Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fundraising Plug

I've been waiting for him to put a "donate" link on his blog, but he is currently busy planning.

Iain is a friend of mine currently currently wandering around various countries in the Pacific region. In an attempt to raise some money for charity he will head home, stop roughly 1000 miles away and walk the rest. He's a sound bloke and you can take my word for it that this is genuine. I have his stuff in my loft, so if you donate and he doesn't do it, I'll sell his possessions and send you the money. After I've drank his wiskey that is :)

Seriously, he is genuine so take a look (I'll plug the site again when he is accepting donations).

Click here to find out more (

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Clerks 2

A little about me:

I don’t really swear, don’t do drugs, don’t break the law, don’t abuse people, in fact I don’t really do much apart from work, look after the family, sleep and attempt to keep up my hobby (wishing it was a career) of screenwriting.

So why do I like Kevin Smith films that much?

By all accounts I should be repulsed (or at least slightly offended) by them (I wonder if deep down I really want to be a loud mouth, abusive slacker with no prospects - Analyse that if you will!). I mean some of them aren’t really any good: Mallrats; what was that all about?

A really good example is Clerks 2. I had missed this at the cinema so I bought it off Amazon and watched it over the weekend. I really enjoyed it but when I put my writers head back on it wasn’t really that good a film.


Even though Kevin Smith’s career was founded with a film about Dante and Randal, what exists as his career today is constructed around Jay and Silent Bob (two bit part characters from the first Clerks movie). They were in Clerks 2, but as far as the story goes they had no business being there. They offered Dante and Randal some money, but that didn’t justify their existence in the film. In fact they took up valuable screen time that could have been used to fill in the gaps (I won’t go into those gaps unless prompted to do so). Perhaps this is another example of a director getting away with stuff other writers would get dropped for.

Anyway, like I said; for reasons unknown I enjoyed the film. If you have never seen a Kevin Smith film before I would avoid it. If you have then give it a go.

Monday, March 26, 2007

When Sequels Disappoint

I was fishing around on filmflex last night looking for a film to watch and I stumbled across “Arthur 2 on the Rocks”. I’ve never seen it before, but am very fond of the first film so I typed in my pin number and sat down to watch.

What a load of rubbish it was!

It started off okay; not as snappy and funny as the first but sometimes sequels aren’t. Then it all went wrong (spoilers ahead). It was like the writer said:

“This story is going nowhere fast. I’d better slap on an ending!”

The premise of the story is that Arthur looses everything he has (money, home etc…) apart from his wife. If he wants it back he has to divorce her and marry the girl he left at the alter in the first film. All while they are trying to adopt a baby.

So Arthur goes through the motion of moving into the pokey apartment and working for a living, but the father of the jilted bride makes it impossible for him. His wife leaves him and he ends up homeless on the street. In an attempt to blackmail the father of the jilted bride he gathers some dirt that can’t possibly stick. At this point the pace of the film is grinding to a painful halt and should really be ending, so the writer does something like this:

Father of Jilted Bride (FOJB): Arthur, you have lost! You’re finished! [Insert evil laugh here]
Jilted Bride (JB): Daddy, he doesn’t love me, so I don’t want to marry him.
FOJB: What?
JB: I don’t want him, give him his money back.
FOJB: Oh okay, I wasn’t bothered about that anyway.
Arthur: Cool!

Arthur runs to the shops and turns up at his wife’s place with a convoy of vans full of gifts.

Wife: You got it all back?
Arthur: You bet!
Wife: That’s great, we can be together again!
Adoption Lady: And look; I’ve brought you a baby girl! It doesn’t matter that you had split up and one of you was living on the street, because I’m a nice person!

WTF! What was all that about? Arthur really got himself out of that mess didn’t he! He didn’t grow, learn anything, or defeat the bad guy. He was exactly the same person he was at the start of the film. I suppose he is sober but that just seems to make his character dull. We witnessed no battle with alcohol, he just decides to give up.

I feel robbed and want my money back!


Saturday, March 24, 2007

300 and stuff

Saw “300” last night and thought it was a cracking film.

It’s a no-brainer really. Everyone knows the story and how it will end, so it’s really just an opportunity to see some good blood, guts and action. One other thing I saw that I didn’t think much about on the way in was some good filmmaking. If you have time to kill I would recommend it. The only point I did find strange was that a hard-ass Greek King would yell “THIS. IS. SPARTA!” in a Scottish accent, but hey; I suppose it happens :)

Now I usually don’t go for horror films, and the ones I have seen didn’t scare me that much, but whilst waiting for 300 to start I saw a trailer for “Ghost House” (I think that was the title). Now I don’t really swear so you should take that into account when I try to describe the effect it had on me:

“It scared the fucking living daylights out of me. Shit the bed it was scary.”

If that was just the trailer I don’t know if I would survive the film. That will tell you that it will be a fantastic horror film or I’m just a big girls blouse.

No progress on the writing front this week. Back in January I said that I would write at my own pace and not bother about it if I didn’t write for weeks, but I think I need to kick myself a little. I hope to have made some progress by this time next week.

Anyway, must rush as my 5 month old is protesting at the fact she has just woken up in her cot when she fell asleep in my arms about an hour ago.

[Thud!] Back to reality :)



Tuesday, March 20, 2007


(Don't watch the youtube clip if you have kids around or you are offended by bad language)

I posted ages ago about a version of one of my scripts where a character had a bit of a foul mouth. I was worried that even though it was in character, it would be off-putting to readers. Anyway I re-wrote the character (not because of his foul mouth) and the language was toned down as a result.

To get to the point; I found The Fu*$ing Short Version of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back on youtube the other day. Now I think the gauntlet has been thrown down to produce the longest film using just bad language.

(If you can't see the clip, use this link)

Ouch! My ears hurt :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Just a quick post to let you all know I am still alive.

I've been up in Cumbria dealing with some family business so I haven't been writing over the last week. Things should be back to normal at the weekend.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Out with the old, in with the new.

I've canned my "Twist on the Super Hero genre" effort as I only really had two thirds of a first act, half of act two, and not much of act three.

I have decided that I am allowed only five screenwriting threads running around in my head at any one time, and have replaced it with my Rom-Com and another idea that has been built on a little story my grandfather once told me.

The story itself is a cheerful one and isn't worth a feature screenplay, in fact probably isn't enough for a short, but as a foundation for a feature it sets up the motivation for one of the main characters and will give me the type of character I've always wanted to build a screenplay around: "The passive protagonist". In a nutshell this is a World War 2, Merchant Navy story (I'll probably have to do a bit of research there).

I doubt any of my family read this but if they do the script will be called "Bacon and Eggs". With that title they should know the story I am talking about.

Five threads at once may be too much, but in reality at any one time two of those should only be at the outline stage.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

No Progress

Sorry for the lack of posting.

There has been some bad news in the family this week so nothing much writing wise has been going on. Normal service to resume next week.