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)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Screenplay

I think I'll change tack with my next screenplay and write a dark conflict (of the mind) driven screenplay that I wrote a basic outline for 18 months ago.

It shows how a career long soldier's view of war changes over the years, and how that impacts a hostile situation he is thrown into. It may not sound very exciting, but if I can pull off on paper what I've got running around my head, it should be really good.

As usual, time will tell.

'Casualty of War' is the current title.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Where's the sofa

I have finally bitten the bullet and sent Only in Dreams off for review.

I am not expecting good news, so you will find me cowering behind the sofa until some time next week.

Friday, December 05, 2008


By reading this you are taking the role of my virtual shrink.

I think I lack definition.

Who am I and what do I do?

If you go by my job title I'm a Software Engineer.... no, Software Development Team Manager (got a promotion; w00t!), but that isn't what I mean.

I could say; husband, father, carer, lover.... but I don't go in for that romantic crap. I want to be defined as something beyond my day job and family (and let me get this in up front before people complain; I adore my family), but I want to be defined as something else. If it's going to be my job title, I want a different job.

What do I do, what have I done, or at least had a go at doing?

- I used to play the guitar (perhaps that's a matter of opinion)
- I've written songs
- I'm constantly trying to learn French
- I've raced sailing boats
- I've played volleyball and hockey for my university
- Written screenplays
- Started to write books (never finished one though)
- DIY (does that count?)
- Tinkered with cars (just put a written off car back on the road)
- I blog (on and off)
- I now tweet
- And last night looked into the process of making enhanced podcasts
- plus lots I've probably forgotten

With the exception of one or two on that list you can conclude the theme is 'creativity with a pinch of competitiveness'. I will override that conclusion slightly (because I know me) and say "Creativity with the desire to achieve".

Given the above list can I define myself as a creative person? I really don't know.

Anyway, if you are still reading this, I thank you for putting up with my raving nothingness. In years to come, perhaps this will manifest itself as a mid life crisis. As you may have guessed, I'm in a bit of a funny place at the moment, and this may be nothing more than frustration at myself for not putting enough effort into writing. After all, that is what I want to do for a living (alongside other things).

words of encouragement are welcome but not expected.

I promise the next post will be a lot more light hearted.


Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Where on google am I?

I'm drawn to post today for a strange, nay, probably sad reason.

I typed my name into google to see if I came up. The first reference to my name was around result 40, and that was my linkedin profile. 40! I must have put enough random mess on the interwebnet to be worth a better position that that.

So I restrict the results to searching the UK only. Even worse (in fact I gave up looking around rank 150)! I found that a bit strange as I live in the UK, but I suppose the world of the Internet has no borders.

Search for ukscriptwriter and I'm all over the place, but I have a name goddammit! My name is Chris Parr, and do you know what? There are about 3 other Chris Parrs' that have made it in the world of screenwriting! Is that somehow ironic, or just a slap in the face?

I am now on a mission to get me up the google rankings, but I have no idea how. I've changed my blogger profile from Chris (ukscriptwriter), to Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter), and I'm hoping writing "Chris Parr" enough in this post will help ("Chris Parr", "Chris Parr", "Chris Parr", "Chris Parr"), but I doubt it.

I have a vague recollection that link text will help, so I would be grateful if you could all create a link in a blog post, or on your web page to this one using the following snippet:

<a href="http://ukscriptwriter.blogspot.com/">Chris Parr</a>

Let google index away and pull me up the rankings.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Help me people!



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Where's the light switch

I thought I'd stop by here to see if I can remember what it looks like.

I'm in one of those places where I haven't written for a very long time, but I'm thinking about doing so more and more each day.

I wonder if I'll actually manage to put finger to keyboard with my screenwriting software open.

Time will tell :)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

That good old screenwriting mindset

I was thinking about sitting down to continue with my script frenzy screenplay, and I started getting into that screenwriting mindset that I'm sure most are familiar with:

"I need to churn out a few more pages. Hmmm, first I think I'll reorganise my CD collection for the third time today, but this time I'll make sure all the CDs are orientated correctly inside the case."

I'd written enough pages to on the first day to cover the day's progress, so I played Guitar Hero all evening with a big grin on my face. I'd taken it up to the next level and for 20 minutes I couldn't play anything, but after a bit of practice, I still rock!

There is a down side to all of this; I was tempted to go onto iTunes and download seventies rock music (on dear!).

I'll have to be more disciplined tonight and churn out my 3.33 pages :)



Tuesday, April 01, 2008

And they're off!

As well as today (or is it just this morning) being April fools day, it is also the first day of Script Frenzy 2008.

That means I have 30 days to write a 100 page script. I'm not sure why the rules say 100 pages, but as a result that translates to 3.33 pages a day for the next 30 days. I have a rather unpolished outline to work from, which isn't ideal, but it's all I have at the moment.

Currently I'm sitting on the train to london, so with the journey down there this morning, and the trip back this evening, I should be able to get quite a head start.

Otherwise, all the above is an April fools joke :)



Monday, March 31, 2008

I Rock!

It's true. The Nintendo Wii told me so.

I watched an episode of South Park the other week, where they were playing this game called Guitar Hero. I never thought anything of it until in town the other day when I was in a shop selling it. I read the box and it looked like it may be fun. It was bonus month at work (not a big one but better than a kick up the arse), so I bought it.

Now, I'm 33 - no scratch that, 34 (there proof I'm getting old), but prancing around the room attempting to play a pathetic plastic guitar type thing, made me feel like a kid again.

I highly recommend it :)



Saturday, March 29, 2008

Script Frenzy 2008

Almost too late I've found out about Script Frenzy when reading Lianne's blog.

I don't usually have the time for things like this, but this time I thought "Why not?"

Now, I don't have an outline ready, and I feel using one of the drafts I have on the go would be cheating, so I've got two days to come up with one. I have no idea if I'll be able to finish, but I only have to manage 3.333 (recurring) pages a night.

Three and a third pages a night doesn't sound much, but when you're dragging a script kicking an screaming through the doldrums of act two, it can be as painful as pulling your own teeth with a pair of rusty pliers and no anesthetic.

Is anyone else out there having a go?


Earth Hour

So I turned on my Macbook this morning to take a trip around the good old interwebnet, and Firefox informed me it was installing a new version and would start in a moment or two.

It did.

google.co.uk came up (I've got it set as my home page), and I was presented with a negative version of the search engine (white text on black).

"Oh Bugger!" I thought. Firefox has screwed up. Then I realised I was being a bit slow (I'm ill and it was 06:30), and Google had put it that way for a reason. On closer inspection I found the following link:

Earth Hour

Now I know tree hugging has become a bit 'main stream' nowadays, and stuff like this may be considered a little 'passé' by some, but I think it's a good idea.

If you can't be bothered to follow the link, the idea is to turn off all the lights in your house between 20:00 and 21:00 tonight in a collective bid to save energy (doesn't matter about time zones, just flick the switches wherever you are when the clock ticks 8).

Come on, join in. Don't worry about the dark, the light from your 57 inch LCD TV should provide more than enough illumination ;)



Friday, March 28, 2008

Why do we do it?

When I say 'it' I mean write.

I can't speak for you, but for me it's a desire to get lost in a world that isn't reality, or at least my reality. It's a desire to create what I don't have, to live out those 'what if' moments. Maybe that's why very few of my ideas exist in the realm of science fiction or horror. They are all situations that could happen to the every day Joe when he walks out of his front door tomorrow morning. I want to write those stories that, when the credits start to roll, leave you with that 'nice' feeling inside. The feeling where the credits snap you back into the real world, the corner of your mouth curls up and you feel pleasantly warm and fuzzy inside. You're sad that your brief journey into another existence is over, but it was worth it.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I am very happy with the life I have. I wouldn't change a bit of it. Well, perhaps a bit more money in the bank, but who would say no to that (probably some rich person)?

When I ask myself if I write for the right reasons, I know I do. I often stumble across posts on writing forums where naïve newbies want to sell their killer idea for six figures. Those are the wrong reasons. If all you are writing for is the money then I'd say there are easier ways to earn the stuff. Oh I'm sure once in a while someone will fluke it and make it big, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

Maybe one day the credits will roll on a film I have written and someone will smile, feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Or maybe not. Who knows?

I'm just happy writing as a hobby. If one day I experience the side effect of a sale, then so be it ;)

I'm sure I'll write another pointless post soon.



Thursday, March 06, 2008

Be Kind Rewind? Be Kind PRESS STOP!

I had several options at the cinema the other night, but the only one that would get me back to the hotel in time for the football was 'Be Kind Rewind'.

I read a couple of reviews that painted it in a good light, so I thought I'd go and see it. After the film I started wondering if I had found the ONLY two reviews in existence that painted it in a good light, because what I saw was dull, dull, dull. I don't even recall laughing once.

What they have taken is an interesting idea, but it is quite clear that the execution of it was way off the mark. I can imagine the pitch, the meetings where ideas flew back and forth, and how everyone thought it couldn't fail, but when the script came along the project should have been taken out to the shed and put down without hesitation. The end product just didn't live up to what could have been.

I think the director realised this as I'm quite sure he tried to get a little 'arty' (and failed miserably), by doing some sort of silent movie thing towards the end. Or maybe I'm just not getting it. Some people may like it for bringing back a little nostalgia when they recall parts of the movie the characters are re-shooting, but nostalgia isn't enough to carry a movie (although I'm sure people will quote examples).

It was just silly in places: The whole neighbourhood liking these crappy remakes and then being taken in saying they have to buy this little chip to view them as a DVD (or whatever excuse they used)? Come on! That just isn't plausible.

2 stars out of 10 for me (it would be too harsh to give only one as I managed to stay awake).



Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Big ?????

So, if New York is 'The Big Apple', is London 'The Big Avacado'?

Does London even have a nick-name?

Anyway, that's where I'm off to as I type this, sharing a very slow (but free), wifi connection with about (I'm guessing) 100 other people on the train. Major project slippage to deal with today, people to interview in order to save the project tomorrow.

I'm staying in the Holiday Inn Express on Finchley Road. It's clean and tidy, but very basic. I don't mind that at all, however in the summer it seems to become a youth hostel with teenagers keeping you awake until the eraly hours of the morning (hey, I'm getting older - deal with it!). We have an order at work that you must try to get the cheapest hotel. This on is number one on the list at £85 per night. I'm always happy during summer when it is full and I get to stay at the Marriott.

Anyway, on my last trip I found out that you get loads more sushi for your money if you get take out from Yo! Sushi, rather than eating in, so I may load up and retreat to my hotel room and do some writing. Projects that are kind of avtice at the moment (I'll update the progress bars later):

1) An untitled fiction book that I'm writing for my daughter (yes, I'm branching out).

2) The next draft of Only in Dreams.

Anyway, I'd better answer some emails as I guess I am supposed to be working, but before I do, and for no aparent reason, I'll leave you with this question:


Answers on a postcard.



The Big ?????

So, if Ney York is 'The Big Apple', is London 'The Big

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm hard I am!


Click on the image above and have a go yourself.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What is it that really makes a good film?

I ask the question because I have just finished watching a film I really enjoyed.

You know the type. The credits roll any it's not that you're sat there gob smacked at the twist you didn't see coming, or blown away by the big budget CGI. No, you're just sat there happy with that nice fuzzy warm feeling inside. The feeling that you get when the rest of the world has been shut out for an hour or two and you 'get' the ending.

The case in point is Say Anything. Now I remember this film fondly. I was entering that phase in life and there was this actress in the film (for the sake of this story we'll call her Ione Sky), and just let me rewind my mind some 18 years (crikey, I'm getting old) and say; Fwwwwoooorrrrrrrrr! Suffice to say I watched the film a lot and remember it foldly.

Fast forward 18 years and I watch the film with a big smile on my face. I watch the part where Lloyd Dobler sands there in the park after being dumped by his girlfriend, holding his ghetto blaster (yes this film is old school) above his head playing 'their' song at full volume so she can hear it in her bedroom, and think "wow, no one can ever write that again without getting the label 'copy cat'".

I spot great writing everywhere right up to the final second there the fasten seatbelt light goes out with a 'bing!' and we are told everything will be okay.

The thing is, I turn to my wife and she says "well I suppose it was okay!"


Just Okay!

Burn her!

But does she have a point?

Do I only like the film because I simply remember having a crush on Ione Sky when I was 16?

Someone out there please back me up and say this is actually a good film showing off some good writing.

Please, I beg you!



Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Cough, splutter… Bloody hell, it’s dusty in here and the Dyson’s broken. I’ll just have to take a good old fashioned duster to the cobwebs.

So why post after such a long time (crikey has it been that long)?

Well I received an email from Jason that said (amongst other things) “Write some blog! we miss you”.

Gosh, ‘we’.

Who is ‘we’?


Reality may dictate one, possibly two people.

I’ll go with my ego for now :)

What I usually do after letting the blog slide is launch into a long drawn out promise about how this time next year I’ll be churning out a screenplay a month. Well not this time – I’ll leave that for my next post ;) For now I’ll leave you with random nothingness:


I’m working in the London office this week and after work today I went for Canapés in the Executive Lounge of the Regents Park Marriott. It turned out to be hard boiled eggs with mayonnaise, and cream crackers with Philadelphia. Well it sounded posh to me.

The London Paper

The London Paper is a handy little publication. It has some good Sudoku puzzles, good reporting and the most important of all: You take the first one you are offered and carry it in plain sight so that the other gazillion people handing them out don’t bother you.

That works in most cases apart from with the woman who stands at the O2 Centre side of Finchley Road tube station. I walk down the street and I see her. I hold my copy of the paper out in front of me for the world to see, just like Delboy would with a file-o-fax (apologies if that means nothing to my American readers). I’m sure she sees it. I can see her glance down at it, but SHE INSISTS ON SHOVING ANOTHER COPY IN MY FACE!

WHY! I don’t need a spare. If I loose the copy I have, all I will do is shrug my shoulders and say “Shit happens!” What I will not do is kick myself for not taking that second copy from her.

I’d have said anyone could do well in a job handing out a free paper that most people want, but let me tell this woman something: “Get another job, you’re crap at this one!”

Sometimes it’s the small things that bug you :)


I didn’t think ‘gazillion’ was a word, but the spell checker didn’t seem to mind. Spell checker! I hear you exclaim. Well I got an E in English at school so I think spell checkers are a gift from God. Deal with it!


I’ve developed quite a taste for it. I don’t know where I can get it where I live so I make it myself at home.

When I’m in London I’ll always eat at Yo! Sushi in the O2 Centre on Finchley Road. I spend quite a bit of money, but the company is paying. I was going to eat there again tonight and then go to the cinema, but someone made me feel guilty about not blogging for a while!

Instead I decided to go back to the hotel to write this….. With take out from Yo! Sushi :) I discovered you can get about three times as much sushi for your money if you buy their set take out boxes. I’m writing this feeling very bloated indeed.

Fancy Mobile Phones

I have a Nokia N95. As well as the ability to make calls and send texts, it has a 5 mega pixel camera, an mp3 player, wifi internet capability, a calendar, a 3D graphics engine, built in GPS with world maps, plays DivX movies, plus a tonne of other stuff.

All I do with it is call my wife at lunch time. All the fancy stuff on it is wasted, but I still want an iPhone.

I’ll stop there and leave you with this:

Be excellent to each other!