Script Magazine

April 30, 2011

Finally got around to reading Script magazine.



Script is free to registered Final Draft users. They have some similar content on the web site associated with the magazine so check that out.

The magazine is very American focused but not overly surprised by this. There are six issues a year. May/June’s has a good article on rewriting and on getting feedback.

DSLR Cinema Guide

April 29, 2011

Focal Press publish this guide to shooting with DSLR cameras.



I’ve heard it’s a very good book and have ordered a copy to have a read myself.

It’s written by Kurt Lancaster who I think is an american academic. Check out his site

Site might give a flavour of the book. I’m tempted to buy DSLR myself but I don’t really shoot enough to justify it. The way I’m thinking it might prompt me to shoot more. Not short films but short, short ‘other stuff’.

Dream as Graphic Novel

April 28, 2011

Had a fantastic dream recently that when I awoke from it knew it had to be realised in another form. It was a mixture of Children of Men, Kafka-esque moments, felt a bit David Mitchell (Number 9 Dream,  Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green etc) and those potentially quite depressing ‘dsytopian shit future we’re all heading towards’ stories.


Number9dream book cover

Film was the most obvious medium as the dream ended at a really good point for act breaks and the like but after more thought I realised a graphic novel might be better. Trying to work up the narrative to then take it further. Not got a title yet but thinking something to do with Plastic Hearts. Tyhen need to do some research on Graphic Novels as I know almost nothing about these.

The Bridge

April 22, 2011

Finished The Bridge by David Remnick. The biography of 44th US President Barack Obama is well written. Remnick has very good access and tells a compelling story of Obama as the bridge between the civil rights era black leader and the professional politician. ‘Risen without trace’ is an expression that comes to mind as Obama has no ‘obvious’ achievements to draw on his undoubted skill as a politician. One gets the sense that he was saving his achievements for when he could really make a difference and that the ascent was in the hands of someone who always had enough experience to take advantage of the good fortune in and around him.
A true figure of his age.

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Book Conference Paper accepted for Journal

April 18, 2011

Received the typeset proof today of the paper presented at the International Conference on The Book 2010. Conference took place at St Gallen University , Switzerland.


Typical House in St Gallen centre

My paper (hold on as it’s the longest title in history) The Book an Adaptation from the Film: Technology, Narrative, Business & How the Book Industry Might Adapt the Film was subsequently accepted for publication in the journal that accompanies the conference and will appear in the next volume, volume number 8.  There’s a couple of minor proofing corrections to do. Not entirely sure of the journal publication date but will no doubt post when I do know.

There’s a video here of the famous Abbey Library in St Gallen. Video isn’t really allowed so I took this on my phone hiding behind a pillar.

The next Book Conference takes place in Toronto, Canada in October. Never been to Toronto but this street in St Gallen looked fantastic so be hard to beat for very different experience to my norm.

Clothes as Film Narrative device

April 17, 2011

Was talking to a student yesterday who is doing a research project about clothes as Narrative devices. We were talking about how costume drama easily lends itself to this, Portrait of a Lady, The Piano, The Age Of Innocence, etc, etc. The old silent Harold Lloyd-era films also lend themselves to looking at this. We then starting looking at Contemporary films where Attack The Block was mentioned as it is being sold a little as another ‘Hoody’ film. I really like this idea of the costume as a real device. The swathe of Red Riding Hood films coming up will be interesting on this point.

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Ending Panel screenplay

April 11, 2011

Adapting Ending Panel into a screenplay. Stageplay is a monologue written for Royal & Derngate’s Young Britain series of shorts and it was staged in one of the spaces at the Derngate in 2009 (or was it 2010 I can’t remember). The script is for Poonam Brah to direct. Poonam directed the stageplay and has used the piece since as a workshopping piece at the National Film and Television school. Poonam and I have had a chat about general approach to opening it up and I’m now going to write a draft, do a bit of research, do another draft and then send it out. Trying to see if it’s a goer and then if we can draw any expertise in to get it shot on the cheap as soon as.

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Athens Visual and Performing Arts Conference

April 10, 2011

Amazing view isn’t it. Athens when I was presenting a paper on the screenplay as a research document rather than a fixed text to shoot as close to as written as possible. Any academics out there should really try and attend. Greece is an interesting place at the best of times and now with the EU bailout Athens is convulsing all the time. The journal publication side of the conference is very slow though but more than outweighed by the fantastic time you’ll have at the conference, especially if you do the important extra-curricular stuff. Disappointed my timetable and the slowness of the journal/paper publication decision means I won’t be attending this year.
I took photo on phone so not the greatest photo in history.

Conference Website
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Brunels- Acclaim & Achievement

April 3, 2011

Read Paul Clements biography of Marc Isambard Brunel at the moment.

Marc Brunel Biog book cover image


Not so much interested in biographical this happened and that happened elements, though there are some that will of course end up in the play but more interested in the language used, so excerpts from letters and the like. One of the things that I have been struck by is the lack of examples I know of where a son has exceeded a father who is also great achievement, distinction and renown. The only one I can think of who is in someway similar is how Rupert Keith Murdoch has exceeded Keith Murdoch. Do anyone know of any other examples? Following a famous parent isn’t the same there are lots of examples of that, following a parent in the same profession who didn’t quite make it or who made it a lower level again tons of examples but where the parent has excelled and then their offspring has exceeded them? I can’t really think of a single example. This is something that I am keen to try and find.

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April 1, 2011

I simply wouldn’t be a playwright without TWP. I’m not dramatically overstating. I’m being completely honest. Until I saw a poster call for new plays stuck up by TWP I had never considered writing a stageplay. I was in the Nottingham Playhouse interviewing someone for a video I was making. As a Filmmaker and Writer I had only ever written screenplays up until this point. Something about the poster made me go “I’m going to write something for this”. Since that time I’ve been supported by TWP as a writer new to the stage. The fact that they were based at the Nottingham Playhouse but were not the Nottingham Playhouse was important and continues to be important. TWP acts as advocate for the theatre writer. Not for a particular building or for the traditions of the theatrical space but for the East Midlands writer. This is not the same as Writing:East Midlands. Expertise, knowledge and understanding, relationships with the theatres in the region are all potentially going to be thrown away. And what replaces it? A umbrella organisation for all writers and all types of writing? And these miraculous individuals will go out and introduce writers and their work nationally and internationally as TWP have done? They will programme festivals as TWP have done? They will run young theatre writers schemes as TWP have done? I simply don’t buy it. TWP existed because of the need. Of course Writers existed before and of course writers will emerge still but when Iraq is invaded with no plan beyond that; when the NHS is being chopped up with no plan beyond that; when the Film Council is axed with no plan beyond that; When Arts Organisations all over the country are strategically axed with no-one outside those chopping offices having seen the strategy that is frightening. One response to the Cuts Culture is “It’s not economic its ideological.” Ideology is not inherently bad I would argue but to axe and have no plan beyond that is simply nonsensical. “Ah well things will sort themselves out” seems to be an unspoken attitude, well there are Writers, young or not so young who will now find it more difficult to enter Nottingham Playhouse; Writers who will find it more difficult to progress their career when (if?) the theatres battling their own cuts play safe. If the theatre buildings make a real commitment to developing their relationships with new writing, and lets be honest some of the regional buildings have better reputations that others in that regard, and that means thinking beyond their own building. And there in lies the problem. I have no confidence that despite any will that might exist, there is the capacity to do this. Not in any one theatre building, not if the one building also has to deal with novelists and poets and screenwriters and short story prose. I simply don’t believe it. I think there are times when one surrenders in the hope that “they must know what they are doing”. This isn’t one of those moments. I think there are moments that we should embrace and now is one of those moments. TWP might cease to exist after 2012; this is no time to wait and see. They, the government, the authorities don’t have a plan, so let us!

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The money holders think they are also the decision makers. Loathe as I am to misquote an old Tory but they think they are in office and in power. We won’t be able to do anything about the former for another four years or so but let’s show them who are really in power. This doesn’t mean let’s get the decision changed, this might be one aim but a better one for me is to strive to create an alternative TWP. Let us make the decisions.

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