Monday, August 18, 2008

Technology, Storybook, Code 9, and faq'ing

I am unsettled today, as one of the neighbours has chosen to play a Coldplay live album at full volume. According to the Geneva Convention, this is classified as "cruel and unusual punishment". I will pay him back by killing him with my mind - I'll send hateful thoughts through the wall, concentrating really hard, until I hear the scream and thud that indicate his brain has exploded.

Anyway. To calm my nerves, and yours, if you're a bit stressed, let's all enjoy a unique rendition of "Feelings", as performed by Beaker. Lovely.

Like everyone else in the world, I've been desperately trying to get hold of an Asus 901 Netbook, with Linux preloaded. I spent ages traipsing up and down Tottenham Court Road in vain, but now it looks like Amazon are sending mine this week. It's a "sub-notebook", which means it's tiny, light, has a minimal OS install (Linux in this case, and lots of open source software), and will let me get writing done and check email when I'm out of the country, without adding much weight to my bag. The other great thing about it is the solid state (flash memory, like memory sticks) hard drive, which has no moving parts, is quiet, shock-proof, and fast. So I can throw it into my bag and bring it over to Fantastic Fest without worrying about damaging my Macbook - I like to travel light, bringing the bare minimum, and this has everything I need for working on the move. Hard drives, like CRT televisions, are awkward, outdated technology, and not really meant to be portable. Recent advances in solid state technology are packing more and more into smaller spaces, so I look forward to the day when the clunky needle and platter combo is gone forever. Until, obviously, we get the holographic memory cubes, but I'm not holding my breath. Besides, Skynet will have launched its initial attack on us by then, and the survivors of the nuclear fire will face a new nightmare: the war against the machines. Naturally, I will be burning my Asus as soon as it arrives, to do my part in the struggle for survival. Damn you, the machines!

Pimping section: The Doctor Who Storybook is out now, in all places where items like this are traditionally purchased. It contains my story, Grand Theft Planet, beautifully illustrated by Daryl Joyce. In tellybox news, because Code 9 started with a double bill, my episode is on a week earlier than I thought - this Sunday 24th, 9pm, BBC3. I'll be at FrightFest though, so I won't be able to have a viewing party, which is a shame, but the 5 day festival of horror movies cannot not be ignored. Otherwise it comes round your house and eats you. You can watch the first 10 minutes of my ep on the official site - well, supposedly, it doesn't seem to be working for me. Anyway. A couple of people have asked about the co-credit, so just to clarify, it's because I took over the episode after an early draft had been done. I'll talk more about the ep once it's been on, obviously I can't say what was different yet, otherwise I'll give away what happens. I'm clever like that.

And finally, I'm working on a frequently asked questions post, because there are lots of questions that I get asked... frequently. I end up sending the same replies to people over and over, and it's eating more and more time every day, so hopefully this will help us all save time and possibly even enrich our lives. It'll be updated regularly, so if you have any questions that you worry are too obvious to ask, go for it, now's your chance. Contact info's over there on the right, or use the comments, or just shout REALLY loud. I'm also nearly finished part 2 of the Torchwood writing process thingy, so let's see which one gets finished first, eh? It'll be like the Olympics, but with words, and no weird outfits.


Adaddinsane said...

As I'm prevaricating I saw this blog as soon as it became available.

Hm. I'm actually playing a Coldplay album in the comfort of my own home. But I know it's not me disturbing you because it's not live.

Besides I spent my early life living in primitive flats where you got beaten over the head for making any noise the neighbours might hear. I'm paranoid on the subject.

I didn't have to look up the Beaker singing Feelings ... I just burst out laughing because I know it so well. Sheer genius.

I really must stop prevaricating. I've managed to waste 90 minutes writing my own blog. Must do the washing up.

Rob said...

I don't know if you do requests but perhaps you could kill all Coldplay listeners with your mind bullets? That would be good.

Spookily a friend was taunting me with his Asus notebook at the weekend. Something in the wind I think - might have to put it on my shopping list (why does something always crop up just ahead of an Xbox 360?).

I'm curious what software you use to write (apologies if you've been asked that before (especially if it's happened frequently))? I use a combination of Word and FD myself but am wondering about Linux options.

Enjoyed Grand Theft Planet by the way!

Fat Roland said...

I have a theory that James Blunt only exists to distract us from how bad Coldplay truly are.

Anonymous said...

Hey James - annoying off topic post here - are you going to FrightFest this year?

I'm the guy who threw together a fanzine called Killing Time a couple of years back which you helpfully plugged on the blog - I never did take you out for a beer to get an interview as the fanzine died...

However, in true horror film style I'm trying to resurrect the sucker and hope to say hello to a few peple this year...hopefully you'll be one of them!

Keep up the great work!

James Moran said...

Rob: I can't kill them all, because that would mean taking out Adaddinsane, and he hasn't done me any harm, plus he likes Beaker so is obviously a thoroughly decent chap. Software: Either Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter, whichever the production company prefers. Of the two, I prefer MMS, cause it's nicer. Before I had them, I used Word with the BBC Script Smart template. And cheers! Glad you liked it, sir.

Justin: Oh yes! We're both going for the full 5 days, so come and say hello. I'll be in the bar or hanging around outside between films. Or possibly during films if there are any stinkers. Be great to see KT back, it was really cool.

Lee Caine said...

Hey James, was in Waterstones today and had a sneaky look at your story in the Doctor Who Storybook, and damn those illustrations really are mighty fine. I tried to read bits and bobs, but the lady at the counter was not having it!

Hoping to become a scriptwriter one day, can't wait for the next Torchwood part on your blog, and very much looking forward to Torchwood next year and your future work.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you're SO naughty, Moran.

*eyes title*

That is you punning your way to sounding like an awfully posh person saying 'fucking' isn't it?

Either that, or it's me who is the naughty one.

I guess we'll never know... (unless you enlighten us)