Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A "Short" Problem

One thing that has always bothered me since I've started writing is my inability to write short screenplays.

I don't know if it is because I have never been interested in writing them, or that I'm incapable of condensing a story into less than 15 pages. When I have an idea I want to explore it in detail and that usually raises concerns around the 120 page limit, so I've had no chance up to now of keeping things under 15.

Anyway, since I've started to explore filmmaking all of these little ideas for shorts have began popping into my head. I don't know why I've suddenly started to think 'short', but perhaps it is down to the effort involved in making a film. I've got a little 5 or 6 minute film on the go at the moment and you wouldn't believe how much work is involved - "I didn't deliver that line right, I'll have to film that scene again", or "My God, filming from that angle makes me look deformed, I'd better re-shoot it", and so on…

Anyway, I'm not sure exactly what my point is other than "Hey, I can now write short scripts".



Thursday, May 17, 2007

I'm breaking the rules!


I'm breaking all the spec script rules. I'm numbering scenes, writing CUT TO, specifying close up shots, zoom and all of that. I'm even writing things like "We see" and "beat".

I feel reborn!

Why should I get away with all of this crap? Because I'm writing my very first shooting script. I admit that it is for one of my own videos, but us writer/directors can make the rules up as we go along you know ;)

I hope to start shooting this Saturday and edit during the week. I'll let you see the result when it is done.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Blog: YouTube or Bust!

Trying to keep in mind that the main subject of this blog is screenwriting, I have created a new blog to chart my experiences in filmmaking:

YouTube or Bust!

If you are in anyway interested in filmmaking and have no idea what to do, you should visit there every now and then as I'll be posting what I learn.

With luck this is something I can do in conjunction with my screenwriting, although it will mean a slight change in tack as I've only written feature length films so far (it will be a while until I'm ready to take on anything the length of a feature).

Anyway, there you have it.



Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Does blogging come in seasons?

I may have posted about this before but can't be bothered to look back through the archives.

I'm sure blogging does have an "off-season". I openly admit that I've been a slack with my posting lately, but so have many others. Posting on some blogs has slowed to a crawl of one or two a month, whereas Warren over at The Screenwriting Life (see the links on the right) has dropped of the radar completely.

I always feel a bit bad complaining about the lack of posting on blogs because let's face it, I don't know these people outside of the Scribeosphere and they could be in hospital or something. I recall one poster on a forum who fell silent; a month later his wife logged on to let us know he had been killed fighting in Iraq.

Anyway, on a lighter note…

I have a few ideas for a film that will feature more than a two pound coin stuttering around a table to the Benny Hill theme tune. My four year old daughter Anna-Louise has agreed to star, so weather permitting and my ability to make props out of cardboard and glue (I should audition for Blue Peter), production should start on my epic this coming Saturday. If the weather does not play ball then I have a lesser production I will make a start on.

I really hope this doesn't take over from my writing, but if Hollywood isn't interested in making my films, then at least I'm learning how to :)



Saturday, May 12, 2007

My First Film

It's been a while since I've posted but I have a good excuse:

I went to the doctor's and he said I had Pneumonia!

That's right. I was about to ask if he would ring an ambulance for me or if I should make my own way to the hospital, but he packed my off home with antibiotics and told me to get some rest.

Anyway, apart from a cold I'm better now, so I thought I'd draw your attention to a list of goals I posted. One of them was to "Dabble in Filmmaking", so without further ado I give you my first attempt at filmmaking.

Go easy on me.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In a non-gay way I love Zach Braff!

I found this on YouTube and can't get the song out of my head, so I thought I'd pass it on. Perhaps by the end of the day we can have the whole scribeosphere humming the song.

Try this link if you can't see the youtube window above.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Premise or Plot: What have you got?

Catchy title eh?

Anyway, I was reading a post on Scott’s blog about plot. He was mainly talking about comedy where often a movie is built on a premise and has little to no plot.

This got me thinking about various films I’ve seen (Anchor Man is one where they openly didn’t even bother with a plot… I think… but I’ll get to that), and then onto the scripts I am writing, and I have to say I’ve got my mind in a twist.

My definitions of premise and plot with regards to screenplays have become mixed up and I have to say it’s doing my head in. Do my screenplays actually have plot, or are they just drawn out premise?

I can think of many films where a clear premise is there, but I’m starting to see that premise extended slightly and used to fool us into thinking plot is also there. Take ‘A Night at the Museum’ as an example. Museum exhibits come to life at night is the premise, but what is the plot? Bad guys try to steal museum stuff so the museum night watchman and the exhibits must stop them seems to be the plot, but after thinking about it, that just seems to be another premise and isn’t in the film long enough to be considered plot. The filmmakers make an attempt to do this with a single scene inserted at the start of act two where one of the bad guys plants something expensive from the museum at the night watchman’s apartment, but that isn’t even used in the film later on.

I don’t know. Can you separate the two for me?

I've been tagged!

Well the last time I played tag was at school but it seems there is now a grown-up version out here in the blog world.

I have been tagged by Mr. Alexander to set myself five goals, and as I’ve been slack with my posting of late I shall take on the task. I don’t know if these goals are to have a deadline or not, but I’ll set a deadline of before Christmas.

My five goals are as follows (in no particular order):

1) Get a better Job
Not that I have a bad job at the moment, but I’ve outgrown my current position. I actually went for a job interview yesterday that went quite well, but I won’t know the result for until Thursday at the earliest, so it makes the list.

2) Complete ‘Only in Dreams’
This one is a writing goal. I could say “write five scripts”, but all wannabe writers set goals like that (I have done so before) without following up on their pledge when they find real life gets in the way.

I state this particular script because it is different from any idea I have had before and it is really going to test my writing. If come out with something that can work I will be happy.

3) Get fit (again!)
I am full of good intentions and I did start to cycle to work last year, but unfortunately I picked up an injury and had to stop. Since then I haven’t started again. I really need a better bike that does not weigh a ton (you should see the hills, nay mountains I have to cycle over).

4) Send a script into the real world
That’s right, put my money, or writing, where my mouth is. I’ll put something out there (with other works in reserve) in an attempt to get an agent. I’ll probably ask the scribeosphere for a load of advice first, but I will do it.

5) Dabble in filmmaking
This is one where it will be easy to make the minimum requirements as I have a video camera beside me right now, and I’m sure my 4 year old daughter will be excited at the chance of playing the leading lady, but this is something I have always had an interest in. I’m not sure what will come out of this goal, but I have one or two ideas.

There! Done! Now, who should I tag?

I tag Iain