Thursday, April 09, 2009

End of an Era

My last night in the Reading flat.


Financially the flat was good when I was working in Reading, as I was for the first 6 months, but when I was elsewhere and then in London it became less useful.

I have just had my contract extended by 3 days at Paramount Comedy, tidying up some final stuff that'll be Wednesday to Friday next week. Tuesday I have an interview in Sheffield - which would be a nice place to work as I could live at home. Other than that I'll be staying at my parents next week.

I moved out 30 years ago, now I'm going back.

It was in The Goonies (make sure you see the uncut version, especially for the "where to keep the drugs" sequence) that the mother says that she wants to make sure the house is clean and tidy before they knock it down. Not that they're knocking down this house, but I am packing and cleaning tonight.

I've been a good tenant. The landlord had some horror stories - and one of them was enacted in another flat in this building which resulted in the place being boarded up and sterilised before being completely redecorated.

It can be easy to think that, for some people, life is a luxury they don't deserve. "In a moving statement the judge decreed that if truth was beauty and beauty truth then life itself was in contempt of court for being neither beautiful or true, and confiscated it from all those present." (To quote the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy from memory.)

So, what to do about the writing, eh?

I was on the train this evening (would I be anywhere else?) in my last trip from Paddington to Reading, with my trusty notebook...

[aside] I had a note in my notebook to buy a new notebook because I was down to a single unmarked sheet left. I decided I would buy a notebook for work and notebook for writing-related stuff. I found these cool "Pantone" ones which have different coloured covers, although the paper stock is not as good as my usual choice. [/aside]

... and I made a list of all the scripts I have finished, in development, written and so on. Then I rated them in terms of their value (to what degree will they progress my career?) and how much work is needed to finish them. This was with a view to deciding what to work on next.

Monsters and Air come top, of course, they are finished and are good examples which have already progressed my career.

My feature Une Nuit a Paris and (sad to say) Unit X ended up at the bottom. The main purpose for writing Unit X was because someone, with the power to get it made, had expressed an interest. That person hasn't responded to any communication in the past few months.

That leaves: Which?, Tec and Running.

Which? is finished in 1st draft, and short. It has value in demonstrating an ability to write for existing show characters (hopefully).

Running, though a bit SF, is mostly thriller (and I do know how to put good action sequences together - even the target producer was impressed when I sent him the first 10 pages, let's just say the opening sequence and the title had something in common). And also has a clearly identifiable protagonist. This gets extra points because there is already a producer who's interested - and he could get me to Luc Besson, but that's another story.

Tec is a "normal" private investigator type show. It has a clear protagonist and the standard genre context means it wouldn't suffer from the "lacks focus" problem that I'm good at. (Which, incidentally, is why Air worked, right from original concept it had a strong protagonist. While Monsters originally had half a dozen "main" characters and took a lot of work to bash into shape.)

So. I think I will do things in that order, finish up Which? then use ScriptFrenzy as my deadline generator for Running. Hm ... 30 - 9 = 21 days to do 90 pages = 30 / 7 = 4.5 pages per day. I'd only worry if it got up to 10 pages per day, that would be hard. But I have plenty of time.

Then I'll dig up the notes I previously made on Tec and put the first episode together.

Target's should always have deadlines, so let's say Which? by the end of the Easter weekend, Running by the end of April (obviously) and Tec (a mere 60 pages) by the end of May. (Which means Tec will be easily ready for the next Red Planet competition.)

That's a plan.

Have you got a plan?

What's on the turntable? "Four Sticks" by Led Zeppelin from "Led Zeppelin IV" This song is called "four sticks" because the drummer, Bonham, used four drumsticks for this song - two in each hand. Cool.


Tom Murphy said...

Hi - slightly off-topic, but I just wanted to say thanks very much for adding me to your blogroll! It's always nice to be noticed

Keep the posts coming
Tom M

Scaramanga said...

Fo Sho i have a plan.

The idea is to get the first draft of this feature ready within 2 months. An easy goal pagewise I know but there is more prep.

Then a director whose work I am very impressed with is coming to town in June and wants to collaborate on a feature, so thats exciting.

In between all this I have a goal to write another short.

Plus I am moving flats this weekend, have my wedding in August which I have been told I have to help plan and we also have another one of my shorts which we are looking to shoot in September.

So I am fairly busy.....

Have a good weekend.


Unknown said...

Are you planning to join the Twitter writing thingy? Details on BBC Writersroom Homepage. Forgive me if you already have or don't want to.

Adaddinsane said...

Tom: No probs.

Charles: Excellent.

Antonia: I do not (and will not) twit. (200-ish characters is insufficient for my outpourings).

Adaddinsane said...

Antonia: that reads more abrupt than it was meant. I'm just not a dedicated follower of fashion.

Unknown said...

No worries. It's actually fun, but I have spent an awful lot of time on there in the past week.