Friday, December 23, 2016

Taxi for 2016

So. 2016, then. Yeah. I realise units of time are a human construct and therefore meaningless, but blimey, I won’t be sorry to see 2016 shuffle off the meaningless calendar. Luckily, 2017 will be here soon, with its ruined economy and potential fiery nuclear death--

Okay, that’s enough of that. Sure, shit is fucked, but you don’t need me to tell you that. Let’s try and do something about it, and survive this thing together.

In the meantime, ignoring the terrifying world stage, what’s been going on with me? What about ME, 2016?? Well, in my first blog post of the year, I pledged to do more Weird Stuff, which I’ve certainly done.

I started a brand new podcast, Not Guilty Pleasures, in which I and a guest talk about something we love unconditionally, to try and balance out the bucketloads of internet snark out there (I’ll need to do more of these). Topics covered so far: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Captain America movies, and The Walking Dead. I didn’t plan to start a podcast, it just sort of happened. I like it when things just sort of happen. And yes, I'm planning to do more, watch this space.

After indulging at Christmas, I thought doing Dry January for charity would be easy. Turned out that I’d inadvertently picked a month in which tons of great people would die, AND we’d be at a family funeral. Pro tip: don't do that.

My season 2 episode of Eve aired on CBBC, which was huge fun to write. They’re a wonderful team of smart people. My rule is, pick people to work with who are smarter than me - this is usually very easy to do...

Tower Block aired on Channel 5.

I started writing a movie that I had no idea how to write. Update: I have a rough draft. It might actually work. I have no idea why or how that happened.

We lost Prince, and I wrote a thing about missing him:

The people behind Night Vale, the weirdest, coolest, freakiest podcast show ever, let me co-write an episode.

My partner Cat Davies wrote & directed another short film, Connie, which I edited and we produced together, premiering the fuzzy dame at FrightFest.

While at FrightFest, I did my writing workshop for them (and later for YouTube). If any organisations would like me to run it for you, just let me know. I like doing it, and it works.

The lovely people behind Eve let me come back and write another episode, for the 3rd season, which aired in November. This one was more difficult to write, as I’d decided to try and show off how clever I am... I got there in the end, with their support and patience.

The Horror Channel had their premiere of Cockneys Vs Zombies, so I did an interview for them, and took part in a Den of Geek article about how to write horror.

My new webseries, Mina Murray’s Journal, premiered online, and then went on tour to VidFestUK and Dublin Web Fest (where it won Best Screenplay). I’m so, SO proud of what we all pulled together, I love how it looks and feels. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make it, and to everyone who watched, liked, shared, tweeted, drew fan art, made Tumblr gifs - you're all lovely and amazing.

As always, there were lots of other things going on behind the scenes, things you might not see for a while, things you might never see. Development is a fickle beast, and sometimes I’ll work on stuff for years only for it to die a quiet death when the finance fails to appear, or the boss moves to another department, or the channel ceases to exist, or one of a million other reasons... One project outlived the head of drama, the head of the company, the head of the channel, AND the channel itself, as they all went off to different places, before it finally died. You come up with universes, people, fall in love with them, and then things are just snapped out of existence. It happens, a lot. You learn to deal with it, but you never get used to it.

What’s in store for next year? Again, as always, you never quite know what will get picked up and when. I’ve got plenty of things in development, shorts, TV, films, web, so it depends on what pops up next. One falls away, another springs to life, and so on. I’m definitely directing another short, and am determined to get my own TV show off the ground, and direct a film. I’ll be doing more stuff with Cat, as we work well together and make a kickass team. See that thing about working with people smarter than you?? I got *very* lucky there.

Most of all, I’m going to concentrate on getting things done, and not worry so much about other people and projects. I can only control what I do, as can we all. You be you. I’m going to be me.

Be safe, stay hydrated, and try not to actively make things worse. Especially that last one. We’re all going to need that.