered his 13 top tips to avoid. He said he was motivated to write this after the scripts he received from the UK compared badly to the American scripts. Not in content, character or story but in the little details that acculate to a ‘no’. Barlett echoed what has been written and spoken about elsewhere in that these executives jobs are to say no. Saying no is less risky than saying yes and committing, thousands, hundreds of thousands and/or millions to a project that doesn’t work and so exposing them as the one who said yes. Only yesterday I was reading the same idea allegedly as spoken by a Channel Four executive.

I’m not going to outline all the tips here as the session had a charge associated with it so presumably James got paid to deliver it but the tips went from 1- spelling, punctuation etc to 12- Transitions to Nudges, jokes, prompts to the reader.

Barlett reads 500 scripts a year probably equivalent to all the scripts sent to the regional screen agencies in the uk so this process means that anything that takes him out of the story is a negative mark, not necessarily a dealbreaker but they accumulate negatively against the script.

Vincente Minnelli biog

November 5, 2009

Finished Greatest SciFi Films (Movies sorry. It’s American in sensibility) Never Made yesterday (author David Hughes). What struck me, as ever when reading these types of books is how difficult it is to get work made. I pitched for a SciFi film a couple of years ago which I got some support to develop as a feature through a BBC WritersRoom and Royal Court scheme.  I was clear that the project was very ambitious and that it required a ‘leap of faith’ by the commissioners to move it on. The discussion about the films were really more  about ‘development hell’  as opposed to films that were never made so the different levels of leaps of faith required to get work made struck me. This isn’t really about the funding levels of the projects the book describes but more how work is commissioned and developed.

The other major thing that I’m reflecting on is how difficult it is to get a script that ‘works’. This challenge is what I love about writing. The script is both a technical document and a literary piece of work and getting this balance ‘to work’ on the page is the motivation that keeps me writing.

Now as to the title of this post- I have moved on to now reading Emanuel Levy’s biog about Vincente Minnelli. He always struck me as someone who tried to make ‘different’ films inside a very particular creative system.

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