The week shot by with not much actually writing words but lots of plotting and planning. I’m working on a script that I’m on the 3rd/4th write-through on and its time to add extra layers to the scenes such as symbolism and subliminal shots. This is something the experienced writer might do quite early on in their script but I’m fairly new to the 30 min+ world so I had left it until now.
I needn’t have bothered though. By some freak coincidence the quirks I had given certain characters were prefect symbols or metaphors of their stories. So, basically, I had been subliminally putting in subliminal messages and symbols in my script all along (!?)
I’m writing subliminal a lot because I have trouble saying it, and this thing has spell check. In fact, I don’t think I’ve actually spelt it correctly in this piece without requiring spell check. That’s just how I roll. (I spelt spell check wrong too – it isn’t one word.)
Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to buy a car which is exciting, scary and depressing all at the same time. A bit like getting married. This weekend I’m looking forward to watching (friend of the blog) Chris Regan’s Ten Dead Men, which I now own on DVD. (Subliminal linkage alert).
The sketch show is still getting good reviews and interest and I’m preparing to write for another BBC radio sketch show in the next few weeks.
The latest news on the sketch show ‘Contains Nuts’ is that another production company who liked the YouTube sketches (http://www.youtube.com/user/containsnutstv) are also interested in the show and we’ve submitted a pilot script to them.
These are still early stages, mind you, and we aren’t expecting any more news from them for a couple of weeks. Overall, the feedback has been great, especially from writers and actors alike (one of whom I won’t embarrass by naming but is a top TV comedy actor).
Anyway, I’ve been moving on with other projects. Everyone wants sitcoms at the moment so I won’t cream my pants over a bit of interest I’ve received in a few pilots I’m working on.
The BBC have also, kindly, alerted me to a new sketch show called Newsjack that they want writers for. Its going to be open submission anyway but I need something to cream my pants about.
There is no doubt about it, you do get better the more you write and I am finding that out to my benefit at the moment. Although the thing about doors is that they close as well as open. How do you stay in the room? Its there a studio flat layout somewhere?
So today, I’ve hit that wall where I can no longer blog what I wish to as I know people read this who know people who would be mentioned. My secret identity is about as secret as Clark Kent’s thanks to the sketches which are online and doing very well – feedbackwise.
What can I say? A production company want to make a pilot episode to pitch to the networks. But there are conditions. That’s all I can say.
We’ll probably be changing the name ‘Contains Nuts’ as I don’t like the idea that because I blog/post under that title people might think this show is all about me. It certainly isn’t and can’t be all about me, I’ve just always liked the name hence… you get the idea.
Ok so we’re rolling out some edits of our sketch show on Funny or Die and already the good people there have featured one of them as their clip of the day.
However, we are a bit suspicious as we were 80% funny for most of the day until a flurry of DIES in about half an hour evened us out abit. hmmm… Also the feedback from the forums were very positive about the clips so I don’t know what to make of it. So see what you make of it and click FUNNY… please.
Overall, given the fact it was my debut as director and editor without any training, I’m pleased with the outcome although I know what I can and will do a lot better in the future. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to do more and a production company are following this all closely. Our best sketches are still to come!
Haha! I’ve got no reason for starting this post like that or what indeed I’m going write about after that, I just feel I should write something. There you go, honesty and salesmanship working in perfect opposites.
Recently my writing life has been all about sketches. Writing topical ones for Watson’s Wind-up, editing the sketches we filmed last November and submitting samples to various opportunities that I don’t want to mention so that when I get rejected no one will be the wiser. Ah…
The good news is that the editing of sketches, whilst hard and time-consuming, went very well and the feedback from my producer was excellent. I’ve just got to fine-tune two of them before releasing them into the world (YouTube). I’m not excited as everyone else about this though. Having written most of them, directed them and edited them I’ve probably seem them all more times than anyone should. And, thus, don’t find them as funny as I would like. Everyone else that’s seen them seems to genuinely love them, however, these are all close friends of the crew so they’re not exactly Simon Cowell.
I’ve also booked my accomodation for the Screewriters Festival in Cheltenham. TravelLodge have been selling rooms on the cheap and so I snapped up a decent deal, although I’ll have to check-out and check-in again on one of the days. I’m not sure how I’ll go about that without turning up to the seminars with my special teddy and sex doll.
Now, with a whole shit load of work out the way, I’m concentrating on finishing off my sitcom/comedy drafts. I’ve put the comedy drama on the back-burner as it was buggung me a lot and I suddenly realised its probably because the story didn’t mean anything to me. I had literally thought ‘what would THEY want to see’. None of its me, so that will either show in the script or it’ll work and I’ll have to write more of the bastard.
Could describe Easter couldn’t it? Especially with all the chocolate I consumed. Anyway, I watched loads of movies – mainly James Bond as the wife hadn’t seen any of the early ones and they were recently on Sky Movies HD. The originals were the best, the character and the tone of each film were unique yet the structures were similar (Bond v Villain’s henchman, Bond v Villain, Bond xxx Girl).
Also watched The Visitor. Very well made film, very enjoyable.
I’m now editing the rushes of the sketch show I filmed recently. Should be available in a week or so.
Got another sketch on Watson’s Wind-Up.
Submitted some sketch samples to a new collective with some big names attached.
Those of you keeping tabs on this blog will know that there has been many ups and downs in Web Sketch Show series. Well, recently we got a down and two ups all at once. The down was that the producer called me up to say that the editing fell through again. The up was that another producer loves the rough edits and wants us to put the final edits on a DVD for him to ‘get it made’.
A bit of catch-22 when the editing seems to be the problem we are having. However, after a couple of days of merging my head into Google, I finally found a way of converting the rushes (filmed clips) into a format that I CAN EDIT with. The second up.
You see being a WRITER I don’t posses the £600+ Final Cut software or the £1000+ MAC to edit the originals on. But having directed the shoot and having got great feedback on the edits, I did want to play a big part in the final edits. You have to be careful what you wish for as now I’m playing the full part.
Of course I’m taking the ‘get it made’ with the usual pinch of salt you should take with any proposition. The problem is that I’ve had so many pinches of salt recently I’m on the verge of heart disease.
Sorry, I haven’t updated this recently. I’ve just got a job writing for 30 Rock in New York and I’m off on Thursday! OK, that’s what I wish was the reason for my slackness. The truth is I’ve working on various writing and non-writing projects and just generally wasting a lot of time.
Some part of my lie is true as I’m off to New York on Thursday and I am working for 30 Rock. OK, ok, the 30 Rock bit IS a lie. I will watch it daily and maybe stalk Tina Fey while I’m there, but nothing weird.
I have been writing for Watson’s Wind-up and getting stuff broadcast which is nice and I’ve also bought a new mini laptop, which isn’t called a mini laptop – its called a notebook (basically, a mini laptop):
This is actually life-size. Its tiny. But should be enough to carry on writing when I’m in the States.
So I met with the producer of our web Sketch Show yesterday and things are really picking up in pace. A new production company is editing the sketches at the moment and, having seen a few of them, I’m very pleased with the outcome. Some need a few tweaks but there is scope for it so we’re happy that this is all going forward and no one thinks its a bag of shite… yet.
This article in the Times is also quite encouraging as it promotes the use of internet comedy as a way of getting noticed by TV producers. It’s a big dream, but you have to have them if you’re going to have any chance of succeeding (I am the new Aristotle!). I’ll be posting them here as soon as we’ve finished those tweaks. Continue reading
So we are two weeks into the new year, just in case nobody noticed, and things have been progressing quite averagely. I’m pleased with that as usually by now I’ve thrown my 2009 (the old break-through year) Year Planner out the window and start looking forward to 2010 (the break-through year), but I’ve stuck to my guns.
I’m a third of a way through a sitcom script and have been planning a few more. My key philosophy for this year is to not start writing the script until I have written down a paragraph explaining exactly what happens in each scene. Not just: “Edward insults the dog,” but how he does it and the plot point of that scene. Basics maybe for the experienced but I know a few writers (myself included) who start writing too early and lose direction and then hope (myself included!). Continue reading