You know what they say: When life gives you lemons, use them as garnish for the booziest cocktail you can conceive of. So, when most of your life changes in unexpected ways, why not go all the way? So, I have renounced my previous employment and will henceforth focus on writing. Writing anything; anything at all. Ideally for money. The goal is to get myself to a position where instead of hating my day-job I am instead focussing on what I love and hoping I can get my writing career to the point where it can pay for luxuries like food and accommodation. To that end I’ve started hawking my services and I’m applying for any writing position going that I think I can do, freelance or otherwise.

Is this a terrifying shift in focus; unsure, unstable and risky? Oh yes, absolutely. But it’s the good kind of scary, the rollercoaster scary where you’re enjoying the shifts and turns, feeling the wind in your hair and screaming at the exhilaration of feeling your heart in your mouth. Because it’s better to feel alive than to feel nothing at all, and some things are worth risking everything for.

So, I’m giving myself up to a year of this to see where this leads me, to see what I can do with nigh-limitless opportunity. Because who knows when I’ll ever get this chance ever again.

So… What can I write for you? Would you like me to copy-edit or critique something you’ve written?

Get in touch.

Quote: Derek Cianfrance on shooting on film

When you shoot on film, there’s an urgency that starts happening. On 35 mm 2 perf, you have about nine minutes and twenty seconds and then the mag [film magazine] runs out. And the actors pretty quickly start to recognize that time. The actors are like athletes.It’s like a quarter of football. They have nine minutes and twenty seconds to get some points on the board to make things happen. They can feel it. Versus on digital – you can shoot forever.

Derek Cianfrance – Director/ writer of Blue Valentine & The Place Beyond The Pines

Review: Chef

Chef PosterA chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.

Jon Favreau wrote, directed and stars in this quite sweet little food-based discovery of self and overall it’s a nice film. Favreau brings in his friends Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson and the cast, Favreau included, are wonderful and bring a tasty buffet of talent. There’s some delicious food-porn and the music choices in particular are tasty indeed!

If you want to see it and enjoy it, I suggest you stop reading here. Because as much as I liked watching it, the film has some unfortunate flavour clashes that leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth on reflection.

I think Favreau’s menu had a lot of great ingredients, but each dish was sadly left feeling incomplete and under seasoned. We are introduced to wonderful characters, Downey Jr. in particular, that are a single flavour-note, dropped in and never developed. Johansson, similarly, is shown, used for a couple of scenes to add spice, then left by the wayside.

The main plot trajectory, of Favreau’s Chef’s reconciliation with his son, was the main arc, and it sometimes felt that everything else was kind of tacked on; even the food elements seemed to be merely a little sizzle for the over-done steak of a pretty standard plot.

The social media elements, the heavy use of Twitter, Vine, Facebook et al at first were a nice touch, but ended up being heavily overused, to the point that it started feeling like an infomercial, which left a bitter taste in the mouth.

I think if the middle of the film had been expanded out somewhat, a culinary road trip across America, picking up ingredients and ideas and re-expanding Chef’s connection to food, his customers and his son, this would have been a more satisfying film. But sadly, as it was, what looked initially to be a taste explosion, turned out to be bland, souring the inspiration and great ingredients that went into it.