Thursday, October 08, 2009

Slowly, Slowly.....

Making the effort to get back into blogging after a friend noted that I've been absent from the net for quite a while.

I just have to come up with something to say :)


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Short film script finished

I've finished a script for a short film.

I got the idea last night and rattled it off this afternoon. It's a drama, about 90 seconds long and set in a hospital. There are two scenes, one in a hospital corridor, and another in a private treatment room. Three characters in total.

When I started writing it I intended it to be a comedy, not a drama, but just wrote it as it came out of my head. I could easily tweak it into a comedy, and possibly even making it shorter in the process, but I'm happy with it as it is.

Is there a producer out there with cash and access to a hospital that wants to make it? If so then drop me a line (my Nana always told me "If you don't ask you won't get").


Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Story Engine

I never told you I was going, but I'm back from The Story Engine (formally known as the Northern Screenwriters Conference).

I can report that I had a really good time and got a lot out of it (including a new found drive to get on with it). If you get a chance to go to the next one I would recommend it.

As well as meeting Sir Jason Arnopp and The Right Honourable James Moran in the flesh, I also met The Lady Lara Greenway, Commander David Lemon and Dean Lines Esquire.

I talked away to lots of other people but God forgot to give me the part of the brain that is essential for remembering names (sorry).

Apart from drinking too much on Thursday night, I came away with some good ideas, including something for TV (first time ever), as well as an insight into the world of agents. Amanda Davis made it clear that they are actually human - not that I didn't already know that, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

Anyway, enough of this - I've got a script to finish (by April 1st).


Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Rom-Com Bandwagon

I have no idea why I care about this so much, but it's the one thing in the film world that winds me up:

Why does just about everything involving a man and a woman meeting, getting together (usually) falling out, and then getting back together, get the label "Rom-Com" slapped on it?


Don't get me wrong, I like a good romantic comedy, but it's so hard to find one nowadays because everything is pushed into that genre using a bulldozer. Case in point:

No Reservations
(IMDB Link)

I read the box. It's a rom-com. I can see how the set-up could be funny, so I decide to give it a go. BUT NO! IT ISN'T A ROM-COM!!!!!

There is one, just one, slightly funny moment, but that's all the comedy there is (IMHO). As a rom-com it fails miserably. You won't convince me otherwise, and I was disappointed.

Drama. What ever happened to drama? It seems you only get dramas nowadays if someone wants to win a film award. To me, no reservations was a good old romantic drama, and on that level it works. So why don't they call it what it is instead of slapping rom-com all over it?

I'll tell you why: It's all about the money! People are more likely to pay to see a rom-com rather than a romantic drama, so they mis-label it to get the cash flowing. What is happening as a result is the genre is getting diluted, and people walk away thinking a good film is actually crap because it wasn't what they expected.

For the love of God, the genre, or simply my sanity: Stop calling everything a Rom-Com! Have the guts to call it exactly what it.

Rant over. Carry on.

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Supermarket Checkouts

I think I'm turning a bit grumpy in my old age.

If there's one thing that really, really, *really* gets on my tits (pardon the expression), it's kids offering to pack your shopping at the checkout.

Of late they don't even seem to offer they just start packing and I have to stop them, because they'll just get it wrong and smash my eggs or squash my bread. I told the last little girl who tried that it was okay and I'd manage. I smiled, was polite and spoke in a calm voice, but by the look on her face you would have thought I had told her I'd just blended her hamster.

I know it's usually for a good cause but I'd just prefer them to leave their collection bucket and clear off. And a bucket! how much do they expect us to give?!?!

*And relax*

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Here's my first quick attempt at the solution to my previous post (please forgive the formatting). Feel free to offer advice:


         Hello, I'm Claire Radford, how are you?

She stops, extending her hand over the sofa.

Jason smiles and accepts her greeting.

         Jason, Jason Brent. You caught me off guard for
         a moment there.

         I apologise if my father's keeping
         you waiting Jason. Have you travelled far?

         Er, no, not at all. It's a sunny
         day, I put the top down and enjoyed the drive over here.

         Wonderful. My father shouldn't be too
         much longer, so if you don't mind I
         have some things to do before lunch.

         No problem.

Claire turns and walks to the door.

She makes it half way.


She turns.


         Err, well I doubt this meeting will last
         too long, and like I said it's a nice day,
         so I know this nice little restaurant nearby
         with a quiet balcony. We could have some
         lunch and enjoy the fresh air.

She takes a curious step forward.

         But you don't know me.

Jason confidently smiles and raises his hand towards the window.

         And look, what a nice day to rectify that.

Claire turns and again heads for the door.

She glances over her shoulder and smiles.


Writing Physical Attraction

How do you write one person being attracted to another?

One way could be:

Bill's eyes open wide as he beholds her natural beauty.

To me that sounds like it's leaning a bit towards Mills and Boon, and this is a screenplay, not a novel. Another way is:

Bill is clearly attracted to her.

But I've seen so many readers warn against writing 'clearly'. I can't do the 'Bill blushes', or make bill babble is words nervously as he isn't that type of character, but I must make it clear that Bill is attracted to 'her'.

I may go with the my first example for now, but please comment, or point me at other articles that discuss this.

Thanks in advance

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A complaint letter Mosh would be proud of

My friend Iain, aka Mosh writes a mean complaint letter. I happen to think he is rather good at it, but this guy (click here) has just raised the bar.


Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

Almost guilty

They say never judge a book by its cover.

I've never heard anyone say never judge a film by its title, but often people do. In fact my wife does it all the time and it bugs me.

Anyway, I hold my hands up and say I was almost guilty of the same crime.

I had a chance to watch a film called 'The Astronaut Farmer'. "What a silly title" I thought. Probably some comedy about some guy trying to grow stuff on the moon.

Then I looked it up on the internet and found it wasn't such a film. I decided to watch it and really, really enjoyed it.

I thought the ending was rushed and a bit, and I guess the director did too as they tried to fill things in during the credits, but still could have been done better, however as a 'middle of the road' film I can't find much else wrong with it.

8 out of 10.


Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

Monday, January 26, 2009

When is less not enough?

Okay, we all know less is more when describing scenes, but I fear I may be obsessing a little about it.

Case in point is the following:

Jason stands in an immaculate hotel room, lit only by the sunlight shining through a narrow gap in the curtains.

Is that fine? I could thin it down further:

Jason stands in an immaculate hotel room.

Sunlight shines through a narrow gap in the curtains.

But is this too far? The fact that sunlight is the only light source in the room isn't important, so I leave it out and break the line. I just feel that what is left is a little clinical, and I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Any tips?

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

Space Virus Attacks

I have admitted defeat in my battle with the evil space virus that has been trying to break through my defences for the past week, and called in sick. The work will just have to pile up.

This could be an opportunity to write but I'm not sure I'm up to it. Maybe a page or two this afternoon from my notes and index cards. I have a deadline of the first of April to finish this draft, so I've got plenty of time.


*cough* *sneeze* *urrrrrghhhhhhhh*

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Modern Times

I am now bringing myself up to date by blogging from my mobile.

I vow never to do anything when I'm old like call my children to come round and set the clock on my new whatsit in the livingroom.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Screenplay Request


Can anyone send me the screenplay for My Big Fat Greek Wedding?

I've looked in all the usual places (that I am aware of) online and can't seem to find it.

Thanks in advance

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

About that act one pile

I often wonder how good my screenwriting is.

It's reassuring when I look back at random scripts in my act one pile, because at least I can say: 'It's better than it was back then!'

Frankly, some attempts are earth-shatteringly awful.

Case in point is some type of underwater epic. Scene descriptions that are fit for a novel and enough 'we see' to keep the world stocked up forever *shudder*.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Help me, I need irony!

Okay, forget the "dark conflict driven" screenplay I talked about in my last post. Before I could start I stumbled across and old script in my rather large 'act one pile' (we all have those right?).

Anyway, the short version is I've taken it into the midpoint of act two and *BLAM!!!* writers block.

Now the help part:

I need as many ironies, or ironic situations as you can come up with for a hit man. Anything, no matter how absurd.

Please, please, pretty please with sugar on top.

Thanks in advance

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)