Sunday, May 27, 2012

Compete this!

I know, that's very poor English.

I have been so busy doing the producer thing, and worrying about producer stuff, that between that and the day job I've had very little time to do anything useful in the writing department.

Which, for a writer, is not a good thing.

However I have come across four competitions recently which I thought "why not" so here they are for your information because you might want to do them too (if you haven't already heard about them and entered).

If you don't read the Go Into The Story blog by Scott Myers then ... you should. It's possibly the most abundant and useful screenwriting blog on the web (John August notwithstanding). Well Scott is running a free-to-enter thing called The Quest based on his screenwriting course which he's essentially giving away free to four winners, with some lovely development extras.

Now I would say "lucky" winners, but luck has nothing to do with it. You have to sell him your feature film concept with a killer logline. If "Scott The Producer" likes your logline you get the development deal. The development deal being that Scott will help you turn that killer logline into a killer script. But as I say, no luck involved, you better deliver a totally awesome logline that is awesomer than the other thousand-odd he's going to get.

Okay from the awesome but incredibly hard to win, to the competition-with-excellent-odds:

50 Kisses : write a 2 minute script, get chosen as one of the 50 winners, it gets made and packaged with the other winners into a "feature" that already has distribution. But that's the point: it's free to enter and there are fifty winners. Them's great odds. You'll find all the rules here.

About 18 months ago Little Brother ran a screenwriting opportunity. At that time they didn't even have a website but make no mistake, Little Brother isn't an insignificant player. This time around they do have a web site which is here. The prize is a little bit of cash (£1000) but far more importantly the opportunity to develop your TV idea through to treatment stage. You do need to have some professional credit for this - but not too much :-) I'm not even sure I qualify but it's another free-to-enter.

And finally: Screenwriting Goldmine, I know, sounds crassly commercial but it's run by Philip Gladwin and he's based in Hove in Sussex. Anyway Philip has set up a competition, it's not free to enter but £24 (early bird) is not too bad.

The one prize I really like is this one:
Individual, one-to-one coffee meeting with one of the following: Independent Producer Matt Bouch, OR Steve Matthews (Producer, Octagon Films), OR Fraser Robinson (Director of Scripted Development at NBC Universal), OR Ben Stoll (Head of Development, Channel 4 Drama). You choose the meeting that YOU think is best suited to your writing. 
And the judges are pretty awesome too.

Right, that's it from me for now. I'll try not to leave it so long until next time.

What's on the turntable? "Levon" by Elton John from "Madman across the Water"

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Technical knockout

Oh my, it's been over a month. Sorry to have neglected you but I've been busy.

I have completed ScriptFrenzy for the 6th year but only "technically". Which is to say that the Celtx generation of PDF reached 100 pages (WIN!), however in actual comic book pages I got to about 74 (not really a win). But I learned a lot, mostly that writing a graphic novel is really quite hard. Unfortunately the story began to deviate from my plan almost from the start and I wrote myself into a very dull corner. (I had called this post "Technical win" but that doesn't sound anywhere near as interesting as "Technical knockout".)

Of course, at the same time, I've been doing the Producer thing in order to shoot scene 8 of our steampunk webseries WINTER. More than that we've been going through a crowd-funding exercise and I have been sending out emails to everyone I have contact with (and that's several hundred).

And still doing the day job, of course.

But my mind is heavily focussed on ensuring that the shoot goes according to plan. There are so many things to think about from the producer side, I have been given able assistance from people who've already done it. Without them I imagine I would have been rather lost.

Anyway I'm not lost and it's going smoothly (everything crossed, touch wood).

So, give us a hand and contribute to our project at

Self, Director, and cast all available for interview :-)

(Oh, and I got a rejection from a very well-respected agency. "Clearly a very talented screenwriter..." they said. Which was nice. "...but no clear distinction from our other writers." Ha! I'm too busy to care - I don't even remember sending them a script.)

(Also went to see John Carter which was really quite good, and Battleship - it's not a deep film, but very enjoyable and does have real characters and real plot. It's also has very well integrated links to the game. I was quite impressed. It even managed to surprise me a couple of times.)

What's on the turntable? "The Fall of the House of Usher: Arrival" by The Alan Parson's Project from "Tales of Mystery and Imagination".