Sunday, December 30, 2007

End of year ponce-fest

Ah, Two-Bond, we hardly knew ye... It's that time again, to look back over the year and see what were my career high points, low points, and all the other bits in between. Let the poncing commence!

Things I Achieved in 2007:

--Wrote TV episodes for Torchwood, Doctor Who, a Secret TV Show That Isn't TW/DW, a 60 page TV pilot, and a new TV series outline for a production company

--Did a massive interview for Doctor Who Magazine, with photos

--Did a rewrite on a horror comedy, a new draft of Curfew, and a first draft of a secret movie collaboration

--Wrote and sold a short story for publication in an actual book

--Severance hit number 1 in the UK DVD chart, and then released in cinemas and then DVD in USA, and won best screenplay award at Fantasporto Film Festival

In my 2005 end of year goals for the upcoming year, I had an entry which said "Write an episode of Doctor Who (fuck it, aim high)". I took it off last years end of year thingy, cause I didn't seriously expect it to ever happen, and felt there was no point in tormenting myself. Just after that, I got my first Torchwood meeting, which got me in the door with the Beeb Wales gang, and the rest is blogging history. Personally and professionally, it's been the best year yet, and it's all thanks to them giving me a chance. As soon as I got the TW gig, suddenly I became telly-employable, it was like magic. I've learned so much, worked my arse off, and had an absolute blast doing it. It's a cliche to say, but it really is a dream come true. Fantastic.

I'm also very proud of the amount of stuff I've written too, 4 episodes of TV, a full movie draft, the other movie first draft, the movie rewrite, the short story, and the many outlines and things to get projects moving. It feels like I haven't stopped for breath since January, and it's still full speed ahead. I love writing. And I've been able to do bucketloads this year.

Things I Messed Up:

--Coped badly with getting kicked off a movie

--Fucked up a meeting for an important project by not preparing

--Took on too much work, and didn't manage my time properly, resulting in a slight attack of Space Madness

--Didn't get any of my specs written

Getting kicked off a movie really hurts, and damages your confidence. I thought my career was over, that word would spread, that I'd finally been found out as a fraud. But it happens to everyone, to better writers too, and I should have realised that there was nothing I could do. Besides, the draft I did has got me loads of meetings and work, and everyone loves it, so at least I know I did my best work. It's still painful to think or talk about, though. There's been no news on it recently, so let's see what happens. Best case scenario: it gets made, and is cool. That's all I want. So yeah. I don't deal with that too well. Probably never will.

As for the meeting fuckup - I learned a valuable lesson there. Always over-prepare, and I'll never end up going "er, er, ummm" in a meeting, I have nobody to blame but myself. It pays to do your homework. And I keep taking on too much work, but lately I've had to turn a few things down - it kills me to do it, but there's just no way I'd have enough time for them. I need to take more time off now and again, to rest up, otherwise I go a bit crazy. Which leads into the final one - I simply haven't had time to get my own spec stuff done, so it's just been left to one side. I intend to address that over the break, and early 2008. Feel free to mock me in December 2008 if I'm saying this all over again.

Things I Have Learned:

--I don't *need* to sell a movie right now - I can wait until the time is right, and choose who to sell it to, with no pressure

--I can write even faster than I thought possible

--When moving house, allowing yourself one day to pack is not particularly clever

TV has pretty much saved my year, my career, and my self respect. Movies take forever to set up, and half the time they treat you like shite. TV, on the other hand, moves like a rocket, and the people are nice to you. It's bloody hard work, but massively good fun. I've had a couple of movie pitches on the go during the year, but didn't have that panicky feeling I normally get - if I don't get a decent offer for the pitch, they can all wait while I write the script. It's nice to be able to take some of that power back.

Speed: I've always been a fast writer, but TV has got me into Olympic shape, increasing my speed enormously without sacrificing quality. A very handy muscle to develop.

Things I Want To Do In 2008:

--Become a better writer

--Write at least one spec of my own, either a pilot episode or a movie

--Write more TV, get my own series commissioned

--Maybe break into another medium

--Update the sidebar, like I promised back in April

--Get regular deep tissue massage torture treatments, to look after my back

--Take more breaks, have a proper holiday

I've learned ridiculous amounts from my TV apprenticeship this year, it's been fantastic. I've been incredibly lucky to work with lots of disgustingly talented people, and some of their shine has rubbed off on me. Just seeing how they write, think, talk, and generally conduct themselves has been an education. And I still have so much more to learn, so hopefully that will continue in 2008. As for breaking into another medium - comics would be nice, and I have one or two lines of enquiry there, so who knows.

I really need to sort out the sidebar here, put up links to old posts of mine, and overhaul the main links section, so that's on my to do list. In fact, the blog could do with more attention, as I've neglected the informative side lately. I also need to sort my health out - now I've got a desk and chair, there's no excuse, I have to look after my back and other bits and pieces. I love writing, but I don't ever want it to feel like it's becoming a job, so that means plenty of rest, and regularly taking time out to appreciate the good stuff. So I plan on enjoying myself hugely when my TW and DW are on telly, and getting drunk with some friends.

Thank you to everyone who's popped by, said hello, been lovely, or just lurked and read - I really appreciate it, and will do my best to keep things entertaining. Unlike much of this post, which is quite possibly the most boring, self-indulgent entry so far... But like I keep saying, it's my bloody blog, and if I decide to fill it with photos of my arse with faces crudely drawn on, then dammit, that's my preroggyblog. I probably won't do that though, so don't worry. But if I wanted to, I could. Who's gonna stop me?? You?? Ha! Hahaha! HAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!

Sorry. Too much chocolate. Crashing now. Enjoy what's left of Two-Bond, and here's to... whatever name I give to 2008, haven't thought of one yet. Cheers!


Lucy said...

There's no need to prepare for 2008my friend, for I have sabotaged it all IN ADVANCE. Even things you haven't even thought of yet - I have, I'm right there and have DESTROYED IT ALL MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

So. Looks like it's pics of your arse on this blog after all.

I'm joking of course, though I am disgustingly jealous and want to skin your hide and put it in one of those stretch-frame things. Happy new year sir!

Dozeymagz said...

Congrats on all your spiffingly good bits over the last year! Hope you're settling into your shiny new house.
Hope you have a pretty excellent 2008 with lots of nice fluffy happenings and wondrous happy events!

Cheers to you and all the best!

Lang may yer lum reek!


Rosby said...

Well done on a great year, James! You've achieved a hell of a lot and there's still more to come.

As for the sidebar, it's incredibly useful already; I'm only sixteen and I'm an aspiring screenwriter, and this blog and the other links you've put up have helped a lot. Thank you!

Looking forward to reading this next year; really looking forward to seeing your episodes. Keep us updated!

Anonymous said...

have a good new year!

Peter Pan said...

Two round? Just a thought...
Its been a pleasure reading sir! All the best to you and Jo.

Anonymous said...

So glad you had a great year and I just hope it gets even better for you in 2008!

Question, how do us "Yanks" get to see your TW and DW episodes when they air? Do we have to actually wait a year until the DVD and/or Sci-Fi network airing catch up to us?


James Moran said...

Cheers everyone! And a very Merry Nooyeer to you all!

Rae: Torchwood starts on BBC America on the 26th Jan, my episode is number 2, so start watching on the 26th! As for DW, you'll probably have to wait a while for that. Unless you resorted to other, downloady-style methods, which are EVIL and COMMUNIST and I could not POSSIBLY condone them...

Anonymous said...

James its Jason from the deepest darkest west midlands - you have been and shall continue to be an inspiration to all us budding wannabe writers who have sci-fi and horror wired in the blood - you have shown us the way and your have made it!

Now ride the wave brother and learn what you can, share the good and the bad, but most of all just have yourself a great new year!

And don't forget to share all the insider knowledge that you can...

Along with the funnies that you write, its seeing you live the dream that helps us all to carry on believing; Who, Torchwood, other Beeb TV projects - GRR not jealous at all...


h said...

blimey. i feel like such an underachiever having just read that. hope your oh-eight is as productive as your "two-bond" (hah).

and having moved a week before christmas last year - wait, in 2006 - with moving men who ignored how much stuff we said we had, and turned up two hours before we had to have the house emptied, i feel your pain from the previous entries.

Phill Barron said...

I want my 2008 round up to be like your 2007 one.

hotzappa11 said...

Yes, happy new year, James from another James and I hope my 2008 is like your 2007, mostly the positive parts. :)

Rob Stickler said...

Wasn't Alec Trevelyan 008 in Goldene7e? Maybe 2008 could be 2-beanie.

Congratulations James, that is one hell of a year. I don't know how much luck was involved though - your blog is evidence of how long and hard you've worked. Well done.

Good luck for 2Beanie. Looking forward to Torchie & Who.

Longtime lurker said...

Two-Bond? That's ace...

What a brilliant year you've had -
your blog is utterly inspiring... Thanks for keeping it going.

Here's to another great year!


P.S. Do take care of yer back.

erika said...

Oh James. . . never feel like a ponce for writing about yourself in a blog. . .they exist for tooting your own horn! Now, if you could only manage that with the ass face combo. . . then your number of readers will skyrocket!!!

Lucy said...

Is it me, or is Hannah the long time lurker actually threatening to kill you James? Or is she actually a chiropractor?? I'm voting the former. Aces. Another homicidal female. I bet we're like long lost relatives. WOOOH!

longtime lurker said...

Oh dear, it was slightly threatening, wasn't it?

I have a painy shoulder/neck from hunching over me 'puter. I care, dammit... ;)

Think less psychopath, more physio, er, path... Or therapist. Or something. (What?!)

AnitaM said...

I'm really enjoying this blog- plus the picture of the hot man on man action was really a nice touch.

Also I enjoyed your to-do list.

Good luck on all of that!

Anita Marie