Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Nostalgia, negotiations, pencils, tools, and scaring tourists

Blimey. The CIN special took me by surprise, I knew I'd enjoy it but didn't realise that I'd, er, get something in my eye towards the end... Really lovely, and hilarious too, it was like a great big nostalgic bucket of ice cream, but special ice cream that you can eat loads of and it just gets you fit, or something. Anyway, you know what I mean, and The Moff gets more than enough praise on this blog, the talented swine, so I won't go on and on. But while I'm at it, big congratulations to the entire DW writing team of season 3, who done good at the Writers' Guild Awards yesterday. Probably by making sure they didn't use phrases like "done good". Kudos, props, and big "ups" to all of you.

Good to hear that negotiations will start again next week in the big strike, let's hope things are resolved and everyone gets what they deserve. Apparently a "clutch of agents" were pivotal in getting the talks up and running - so *that's* the collective noun. I thought it was "an obfuscation of agents", or possibly "a percentage of agents". Anyway, check the article out, it's very interesting.

But we all need to keep the pressure on until then - just because the studios are talking, doesn't mean they're not trying to stick pens in your eye when you're not looking. So why not throw some pencils back them? Yes, you can send a box of pencils to the big, mean media moguls. The idea is that if everyone sends one box each, the studios get truckloads of pencils delivered to them, as a big, pencil-shaped symbol. They're just a dollar a box, and come with instructions on how to pass them on to schools, so the studios get the message, and then kids get some free pencils. Everybody wins. Except the pencils, who get YANKED out of their boxes, CUT WITH BLADES, and RUBBED on pieces of paper, repeatedly, until there's nothing left of them. Won't someone please think of the pencils??

No response to my email to Broadcast yet. I don't even know if it reached anyone, it took so long to find an email address that didn't bounce back. But there are plenty of other "opinion" ranters fighting the good fight and writing idiotic bullshit, like Toby Young of the Grauniad. I won't link to the article, it'll drive up his traffic and just make you angry, but here's my rough summary: "Duh, duhhhhh, they're all millionaires, I don't get paid for extra stuff, I do lots of work for free cause I'm a massive tool, duhhh, duhhhhhhh, I shit my pants again, duhhhhhhhhhhhh". Okay, I'm simplifying (and making stuff up) somewhat, but not much. He lists all the extra work he does for other people, including giving free ideas to TV production companies, and complains that he doesn't get any money for it. Don't fucking do it then, you muppet. I'm amazed to see that he also moans about not getting paid for doing email interviews - "a good 50% of the finished pieces are written by me". Yes, that's because it's a fucking INTERVIEW. I would hope that a bit more than 50% is by you, really.

Speaking of interviews, next month's Doctor Who Magazine will have one with me, with photos and everything. It's issue 390, and will be out around the 16th December, but I'll post again closer to the time. Hey, that means it'll be mostly "written by" me, because I spoke the words out loud - I bet those words make up well over 50% of the "inteview". Naturally, I'll be invoicing them at once...

I'll do the two bloggy things I've been tagged for, honest, haven't had a chance yet. Finished the first draft of my short story, and have to finish a script and an outline by this weekend. I haven't written a short story for a couple of years, and was a bit rusty at the start - I was shocked at how long it took to do 4000 words. An early draft of Severance contains just over 22,000 words, but somehow seems "lighter", because of the white space and the shorthand you use to describe things. Still, got there in the end, hopefully it's good enough to make it into the Secret Thing I did it for. Ooh! He teases! He excites!

Tomorrow I'm off to Cardiff for something else I'm not sure if I can talk about or not, so I'll hold off for now. I'll be there for most of the day, and will be staying the night. I'm hoping to have a look around the city, as all I've ever seen of it is the train station and the BBC buildings. I want to see the castle, but also want to see the bay, with the big shiny water tower thingy, so I can stride around and shout instructions into my earpiece. And then have sex with an alien. While shouting into my earpiece and saving the world at the same time.

If anyone would like to bail me out of jail once I've been arrested for indecent exposure and breaching the peace, I promise I'll pay you back.


Rob Stickler said...

I recommend a pub lunch at the Eli Jenkins. If you sit at the table by the window you can watch the big shiny water tower thingy and wait for an opportunity to do your strutting.

There may be a strutting queue though, with Jon Barrowman at the front singing 'You're So Vain' with his arms wide open.

Have an ace trip.

Jon Peacey said...

Toby Young... what a truly irritating creature. According to his biog on the Big W. his education was amazing but he seems to have done so very little with it: an Oxford 1st then Cambridge and Harvard yet he still can't understand the concept of not giving away free ideas!

I mainly dislike him for his appearances on various 'culture' shows like the Late Review but this has turned into true loathing following his comments on Newsnight regarding the death of Bergman (apparently he was a bit rubbish) and why arthouse cinema is utterly worthless because it doesn't make any money.

Ironically, his (Labour Peer) father invented the term 'meritocracy'.

Good luck with your alien-sexing, world-saving plans... I'm glad you're on the Earth's side!!!

Jon Peacey said...

Gawd, that all sounds so venomous! Far more than I intended. I really do find him that irritating though. :)

Lucy said...

Is this the Toby Young of "How to lose friends and alienate people"? If so then I have a story for you James that includes him, an ex boyfriend of mine and a script. Email me.
Apparently a "clutch of agents"...so *that's* the collective noun. I thought it was "an obfuscation of agents", or possibly "a percentage of agents"."

You don't even want to HEAR what my collective noun is...

Peter Pan said...

My other half works right by Cardiff nick, so I'll bail you out around 6ish, mmmkay?

Lucy said...

Get BACK Petey, James is mine... He still owes me for the alien baby he dumped on me last year.

What do you mean... That's a HUMAN baby? Are you sure??? Blimey. Whatever, you're gonna pay Jimbob.

Dom Carver said...

Isn't the Doctor Who exhibition in Cardiff? I wanna go see that for my birthday in April. Wanna go and see it with me?

Rach said...

Dr Who exhibition is there, with a queue. Also pop into Bellini's and pretend you are eating with a Slitheen (Boom Town). Freaks the kids.

Good luck with the tower. Water's always off when we're there and We've tried screaming at it.

Lina said...

I love writing short stories. They are like the instant (ish) gratification of the writing process. I'm going cross-eyed working on this darn novel. But it's going to benefit me in the end. Yeah, that's what I keep telling myself.

This thing you are going to... Um... I have this mild feeling I may be jealous to learn what it is. You have a smashing good time and think of me if you see the "Chibber". However if I'm off in that theoretical guess, I hope I don't look like a complete arse. Haha. Whatever it is, live it up to the best. You and your secrets...

I'll have to go get that issue of DW magazine. If you make it to that convention we were talking about I'd like an autograph on your article. :-)

Dozeymagz said...

Ok - I'll bail you out of jail, but bear in mind I only have about £3.75 to spare so it better not be any more than that. Oh, and only on the condition that I can join in with the strutty stuff around the shiny watery thingy - I even bought a nice tiny pink earpiece with a rather nifty blue flashy light. I had planned on using it around Tesco car park, while pretending my battered gray Punto is in fact the beloved SUV and interrogating alien pencils, but it would be much better actually in Cardiff. Mind you, I can't actually get all the way down there at the moment, so I will just have to pretend that Tesco is just actually the Bay after all.
I have a good imagination.

Jon Peacey said...

Did you see the other day there was a record attempt on the World's Largest Zombie Walk through Cardiff? Seriously... 900 zombies... shuffling slowly through Cardiff city centre... and not even a saturday night!

Paddlestick said...


Reminded me of you, James.

Amanda said...

Pencils 2 Media Moguls
Item Number Box of One Dozen

TV Show You're Supporting: WWJMD?
$1.00 5 $5.00

See my own little personal joke under 'tv show (I'm) supporting'? Well, it made *me* chuckle and that's worth $5 of my british pounds.

Martin said...

This isn't really anything to do with this blog post, I was just looking through my phone's pictures and came across this one I took in Rome.


After having heard about the film, eventually buying it on DVD, watching it, enjoying it. It was weird seeing a poster for it as we got of the train in Rome termini station.

As far as the Doctor Who special, I really enjoyed it. I don't usually like the one-off's as they seem thrown together, this one didn't though.

James Moran said...

Thank you all for the generous offers to bail me out; it's good to know these things just in case. Not that I've ever been arrested for flashing or anything, that was a TOTAL misunderstanding. All will be revealed in the next blog post. The events of my visit, I mean.

Lina: Certainly, if I make over! And you are half right with your guess...

Paddlestick: Fantastic, Harlan is the man, cheers for that. Must remember that line for next time - "does the camera person get paid...?"

Amanda: Now there's a show that would be banned after 1 episode...

Martin: Oh, that's so cool, thank you for that - I love seeing pics of Severance related activity from other countries, that's brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads-up on the pencils!

Let us know if you hear of any other ways we can support the writers in getting what they need/deserve.

Also, meant to tell you that your response to that article (posted in blog on Nov. 13th) was brilliant. Well argued, thought out, written, etc. Give em' Hell, James!


Anonymous said...


Having just seen the Writers Guild of GB blog announce picketing details for this Wednesday - in support of the strike in the US - I thought I'd give you the heads up and ask if you were planning to loiter with intent in Grt Russell St.

To quote from that blog: The demo, which is part of an International Day of Solidarity, will take place at 12 noon outside the Trades Union Congress HQ in Great Russell Street, Central London.

Do you know if members of the public are invited to pick up a sign and walk the picket line like in the US?


James Moran said...

Cheers Rae! I'll keep getting the word out as much as I can.

Anon B: Yep, doing a blog post at the moment - and it looks like everyone who wants to show support is welcome, so the more the merrier! I'll try and post sometime today.

Anonymous said...

dude r u a f/t writer den yet???