Sunday, November 30, 2003

In other news, I finally finished the latest draft of Craw Lodge. I went over it three times altogether, with a fine tooth comb, and enjoyed it every time. I was so intense with it, I found tiny, tiny mistakes that I would never have spotted otherwise, inconsistencies, I agonised over every line of dialogue, every word, every description. I think it's a lot better now. I think it fucking rocks.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Radiohead. Last night. Live. My first time. Oh. My. God.

I've been trying to get to a Radiohead gig for years. Lately, I haven't even bothered trying to get tickets, just so I can save myself the disappointment. But this year, something went right, the planets aligned, and it all came together. I was worried that it would be an anticlimax - after all, I've seen them live on television, surely it can't be that different? Oh, how wrong could I be... As soon as the first notes crashed out, the lights came up, and I was transported. I had no idea it could be that good. Nobody mentioned that the music would rush through my veins, get under my skin, buzz in my teeth like electricity. I felt like the scientists in Close Encounters when the mothership arrives and blasts the windows out with its melody. I felt transported to another place.

In other words: no, it is so fucking NOT like watching them on television...

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Knocked back

Craw Lodge is nearly there, ever so nearly. The new ending is cool, much more tense and scary. I think. I've lost most of my ability to tell if this one is any better or worse in each successive draft, but it just feels like it's working well now.

The TV thing didn't work out, embarrassingly enough, but hey, it's a funnier story that way. No, I'm lying, it's a boring story either way. They asked for a sample scene, sent me sample scripts, and shitloads of other stuff. I mean, it's not as if it's a particularly sophisticated, ground breaking show, or anything. Anyway, I sent off my sample stuff, waited until they had their big meeting, and learned that they'd "passed on it". Which I'm kind of glad about, because it's shit, but I really could have done with the money. I think there's a lesson to be learned there, but I can't be arsed figuring out what it is.

Update from 5 years later, 2008! Never, EVER do this. To the me-of-five-years-ago: tough shit, you didn't get the job, your sample stuff wasn't good enough. And yet immediately, you're blaming the show, their show is shit, not ground breaking, blah blah blah. You didn't get through. End of story. Probably because your lack of enthusiasm for the show came across in your writing. Take it seriously, or don't do it at all. It's nobody's fault but your own, so stop whining, take responsibility for your actions, and get on with the next thing. THERE'S your lesson to be learned, me-of-five-years-ago. And now, I return to the future, to continue my life.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Did some more on Craw Lodge today, it's going very well. I'm just at the point where the characters make a major discovery, just before everything goes horribly wrong - the climax of act 2, if I'm being poncey. From here on in, it's all new stuff, and I'm not quite sure what's going to happen. I have a fairly good idea, but it feels good to be making it up for a while.

It's a comedy horror, but the idea is to slowly increase the horror as it gets towards the end, so that it just gets scarier and scarier. I'm just about to start act 3, where hopefully nothing remotely amusing will happen at all, except for some moments of jet black humour, of course. Can't wait...

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Much more work on the Craw Lodge over the weekend, I'm really enjoying it - that's saying a lot, because I haven't enjoyed that bloody script for a looooong time... It's going very well, things are moving along nice and quickly, it's looking more and more like a decent horror film. I'm up to about page 70, but there are some things I need to slot in here and there, that I had to move around for various reasons - explanations and character stuff that had to move, and so on. It's cool, because the ending is quite different now, it feels like I'm going somewhere completely different, and there's lots more creepy shit to come. I never ever thought I'd be at this stage with it, I'm actually excited about it again, and looking forward to carrying on with it.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Met Pat today, all went smoothly, we had a great chat about the script, and action movies in general, and sorted out most of the problems. I'm dying to get going on it, but I've learned my lesson well (coughCrawLodgecough), so I'll be doing a revised outline before even attempting a new draft.

Speaking of the devil, the Craw Lodge draft is going really well. It's going slowly, but only because I'm being really careful with it. It's leaner and tighter too - I've checked the previous draft, and the bit I'm on at the moment is page 32, whereas in the previous draft, it was page 37. This a good thing, as it means a lot more stuff happens in the first half hour, before it kind of dragged a bit. So it's cool.

I spent some of last night typing up a wish list for whoever ends up re-editing the DVDs of Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions into a single, superior sequel. I loved Reloaded, but would have still loved it if half an hour had been edited out. Revolutions, on the other hand, was a huge disappointment. It was flabby, self indulgent, boring, and lazy, a massive let down, I'm really fed up about it. By the way, there's a difference between being ambiguous, and just not giving any information whatsoever - we're supposed to make up our own minds, not have to make up our own movie... If I'd handed in a script like that to Jago, he'd have made me eat it, page by page. You see, he refuses to let me send out a substandard script because it makes me look bad - but when you get really big and famous, everybody just kisses your ass and is too scared to say no to you. People need to start saying no, sorry, this is fucking shit and you can do better. Hey! Wachowskis! No! This is fucking shit, and you can do better! There. When they read this, they'll be shitting their pants, I bet. "What?? Some nobody from England didn't like our movie that made several hundred million dollars?? Fuck! We're doomed!"

Monday, November 10, 2003

Pat likes the scifi thingy, but would like some changes and stuff, which I was expecting, so we're meeting up on Thursday to chat about it. It shouldn't take us too long to whittle it into shape, as it works pretty well as it is. This script is a lot easier to work with than The Craw Lodge, as it has always had a proper ending.

Speaking of which... I started the new draft of Craw Lodge yesterday. This'll be draft 13, including the draft which I have to abandon. It's annoying, because although the shit, abandoned draft is useless, there are some line changes and tweaks that I liked, so I have to go through it after I've done this draft, and see if I've made any small changes that I need to copy over. But it's not too bad, now that I've broken the back of it, it should be fine. I've finally got a proper outline for it (go here for details), a proper ending, and a plausible, simple backstory that doesn't require 5 pages of exposition to explain. So I'm actually happy about doing this new draft, amazingly. Something I never thought I'd say about this bloody script...

Friday, November 07, 2003

One more draft of the scifi thingy, just to iron out some things, and off it goes to Pat, the director. I hope he likes it. It may seem like I'm doing a lot of drafts, but when I say "draft", it can mean anything from a full rewrite, rejig and reworking, to a quick run through to polish dialogue or tighten some lines up. So on average, a "proper" draft is about 3 of my drafts. I work really fast, and just can't seem to spend several days polishing one scene, I get bored with it, I need to do what I can, then come back to it later. If it's too fresh in my mind, then I won't be able to do anything to it.

I used to think that a new draft meant a completely new version - ie, when Stephen King wrote the first draft of his novel, I assumed that he'd print it out, start a new document, and just retype it, from scratch, occasionally glancing at the printout to remind himself of a character name or something. Which, I realise now, would be fucking insane, it'd be like a first draft every time.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Tired. Very tired, after the manic weekend of drunkenness. Finished the latest draft of the big scifi action thingy today, so I feel like I've been productive as well. Not that there's anything wrong with drinking until 6am, I highly recommend it...

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Woooo-oooooooooo! Happy Halloween, to one and all. We had a mate round to watch scary movies, eat sweets, smoke cigars, and drink lots of booze. Much fun had by all, and we talked, drank and smoke until about 6 in the morning...

The next day, went to another mate's house for a meal and booze - I was determined to take it easy, but we ended up staying up drinking until half 6. Sunday, I didn't get up until about half past 5...