Friday, April 29, 2011

ScriptFrenzy - that's a wrap

So, I have completed my script for ScriptFrenzy this year, 101 pages.

Funny I always seem to hit almost exactly 100 pages every time I write a ScriptFrenzy script (I've done it five times), of course 100 pages is the amount I need to "win". But I never overrun which is surprising since I barely plan these things - I start with a rough idea of the characters and the plot, and nothing else (except last year which was an adaptation).

The Teacher has suggested it's my magazine training. Nearly 20 years of writing articles for magazines (and editing them) has meant I have had "writing to length", "writing to style" and "writing to deadline" drilled into me until it happens automatically. I will write the correct length of script - almost to the page - by the deadline. I like deadlines, though not for the same reason as Douglas Adams, that's one reason I do ScriptFrenzy, I know I'll come out the other end, a month later, with a feature script.

Anyway it's done, codename Rebels, now I have a polish to do on Running which will take a couple of days and then it's on to the rewrite of Winter. Finally.

What's on the turntable? "Brandenburg Concerto No. 1" by J S Bach.

Monday, April 18, 2011

ScriptFrenzy 2011, part the second

I have been remiss and not blogged for a while.

But I have been busy, among other things with ScriptFrenzy, however while battering my way through the first draft of this 100 page feature script this evening I had a passing thought which I thought I'd share with you. Because you are my friend.

It's to do with what you call your characters in your script ... or perhaps it's to do with what I call my characters in my script. I don't mean the choice of name (although that is relevant, of course), but how you say it.

I have a character called George Hadfield, he is the father of Victoria Hadfield. She is the protagonist, and the story is set in 1911.

It's been bugging me for some time now - actually through the entire script that I refer to him as "George". This is very very wrong because it communicates entirely the wrong message. Apart from the bit where Victoria shouts "Daddy, my Daddy" (ok, this is a first draft, that will be going) she refers to him as "Father" because that is the appropriate level of respect.

You've seen Mary Poppins? Of course you have. The children refer to their Father as Father.

Since Victoria is the protagonist and the audience will be identifying with her, they will have to have the same level of respect.

But, you may say, they won't be reading the script. This is true, but people will be reading the script - script readers to name but one variety of person who will. And they will get the wrong idea, they will not have the right level of respect for George, or rather, for Mr Hadfield.

So there, I thought I'd share that with you. What we call people in the script can be important.

I hope you're thoroughly impressed. Now I must stop procrastinating, I need to finish up to at least page 60 tonight to stay on schedule, but that's only a couple of pages to go and I do have it all mapped out now.

Perhaps I shouldn't worry, he's going to be dead within the next five pages, and Victoria is going to very sad.

What's on the turntable? "Shining Morn" by Gordon Giltrap from "Shining Morn"

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Something good

Can't say much about this but I can confirm that talking to producers is a good idea for writers.

I talked to a producer, and within the week I have a script idea heading BBC-wards. It may come to nothing, I follow my primary rule of "send and forget" but without talking to the producer the opportunity would not even have appeared.

What's on the turntable? "Until I Meet You" by The Manhatten Transfer from "Down in Birdland"

Thursday, April 07, 2011


As previously mentioned, ever since I got onto the Circalit Gold List scheme, and the Industrial Scripts Connections the number of people accessing my Shooting People profile page has shot up - from 30-40 per week average, to 140-160 (170 yesterday).

Well, there's a cumulative count which I knew was approaching 5000, and it hit that. Honestly, I wasn't sitting there refreshing the page until it changed (the page that gives the result is not the page that does the counting) but by chance I had a peek when it was on 5000, so I took a picture.

Does it mean anything? Who knows. Nobody has got in touch.

What's on the turntable? "In the presence of" by Yes from "Magnification"

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

ScriptFrenzy 2011

So we're on Day 5 and, as of yesterday, I was on target - not sure if I'll get my 3-4 pages done this evening but we shall see. (Might help if I stopped prevaricating.)

But I have a name Rebels (not Rebellion, not personal enough), a plot, I have characters and I have flora-jutsu: the use of flowers in a combat situation.

I know, sounds silly, but that's deliberate; in fact it's far from silly in context. An amateur botanist from 1911 will use every weapon she has to hand, especially when she's in a long dress and a corset, faced with a character reminiscent of Dredger from the recent Sherlock Holmes.

It was all the Teacher's fault. I was picking her brains about what a well-brought-up young girl suddenly finding herself in impecunious circumstances could do. "She could work as a florist", says the Teacher. "Like Eliza."

You see, it wasn't my fault.

What's on the turntable? "Don't Go" by Yes from "Magnification"