Sunday, August 13, 2006

Writing updates

Some updates on writing projects and things: when I was having that big batch of meetings in May, there were 2 outlines I was working on, and mentioning in those meetings. Sort of informal pitch sessions really, they'd ask what I was working on, and I'd briefly tell them. The reaction was very good on both of them, which was a good sign, and I was able to refine them both slightly based on how people responded. One of the outlines is still being worked on, it needs that crucial extra jigsaw piece before it is ready. The other one came together quite nicely, has a beginning, middle and end, and I managed to get the thumbs up from my agent too. So I'm going to write it, as a screenplay. If you write an outline for yourself, that's fine, it's just so you know the story works. If you're trying to sell that outline, and get people to pay you to write a script from it, it's very, very difficult. The outline needs to be perfect, it needs to be gold, it needs to be really fucking long. And after you've spent months working on it, people read it, and say things like "the characters aren't really coming through", or "I'm not getting a sense of the comedy/scares/tension." No, of course you're not, that's because it's an OUTLINE, with no dialogue, and not a script. So rather than doing that whole dog and pony show again, I'm just going to spec the bastard. It's easier, quicker, and at least that way they have a script they can read and decide if it works or not. Whatever happens, I'll have another writing sample, and will feel like I've accomplished something. At the end of last year, I promised myself I'd do two brand new specs this year. So far, I've spent most of the year so far working on ideas, writing outlines, and meeting people. All these things are good, but they don't result in a script. It's incredibly frustrating not to be writing, and when I got halfway through Curfew, my brain started firing up again, coming up with ideas and sparking off in new directions. It was because I was writing properly again, an actual script, and I realised how much I needed that. So yeah, long story short, I'm doing a new spec. 6 pages in so far. And because it's not for anybody yet, there's no rush, I can do what I like, and I'm fully in charge. Which rocks.

As for Curfew, I handed in my finished first draft, and we'll be meeting to discuss it this week. I'm really pleased with it, it came together very nicely, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it whenever the revisions are needed. Reading it over again, there are some bits I'm already thinking of ways to improve, so hopefully I can do that soon.

I'm working on two other outlines at the moment. They're both paying gigs, both producer/director teams that came to me looking to work together, both with people I really get on well with. One will be used as a pitch/financing document, one is just for us to work from, but both outlines are coming along very easily. There are one or two potential TV things in the pipeline too, nothing concrete yet, but I hope they work out because I'm dying to do them.

There's one other idea/outline that I *didn't* mention in the May meetings, because I didn't want to give it away. I haven't told anyone about it, it's extremely high concept, and fairly easy to steal, so it's top secret for now. Again, it's not quite ready yet, got a couple of huge holes in it that need patching. But when I figure it out, I think I'm going to spec that one, too.

And just because it wouldn't be a post without a Severance mention: TV ads start on Wednesday 16th, mostly on Channel 4 but also on others, and bus ads start on Monday 14th. So keep your eyes out for posters on buses, and telly ads, and take a photo if you spot it before me...


David Bishop said...

Saw Severance on the side of a bus in Edinburgh yesterday, while walking to an event in the Fringe. Sorry, no camera to hand!

Chris (UK Scriptwriter) said...

I find the ideas come flowing in when I'm doing one of two things:

1) The washing up.

2) Whenever I'm about to sit down and get my teeth into a rewrite of an existing script.

Number one doesn't really work any more as the new kitchen has a dishwasher, but number two usually results in two new outlines of varying quality to be tidied up later.

I'll get that rewrite done some day. Honest :)

Dan said...

Congratulations sir, things seem to be going rather well.

I'll keep my camera phone at the ready for those bus ads. Can't promise you clarity. I'm only packing 1.3 megapixels.

Define high concept? I once heard someone say that Footballers' Wives was high concept. Come on, are you planning Footballers' Girlfriends? Footballers' Cleaners?

Pillock said...

I saw a Severance ad on Channel 4 tonight. I won't say which programme I was watching, because I don't watch it anyway. Looks very cool! I can't wait to see it.

I also saw a SNAKES ON A PLANE ad as well. That must be the ulitmate high-concept.

The Producers is also very high-concept, as I understand the term.

soulmining said...

Hoping they'll trailer it during LOST tonight, that would be cool :)

James Moran said...

Looks like the TV ads have already started then, must have got my dates wrong. I'll be watching out tonight - caught my first bus poster today (see above post!)