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: http://www.50kissesfilm.com/


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…

Awesome.

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: http://theimpact.create50.com/about

Get involved. Get writing. Get ready.

Right.

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 –

Wait.

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.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Quarterfinalist - Stage 32 “Happy Writers” Contest

I need to check my emails more closely...

Admittedly the email I received came in via Hotmail, which is basically a tsunami of Viagra adverts, Twitter notifications and the occasional Chinese diplomat promising me $2,000,000,000 if I can send him my wallet.

The Stage 32 "Happy Writers" competition has announced its Quarter Finalists... on Thursday 18th June!

Somehow I missed this and - more bafflingly - somehow I made it through!

Yep. I was one of 197 lucky writery folk to reach the quarter finals. My comedy-action feature THE KIDNAP clearly tickled someone's funny bone and made it to the first round.


Awesome.

This excitement was short-lived when I realised the Semi-Finals had ALSO been released!

Told you I was crap at checking my Hotmail...

Unfortunately I did not reach the Semi's. Clearly The Kidnap couldn't find the right funny bone in this round! Boo hiss etc...

So that was yesterday; a thrilling roller coaster ride of elation quickly followed by massive disappointment. Like buying a Kinder Egg and getting a jigsaw puzzle inside, made of four pieces of faded cardboard, which always taste horrible. You are supposed to eat them, right?

Right?

Despite that, I'm damn happy The Kidnap got 'placed' in a competition.

Not too bad, considering I can't write. Did I not mention that? Yeah, I can't write. What you're reading is written by my "ghost writer", who is a total AWESOME PERSON.

Right.

Onwards.

Hope you're all having an awesome July. Now go check your Hotmail! Who knows what you'll discover there...


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Beats, Casting, Cotton-Monsters and a Good Bad Robot


You!

Yes, you!

Come close. Closer. Closer.

Now you are inside me.

Pervert.

What an intro! Shame really, considering this post is going to be a quick, light-hearted update full of infuriatingly elusive statements that gleefully skirt all specifics and show you untold horrors instead.

The past four days have been rather manic and ‘interesting’.


DON’T MOVE

Saturday and Sunday I completed the initial Beat Sheet for the DON’T MOVE feature, which was an excellent experience. It truly feels like a film now; the workshopping with Ben Franklin and Anthony Melton over June has really paid off and I feel we’re closer to something damn special here… despite our evening meals being a giant pile of crisps and once being swept away by a tsunami of Spanish children.

We now just need to rework the beat sheet and write the treatment and… well… the script and stuff.

Onwards!


HEAD CAST

On Saturday I also worked as Jessica Taylor’s make-up assistant / slave, helping her create a full face cast of actor David “Dave P” Puckridge.

I have been under the process on a number of occasions before, so it was certainly interesting being on ‘the other side’. I took some pictures of the process too – check ‘em out below:






And yes, the top photo looks like a cheap Hellraiser demon.

Pinhead, please meet Cotton-face.

This resulted in the following face mould, which seems like an optical illusion now I look at it...




This mould was then filled with white gloop (the official name), which hardened and when removed produced a cast of Dave P's magnificent head. 


This makes Dave P look like a sleeping emperor from an old Roman coin. Which he isn't. At least I don't think he is. I've never cared to ask, to be honest.

Why do this? Well, this can now be used to sculpt and design prosthetic pieces on (like gunshot wounds, bites, lesions etc...) which will then be moulded perfectly to Dave P's lovely face, meaning they're much easier to apply to him (and will look seamless once smoothed out and painted).

And example of her previous prosthetic work can be seen been (from my short film Sixth Sense):


Lovely, huh?

If you ever need a SFX make-up person, then head over to Taylor Made Effects www.taylormadeeffects.com/ - Jess can make you into a staple-headed goon or a beautiful bin-bag wearing fluffy hellbeast too. 

You know you want it.


BAD ROBOT

Last night I jumped on the phone with someone at Bad Robot, those excellent people behind Star Trek, Star Wars VII, Cloverfield etc…

I can’t exactly say much about it (or anything…) but they came across as fantastically professional and wonderfully refreshing in their approach to filmmaking and writers. I hope to chat more to them in the future.

That infuriatingly elusive enough for ya?!


DEARLY BEHEADED

Any news on Dearly Beheaded?

Well, the casting process is still underway and it’s an exciting – and nerve wracking – time. Consider my nerves adequately wracked. More updates to follow on this, hopefully full of positive news and not a report on my murderous killing spree throughout London’s acting populous. Cumberbatch, I’m coming for you. Wait, I need to rethink that phrasing…





Right. 

Done.

Look at all that. I could’ve stretched out 4 different Blog Posts about all that crap above, but have kindly condensed them into one lovely post for your easy reading. I’m so efficient / lazy.

Also, I could’ve easily split it in two and posted it tomorrow, but it’s my birthday tomorrow so I’ll be sitting in my pants, eating ice cream. Even if I go to the cinema. They don’t have a dress code, do they?

Right. Enough of this nonsense. You may leave me now.

Until next time; live long and don’t drown in soup.


Monday, 22 June 2015

Blumcast...

Anyone interested in modern Horror should check out this podcast by Brett Easton Ellis, which features Jason Blum.

Who and who?

Hopefully you know who these folks are, but a quick recap...

Brett Easton Ellis is the superb (novel) writer of American Psycho, The Rules of Attraction and The Informers. He runs a regular podcast who focuses on all kinds of awesomeness, including the Hollywood machine and all its insanity.

Jason Blum is the CEO of Blumhouse Productions and the uber-producer behind a huge array of modern Horror films, including Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister, The Purge and - surprisingly - the fantastically Oscar-winning thriller Whiplash.

Anyone interested in writing Hollywood Horror should listen to this, to get a valuable insight into the business and mind of Hollywood's powerhouse Horror producer.

Love them or hate them, these films rarely fail to make a profit and continue to pull in the audiences worldwide.

Right.

That was it.


Go listen to it.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Celebrating Your Failures

I have failed.

Now celebrate it.

"Celebrating your failures" is something I've always believed in. I don't mean you should invite your friends & family to your house, hire a clown and make a cake with "You Fucking Failed" written on it.

By celebrate I mean you should acknowledge it openly and move on. Embrace the failure as a reason to fight harder and move forward, either rewriting what you have or cracking on with that next (presumably awesome) script.

My failure.

I did not make the Quarterfinals of the Script Pipeline competition, with my entry of The Kidnap.

Congratulations to those talented souls who've made it to the quarters - nice work! - and I look forward to seeing who wins it.

Results here: https://scriptpipeline.com/2015-screenwriting-competition-results

So I failed. Or maybe a script reader failed (to fully understand my masterful vision... erm... of comedy? Yeah, that’s definitely it…). Or maybe my electronic upload failed and I accidentally sent them a picture of a kitten eating a mango. What? It happens. Although that picture IS better than my entire script.

Whatever the case, the Pipeliners (as they'll forever be known) did not dig my script and that piece of hope has been removed from the hope jar.

But I don't despair. That jar is plenty full already.

Also, The Kidnap is a script that still gets me meetings and is a portfolio piece that accurately displays my comedy writing potential. It has continually pushed me under the noses of production companies, managers and producers in the UK and the States (thanks to my excellent agent Ed) - so it's not all bad. Not yet.

That's it. Post over. Just wanted to celebrate my failure with you. Welcome to the party, pal. Hope you enjoy the hummus.