Sunday, October 31, 2004

Happy Halloween

I have handed in the draft. Today is Halloween. This must be a good omen.

When I say "I have handed in the draft", I mean "I have attached the Word document to an email and addressed it to one person at the film company, the producer, my agent, and myself just so I have a backup copy". I write scripts in Word, using a free BBC script template that is on their site somewhere. It's all very ordinary and simple.

Of course, now the waiting begins. Now the pant soiling begins. What if they don't like it? What if it needs a lot more work? I'll have held everything up, fucked up the whole schedule. Everything depends on me now. Oh dear.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Space virus, movies, P45, poker, and bananas

How long is this fucking space virus going to last? I had to skip a Friday night drink with some mates to celebrate the life of the late great Sir John of Peel. Then tonight (Saturday night) I was supposed to be heading to a Halloween party with some other mates. About 3pm, I finally admitted to myself that I just wasn't well enough. Had a really shit night last night, coughing and snotting, and today I just felt weak and wobbly again, and my nose was doing that hosepipe thing, and my throat feels like I've been swallowing rusty swords. It's been over a week now. Please, space virus, if you can hear me: FUCK OFF. I've had enough.

Tomorrow is Halloween. Me and Jo will carve our huge pumpkin, put on some spooky music, eat some chocolate, and watch scary movies. I've got the collector's edition DVD of Halloween, which I haven't seen in ages, and Deathdream, which is supposed to be really cool.

Tonight we watched Amadeus, the Director's Cut - I've somehow managed to avoid seeing this film, purely by chance (also Citizen Kane, Lawrence of Arabia, the list goes on). It's bloody gorgeous, a real movie-lover's movie, full of tricks and clever bits and bobs, but above all, just beautifully made by everyone involved. Great story too, which Jo informs me is mostly made up (the Salieri sabotage storyline, I mean), but it doesn't matter, because it's fantastic.

I think I've finished P45, by the way. I need to check over it tomorrow, but I think it's there. I'm phoning the producer before I send it in, because I'm paranoid that everybody will hate it and they'll sack me and get someone else to do it and it'll be all shit and they'll make it into Wrong Turn which, apart from Eliza Dushku's tits, had absolutely nothing going for it. But I'm sure it'll all be fine.

Celebrity Poker Showdown is my new favourite thing on the telly. Poker tv shows, for some reason, are really fun to watch. This one is even more fun, it's filmed in Vegas, with cool celebs, witty commentary ("that's right, there's no god in poker *either*"), free booze for the increasingly drunk participants, a rowdy audience, and, tonight, a big bucket of bananas for the audience. I don't know why there were bananas. But I like bananas. So it's all good.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Space virus

Felt like shit all Friday and Saturday - the shakes, aching bones, wobblyness - then it all went away Sunday evening, and all day Monday. Cool, I thought. Dodged that bullet. Woke up this morning with a throat like sandpaper, and my nose had a suddenly turned into one of those guns that fires 5-litre balls of green goo, if such a thing exists. Got worse during the day, plus I was at work getting hounded by people who wanted this and that done. Left at half 4, couldn't take any more. Am now living on the sofa, face streaming, nose in pieces, unable to concentrate on anything for too long. It's not just a cold or flu, it's obviously some sort of evil space virus that has chosen me as the host to launch its attack on the human race. Jo's looking after me though, it's almost worth being ill for the way she looks after me. Scratch that, it *is* worth it...

Have less than a week left to hand in this P45 draft. Well, two weeks, but I said I'd have it done by the end of October - Sunday night/Monday morning. Plus we might have the scifi-action pitch thing this week. Starting to feel the pressure a bit.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Waiting for the man

Okay, the big pitch wasn't actually the Big Pitch, it was our final practice session and meeting with one of the guys at the studio. Don't know why we both thought it was the Big Pitch, but it doesn't matter really. He gave us our final feedback, really liked everything we'd come up with, and went off to get us booked in for the proper, Big Pitch with the Scary Boss, which should happen at the end of next week, or the beginning of the week after. I'm kind of relieved that we didn't have to do the scary big pitch, but I'm disappointed that it's not over and done with. Obviously the more time we have to refine it, the better, but waiting drives me mad...

P45 is going really well. I've said that about twenty times on this blog now, but it's the truth. Hopefully that won't be an unusual occurrence for me. All the ideas they wanted brought in are great, all the stuff we came up with together is working, and it all fits together properly. I have another few weeks, but I should be finished before then.

Up in Nottingham at the moment for the weekend at a friend's house. Nice and relaxing, apart from feeling really sick since Friday - sore throat, achy joints, tingly skin, all the signs of a nasty cold or flu attack, but without the runny nose. Bizarre. I feel really weak, and it's really annoying. Back home tomorrow, where I'll probably sleep for the rest of the day to try and shake it off.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Plate spinning

Everything is happening at once. Craziness. P45 film draft is going very well, and I get regular phonecalls from the film company and the new producer, "just seeing if you're okay", or "just making sure everything's all right", and so on. The thing is, everything and everyone is now waiting for me to finish - they can't do anything until I hand in the new draft. They're really nice about it, and I'm not late or anything, but I can tell they'll be much happier when I've finished.

The big pitch for the scifi action thing happens tomorrow. We had a practice one, but the main one got pushed back for various reasons, and we tweaked the story to make it cooler. The main event is tomorrow, with the big boss of development at the biggest UK film company in town, possibly the only people in the UK with the cash to make this movie. If they don't commission it, then we'll have to go outside the UK with it, which may be more difficult.

Also tomorrow me and Jo are heading to a mate's house in Nottingham for the weekend. I will be bringing the Powerbook to write on while I'm there, as he has wireless broadband.

Soon I will be changing the design of this blog, replacing a few images with my own, slowly and carefully. I've only just realised I'm allowed to do that, so if it all suddenly looks horrible, you can thank me.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Moving right along, chuk-a-jum, chuk-a-jum

P45 is going very well, very quickly, but I'm being careful with it. Everything is dependent on me now. Once I hand in this draft, they can start casting and budgeting - but only if the big boss decides it's good enough. It's going to have a 4 week revision (half a draft) to tweak it anyway, but if it's decent enough then they can kick things off. If all goes well, they're aiming to start shooting in February. If I deliver a good enough draft. If I fuck it up or it looks like it needs more work, it will delay things. So, no pressure. I'm not incredibly worried though, as it's going really smoothly. I'm going to make sure it's as good as can be before I show it to anybody.

Scifi action thing is still moving along. I've just completely rewritten the outline, characters and done lots of research which I've also written up. We're hoping to get into the pitch at the end of next week, at the earliest.

The animation thing has had two rejections so far, which is okay, as it's a difficult sell when I'm not that well known yet. If necessary, we can wait until I've got a higher profile, then try and flog it. Right now, I'm trying to come up with the next big thing. I have several things on the boil, so hopefully one of them will develop further.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Becoming

I've been slack with updates, but there's been lots of news, so let's get the party started:

The first, major company we pitched the action scifi to called back, and really like it. They want us to pitch it to their big boss. Holy shit. But we need to practice and refine it. We went in for a practice session with the same guy as last time, and ended up changing a key part of the story, so I've got to redo the outline and breakdown before the real pitch. We haven't got a date for that yet, but it'll probably be soon. I wish we hadn't changed so much stuff at the last minute, but it makes the overall story stronger and more exciting, so it's all good. We've got a real shot at getting this commissioned, as long as we don't fuck it up.

P45 news: We have a director. And a producer. I can't say who just yet, as they haven't officially announced it or finished sorting the contract stuff. But suffice to say it is the people I was most hoping would do it - they've already done a movie that I love, and are perfect. I've met them before, and the other week we had big meeting about the next draft, with all their input - all of which is superb. So I'm currently writing the new draft. They're scouting for filming locations at the moment - it's either going to be Hungary or the Czech-Republic, partly because it's cheaper, partly because they have excellent crews and directors of photography (the people who do the lighting, and sort out where to put the camera when the director says "I want a low angle and then make it go whoooosh over there, spin around, and end up on her left breast"). So it's all moving along quite quickly. They're hoping to start shooting by January or February - which is when I should be able to leave work for good, if all goes well.

Speaking of work, I'm going down to 2 days a week from November. With the new P45 draft, the scifi action thing, the BBC thing (which I haven't even started), and a few other things on the go, I just haven't got enough time to write in the evenings and weekends. So I'm taking the money I get for this new draft, and using it to go part time at my dayjob. That'll keep me going until about February, by which time, hopefully, I'll have sold something or get paid my main fee for P45 (I get it on the first day of filming, which is what normally happens).

It's all kicking off, and I'm shitting myself with excitement. More news as it comes in...