Unexpectedly Creative October 🎥📻

I watched the film, and it really brought what was already a wacky script to life. The process I was involved was great fun, so I can only imagine how the others felt with the other parts of the team felt.

It did show me that a short can be filmed safely during these times, and offers hope that Three Knocks or any other film I’m a part of can still be viable.

I say I saw the film. That is true, but it was the version that was submitted as part of the challenge. It is still subject to further edits and cleaning up before anyone in the team will make it public, and I’m looking forward to doing so.

Reflecting on the rest of October, I refer you back to my initial foray into audio writing and I’m now toying with a few other ideas and seeking opportunities while ‘Alley’ takes pride of place in a digital in-tray for future consideration.

I’ve also worked on other projects of mine- including reworking the ending of ‘Today’s Date’ which I have deliberately let gather dust so I could somewhat objectively re-examine it. I’ll seek further feedback before I decide what to do with it 🤔

‘(Un)Civility’ and ‘Must Not Run’ are in the hands of a table-reading group, who are seeking actors and deciding what to do with it. I’m actually hoping they are going to be brutally honest with their feedback so I can assess their viability 🙈

And lastly, children’s fiction. I fell into (the idea of) it earlier this year, and scribbled down a couple of ideas. I’ve enjoyed re-drafting them and look forward to doing more with them as this year draws to a close.

So, yes, an unexpectedly busy October. Let’s hope the rest of this year is even more busy…

Thank you for reading.


Scribbling In Tandem 🖌

As I write this, the filming has just finished on our team’s London 48 Hour Film Project.

To observe current restrictions, and the Rule Of Six, I have been contributing remotely where required, though that has not occurred all that often today, a sign that we are likely onto something here.

As the completed film will eventually be made available for consumption, I’ll keep my powder dry on specifics, but to say it covers a genre and style I am unfamiliar with (or would turn to in my own writing) would be an understatement.

And that makes me even more relieved the project had a team of writers with rolling input and feedback from our director, Dom and producer Naomi.

Before I treat the process that we undertook, it’s worth speaking about how we came to design the script that we did.

In the early part of Friday, the team received a list of 36 combination of film genres in our group.

For example, ‘Thriller/Comedy’ or ‘Western/coming of age’ so there could be seemingly incompatible types of films placed together and depending on how many of them a team wanted to incorporate, truly inventive or out-of-the-box ideas could be developed.

On the list, I noticed one particular combination of genres that encapsulated all of what I would NOT want to be dealing with with only 48 hours.

I even joked about it within our group. We’ll call it ‘Number 31’. And it quickly became clear that I shared this sentiment with a lot of the team.

So, came the evening Zoom meeting where everything was set in motion, and no prizes for guessing what happened…

Yes, a virtual (and randomised) wheel matched our team with ‘Number 31’. The exact combination we dreaded getting 🤦🏿‍♂️

But, after a moment or two, we rallied, said we would get on with it, and the writers convened virtually to put ideas together. One of first things we did was decide to focus on one of the genres, rather than both and use filming techniques and effects to highlight tropes.

After a short period, each of the 3 writers (me included) pitched ideas and Dom, actor and Producer, Naomi, and the other actors, placed them together and after a few drafts, edits and moveable ideas, our completely barmy short script was complete at about 1am. It contained the required prop, the required line and the required character, as adopts a tone befitting of our combined knowledge of the genre 🤣

Anyone who has seen ‘Calls’ or/and ‘Get In, Get Done, Get Out’ knows my sensibilities can be a little… eccentric, but this is truly out-of-the-box, even for me 😉

Having never written as part of a (real time) collaboration before, I really enjoyed the bouncing of ideas and getting (as well as giving) feedback and perspective on what was being devised. And will now actively pursue this in future.

And that brings me back to tonight, at the end of the shoot. Having seen some of the raw footage, and being a party to some of the production ideas, I think it will turn out well and should be enjoyable to anyone who sees it.

Though there is still the process of editing and post-production to be done before submission at 18:30 tomorrow, I just wanted to pass this on, with the message that team work and a mix of ideas can be of immense benefit, as I have found out in relation to what I enjoy doing the most.

I’ll be back with one more update at some point tomorrow or Monday.

Thank you for reading.

48 Hours?… There Goes The Weekend! 🎥

So, I’ve basically given up this coming weekend 😳

But, it’s OK, because it’s in the name of creativity.

Yesterday, during the course of my lunch, a notification flashed from a name I recognised but had not heard from in a little while. On that basis, I was curious and pleased to hear from him.

You see, we had met a couple of years ago at a preliminary meeting of writers and filmmakers for a 1 Month Challenge, and there seemed to be interest in a collaboration. Though it didn’t happen on that occasion, I had his business card, and the intention remained.

I went on to produce ‘Calls’ and ‘Get In, Get Done, Get Out’ while he went on to do some significant work, including on a big budget film a year or so ago.

When I picked up the phone and flicked through the messages, I was surprised to be asked to join a team as a writer/co-writer for the annual 48 Hour Film Project 2020. I had considered participating in previous editions, but the pieces never fell into place, so I was immediately curious. One introductory Zoom call later, and I was in.

So what is this challenge about? Using this year’s timings, the teams will join a Zoom call on Friday at roughly 18:00 to reflect the remoteness, where they will be given 2 genres from groupings, as well as a required line, a required character and required prop. All must be included in the film, which must be written, rehearsed, shot, and post-produced to submission at about 18:30 on Sunday evening.

So, with my intention to help where I can, I (along with a co-writer) will need to write a script, incorporating all the required elements, by the end of Friday. This in itself is interesting because I’ve never written with anyone else before, and I look forward to collaborating on a project, and taking in new ideas and feedback in real time.

After that, I’ll see what I can do to assist the rest of the production process, which will take into account current restrictions and safety precautions, as long as my presence does not compromise any of them.

So, yes, it’s another new challenge and one that could effectively end my weekend before it begins, but I’m very much looking forward to it and to making new creative friends.

Thank you for reading.

Not This Time 📻

‘Not This Time’ was part of the title on the subject line, so thankfully, I knew what to expect when I opened the e-mail.

I’d seen the contents plenty of times in the past when applying for jobs.

Once upon a time I would have been consumed with disappointment and the feeling of rejection. Then, I was insecure about myself and my talents, and took things like that to heart.

I wished I had learned earlier that, professionally and creatively, not hearing ‘yes’ is not the same as hearing ‘never’, because I’d have taken lessons contained at the time and I might even be further along than I am now in many ways.

Why such a pre-amble to what is a fairly straightforward main body?

In this case, it is because I wanted to show a marked difference in how I deal with not hearing ‘yes’ the first time, and how I look for (and find) positivity.

As you’ve probably guessed, my submission of ‘Alley’ was not selected for this Season of the Ragged Scratch Podcast, which is not a spectacular surprise given the fact it is my very first attempt at an audio script.

And given that it was my first effort, the feedback was very positive. Had I not sought the positive, I would have missed the fact that it was shortlisted, and the other bits of feedback:

Solid, with a nice twist and natural dialogue. Would possibly tweak the ‘VO’ lines so it’s all either said out loud or tweaked to a reaction noise instead. Feels like it could be the start of a full length play”

So, not only does it not require a wholesale re-write, but it could be expanded.

At the moment, I don’t have anything in mind relating to expansion or further development of the story.

I’ve taken them up on their offer to hold on to “Alley” for consideration in their next window, but will address the suggestions in the interim, so it stands a chance that time around.

I’ll also start working on other radio plays, and travel down this new avenue.

And then, there’s the table read for ‘(Un)Civility’ or/and ‘Must Not Run’ 😉…

Thanks for reading…

Making (Air)Waves? 📻

Yes, this site is still a thing, and thank you to all those who have checked in on a regular basis.

In short, I’ve been writing. A lot. Short stories (both aimed at children-more on that another time, and older people- more on that another time also) and scripts for various mediums, and that is where this post will venture.

A few years ago, a former work manager (who, for the purpose of this post, I will call Chloe 😉) put the idea in my head that I should perhaps try to write an audio script.

I didn’t explore it as I focussed on my short films (one of which is on this site), and more recently, short stories written in prose and poetry. But it came back from time to time, especially when I’d listen to a drama on the BBC, and the occasional drama/serial podcast.

Then earlier on this year, I came across a Facebook page for an initiative called ‘Ragged Foil Productions’ that invites submissions for 5-8 minute audio scripts.

Full of gusto, I started to scratch my brain for ideas. But then, my mind blanked and I missed the deadline.

‘No worry’ I thought, as I would wait for the next series. But then, everything was put on hold. We all know why…

I thought my chance was gone and my focus went back to my other writing projects.

I took in a series of podcasts from ‘Ragged Foils’ including the very good ‘The Art Of Ambition’ that was developed from a single submission in the last round of scripts.

And then… Series 3 was announced, and I decided this was absolutely the time to get to work on an audio script.

The original plan was to adapt my dystopian short ‘(Un)Civility’ for it, but it didn’t feel right, and ‘Must Not Run’ may not be well received within the medium, so I decided to create something from scratch.

As horrible and tragic as this year has been, health-wise, socially and economically, it has provided inspiration for creatives all living through this moment in history.

And that was the basis of the 6-page script I created, named ‘Alley’ at the very last moment.

Set during a fairly busy night time, it still manages to isolate the characters, and I ended up having a great time creating it, and adding quirks and elements to the people. There are a couple of nods to the current climate without it being all-encompassing, and I think it works quite well.

I plan to document this journey, provided “Alley” is selected for development.

But, it’s still not my best work, and is in a medium I’ve never written before, so there’s that element of doubt it will be selected, which might make this the shortest series of posts I’ve created 🤣

Whatever happens, I’m delighted I finally got an audio play written, and yes, this is a medium I plan to revisit.

Thank you for reading.