Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fights! Severance! And Heroes!

So we all had a big blog fight, but unfortunately it was broken up by police before a winner could be declared. All involved gave a good account of themselves, except for mine, which just slept in a corner. And just like that, a week passes. How bizarre. Anyway, I got my pages done, and sorted out my short story pitch. I still need to do the rewrite and pilot script, but I'm slowly getting on top of things. Last Sunday I spent from around 10am to 10pm writing, pretty much non stop apart from a quick breakfast and dinner, because I is teh hArdc0re. This weekend, I'm doing nothing. Nothing.

Just when you thought I couldn't possibly squeeze out any more Severance news: the R1 DVD of Severance will be out on 18th September, 2007, after storming through its limited release in the cinemas and garden sheds of America and Canada. Details of the DVD are here, although it looks like it has exactly the same extras as the R2 version. But hey, different cover! Oooooh!

Heroes starts its BBC2 run tonight, so if you haven't seen it, please check it out. The Beeb are showing the first two episodes in a row, along with a ten minute making-of thingy afterwards, so it's the perfect time to join in the fun.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It lives

I'm alive.

Only got 7 hours that night, but last night I crashed and got 10 solid hours. Woke up feeling incredibly refreshed, and ready for action.

I've got lots of script pages to get through by tomorrow. I need to start the revisions on a movie rewrite, do a short story pitch (due this weekend), start a pilot script (due by next month), do a TV outline (due soon), and rewrite a movie outine (due several weeks ago). I've got a DW meeting tomorrow, a different TV meeting on Tuesday, yet another TV meeting on Thursday - in Manchester - and a movie pitch/rewrite meeting thing on Friday.

But I have slept. And I can handle anything. In fact, I will take on all of you fuckers too, one by one or all at once. Come on - blog fight. Who's first??

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This post contains swearing, insomnia, and a disturbing glimpse inside my brain

I need sleep.

I get extremely violent and spaced out when I haven't had enough sleep. It makes me absolutely crazy. You know that level of utter tiredness, when you get up, and you're so exhausted it feels like you're going to throw up? That is me, now. I am that soldier. Couldn't sleep at all last night. I'm floating around in a weird bubble. Everything is making me grumpy. Walking through the Liverpool Street area is bad enough normally, but now my molecule-thin veneer of civility has been scratched away by bleeding fingers. I stomp through the yuppie scum, a thousand pin stripe suits and not one of the fuckers looking where they're going. I mutter and swear at them, long insults that they couldn't possibly hear. Try to keep them short, just throw out a random fuck or wanker here and there. Occasionally shout "watch where you're fucking GOING." No, I do NOT want a free London Lite. I didn't want one from the other FIVE fuckers shoving it in my face over the past twelve yards, what makes you think I want yours? I become *that* bloke, the mad stomping, muttering, swearing one who you pretend you can't see or hear. Shame about that bloke, probably drugs, booze, personal problems, it must have all fallen apart for him somehow. No. It hasn't. I just. Need. Sleep.

Thanks to the heat, and the fucking retard neighbours downstairs - hey, why don't you have a loud, laughing conversation at 1am, or start shagging at 4am, and when you're shagging make sure you scream your head off every time, he'll never spot that you're faking really badly even though it's incredibly obvious to anyone within a FIFTY MILE RADIUS, oh and just to top it all off, why don't you make sure we can't open our windows at night without being invaded by the stink of your cheap cigarettes and large dog that you keep locked indoors all day - I seem to be having more nights lately where I can't sleep. When I do sleep, I have bad dreams all night long. Writing so much means I have trouble switching off my brain when I fall into bed. My mind races, plots, ideas, things I need to remember, meetings, excited about tomorrow, yada yada yada. One time I got a fucking drum and bass song stuck in my head. All night. It's a great song. But it's about 9000 beats per minute, which is no good when you're trying to sleep. Why couldn't I have got a shitty ballad stuck in there? Where the hell is Glory of Love when you really need it? Where's the man fighting for MY honour??

I won't start taking sleeping pills, don't want to get reliant on anything. I don't want to be a quivering wreck in ten years, having to down fifteen bottles of NightNurse every evening just to get drowsy, crumbling up a sleeping tablet and sprinkling the dust on to my bare eyeball to absorb it into my tear ducts. Herbal shit never works for me, because I refuse to believe in it. Meditation, "relaxing", or focusing on your body bit by bit just makes me want to get up and walk around. Warm milk is unpleasant, for many reasons. Knocking back a few glasses of wine helps, but it means waking up in the night, thirsty and needing the toilet, so not much use overall.

I'm going to bed now. Window open, stink from downstairs and all. If the neighbours make a sound tonight - one single, solitary sound - I will kill them. Swiftly and quietly. And then I will sleep.

But first, maybe a quick listen to Glory of Love.

Just in case.

Monday, July 16, 2007

All quiet on the blogging front

Just surfacing for five minutes, between drafts of things, and while I have a quiet evening. Glad to see nobody's broken the internet while I was looking the other way. I've got about 5 proper blog posts to do, answering questions and everything, but just haven't got round to doing them yet. The year suddenly seems to be half gone, which freaks me out a bit. Poor old 2-Bond, just as we were all getting to know and love you. Glad to hear the Cheltenham Screenwriters' Festival went well, would have liked to go, but it landed right in the middle of a deadline, one that I absolutely could not miss. There would have been screaming, blood, and soiled pants, even *before* I started drinking.

What else has been happening? Not much to report at my end, I've been writing, having meetings, and watching telly, very little else. As for writing, I can't work on the sofa anymore - if I lean back, my arms hurt, if I lean forward, my back aches and my arse goes numb. I don't have a proper desk or office-type chair, but I've found that putting the laptop on a box on the dining table means I can type standing up. It's pretty comfortable. You don't lean forward because there's nothing to lean on. You take more breaks away from the keyboard, because you have to stretch your legs regularly. When you stop to think, you walk around for a minute instead of hunching over the screen. And you don't waste time surfing, because it's too bloody uncomfortable. Seems to be working, although every few days I need to go back to the sofa, cause my feet hurt. Now I need to find some sort of nice wooden or perspex box to use instead, because right now it's a tatty old cardboard one. Any suggestions for something 30 to 31cm high that a MacBook would fit on without falling off, speak now, blog-fame awaits you.

And I seem to be on Wikipedia, somehow. I'm here, if you want to have a look. I didn't put myself on there, and have no idea who did, so I guess it's a good thing, that someone felt I should have an entry. It feels quite bizarre, almost as if it's someone else, not me. I'm sure I'll have to get used to more than that once the publicity for DW kicks off in full.

This is quite possibly the most boring blog post I've ever done, sorry about that, I'm too tired to be entertaining today. Thank Christ somebody put me on Wikipedia, otherwise there'd be no news to report at all. In the next post I'll try to include some controversy, shocking revelations, and hedgehog porn.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On set

This is a blog post from the 18th June, when I went to watch some of my Torchwood episode filming - sorry for the delay, but I'm a workshy fop as you should all know by now. I've had to be very non-specific, so it's not going to be a great report for news or anything, as I don't want to spoil any of the story, or give anything away at all. Now I'm a bit more in the public eye, I need to be extra careful. So there's no way I'm going to reveal things like-- ooh! I nearly gave away the bit about the evil prawns! That was close. Okay, on with the blog post:

Long, long, but fun couple of days. Took the train to Cardiff Sunday night (edit: that would be the 17th), and thanks to a passenger illness, signal problems, and getting stuck at Swindon for an hour, didn't get to the hotel until after 10pm (left the house before 5pm).

When I checked in, the following conversation happened:

Receptionist: Wow, you really remind me of Gary Numan.
Me: Haha, yeah, I get that a lot. But... a *young* Gary Numan, I hope?
(long, long pause)
Receptionist: Oh, yes, yes of course.

To add insult to injury, they'd put me in room 237. Luckily, there were no dead twin girls or naked, rotting old women inside, so I was able to get some sleep. I'm serious, I was actually in room 237, here's a photo of my door:

Redrum! Redrum!

Filming started the next morning at 8am, which meant I had to get up at a disgustingly early hour, so early I am unable to understand what time it was, let alone communicate it to you. Obviously I can't say what was being filmed that day, or where, cause I don't want to give any plot stuff away. But it's the scene where the evil prawns come to life and suck people's eyes out. Don't tell anyone, okay?

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again, many times: there's nothing quite as cool as being on set watching people film something you wrote. There's that weird disconnect you have, where you forget that it's your script, because this is a film crew, and surely nothing to do with you. Then the actors say the lines, and you jump, thinking "oh! I wrote that!" and it feels weird, because it's been in your head for so long, then suddenly it's a living, breathing thing. Then there's a while to wait while they change camera position or whatever, and you forget again. Then suddenly you hear another line, or see a script with your name on, or watch them doing things you specified on the page, and you jump all over again. Then you think, blimey, all this time and effort, and I caused it? Then you feel slightly guilty, because everything you write costs lots of money, for actors, cameras, props, sets, etc. Then you wait around again while things get checked. Then something else reminds you, and you jump again, holy shit, they're filming something I wrote. And round and round, over and over again. It's fantastic fun.

Watched the scenes being shot several times, from every angle, and very cool it was too. There was a location change after the first scene, and the rest of the day was spent in various parts of the same building, doing some talky bits, some running, and some action. Sorry this is a bit vague, I just can't say any details or I'll spoil it - when it's been on telly, I'll say which bits I saw filmed, and what they looked like. Suffice to say, that it's going to look very, very cool. Eve was especially lovely, and went out of her way to welcome me, chat about what was happening, and came up to me at the end of the day to see if I'd had a good time. In fact, everyone was really nice and welcoming, the actors were all great, the crew worked really hard, it was so cool. I had such a fun day. Sorry about the lack of scandal, but there wasn't any, it all went really smoothly, and they all really are that nice. There must be a catch, they must all be planning something evil. I did spot a folder with "Secret Evil Plans" written on the front, but it was whisked away by a flunky before I could get a look. And now men in suits follow me everywhere. But I'm sure there's a perfectly innocent explanation for all of it.

And nobody minded when I accidentally found myself sitting right in the middle of the next shot, eating a sandwich, they just politely moved me out of the way. Writers on set will *always* try and find somewhere out of everyone's way, and will *always* either stand blocking the only access route, or in the middle of a shot. It's just nature's way. I knew I'd end up doing it, thankfully it was only the once...