Saturday, March 26, 2005

Doctor Who, movies, and new ideas

The new Doctor Who series is fucking brilliant. I've been literally giddy with excitement all day, bouncing off the walls in readiness. I knew it would be good. With those writers, with the attitude of everyone involved, with Christopher Eccleston playing the Doctor, it couldn't fail. I wasn't expecting it to be so fast and downright loopy though. I thought they'd play it fairly safe, keep things low key, not risk anything looking dodgy - but they didn't, they just flung us headlong into the mad adventures, weren't afraid to be silly, and rammed it with nerdy Who references for us die hard fans. It feels like it did back when I was a kid, and Tom Baker was bounding around the place with his huge scarf, offering jelly babies to Daleks and laughing his head off - from me, there is no higher praise. It's clever, fun, exciting, and has the potential to get better and better. I can't wait till next week.

Been getting through some movies with the online DVD queue at Lovefilm - we're trying to go faster, so we can pack more in. Dead Man's Shoes is a masterpiece, one of the most harrowing things I've ever seen. It really got under my skin, and I'm still thinking about it now. Paddy Considine is superb, he's charming and terrifying at the same time, and I will go and see anything he's in from now on. Layer Cake is one I missed at the cinema, mostly thanks to the utterly shite trailer, which left you wondering what the fuck was going on - some stupid shit with Marco Pierre-White and one of those horribly annoying "recipe" cliche things ("take one slice of excitement, add a soupcon of naughtiness, add a dash of bollocks" etc). It's a shame, because it's a really, really good movie, a solid British crime flick, and really nicely put together. I'm not surprised Matthew Vaughn has been offered X-Men 3, now I've seen Layer Cake. And somebody please make Daniel Craig the next Bond. Either that, or get Brosnan back for one more. Or just leave it for a few years. 2007 Update: Dear Bond people - thank you for doing as I asked. Casino Royale rocks, by the way.

No Severance news today, but things are moving along behind the scenes. The other horror movie idea I've been working on is nearly ready to send out - it's a treatment, or pitch outline, or outline, or whatever they're called this week. It was only supposed to be a few pages, but it's ballooned to 13. That doesn't matter though, the more detail and colour I can put in, the better. I'm hoping to finish that tomorrow or Monday. Something else sneaked into my head last week as an idea for another script, so I'm just gathering information and doing early research for that. At the moment, it's just background stuff, a setting to place the movie in. I have no story, plot, or even genre, it could be about anything. I'm going to keep researching, write down everything that pops into my head, then come up with some characters who would logically be in a film about this particular subject. I'll then refine them until I know exactly who they are, then hopefully a story will evolve from all that. That's what I did with the 13-page horror thing, and it worked out really well. It's a new way of doing things for me, and I suspect it'll take over as my standard operating procedure. Because it works.

Long shot: a TV company is looking for cartoon ideas for 6-9 year olds, from writers with agents. I wasn't going to bother, as I couldn't think of anything, but suddenly something crazy popped into my head, and it made me laugh, so I typed it up and sent it off to them, thinking that they'll either totally ignore me (like the political documentary people I sent stuff to, who had specifically requested it, and then never bothered getting back in touch, you know who you are, a simple fucking email saying no thanks wouldn't have killed you), or call the police and have me arrested for trying to poison young minds. So far, they haven't done either. Watch this space...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Casting

Severance update: The press release has been corrected. My agent is feared the length and breadth of the land, and once he has had a word with you, you never again stray from the path of righteousness. He rocks. Casting continues - there are 7 main characters, and I can now exclusively reveal (as the gossip hacks say) that 3 of those parts have been cast. Definitely. A 4th is nearly there, subject to contracts and availability. The schedule has been revised, and they're hoping to shoot in a couple of months. I am actually soiling myself with excitement - and fear, as anything could happen to throw a spanner in the works, at any stage. Don't count your chickens until the cheque clears, and the movie is out in the cinemas...

Book adaptation: It looks like this is dead. For now. I've not heard anything either way, so we'll wait and see. To be honest, I'm glad it's over - I just want to write, not get involved in arguments and negotiations. If it comes to life again, I'll gladly write it, but I'm not having any guff.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Debra Hill

Goodbye to Debra Hill, who died yesterday. She was the co-writer of Halloween and The Fog, and producer of, among many others, Halloween, The Fog, Escape From New York, The Dead Zone, Clue, and The Fisher King. We watched Halloween tonight, as a sort of tribute. Little trivia fact: she was born in Haddonfield, New Jersey - and Halloween was set in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois. It's still a great movie, still makes me jump, even though I know what's coming, even after everything it did has been copied and used over and over and over, by much lesser movies. If anyone remakes it, I'll have to impale them to the wall with a large knife, and then stare at them curiously for a minute, cocking my head to one side.

2007 Update: Looks like I'll have to impale Rob Zombie now, or be exposed as a liar. Oh well. I'll hold on until I've seen the movie, though, to give you a chance. I'm a cruel man, but fair.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Birthday boy movie revelations

As of March 5th 2005, I am 33 years old. Happy birthday to me, and so on. I went to Dublin for booze and shenanigans, and had a fucking great time, as always. Have to go back soon, for longer. Last year and this year are the first two birthdays where I haven't felt that I'm wasting my life, it's all gone too quickly, or that my life is effectively over. I'm starting to do what I've always wanted to do, and I couldn't be happier. Some updates on movie things now, move along, nothing to see, only as old as you feel, younger than you look, eye of the beholder, great advances in medical technology, incontinence is nothing to be ashamed of these days, etc etc.

Book adaptation thing: It looks like it might be dead in the water, thanks to contract difficulties and general unpleasantness that I can't go into just yet. I'm hoping it gets sorted out, although at this stage, it would be a relief to not have to deal with the bad side of it. If I find out this week that it's dead, then I'll regale you with the full, gory details. If not, then all is well.

Severance: As the official press release has now gone out, I guess it's okay to reveal this. It will be directed by Christopher Smith, who directed Creep, a very pleasingly nasty horror movie that did extremely well when it came out last month. It's all good news, and is the first "outside" mention of the movie, apart from a brief mention in Variety (when the movie was called P45), and in this extremely widely read blog (six or seven regulars, as far as I know, but only because I keep forgetting to tell my other mates about it). The press release had a couple of slight errors in, but nothing major. Annoyingly though, it totally gives away a key plot point which is supposed to be a surprise...