Saturday, 6 February 2016

Poster Reveal for Mine

As this Blog Post’s spoilerific title suggests, the poster art for MINE has been revealed.

MINE is a short film by Simon Berry, due to be unleashed upon the world early 2016.

I wrote the screenplay based on his original idea, and the results of which look awesome. I haven't seen the final film, but what I have seen of it looks bloody excellent.

The poster was designed by Sam Hyde and he's done a superb job with it.

Check it out below:





Monday, 25 January 2016

Capture: Draft 2

News!

Kind of.

I mean, anything is news if it interests someone. Like, “I just found a fiver in my Oyster card wallet”. Big news if you’re broke (and true story! I found a fiver in my Oyster card holder. Wow, that sentence would make absolutely no sense to anyone who hasn’t visited London…).

Anyway, my ‘news’.

I have finished the rewrite on CAPTURE and sent it out to various writer folks to get critique on. So far the responses have been positive and fantastically informative, with some really useful thoughts, great ideas and brilliant critical assessment.

Thankfully no one has yet to say “BURN IT. THEN EAT THE ASHES. IT’S FUCKING SHIT”. Which is a positive thing.

Once I’ve collated all the notes from my various sources, I’ll be tearing down the script and smashing out another draft, then smacking it under the nose of some other trusted readers / writers for next draft approval… Which will happen later this year.

In the meantime, I’ll be planning my next script, which is currently a SECRET.

Seriously, even the Pentagon doesn’t know about it, and they know EVERYTHING. Including your middle name. Yeah. That’s right. They know your middle name. And it is Roger.

Right.

Hope you’re all having a rockin’ January 2016 (or whatever date you read this).

Let’s keep kicking this year in the balls and making it ours.

Yes. That’s how you make something ‘yours’.

Kick it in the balls.

That’s why I’m not allowed near Ryan Reynolds or the Pope anymore. That and the stalking / sending them dead ferrets and / or other Mustela of the family Mustelidae.

What?

Right.

Onwards!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Don't Move: The Feature

Don't Move: The Feature is written.

Tweaked, edited, perfectionized.

We're all* very happy with it.

* Ben Franklin, Anthony Melton, Gilda The Horse, David Scullion (the Irish international footballer) and me, David Scullion (SWF beer pong champion 2015).

We have a VERY tasty look book made, which is disturbingly awesome. Great work from The Melton on that.

Now it's in the hands of our agents / managers, awaiting screaming praise and flowers and joyful weeping and 100 dollar bills wrapped in bacon.

Or feedback.

Probably feedback.

That's the current status of Don't Move.

It is ready to rock the world.

By "rock" I mean "horrify and thrill" and "the world" I mean "anyone who reads it. And some who don't. Like, you can smell the terrifying madness just being near the damn script. Never has a PDF smelt so damn scary".

Odd fact, the F in PDF stands for File, so technically it's a PD File... and by saying it out loud it kinda sounds like another word for a child molester.

Let's stick to PDF.

Right.

Update delivered, with all the grace of a hippo fucking a cake.

Have a great day!

And remember...

DON'T MOVE.





Unless you want to move. I don't control you. And anyway, I didn't say Simon Says, so it doesn't count.





Simon says GIVE ME YOUR SOUL.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Goodbye 2015...


Well... that was that then.

2015.
Twenty-fifteen.
Two thousand and fifteen.

365 days of 24 hours, wrapped up in sleep, work, food, drink and the occasional fish fight.

How was your year? Another hard slog through the crotch-grating milieu of life or a magical carpet ride through the land of gold and candy?

Mine was...

Exhausting.
Educational.
Frustrating.
Hilarious.
Painful.
Productive.
Eye-opening.
Exhausting.
And...
Exhausting.

It was a year of almosts and nearlys and not-quites. A year of hard work. A year of firsts and lasts. A year of writing. A year of REwriting. A year of meetings. A year of awesome people. A year of brilliant fun.

I learned how essential an agent can be, and how without one you're liable to be used by some scurrilous individuals, who think payment for work done is an "optional" thing! This is not a story for this blog, but certainly one for the pub...

I learned producers can be truly awesome and also great drinking buddies!

I learned a bit more about the business of filmmaking, financing films, script consultancy, casting and pressurized rewriting. The mantra: nothing ever goes to plan, unless it does. A mantra we can all relate to and completely ignore.

I learned comedy-horror is a HARD sell.

I learned that entering scriptwriting competitions is good for your self-confidence and 'brand'.

I learned that a holiday is never really a holiday if you've got a screenwriting deadline!

I learned that planning is my best friend.

I learned that research is best done by talking directly to someone who works within the area you're researching, and not focusing entirely on any (sometimes wildly inaccurate) online information. I can confirm that the horse's mouth method works. I mean, I'm not writing a script about a horse... but if I was, I'd definitely talk to a bunch of horses. Definitely. Right in their goddamn mouths.

I learned to be SUPER prepared for meetings, as they're never what you expect. I mean, I didn't get attacked by mutant bears or something equally feasible, but I did find myself assaulted with an unexpected pitching session once, and also walked out of one meeting having forgotten to pitch them the PERFECT script which I'd already freakin' written. Taxi lesson for one, destination "the hard way".

So what actually happened to me in 2015? What did David Homunculus Scullion do in the past 12 months?

Well...

I started a new job as Technical Operations Coordinator at Lionsgate UK.

I visited Ireland for the first and second times (Dublin and Enniscorthy). Both for work. Both for the film Brooklyn!

I lost a stone / fourteen pounds in 2015, but that's the equivalent of plucking a hair from a yak and calling it a haircut. Not noticeable and frankly a bit pointless. Much more work to do. I am yak. Trim me.

I wrote horror feature CAPTURE, a spec script which is now ready for readers to fall inside and drown.

I wrote the feature script of DON'T MOVE, working closely with Anthony Melton and Ben Franklin to adapt our 2013 short.

I rewrote BROKEN HOME, THE KIDNAP, LIARS END, HIPSTER MASSACRE and DEARLY BEHEADED (TWICE!).

I worked with filmmaker Simon Berry to develop a short film idea, and subsequently wrote the script MINE. The short was filmed by Simon and his elite team of wizards (N.B. may not contain actual wizards) in 2015. The short will be completed early 2016. I can't wait to see the damn thing (from the footage I've seen, it looks AMAZING).

I had scripts 'placed' in 3 screenwriting competitions:
  • Broken Home – Semi Finals – Stage 32 Happy Writers Search for New Blood screenwriting contest (2015)
  • The Kidnap – Quarter Finals – Stage 32 Happy Writers Feature Screenwriting Competition (2015)
  • The Kidnap – 1st Round – Bluecat Screenplay Competition (2015) 
I also occasionally relaxed and shot Yao Guai in the face. I even found about ten minutes to spend with my long-time (and long suffering!) girlfriend Jess. Love you, you awesome lady.

This list doesn't include the dozens of other secret projects, massive fails and potential awesomenesses that I'm not allowed to - or simply refuse to - talk about on here. Secrets and spoilers. One for another day.

Sadly we lost some seriously inspirational people this year, from Wes Craven and Christopher Lee to Leonard Nimoy and Terry Pratchett. Goodbye James Horner, Lemmy Kilmister, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Gunnar Hanson and dozens of other influential people who made an impact on my life over the years, in small and huge ways. Rest in eternity, you awesome bastards.

Love to the 'less famous' people who we lost this year too - the friends, the family members, the pets and the colleagues - all of whom will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, beautiful people.

We also had our usual awful collection of war, terrorism, natural disasters, governmental face-fuckery and the rise of American character comedian Donald Trump (he's less believable than Borat, but definitely more offensive than Bruno).

Film was strong and TV was stronger, with thousands of hours of material released that I literally have zero time to watch. Pass me the time-machine, I need to watch Better Call Saul and Narcos, apparently.

As for the stupendous people in my life, I could write a thanks list worthy of a best actress Oscar speech, but I'll leave it at this...

Thanks to everyone in my life. Those I saw in person, chatted to over e-mail, conversed with on Facebook, quipped with via Twitter, texted, Skype'd, mind-read, sent letters to, played online Scrabble with and communicated with via wormhole-traversing carrier pigeon.

Thanks to those who I've worked with, played with, watched with, wrote with, drunk with, flown with, danced with and fought with.

Thanks to those who've read my scripts, joined me in read-throughs, given me notes, given me encouragement and believed in me. Thanks to my agent Ed for continually forcing my writing under people's noses - it's been a crazy year.

To those who I missed out on seeing this year (Percy, mate, I'm sorry! Brunch in March 2019? Book it in now) or didn't see enough; I look forward to seeing you in 2016. Bring it on.

That's it. Bollocks over. I'll save the resolutions for another day / post. Safe to say, it may involve "writing"...

2015 was a crazy year. Brutal and bonkers, wonderful and horribly short, productive and exhausting.

But that is it.

It is gone.

Done.

Fin.

We'll never get it back, so let's do its legacy proud. Let's smash into 2016 and make it a fucking awesome one.

Pack your dreams into your rucksack.

Fill up your hope jar.

Step outside.

Follow me.

2016 is waiting.



Let's go.




Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas is coming - do some writing!


Christmas is coming!

Like winter, but less long and more sparkly.


Tis the season to let down hair, pop corks, jingle bells and drink until your racist uncle leaves. But it’s also a time where a lot of us have EXTRA TIME.
 
And extra time means WRITING.*

* If you’re a writer. Otherwise EXTRA TIME can mean baking or sculpting or fighting or jogging or cooking meth or snake charming or whatever other awesome passion you have. Dog karaoke? Is that a thing?

One constant complaint I hear from other writers is how there’s never enough time to write. Some go weeks without writing because their insane work/life commitments have consumed every last drop of free time.

For some people this is true. People with full time jobs and children and a billion other commitments, which means if they have six minutes to spare during the day it feels like a weekend in Hawaii. They don’t want to fill it up with tapping out a quarter page of bleary-eyed writing.

For others, though, it’s not true.

Those who know me – or have read this blog – will know I have an absurd amount of discipline when it comes to my writing (and my work ethic in general).

This probably comes from my nerd-tacular childhood, where I spent a LOT of it being bully-bait by joining the Cubs, the Scouts, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, becoming School Council chairman and head boy. I even wore a comedy tie and had a floppy ‘curtains’ haircut. My fashion sense had – and still has – zero discipline.

These institutions forced me to plan my time well and I ended up spending a LOT of my time doing stuff I enjoyed… but also simultaneously saw it as work.

I might have been debating the quality of the school’s toilet paper, but would've (naturally) preferred to be chilling out around Ian Hill’s house playing Necromunda (don’t ask).

Don't ask

Doing these things for free, they felt like work but were ALSO enjoyable, and this mental discipline has been carried into my writing work.

Because writing IS work.

It is also GREAT and fun and enjoyable, but it IS work. It certainly isn’t easy!

Anyway, this has resulted in me being super disciplined with my writing. I try to envelope myself in the world of writing, and try to do SOMETHING related to writing every day.

Even when travelling to work!

On my travels to and from Central London I do the following:


1.) Listen to a scriptwriting podcast (when I’m walking).
2.) Write scripts on the EVERNOTE app on my phone (if I get a seat).
3.) Read scripts on my phone (if I’m standing).


At my day job I work. Hard. No cheating. No writing. I’ve found that very little decent writing will come from sneakily writing at your workplace. The constant looking over your shoulder is never conducive to quality writing!

So when do I write?

I write on lunch. I find a Costa or a Starbucks or a pub or a bar and just sit and write; either on my phone, on a notebook, paper edit a script or crack open the laptop.

In the evening I try to do an hour of writing (this can be difficult with my work / social life / general meetings).

At the weekend I start writing at 7am and finish around 1pm/2pm – both days – clocking between 12 and 14 hours of writing in a weekend. Sometimes many many more hours.

This is abnormal. I’ve learned that from a lot of other aspiring writers, who look at me like I’m some kind of lunatic. And yes, I have a full time job working 9.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

It can be exhausting and demoralizing sometimes, but when you manage to smash out a feature in a month, it becomes instantly worth it.

But I’m not here to preach or humblebrag or wave the Scullion flag*

* I sadly actually don’t have my own personal flag. Christmas gift idea?!


Look what I found! 
I'm not Irish, but still...

Hell, despite being a paid writer, I’ve only ever had short films made, so take my advice with a pinch of salt. A bucket of salt. A vat of salt. An evaporated dead sea of salt. A salt moon of salt.

A salt moon?

Whatever. It can be a thing. Probably. Ask Brian Cox.

 Salt moon, you say? Well...

For many people, the forthcoming week or two will be filled with family, friends, drinks, festivities, travel and wine (mulled and normal).

Maybe do some writing too?

WHAT?!

WORK?!

AT CHRISTMAS?!?

Christmas is about kicking off the shackles of work and stuffing your face with excess. So why the hell would you want to sit in front of a computer screen and write a script about a space slug massacre, a rabid ghost badger or a high school virgin who finds out their dad is Buddha?

Why indeed.

Oh, and feel free to steal any of these awful ideas. Seriously. Have fun.

But Christmas is the ideal time to do a little bit of Xmas Writing. A treat for yourself. And others, if you write something awesome.

When can you write?

If you're not driving home, write on public transport. Crack open a notepad or electronic equivalent and tap away. If you are driving, maybe leave thirty minutes later. Blame traffic.

But what about when you're with the family? Days of drinking, mince pie-ing and watching re-runs of The Two Ronnies over and over again. How can you possibly find time to do anything then?

Well, it's presumptuous on my part to presume:

A.) Christmas is a holiday you celebrate
B.) You have family
C.) You aren't on a Christmas skiing adventure holiday and might find it hard to write something while slaloming down a mountainside...

But if you ARE stuck in the Christmas tradition of enduring the occasional hour (or day. Or week) of mindless boredom in front of re-run TV, then you CAN write.

When?

Anytime. The magic of mobile / cell phones means you can write anywhere that isn't underwater (or on skis. Or in space. Or a volcano. Why are you in a volcano?! Weirdo).


Classic underwater typing bants...

While everyone quietly falls into a turkey & chocolate coma in front of The Eastenders Christmas Special / Murder Marathon, sneak out your phone and write.

If someone asks (because they will, by lightly berating you for working when you should be slumped in a diabetic heap by the Christmas Tree) either tell them the truth - I do, often with added sarcasm and 'comedy' - or do the opposite.

Lie.

If your family are hell-bent on forcing you to keep with tradition of DOING NOTHING while someone cooks for five hours, then LIE.

Tell them you're writing Christmas messages to all your friends, thanking them for cards or gifts or whatever. Make it sound super-selfless. Or 'go to bed' for an afternoon snooze, and head upstairs and write in your old bedroom.

Or none of the above. Be inventive.

It's probably best to PLAN a script too, as when you’re planning it’s more acceptable to have your thought-processes punctuated by countless distractions, whereas being distracted while writing some Oscar-worthy scene might mean you completely forget to finish your

What I'm saying is WRITE.

You have time. Even if it's just for thirty minutes. Try to find time over this holiday period, I dare you.

Because "free time" is rare, and you can spend 92% of the time having fun / eating crap / watching awesome TV / dog karaoke / playing Perudo for 8 hours straight (don't ask).

But that 8%? Go wild. Do some writing.

Because there's no point in waiting until 2016 to kick off your resolution of "write more".

Start now.

Or tomorrow.

Probably not on Christmas Day, mind you...

Personally, I'm rewriting my spec script CAPTURE over Christmas. That's the aim, hoping to have it ready for readers in January (and therefore making their 2016 THE BEST. YEAR. EVER. OR. SOMETHING).

Whatever the case, Christmas is coming and it's as unavoidable as Star Wars VII.

I also accept £50 notes, diamonds and pizza.

There's no time like the present, and there's no present like time, so give yourself a gift this Christmas, and find time to write.

A little. A lot. A scene. A sentence. A page. A script.

Write.

Okay, that's my semi-ranting, oddly-preachy Christmas blog post over. Maybe next year I can tell you all to get haircuts and sort out that dripping tap. And clean the oven, dammit! SLACKERS!

Anyway.

Moving on.

One last thing.

I hope you have a brilliant December 25th (whatever you're doing), a superb New Year and wish you all a cracking Christmas...

...ya filthy animals.