Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Plans Are Made To Be Broken

I made no promises.
I only made plans.

As we've crashed into October - kicking and screaming - let me reflect on the past few months of writing work and how well my plans were executed.*

* here's a spoiler; my plans were executed as well as a hangman letting his victim go before accidentally hanging himself and his entire family instead. That's how well.

In January I wrote a Blog post entitled “A Man With A Plan”, which set out a plan for my writing in the months to come. It was ambitious but doable, and should've ended with a solid collection of spec scripts in my portfolio (to sell for a trillion billion dollars each, naturally).

So, how'd it go?

The January-to-February plan worked a treat. I rewrote Broken Home, The Kidnap and Liars End. What about The Motivator? Okay, so I achieved 75% of the plan! But still…

And from March onwards?

Well, using the cunning of mathematics, I've worked out I've achieved approximately 0% of my plans.

Wait. No. That's not true.

It's EXACTLY 0%.

That's how much I've achieved.

Thankfully this was a plan, not a promise, so you can't sue me or anything, even for that thing I did with your left ear. Oh, you don't know about that? Yeah. Don't look in your left ear. Seriously. It'll only try to escape.

So my plans were decimated. Obliterated. Destroyed. Adjective.


Well, you have three options to choose from:

1.) Laziness. Crippling, shameful, fat-bastard laziness.
2.) Aliens.
3.) Other writing work.

Did you mostly guess number 3? Then you guessed right!

I've been busy with a lot of other projects, rewrites and other 'commissioned' work, most of which I can't talk about. Not because I'm not allowed to, but due to my inability to coherently discuss anything with any semblance of clarity.

These projects involve Don't Move and Dearly Beheaded and Hipster Massacre, as well as some other unmentionable things.

There are reasons behind all the planned projects being postponed or cancelled, but I won't talk about this here. You don't deserve to know. And also don't care.

Instead, I'll tell you what I AM doing.

Currently I'm working on feature script CAPTURE, a supernatural horror focusing on a family who discover an old photo album filled with sealed photographs... and accidentally unleash all manner of unpleasantries into their home.

Why this? Why now?

Well, because it's a story I really wanted to tell. Smart, weird, spooky, scary and modern.

I also really need another horror spec script in my portfolio, especially one catering to the American marketplace.

CAPTURE is it.

I've completed a full treatment (for my eyes only!) and now I'm smashing into the pages, bringing Nick, Mae, Leena (and many others...) to life. And some to death

I'm planning to complete Draft 1 by this weekend.

That's the plan.

It's certainly not a promise...

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Radio Silence: An Excuse

It has been 19 days since my last confession. I’ve been very busy and I don’t think there’s enough ‘Hail Marys’ to cover my sins. Or should that be Heil Marys?

I have a new job.

No, I’m not a staff writer on some awesome television show. No, I’m not writing the next Avengers film. No, I’m not king of Latveria. No, I’m not a rent boy (anymore).

I am now the Technical Operations Coordinator at Lionsgate UK; great company, great people, great films. That’s not their motto, although it’d be pretty accurate if it was (if not a little arrogant...).

There shall be no job details here, so save your queries for Prime Minister’s Questions (Jeremy Corbyn will read them out. I’ll answer, from inside David Cameron’s left pocket. I live there now).

This new career move has been mentally exhausting. Honestly, my brain is like a tiny pile of mushy peas, wetly slopping against some fish and chips on a dirty gastropub table. That’s how melted my noggin is – terrible similes, like a car filled with angry German ants.



Thankfully it’s now Saturday and my brain is healing itself with mango juice, three apples, one orange and a gigantic bag of meth.

By meth, I obviously mean jelly beans.

I’d like to humbly apologize to my one reader (hi Dad!) that it’s been radio silence for half a month, but I’m back and ready for action. Or sleep. Or a coma. I’m back, whatever the case.

I’m also writing a feature, but more on that in my next post (what, in February 2017?! Shut up, Dad! Jeez…).


That’s it.

Thrilling blog post over.

Have an awesome weekend.

Rock on, you beautiful bastards. Rock on.

Monday, 31 August 2015

R.I.P. Wes Craven

On August 30th 2015, filmmaking legend Wes Craven died.

I don't normally put up obituaries on this Blog - otherwise this would be a very morbid Blog! - but today is an exception.

Wes Craven has been a huge influence on me and my writing. My filmmaking. My life. My love of horror and cinema in general.

A Nightmare on Elm Street is - and will always be - a classic, inspirational, fantastically original movie. Not just one of the greatest horror movies of all time, but one of the greatest MOVIES full stop.

One piece of advice Wes Craven gave, which has always stuck with me:

"The first monster you have to scare the audience with is yourself."

A much more important phrase than "write what you know".

A huge influence and a great man.

Rest in peace, Mr Craven. You bloody deserve it.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Dearly Beheaded - August Update

Hello August!

No, not you J. August Richards! I was talking to the month of August, not the star of Angel and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 


What a month. What a crazy month.

I’ve got a stag do (tomorrow!), a wedding and Frightfest happening in the next few weeks. I have also got a new (day) job that starts in September, so it’s all a bit manic!

So here’s a quick update on Dearly Beheaded:

The casting is taking longer than expected and we’re shifting the shoot date back to early next year. No problem, no drama. Unfortunately some idiot wrote the script to include 80% of the locations being outdoors in England (which is well renowned for its lovely weather, especially in Winter). What a moron.

The evil passage of time has beaten us and we’re running out of year, so instead of rushing the thing out and effectively buggering it in the kidney, we’re taking the additional time to hone casting, script, location scouting etc… etc… etc…

The awesome team working on this – Rachel, Charles, Simeon, Nick, Tracey and team – have done an epic job so far, and a huge thanks for their hard work and always keeping me in the loop.

Sometimes a writer can be excluded / dumped in a corner and forgotten about, but the team at Not A Number Productions have been fantastic to work with, so it’s been a pleasure. 

I’m also really loud, so I’m hard to ignore…

Whatever the case, Dearly Beheaded will happen, even if I have to make a sock puppet version in my bedroom, with voiceovers from me, the postman and my crazy pagan neighbours. They can also provide the soundtrack (bongos, basically. And the occasional accordion).

More on this breaking story as it develops!


That’s it.

Time to prepare for Jon Spokes’ stag do...

Now, where did I put that hooker?

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Create50 – The Impact - "Freedom"

This week I entered a script into the Create50 contest THE IMPACT.

Create50 are the record-breaking team behind the 50 Kisses feature film, which came out in 2014 and features 50 tales by 50 writers / writing teams and fifty filmmakers, each featuring a kiss; some tender, some desperate, some sad, some crazy, some horrific and some heartbreakingly wonderful.

You can watch the full film here:

This year, one of their boldest and most ambitious projects is coming together - THE IMPACT.

They are seeking stories set in the wake of a horrifying discovery; a world-ending meteor is heading to Earth and will obliterate all life on the planet. Even Starbucks won’t survive this.

The timeline is very specific and the rules are in place. This has to be part of our reality, so there should be no zombies, superheroes, wizards, cyborgs, Great Old Ones, psychics, werebadgers, time-travelling physicians, aliens, talking raccoons or honest politicians.

Every script must be 2 pages or less. No exceptions.

You get to enter 3 x drafts of the same script, after you’ve received feedback from the community. More on the (awesome) community below.

So I entered FREEDOM this week, which is a tale about two prison guards, a teaspoon and a hole in the earth.

The response was…


The community of screenwriters on the site is fantastic. I’ve had feedback straight away, all of it really great, all of it really useful, and all from really decent writers. They too have submitted a script and received feedback (and I’ve fed back on other people’s scripts too), so it’s fantastic for the development of the scripts.

Yep. It’s a goddamn writer love-in. You bring chocolates, I’ll bring the Vaseline.

Thanks to Thomas, Ash, Leigh, Aideen, David, Dee, Kerry, Ben and Sally – you all f*cking rock!

So I’m primed for Draft 2, thanks to this fantastic community of writers.

What happens next?

Well, once the writing part of the competition is closed (deadline August 31st 2015), then the scripts are selected by the Create50 team. I presume this’ll be 50 scripts, but I might be wrong! It could be more. Who knows! Whatever the case, they’ve got an insane task ahead of them – there are hundreds of potential scripts up there already, so I don’t envy their ‘whittling’ process.

From here, filmmakers around the world can download the scripts and produce, shoot and edit their own versions, which is all kinds of cool.

Then… the final 50 films are chosen and stitched together, in an epic edit to make one long feature film about the final hours on Earth.

It will be amazing once it’s complete.

They’re also looking for composers and artists on a variety of projects (not just The Impact). It’s a huge project and massively collaborative.

Check the site out here:

Get involved. Get writing. Get ready.


That’s it.

I’m off to work on Draft 2 of FREEDOM.

Bring it on.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Don’t Move – Treatment Time

Tiny update on Don’t Move. Tiny.

The full 15 Page treatment is polished and looks beautiful (if a story about a group of friends being horribly butchered by an ancient demonic entity can be considered “beautiful”… which it should be. Possibly even “sexy” and “kinda cute”).

The first draft of the 1 Pager is complete too and we’re tweaking it over the next few days.

Once everything is polished? What then?

The 1 Pager will go out to various interested (or possibly disinterested!) folks in and around the general Los Angeles area, in a hope to catch one of these succulent fish. Then we reel them in with our 15 Page full treatment and –


This metaphor can only end up with us bashing Hollywood in the face with a hammer, slicing it open and selling it to Gordon Ramsey so he can create some magnificent fillet. Or slap an intern with it. One of the two. But either way, we don’t particularly want to kill Hollywood. Mostly.

These are pitching documents, so hopefully they will excite and intrigue someone (or everyone, optimism fans) into wanting a full script or possibly even getting this beast into ‘development’.

Only time will tell.

As always, I shall update this Blog with the frequency and voracity of a marginally interested person doing something they’ve kinda forgotten the purpose of.

Until next time!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Dearly Beheaded – Storyboard & Update

Check out this awesome storyboard panel for DEARLY BEHEADED:

Fantastic, huh?

This was created by artist Adam Pescott and gives a flavour of the bloody madness that is Dearly Beheaded.

Adam Pescott is a storyboard artist / illustrator and all-round creative gent. You can discover more about him here:

Awesome, right?

We have also seem some potential cast 'read' for some of the roles, and it's been fascinating seeing how they interpret the script and really bring the characters to life. They really were superb.

Oh, and one of them ad-libbed some of the lines, really knocking it out of the park with the ever-ridiculous "Spunk-knuckle" insult. Brilliant.

The team have been working phenomenally hard on things behind closed rooms and in various dungeons and sacrificial death chambers, so huge respect goes out to Rachel, Sim, Charles, Hilary, Nick, Tracy and her team; they're doing an epic job of getting this insane beast on the move.

Hopefully we'll have some news on Dearly Beheaded in the coming weeks – and hopefully good news – so I'll keep you updated as always.

Now, go and look at Adam Pescott's panel again. Go on. Look at it.

F*cking beautiful.