Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Stage 32 – "New Blood" Semi Finalist

Awesome news circ. yesterday.

I am now a semi-finalist for the Stage 32 Happy Writers New Blood Horror screenwriting competiton!

Having breached the quarter-finals last week, I'm esctatic to see BROKEN HOME has made it to the next stage.

Official results here: https://www.stage32.com/blog/Stage-32-Happy-Writers-Search-For-New-Blood-Semi-Finalists-Announced

Congratulations to the other semi-finalists and commiserations to those who didn't make it; I've been there and it stings, but this damn malarky is not about winning, it's about picking yourself up and getting back in the fight. Keep fighting and writing. Perserevance baby!

Yeah, so from thousands of entrants to 52 semi-finalists, I'm honoured to have BROKEN HOME still in the 'race' for the finals.

The 13 finalists* will be announced on Monday 30th November.

* Yep, only a quarter of the semi finalists make it through to the next phase. 1 of 4. Fraction that.

Hopefully next Monday will be as awesome as this one.

Win, lose or draw I'll let you know.

Bring it on.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Stage 32 – "New Blood" Quarter Finalist

On Monday the Quarter Finalists for Stage 32’s Happy Writers Search for New Blood screenplay competition (catchy title, huh?) were announced….

….and my screenplay BROKEN HOME is amongst them!

Surprised, honoured and very pleased to see the judges enjoyed my script.

More on this here:

The Semi Finalists will be announced on Monday 23rd November…

Wish me luck!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Back in Balance

My balance has been off.

Right off.


Like an elephant on a see-saw opposite a hummingbird, I’ve had an imbalanced few weeks.

The scales of Scullion have been balanced badly. If they were the scales of justice, then one end would be filled with Hitler and bastards.

If my balance were a spirit level, the absinthe would’ve fell out on my dog.


What the infuriating fuck am I talking about?!

I’m talking about that most ugly of new world phrases - the LIFE/WORK BALANCE.

As a full time employee of LIONSGATE UK, a full-time screenwriter of FREELANCE and a full-time life liver of SCULLION, my balance is split into three insane parts:


So I have a LIFE/WORK/WRITING BALANCE. The LWWB for short.

Three pronged, like the devil’s fork but much more horrifying, I have attempted to juggle my existence threeway for years… with varying success.

Earlier this year my writing kicked my holiday in the bollocks, a stag do kicked my writing in the sacks and recently my work has toe-punted my family jewels right into my pelvis, smashing both life and writing aside.

Thanks to an influx of awesome new releases, I’ve been on the screening and premiere trail for BROOKLYN and THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 for the past three weeks.

It's meant early mornings, late evenings, no lunches and the occasional trip to Ireland...

...which has sucked time from my writing and social activities. I usually spend evenings and lunch tapping away at the keyboard of madness / my laptop.

Instead; work.

I enjoy it and it's really awesome seeing these films early (and in some cases 11 times!), so I'm very happy to do it. Luckily the films are great. Imagine if I had to watch Jack and Jill eleven times? Pass me the cyanide.

Is cyanide the colour of cyan?

But it's over. The engineering works are done. The leaves have been cleared from the line. The signal failure has been fixed.

The tracks are clear.

I'm rocketing towards a few weeks of 'normality' so can rebalance my LWW threesome.

Smashing into the WRITING section today, I've smacked out some pages for DON'T MOVE: THE FEATURE, written a 1 minute short film script and made some notes on a monster-movie idea.

Then I'm off to the fireworks later.

My LWWB is back to normal.

Seesaw levelled.

Spirit level full of green danger.

Scales free of evil dictators and bastards.

Back in balance. Set off the fireworks.

Boom indeed.

P.S. I still managed to sneak in some Halloween with a few friends, dressing as an evil clown - a homage to my competition-winning Frightfest ident THE SUMMONING. Not one for coulrophobics... Torn cheek courtesy of the awesome Jess Taylor.

Funny Like a Clown?

The last thing you'll see before you die

Monday, 26 October 2015

Moving Forward By Not Moving

The cryptic title for this Blog Post is simple. I’m insane.

Less simple, however, is this:

I am writing the feature script for DON’T MOVE.

What’s DON’T MOVE?

Really? I haven't mentiones this enough?! Fine...

It’s a 2013 short horror film I wrote, which was produced by the fine folks at Bloody Cuts / BC Horror, directed and produced by Anthony Melton and produced by Ben Franklin. It’s a 14 minutes of pure, nail-biting horror with a gut-punch at the end.

Check it out here:

It was well received and has garnered a lot of attention over the past couple of years. It also repeatedly appears on “best of” horror shorts lists, which shows people still dig it.

So the idea of making this into a feature was born.

[fast forward >> to now]

Full backstory aside, having worked with Anthony Melton and Ben Franklin on a very thorough treatment for the feature, which was well received by anyone who read it, with a few comments and thoughts, but mostly just “send us the script”… which doesn’t exist.

Until now.

Well, until soon.

Well, until December.

Having Skyped Ben & Anthony yesterday, with the usual interruptions (bad signal, children, a parrot, Anthony getting naked), we sorted out some thoughts / ideas etc… and fired the starting pistol.

I’m about to script the hell out of DON’T MOVE.

Bring it on.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Capture Read Through

What a week!

Went to Ireland for the first time, rehearsed a film screening, attended the Brooklyn premiere, saw Bono, ate a crap pizza, flew Aer Lingus, hated some curtains, enjoyed some Irish radio and had a pen explode in my bag.

 The Octopus Won Round One

But most importantly (well, for me. Not for Bono. Being near me was the highlight of Bono’s week. Same goes for Aiden Gillen and Saoirse Ronan. They couldn’t get enough of me… probably… if they saw me…) last Saturday I did a full on read-through of my horror feature CAPTURE with the ever-patient Lady Jessica.

How did I go?

It went…


Jess took the burden of reading most of the characters, which was really useful to hear what worked and didn’t. It helps to hear how other people interpret your dialogue, and for the most part it was spot on, which is a relief.

Her feedback on the plot / characters / scares etc… was also excellent, especially pointing out what was confusing and what didn’t “ring true” for the characters.

You get so close to something, it’s always important and fantastic having someone point out “you didn’t actually explain that” (often while you slap your forehead in dumb realisation).

Rewrite fuel.

This is Draft 1, so a dozen rewrites are surfing the horizon, waiting for me to invite them onto shore.

Onto shore? Surfing?

Yeah, that was a Draft 1 metaphor.

I’m going to leave CAPTURE aside for a month or two, to gather dust and perspective, then I’ll pick it up and rewrite it over Christmas. Hindsight in a wonderful thing. And often horrifying.


CAPTURE written and read-through done.

Next up?

Well I’m going back to Ireland next week, for the Enniscorthy screenings of Brooklyn. Incidentally, it’s a superb film with an awesome central performance from Saoirse Ronan. I’ll see you on Wednesday, Saoirse! That’ll make her week…. probably…

Not About A Beckham

Writing wise? Well, I’m not taking a couple of months off (surprising, right?! I know!), but smashing into another horror feature straight away.

Which one?

Find out tomorrow.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Capture - Draft One




The first draft of CAPTURE is complete.

My weekend has consisted of 2 x 6 hour writing sessions (that's 12 hours, maths fans!) where I've slammed out 50 pages of prime feature script *

* please note "prime" may by subject to opinion and reality

The script currently stands at 89 pages, which is perfect for a supernatural Horror.

Now to stop and think about what I've done.

Then cry.

Then rewrite it.

But first...


/ celebrate this achievement with a drink or two, before quietly retiring to the drawing room... to watch Supernatural and Mad Max.

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...