Well... that was that.
2014 has fled the building, screaming like a lunatic, and has dived head-first into a pile of history books. Goodbye 2014, you've been a messy bastard.
We've experienced another crazy year in the 2010's (a decade that has proven to be pretty damn peculiar) that will be remembered for a long long time, but not for anything massively positive...
Three massive airplanes went missing, crashed and / or were shot out of the sky, ferries sunk and caught fire, more terrorists did extremely stupid things in the name of an embarrassed God, UKIP won, England lost, Belgium legalized euthanasia, Sony got hacked, Scotland said no, Ebola said hello, some people forgot what 'ceasefire' meant, Ed Miliband ate a sandwich, a student got stuck in a giant vagina sculpture and had to be rescued by twenty-two German firefighters and apparently Kim Kardashian's arse broke the internet. Oh, and the Duchess of Gotland was born. How'd you not hear about that?! Duchess of Gotland. Fucking Gotland, man.
As usual I will round up my year in a swift and boring-list-of-stuff kind of way. More for my own fading memory's sake than to entertain anyone. Which is lucky, considering how thrilling it's likely to be...
What happened to me in 2014?
Well, I had a root canal in August -
Let me rephrase this.
What happen to me - WRITING WISE - in 2014?
Fine. I'll save my root canal story for another day (spoiler: the dentist snapped off a tiny needle inside my tooth and couldn't get it back. It's still in there. Seriously. I have a needle stuck somewhere in my face).
Ed Hughes at Linda Seifert Management Limited is officially my agent, for all things writing-related. Previously representing me on a couple of scripts, he has taken the massive risk and decided to represent my writing in all its entirety. If the company collapses into an apocalyptic fit of embarrassment and financial ruin in 2015, you all know why…
My comedy-horror feature script was optioned by the fine people at Not A Number Productions (who created both Splintered and White Settlers). It has undergone a few tweaks, partial rewrites and amendments and is currently – accordingly to IMDB – officially in pre-production. If you’re on IMDB PRO you can also see some of the other talent involved too.
This is set for shooting at some point in 2015, although this is dependent on casting and budget. And a thousand other unseen factors, like the impending zombie apocalypse and Brad Pitt’s current schedule. He’s going to play the 9 year old bridesmaid.
My script is in incredibly safe hands and the wonderful folk at Not A Number Productions have kept me involved at all stages, although that may be because I am also an Associate Producer on this feature. The power! Mwahahahahahaha!
More info on DEARLY BEHEADED on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4275054/
I was commissioned by the fine people of Cloud Burst Productions to rewrite Sean Fraiser’s ace comedy-horror script POST-IRONIC HIPSTER MASSACRE (now re-titled as simply “HIPSTER MASSACRE”). I completed the first rewrite in December and am eagerly awaiting feedback from the Producers and Directors.
HIPSTER MASSACRE is scheduled to shoot in 2016.
DEAD OF KNIGHT
In January 2014 I wrote vampire horror-comedy spec script DEAD OF KNIGHT, which I was commissioned to write by Copper Monkey Productions. Current status of this production is unknown.
Despite being premiered online in 2013 the-short-what-I-wrote DON’T MOVE keeps getting attention. It has now had over HALF A MILLION hits on YouTube alone (with over 120,000 hits on Vimeo too!) and is regularly featured in Top 10 lists of best / scariest / bloodiest shorts.
Created by Bloody Cuts (who sadly closed their gore-covered doors in 2014), directed by Anthony Melton and produced by Ben Franklin and Anthony Melton, this little beast has kept firing since it was released on April 15th 2013.
My DON’T MOVE script was also published online by the lovely people of WRITE SHOOT CUT, alongside a little blurb from myself – check it out HERE
On top of this, I was also able to (finally!) talk about DON’T MOVE: THE FEATURE without fear of castration by teaspoon. Written by up-and-coming American writer Zak Olkewicz, the feature version of DON’T MOVE has been ‘doing the rounds’ in Hollywood and has generated a lot of interest. I can confirm it is a bloody good script too, so fingers crossed a studio will pick it up sharpish.
Coincidentally enough, the directors of HIPSTER MASSACRE will also be directing DON’T MOVE when someone picks it up, so it looks like I won’t be able to avoid Ben Franklin and Anthony Melton in 2015. If you’re reading this, many happy Murnaghans to you both.
FEATURE / TV SCRIPTS
I also wrote some scripts ‘for myself’, which I will be rewriting and shoving under people’s noses in 2015. These were:
THE KIDNAP – an American action-comedy feature script
LIARS END – a British sci-fi drama pilot (and supporting ‘bible’)
I have also been working on rewrites of horror feature BROKEN HOME and comedy-horror feature THE MOTIVATOR, although these rewrites are currently on-going.
I have also written a few short scripts, including a found-footage vampire romp PROOF OF KILL and a script called MINE, based on an excellent idea by filmmaker Simon Berry.
I only entered a handful of competitions in 2014 and managed to place in the Red Planet Prize (got to 2nd Round) and the Script Angel Screenwriters’ Festival Competition (top 5). I am still awaiting the results of the Bluecat competition, so there’s still that little inkling of hope left.
Of course, there were MANY competitions I entered and didn’t place (or win) but that’s the way it always works. You can expect 100 rejections for every success, if you’re fortunate. That’s why you need the perseverance of a snail climbing up Mount Everest. On a skateboard made of salt. Whilst being on fire. And not actually knowing what you’re likely to achieve by getting to the top.
The zombie-horror comic book anthology DEAD ROOTS was released in hard back and online, featuring my competition-won two-pager (SAVING THE WORLD – originally titled “FUCK GRAVITY”).
The anthology also contains DOZENS of other excellent stories, with some phenomenal artwork, ideas, blood, zombies and brilliant writing from some seriously talented individuals. And me.
This is still available to purchase HERE
A SCRIPT A WEEK
I challenged myself to read AT LEAST one script a week – either amateur or pro (or somewhere in-between) - and began listing them for no one's viewing pleasure.
So, did I achieve this goal?
Rather than clutter this post with a 52 line long list of stuff I read in 2014, I have placed this in a separate post, so you can read it at your leisure. And probably die of boredom in the process.
Read it HERE
Died of boredom? Sorry. You were warned.
I was interviewed twice in 2014, and not by mistake or on Crimewatch!
RICHARD SANDLING’S PERFECT MOVIE PODCAST– in September I had the pleasure of being a special guest on Richard Sandling’s Perfect Movie Podcast.
You can listen to my beautiful voice HERE
PHILIP SHELLEY’S BLOG – in December my interview with Philip Shelley was released online, for everyone’s viewing pleasure / enjoyment / horror.
His series of interviews with writers is excellent, so check them all out if you have the time. My interview is HERE
FAILURES TO LAUNCH
There are, of course, a number of things that did NOT explode into the super-mega-awesomeness that I had expected.
WEB SERIES – I had wanted to write, plan, produce and make a web series (called
DEMONS OF LAME) but other projects ‘got in the way’. It’ll be back-burner’ed for now, but may be resurrected in the future like a ridiculous zombie clown.
SHORT FILM – like the web series, I had grand plans of making a short film in 2014… but that didn’t happen. Or it did, and I literally told no one about it. One of the two. Either way, it’s an itch I still need to scratch so 2015 might be more fruitful in this regard. Unless something else gets in the way, of course…
AAAAND… WE’RE DONE
So... that was 2014.
A year in my writing life. What a year. Here's to another filled with fun, friends, projects, scripts, sales, fantastic film and top television.
One more thing to say…
Thank you everyone. Friends, writers, family members, strangers and crazy drunk blokes singing loud on the train to Essex. Thanks for making 2014 another memorable year. Thanks to those who supported me mentally, spiritually and physically. Thanks to everyone who read my work and those who were brave enough to commission, option and champion it. Thanks to everyone who read this Blog. Maybe someone will be brave enough to leave a comment this year?
And to every writer out there – keep on truckin’. Keep writing. Keep persevering. 2014 might not have been your year (it could’ve been… and if so… well done?) but 2015 will be. Or 2016 will be. The future IS ours for the taking – we just have to fight to get there.
And by ‘fight’ I mean ‘write’.
Write and write and write. Because you’re fucking awesome.
Good luck to everyone – writers and non-writers! – for the forthcoming year. Grab it by the jewels and smash it in the face. Let’s make 2015 a brilliant one.
6 days down.
359 to go.