Thursday, 16 April 2015

Your Toilet Seat is Broken


Prepare for a metaphor.

Yesterday the toilet seat in my house broke. One of the plastic screws holding the seat onto the base snapped, sheered clean off.

So what did I do?

Well, I could’ve moaned about it or called my landlady and waited three days for her handyman to fix it or replace it with another piece of flimsy white plastic… but I didn’t.

I went to the orange wonder of B&Q and bought a new toilet seat. A brand new wooden one, with lovely golden hinges.

Having unscrewed and removed the old, white plastic seat, I screwed the new toilet seat into place and – BINGO! – I had a new and improved toilet seat. The wood gave the bathroom a little more colour and classiness, and the new seat was a little higher than the previous plastic piece of crap, so when you sit down you feel a little more king-like.

Throne improved.


Okay, so why the hell am I talking about this? C’mon ladies, be wowed by my really simple DIY skills! No, seriously, what in the name of cackbadgers does this have to do with writing scripts?

Well, your script is a broken toilet seat.

Yes.

I just said that.

Your script is a broken toilet seat.

This is what it feels like in the final stages of script rewrites, when it’s a great piece of work and can easily be filmed ‘as is’ and make for a damn decent film. But it’s not perfect.

It’s still functional, but it feels wobbly in one particular place. It doesn’t sit right. It doesn’t stop the entire script from working, but it doesn’t FEEL right. You know it’s wrong. Maybe one thing. Maybe something tiny. Maybe a bunch of tiny things.

So what do you do?

You can either just accept it and get used to it – this happens a lot, with scripts and toilet seats – or do something about it.

Currently I’m working on one of the last (but NOT last!) rewrites of Dearly Beheaded, where we’re looking at the logic checks, the character journeys and trying desperately to weedle out and address any ‘car park moments’.

‘Car park moments’ are those moments when you’ve just left the cinema having enjoyed a film and you reach the car park and think “wait a second… if the entire Earth is flooded with water, why is everyone so freakin’ dirty?” or “wait a second… if the phones aren’t working, how did Kevin order a f*cking pizza?”.

Those moments might not kill a movie, but it WILL affect how people view it. And movies last forever. Or at least until the zombie’s arrive.

So if you have time and can fix it – why not?

Like buying and fixing a toilet seat, it does take time and effort and might involve some surprise shite, but it’s worth doing in the long run. You will feel happy and more comfortable with the script… and so will anyone else who visits your work, unaware it could have been a bit wobbly until you masterfully corrected it.

That’s it. Metaphor over.

If your script feels wobbly somewhere, then goddamn fix it. Take the time, take the effort, wade through the unpleasant and fix it.

Don’t settle for a wobbly seat.

Make it a throne.  

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Radio Silence

[static crackle]

[a hollow knock]

Hello?

Hello?

Is this thing on?




Yeah, I’m back in the land of living! Well, land of the blogging. I’ve not been dead. Just dead busy.

Please insert my usual excuses into your brain.

So what’ve I been doing?

Campaigning for UKIPPERS? The UK’s only independent fish-based political party?

No.

Not this year.

I’ve been doing rewrites!

After all, writing is rewriting. And writing. Which is technically what rewriting is. So basically the phrase is “writing is writing”, which isn’t quite as catchy…

I’ve been rewriting Hipster Massacre for Cloud Burst Productions, The Motivator (personal project) and Dearly Beheaded for Not A Number Productions.

And I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

Yesterday I spent a few hours with the fantastic Hilary Norrish, delving into the world of Dearly Beheaded in an attempt to take the script from damn good to f*cking excellent.

The script is certainly filmable and would make for a fun, funny and ridiculous comedy horror, but we want to elevate it to the BEST POSSIBLE SCRIPT it can be before proceeding. It’s close, but the cigar has grown legs and sprinted into a mouse hole.

Hilary is excellent at what she does and has been fantastic in a consultation role on this script, especially taking up a perfectly lovely bank holiday Monday with my face.

We’ll be meeting a couple more times to really nail down the direction Dearly Beheaded needs to go, but it’s been eye-opening and brilliant and will hopefully result in a script that will have actors salivating over the cast list and investors literally throwing gold bars at us. Or cheques. Or gold cheques. Or at least not excrement anymore.

I would promise to keep the Blog updated on this… but in the spirit of the forthcoming general election, I will say “I anticipate that this blog will have updates more or less frequent to the current upload rate, but please be rest assured that I will do everything I can to ensure the NHS waiting times are reduced by the turn of the next century and if not, just sell it off to the highest bidder. Like McDonalds or something”.

Vote Scullion.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Bluecat Screenplay Competition – Quarter Finals

On Monday night I received an e-mail from the Bluecat Screenplay Competition.

The votes have been counted (do they vote? I don’t know. Probably).

The scripts have been selected.

The results are in.

Did I make it?













No.

No I didn’t.

Insert huge sad face emoticon here. Possibly including a GIF with streaming tears and some audio of a baby screaming like a loon.

Unfortunately THE KIDNAP did not push through to the next round of the Bluecat Screenplay Competition.

Certainly a shame, but I won’t beat myself up about it (or anyone else… probably) – I’m just proud to get in the Top 10% of Bluecat.

Comedy is notoriously difficult to place in screenwriting competitions, because it is incredibly subjective and people have such a vastly differing sense of humour. Is that an excuse? Yes. Trademark “Scullion’s Excuses 2015”.

Congratulations to everyone who got through to the Quarter Finals – this is awesome news.

Right. That was it. Bad news delivered.

Now… on with some rewrites!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Rewrite #4 - Update


The Motivator has not been rewritten.

I know, right? And I bet you were super looking forward to reading it too.

Gutted.

My plan was to have this spec script rewritten by end of February... but that time is upon us.

The outline is complete and 27 stunning pages are glittering away on Final Draft, but that's not enough. Unless anyone wants to film a 27 page unedited horror-comedy script with no conclusion?

No?

Dammit.

The rewrite is not complete due to a billion reasons, including - but not limited to - my day job workload, paid writing work, planning my brother's 30th Birthday, chaos theory, cheese, man's inhumanity to man, juices, TFL and the lonely old man who hides in the corner of your bathroom.

Incidentally my brother Andrew "Scuzz" Scullion is 30 today. Happy Birthday bro! This is the beginning of the end, mate. Pack warm.


Now, it is mostly paid script work that has slowed progress on The Motivator (but that's because it's more important...) and I'm always happy to move personal script work for that.

And my brother. He’s always worth it. He's only 30 once. Probably. Unless magic happens. Fucking magic.

My new deadline for The Motivator rewrite is March 31st, which pushes back my sitcom and feature plans.

Unless something better comes along of course...




P.S. The Bluecat Screenplay Competition Quarter Finalist results are due on Monday night, not Sunday as previously thought. Sorry. Now you'll have to make different plans on Sunday, instead of staring at my Blog, desperately waiting for an update. Maybe watch some TV and have some Pringles? Invite Bob round. He'd like that.