The Production Office LIVE! Tonight

You want proof? You can’t handle the proof!

Yes, that’s me on the show that’s made by film-makers for film-makers. I reckon Chris and Judy will have something red and wearable, (literally) on their minds today. Tune in:


Confession: I Failed…

Hello, my name’s Anton and I failed. This is an open confession disguised as a big kick up the butt for me to sort out my writing. BBC’s great initiative Laughing Stock closes this week and I won’t be sending anything in despite it being exactly the sort of opportunity I should be taking.

I have no real excuse, I knew about it from late last year. I had three pilots in various states of completion and I chose one early. I started working on it and then I allowed myself to get absorbed by other things instead of working my socks off. Even going into last weekend I had a plan to get it done but a bout of flu and a family visit put paid to that. But it shouldn’t have because I should have done the work earlier. I really let myself done.

However, it’s taught me a BIG lesson. My perception of time and balance of work and writing is way out of sync. I used to be able to do a full day of work and a couple of hours writing in the evening but not any more. Age and the energies of being a new Dad have seen the back of that.

So I’m making big changes. I found I can do a few hours of work in the evenings no problem, so I’m going to swap a couple of hours of writing into my working day. And my punishment is to finish all three pilots before working on any new specs. Two of them have to be done by the end of March.

I will allow myself to work on a radio play that might suit the stage having had a very positive discussion about it. I’ll also try and get something on BBC Radio’s Newsjack to get some credits for 2011.

This failure has hit home more than any other. I don’t want to be seven years down the line and still making the same mistakes and excuses. I don’t even want to be seven days down the line and feeling that. So this post is also a statement of intent.

I believe anyone can change. Just don’t say ‘starting from tomorrow/next week etc.’ Start from NOW. Now I am an organised writer. It’s up to me to keep that title.

Ah-ha! London Comedy Writers’ Festival

Yes, a NEW festival and ALL about COMEDY. I can here the ticks being made now!

So who’s coming? Well I can tell you who will be:

Victoria Pile (‘Green Wing’, ‘Smack The Pony’, ‘Spitting Image’), legendary BBC Commissioner and Producer Jon Plowman (simply too many credits, here’s his IMDB) , Jessica Hynes (co-writer of Spaced) and Doug Naylor (‘Red Dwarf’ creator). Plus more…

Don’t miss out:

The Production Office LIVE! Tonight 7:30pm!

It’s the best online live show for film makers on the planet! I’m the podcast producer. That first sentence is in no way influenced by the second!

Watch it tonight: 7:30pm:

London Screenwriters’ Festival 2011 OFFER!

There’s no doubt that last year’s inaugural LSWF was a huge success. Just visit the site and see the comments. So having taken that leap of faith last year, the LSWF team are back with experience under their belts and many new and exciting developments coming your way.

Make sure you’re part of this thriving writing community by taking advantage of their pay monthly offer (ten months x £24 = your ticket!) There is no cheaper way to get a ticket, unless you sleep with David, Judy or Chris. Not altogether at once – well I don’t know, do your own pimping.

2011 Starts Now… well for me

Happy New Year! (a bit late I know but I’ve been away) So 2011 is nice and new and shiny and my ambition is, as usual, at a unmerited high. Time for some outrageous predictions of how I’m going to have a break through year writing followed by a post in September telling you how it all went Andy Gray.

First big decision, for the next month or so, is to DROP ALL FILM PROJECTS. What? Am I crazy (need you ask?)? Drop the area of writing I’m most interested in? Yes, and the main reason for this comes from external deadlines. You gotta love them. They are much better than the ones you can make for yourselves and then fling across the room when you feel like it/daily.

So I also like writing sketches, one-liners and sitcom. They’re also good for credits and in February the topical news sketch show Newsjack is returning on the radio. I’ve had success on this show before and even got invited to a special workshop at the BBC (I do rock the party that rocks the party). It’s great to sharpen the old comedy tools, a nice credit for 2011 and will help get myself back in the writing game. I’ll be trying to get something broadcast on that.

Then at the end of February there is the BBC’s Laughing Stock opportunity. Obviously a massive long shot but I have three sitcom scripts waiting to be polished and sent out and I intend to use this opportunity as a catalyst to finishing one of them and maybe all of them (so just one then). At least I’ll hope to have something to send out from the sitcom draw.

I have made a pact with myself (hah! like they’re worth shit) to finish two comedy pilots before going back into film. But once back in, I’m staying in. I’ve been honest with myself and dropped one project that had a producer attached because I simply wasn’t passionate enough about it – even though it was all my creation. It’s sad but I’ve gone through my list of sixty loglines and found three or four that I’m really passionate about at the moment. Still too many, but better than sixty!

And my big decision about Film is to read the ten or so comedy scripts I’ve been planning to before writing. These scripts are all so different that I feel I won’t end up repeating the tone or style of any of them. It’s a great lesson in film making and also inspirational.

So that’s it for now. Let’s all laugh at this post in the summer. More news on other projects I’m attached to coming very soon…

2010: Most Amazing Year Ever

I’ve never been busier yet I’ve hardly written anything. How the hell could this be a good year? Well becoming a father eclipses everything. I won’t go into that as any parent will know what I’m talking about and anyone who isn’t should only appreciate it when/if it happens to them.

The one thing I’ll say about it is that nothing has focused my mind more (as well as mashed it up). I’ve done a lot of adjusting and had to catch up with a lot of work, but I’ve also made some big decisions that I hope will give my writing a real chance.

Having mixed writing and work by developing the London Screenwriters’ Festival website, I hope to do more work in the film-making world in 2011. I’ve also got together a team of website developers to help ease the workload and help take on more work that makes everyone happy. With this extra time I’ll write more. But not only that, I’ve done a grid (inspired by Chris Jones here) that has helped me choose what projects I should be working on first.

The biggest lessons I’ve learned from 2010 is 1) to write what you are most passionate about, not what you think others are or things you have a slight interest in. 2) write with confidence. Find it somehow, make it up, fool yourself into cockiness. If you don’t write confidentially, it won’t read confidentially. You’ll lose hope and the cycle continues downwards.

So now to plan 2011…