Sunday, November 28, 2004


All kinds of things have been happening. And I haven't updated at all. Because all kinds of things have been happening.

First things first: New York city is my new favourite place (until the next one). It's cool as fuck, huge, massive, doesn't look real, and just makes you stare at it, gobsmacked. The people are great, really friendly and helpful - I knew they wouldn't be the stereotypical nasty New Yoikers we see in movies, but I was surprised at how incredibly nice they all were. The buildings look like CGI after the first few floors, even the cars seem slightly oversized, maybe 115%, just enough to make you stare. And the food - sweet jesus, the food. Enormous portions, anything you want, in any combination. And if you want, you can have anything at all delivered to you, 24 hours a day - rack of lamb, lake sturgeon omelette (I'm not making that up), or roast turkey. I achieved my childhood dream of going to the top of the Empire State Building, saw Central Park, went on the Staten Island Ferry, saw the big library, and we just walked and walked and walked, drinking the whole place in. I can't wait to go back.

P45: Had a meeting with the film people at 2.30pm on Sunday 14th - and I'd just landed that morning at 7am. It's my fault, I thought we got back Saturday night, and didn't realise until it was too late to rearrange. I stayed awake, and started the rewrite immediately. Well, almost immediately. The next day. After a lot of sleep. I've got two weeks to do this first revision, then we have the readthrough next week, then I polish dialogue for another two weeks, then hopefully they'll swing into action with the pre-production, and I can stop being the Man Who Writes P45 Over and Over. The actors they're talking about for the various parts are a bit of a surprise, I hadn't really thought that my silly, made up characters would be played by proper actors. I'm excited and amazed that they consider the parts worthy of offering to these people.

Harvest: the pitch thing went great, and they're going to commission a first draft from me, subject to contract. I wasn't going to put this here, as I'm paranoid that by saying it, I'll scupper the whole thing by tempting fate. But fuck it, let's live dangerously. When the contract is signed, I'll say who the film company are, though you can probably guess. Anyway, they want a draft out of me, and revisions, but they understandably want to pay bugger all, seeing as I'm nobody right now, in case I hand them over a pile of badly written arse. "Bugger all" in the film business meaning "fuckloads" to mere mortals like me, of course. So the relevant people are fighting over the contract now, I just have to wait and see what happens. But it's Very Good News.

John the Producer with the Book Adaptation Thing: He's found a financier in Germany, so he and my agent (ponce, I'm such a ponce for saying that, even now I feel like a ponce) are batting contracts back and forth. The financier wants to meet me to make sure I'm not some nutter, then hopefully he'll pay for a first draft and a set of revisions. Once that's done, they'll either kick me off and hire a proper writer, or pay for another rewrite, then try and get it fully financed to make it. It's happening outside the whole studio system, so it's less money (also because I'm adapting the book, and it's not my original idea), but that means more creative control for us.

Now that I write this all out, I've just realised how ridiculously exciting it all is. And you know what else? I've got a fucking pizza coming to the house in a few minutes. Mushroom and pineapple - beat that.

Cheap at half the price

Just a quick thing - I've just found that Cheap Rate Gravity is available to view here. You'll need media player or real player, unfortunately, but you've got to take the rough with the smooth. It's tiny, and wobbly webby quality for streaming, but if you haven't seen it, you can now. So there.

Friday, November 05, 2004

New York, New York

It is nearly midnight on Friday night. Tomorrow, at 9.30am, me and Jo will be sitting on a plane, taking off, on our way to New York for a Proper Holiday. Hotel, spending money, the whole thing. We are quite literally soiling our pants with excitement. I can't wait. I've just more or less finished packing (took about 10 to 15 minutes). We're travelling light - packing as if it's a long weekend in Dublin, so we can buy clothes and toys when we get there.

P45 news: they're gagging to get things moving along. For the revisions (half of a draft), they want me to do it in two stages - the first will be to address their notes, the second will be to attend a read through with Ac-torrrs and then polish the dialogue once we've heard it out loud. Apparently some writers get a bit funny about the read through, but I can't wait. The best way of finding out what dialogue works is to hear it out loud. I try and say it out loud when I'm writing it, but it's difficult in a small flat with thin walls and quiet neighbours, especially when a character is screaming "I'll cut you! I'll fuckin' cut you!" and so on. That's an actual line from the script, I've probably broken the non-disclosure terms of my contract there, but I'm sure they won't mind, it's hardly something anyone could possibly want to steal... Anyway, we get back from NYC on the 13th November (Saturday), and they want to meet up with me the next day - the Sunday. Hopefully I'll be more or less sane and not jetlagged. It's going to be cool.

Sci-fi action thing news: We don't have to pitch it to the bosswoman at Big Studio anymore. They've decided that me and Pat are better at creating the project than pitching it (i.e. we suck at pitching), so the guy we were working with pitched it to the bosswoman himself. She's sold on it, and now the two of them are going to pitch it, next Tuesday, to Co-Owner1 and Co-Owner2 of Big Studio. Which is cool, because they'll do it better than us, and won't be shitting their pants with fear, like we would probably be. It doesn't mean they'll go for it, but we would have had to do all this ourselves - it just means we've skipped a scary stage that we might have cocked up, and skipped straight to the end. They might go for it, or they might just say no and that would be the end of it. It's 50/50 at this stage. Hopefully I'll hear on Tuesday, if my phone works in America, or by email.

And now I have to do the ticket/passport/money/wallet checks 500 times before the morning. Next stop, New York...

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

A Ra Day

Relief. The cold is nearly gone. Still got some snot and phlegm left, but I'm much stronger and able to face the outside world.

The film company phoned, they really like the new draft of P45. I think they're going to start things going now, as I haven't fucked it up. There will be another mini-draft, but this is the one they're going to work from for now. They're going to work out the budget this week, hire a casting director, and start casting next week. I'm so relieved, every time I send them something I'm convinced they're going to sack me, having realised that I'm a great big faker. But so far, I'm on a winner. Thank Ra, the sun-god, for that - hey, if you're going thank a god, pick any one you like, they're all equally as valid, or not. Today just felt like a Ra day.

The director phoned yesterday, from his bath - he was halfway through, and just wanted to let me know that a certain scene had made him burst out laughing for ages, which was really nice of him. Nobody's ever phoned me from their bath before. I'm relieved that he and the producer like it, as it was mainly their feedback I was putting into it. It's important that they feel I've incorporated their ideas properly, which I think they have.

Also, P45 has been mentioned... in Variety, the industry paper! There was a big article about the film company, and it briefly mentioned some titles, which included mine. Didn't have my name in though, but I don't care. I've been mentioned, indirectly, in Variety. I'm unspeakably excited about that.

And now I'm going to have breakfast. Cereal and tea (separately, I mean, not mixed in the same bowl).