Friday, April 29, 2005

Stan the Man

Well done to Stan Lee, finally getting his cut of the massive profits from the Spider-Man movies and merchandise. I'm glad it's all been settled, although he really shouldn't have been put in that position by M, considering how much money he's made for them. Naughty Marvel. Pay the man his money, and while you're at it, get down on your fucking knees and thank him every single day, you ungrateful bastards... Good on you, Stan.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

More responses

Two more responses today, both positive. One place is waiting to hear from their boss, who hasn't read it yet, to see if he wants to go for it. The other place is going to see if their financiers are up for it, as they have a deal with a studio. Even if nothing comes of it, the cool thing is that everyone has liked it so far. Oh, and it gave someone at the agency nightmares - it's not scary in outline form, but they must have read it last thing at night, and then their mind took them on a little journey in their dreams. Bwahahaha...

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

That was quick

Got a voicemail from My Agent - "give us a call, had a couple of responses to Curfew". Fuck, I thought, that doesn't sound good. Spoke to him today about 5pm, there have been 4 responses so far (bloody quick, compared to the normal glacier-like speed of the TV and film industry), all extremely positive. They all thought it rocked. 2 of them didn't do that kind of film normally, but one of them recommended it to their boss, which they rarely do, so we'll see what happens. The other 2 had some questions about the plot and logic, but thought it was great anyway. My Agent showed it to the big company director of the agency, who has now phoned up A Fucking Huge Film Company to remind them that they have yet to respond. Blimey! So nobody has said definitely yes or no yet, but it's all positive. I'm very relieved, I thought they'd totally ignore it, or think it was shit, or just laugh, and come round to my house and shit in my airing cupboard (you'd be amazed the number of people who have done that). So I'm very pleased so far.

Another part has been cast in Severance, the other female role, someone really cool who is perfect. Sadly, a previously cast person has had to pull out, as his schedule conflicts with something else he's already doing, which sucks. But never mind, we knew it was a thin possibility anyway. The office now has a dedicated phone number, and a team, and people doing things. It's crazy, really crazy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Curfew is finished. Made the final tweaks today, on the phone with My Agent (yep, still feel like a wanker saying that), and it is now being sent out to all and sundry. This is the part where I get terrified that they'll all hate it, or worse, ignore it. Severance (or P45 as it was then) had a 2 week silence before the first response. Let's hope that doesn't happen again.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Progress, and sexy scientists

I was hoping to finish Curfew for last Friday, but couldn't manage it. I would have had to rush it, and that's never a good idea. So I've slowed down and taken the time over the weekend to finish it properly, and I think it's very nearly there.

Severance: have to do some urgent stuff for it today and tomorrow, before the sales agent starts selling the distribution rights. I've got a few other things to do for it, too, but mainly some tweaks and things - I'm not sure how much I need to do yet, haven't got all the details in yet. I've also seen a draft version of the poster, for selling purposes, and it blew me away. First, the thought of even having a poster for something I've written is a total headfuck. Second, the poster rocks in so many ways I can't even describe it. It's extremely bloody, which obviously appeals to me. Some sample taglines came through too, all of which were cool. And there are more animatics and storyboards too, which just get better and better. Lots and lots of people are working really hard to make this movie real, based on stuff I just made up in my head. It's the strangest feeling in the world, it really is.

I meant to watch Alias and CSI when they first came out, but for some reason I missed the first episodes of both of them. I can't start watching anything if I've missed even a fraction of it, just physically can't do it, so I left it and left it for ages. Last week, I finally bumped the DVDs up to the top of the list on Lovefilm, and we started watching them. First seasons, first episodes. We're totally hooked on the adventures of the ridiculously sexy forensic scientists and spies. I'm sure there's a good reason why Jennifer Garner has to wear lots of foxy wigs and outfits when going to meet people who've never seen her before and never will again, but I don't care. And whenever the credits start in CSI, I am compelled to say "Marg Helgenberger" out loud, because I love the sound of it, and because she's saucy. The best thing is knowing that we've got 5 seasons of CSI to watch, and 4 of Alias, without having to wait a week for each episode. DVDs of TV shows rock.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

All systems go

It's been a slow week with Curfew. As expected, the new ending that solved lots of problems managed to create other, new, even more interesting problems, because I didn't explain it or think it through properly. So I've been trying to fix that, and jazz up the characters, which is tricky in an outline where there's no dialogue to make them interesting. So it's been slow going. Nearly there though, hopefully. A few weeks ago my agent verbally pitched it to a couple of people on the phone, who were very interested in it. Then recently, some more people who had been very interested in Severance back when it was called P45 took an interest in it too. And a producer I met last year for a rewrite job that didn't pan out also wants to read it. And several other people want to read it now, including the major film company that messed me and Pat around on Harvest. In all, my agent has about 12 people gagging to read Curfew, just waiting for me to finish it. So it had better be fucking good. No pressure, of course.

Severance has suddenly jumped to Warp 9 (translation for non Star Trek fans: things are now happening very quickly). Last Monday went very well, we talked about the script for ages, and came up with some fun stuff. I read the new version today, and it's looking really cool. I saw some storyboards for a major scene halfway through, and they rock. I also saw an animatic (animated storyboard) for the opening sequence, which is fucking brilliant. And yesterday Severance became officially greenlit - we'd been waiting for the finances to be arranged (they're always complicated and precarious), but now they are all sorted, and it's officially on the go. I am now officially "hot" for about a week, so I really, really, really need to finish Curfew before the weekend, and capitalise on my newfound hotness. Last night I did a synopsis for Severance, which is what they'll be using to tempt sales agents to come on board, and I'll be writing an extra sequence for a video that the characters watch. Another interesting and very cool thing that came up today was for the DVD - they need to plan the DVD extras way in advance, otherwise there won't be time to do them. They've got ideas for three specific things they want to put on there, and wanted to know if I fancied writing them. I gave it serious thought for about a nanosecond, and immediately said yes. I've got to try and think up some other extras that we could do, things that would feel at home on a DVD featuring a horror/black comedy movie. I think I'm going to look through all my DVDs for inspiration. I'm incredibly excited; the thought of a DVD of Severance being in the shops and on is somehow even more bizarre than the idea of it coming out in the cinemas...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

When treatments go bad

Okay, Curfew wasn't quite ready after all - we showed it to some people who immediately spotted a major logical flaw with the basic concept, and lots of other problems. This was (a) extremely helpful, because it lets me fix it before it gets sent out, and (b) extremely annoying, because I thought I was finished with it for now. This is why you must always get other people to read the stuff first - if there's something that isn't clear, you won't spot it, because you know how it all works in your head. And huge flaws can *very* easily pass you by... Spent a few days feeling fed up with it, because it seemed like it needed a major rethink. One solution popped up, but would have meant changing the entire concept, and removing the cool thing that I liked about it in the first place. So I spent a couple of days thinking about it, doing lots of research, finding out all sorts of cool stuff, and talking to Jo about it. Two characters have been swapped around, which sorted some of the problems, and we came up with lots of other cool ideas too. The only thing left was the one major logical flaw, which affected the ending, too. I couldn't think of anything. Finally, last night, Jo had a brainwave and figured out how to fix it. I don't know how she did it. But she's a genius. I am now sitting, surrounded by pieces of paper with the notes written on them, redoing the treatment. It's essentially the same structure, but with most of the problems fixed. I'm about halfway through right now, and will be taking a break until tomorrow. But I'm so relieved, because it's finally starting to work. Hopefully I'll finish it tomorrow, then I can see what everyone thinks of it on Monday.

Severance is moving along nicely. I've seen some gorgeous location scouting photos from Hungary, and will soon see the first storyboard of the opening sequence. On Monday, I'm meeting the producer and director to chat about the revised version of the script - in most movies, just before filming starts, the director does a pass on the script, adding any camera stuff or tweaks that they feel will help the story work better. We're all getting together to see if there any more improvements that can be made. Oh, and a 4th character has been cast, subject to contracts, confirmation, schedules, sunspots, etc, etc. He's really, really good, and has instantly made the character that bit cooler. 2007 Update: This was Toby Stephens, cast as Harris. Ooh, innit exciting??

Monday, April 04, 2005

New stuff

The new horror treatment/outline/thing is finished, as of this morning, and is "going out" this week. That means that my agent will draw up a list of the companies and people who might be in the market for a horror, and/or who have the cash or the means of getting the cash to finance it - they'll probably know my stuff from other things he's sent around (The School, Severance, and so on). He'll send it to them, then I'll wait, terrified, in absolute silence, hoping that someone wants to buy it. It's called Curfew, by the way, one of the rare times that I've actually got a good title for something - thanks to Jo for that. My title skillz are still very poor.

I have two other things that I'd like to do a movie script about - at the moment, they're just backgrounds, settings, that sort of thing. I'm going to do the same thing I did for Curfew - research, come up with ideas, characters, and let the story evolve from that.

Severance is still casting. The producer and director were in Eastern Europe last week, scouting locations and finding people to guide them around. As is usually the case, once you get on a location and see how the place is laid out, some things in the script won't work, physically you just can't do them in the space, and other things will naturally occur to you. At the moment, we need to lose a small sequence near the end, but I've come up with two other things we can do instead, so it's all good. I love this part, where the imagination of the script smashes into the hard reality of locations, buildings, and so on. It's exciting, because I don't know where things will go, or how they will turn out - I want to be as suprised as the audience when I finally see how they make things work.