Tuesday, January 23, 2007

First, I was afraid, I was petrified, etc etc

Okay, I'm getting on top of things, slowly but surely. The Secret TV Show Outline is just about done. Curfew is nearly done. The BBC thing is halfway done. I work on the Secret Movie Thing on Thursdays, occasionally Fridays. And the New Movie Thing pitch document will be slotted in whenever I can. There are a couple of other things to work on, but there is room. I can now concentrate on two things at once, and no longer soil myself when I walk. Things got a bit on top of me over the weekend, but I'm getting the hang of them now. Thank you to everyone for suggestions of herbal remedies, kickboxing, fetishes, exploiting Bulgarians, and chocolate soy milk - ultimately, it just came down to hanging in there and sticking it out. This is all good fodder for a long blog post about the perils of taking on too much work at once, but I can't be fucking bothered, so you'll have to imagine one instead. Okay, just a quick one then: don't take on too much work at once. There. Before Christmas, I had lots of things lined up, because as we all know, most projects just roll over and die, no matter how much we want them to happen. I thought I was being clever, getting plenty of stuff backed up, because most of it would just fall through anyway. Part of it was knowing that the tax bill was coming up in January, and that we needed money to keep going. There's no way they'd all become active. No way.

That sound you can hear is a sitcom-style, blindingly obvious punchline approaching at full speed. But it's true.

Of course, most of the projects suddenly sprang into life, because Fate hates a smartass. Remember those quiet few months leading up to November? When I had no work at all? Well, I went from that feckless, lazy procrastinator, to someone who suddenly had a shitload of writing to do, and fast. Then I got the space virus in December, which gave me two full weeks of space madness, and then before I knew where I was, it was the year 2-Bond. And that's when things just went crazy, my mind was going (I can feel it, Dave), and I was trying to keep several things floating at once.

Now, I know what you're thinking: damn it, Jimbo, how can I be as handsome and witty as you? Well, you can't, so forget it. The *other* thing you're thinking is: Fuck off Jimbo, I've got like, TEN things on the go, and I'm coping with them fine, and anyway it's only writing, it's not like you're doing shift work on a building site or anything, you massive pansy, how I hate your guts and wish you would go away and leave me alone. Fair enough, yeah, I only had about 5 things on the go at once - but they were all for people who were paying me to do them, so they had to be good, they had to be on time, and they had to be done RIGHT NOW. And while writing is easier than many jobs, it can be heavy on the mind. When your mind can't stop running around, you can't think straight, you can't sleep properly, you start going a bit crazy, and you write long, rambling blog posts questioning the nature of reality. There is no moral or lesson here, I want to do all the things I'm working on, I need to do them, and I love them all. It's just random chance that they all suddenly kicked off at the same time. So what am I saying? I have no idea. If you have learned anything from this post, then great. If not, well, it's not like it was a big surprise or anything.

And now, some Severance pics from my obsessive travels around the shops of London's fashionable West End. Here is the DVD, sitting loftily at Number 1 in the chart:


The fancy display stand in Borders:


And sitting nestled among friends in the Horror section in HMV:


Clickyclicky for biggybiggy.

This week, as expected, lots of new releases have pushed Severance down - to number 10, sadly. And guess who is at number 8? Yep. Vicky fucking Entwistle. But hey, who cares?? We were number ONE for a week.

The current issue of Total Film has a great review of the DVD, right at the front of the DVD section. It's not sealed, so you can read it in the shop if you don't want to buy it. But you may as well buy it, as it puts food in the mouths of the lovely Total Film people who have been really great to us, and they even printed my letter last year. Unlike Empire, who never mentioned it once all during production, gave us a sniffy 3-star review for the cinema release, and knocked off another star for the even-sniffier DVD review, the party poopers. If they're not careful, they'll be taken off my Christmas card list, and then they'll be sorry. I never actually manage to send any Christmas cards, but hey, it's the principle of the thing.

14 comments:

Haje Jan said...

Total film are indeed good guys! But how could they not be, they work for Future. We only have good guys here!

- Haje

Matt said...

I was shocked at the lack of Best Original Screenplay nomination today. Shocked I tell you! And horrified! The Academy is off my christmas card list.

Chris (ukscriptwriter) said...

That's a shame as I think Empire is a much better read than Total Film. They could have written a better review but free country and all - yeah right! :)

Amanda said...

I am amused by thoughts of you surreptitiously taking pictures in HMV, Borders and the like. Or were you all blasé? 'Oh, yes, I take pictures of dvd displays for a living, don'tcha know?' (because that's probably a real job) Oooh. Or maybe they think you're like a new breed of a trainspotter. A more intelligant one, I'd say; it's not often raining and windy inside a shop, where you'd do all your choice spotting and obviously you wouldn't need an anorak.

English Dave said...

The application of arse to seat is pretty much the only way to get through those periods.

Even though your brain tells you to do just about anything else

And now you know you can do it. Well done sir.

James Moran said...

Haje: Of course, should they slag off my next one, then they'll be dead to me...

Matt: None more so than I, sir, none more so than I.

Amanda: I did it casual at first, pretending to be typing a text - but I had to turn the phone sideways so was eventually forced to do a hit and run, strolling away quickly each time. I did look like a right weirdo though (but nothing new there really)...

Dave: Cheers - I knew I could do it, I just didn't want to... Although I've found I get more done if I stand up and write, sticking the laptop on a box for height. It's too uncomfortable to surf idly, so it makes you either get on with writing or just abandon the machine altogether. Works for me (half the time).

Phillip Barron said...

I love that the Borders display has the words 'ON DVD NOW' written underneath the huge pile of DVDs.

Just for those of us who couldn't work it out. Oh, it's on DVD now! I thought they were just selling empty boxes.

Piers said...

They do that in the computer game stores. Piles and piles of empty boxes marked "Coming Soon".

Perhaps "Nonexistent Now!" signs would be more truthful.

Jools said...

Vicky Entwistle might be causing you some grief, but you can rest assured that Jade Goody's DVD won't be giving you any sleepless nights.
Well, unless you actually look at her face, that is.....

soulmining said...

Good to hear the madness of Sir James has abated, for now...

Ah, getting strange looks taking random photos in stores, always fun... I remember getting stuck in ASDA when I was doing my 3 o'clock photo project; cue bemused glances from my fellow shoppers as I snapped away by the herbs & spices...

Now, where's that letter you wrote to Total Film then? You promised!

Paul Campbell said...

Right...

So, you've got so much work you don't know how to get it done. My heart bleeds.

And your DVD gets in your face wherever you go. You just can't avoid it. How awful for you.

You're not a real writer at all, are you? I bet you don't even know how real rejection feels?

James Moran said...

Phil: Oh yeah, forgot about that - will dig it out and transcribe it. Remind me again if I forget, which I probably will.

Paul: I assume you're kidding, but if not, let me know, so that I may rebut...

Sarah Dobbs said...

All real writers get rejected, James. You're obviously doing it wrong! :)

lupa said...

'Severance' was no.7 in Tesco yesterday.
I bought it for my Bald Eagle.