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*