Underworld Calling selected for Actors Table Read

I was already looking forward to the London Screenwriter’s Festival, and I’ve already had some encouraging feedback on the script I’ve been working on for some time. But all of that pales compared to what lies ahead of me: My script excerpt, from the same piece that placed in the ScriptAngel competition, has been chosen to be performed as part of an Actors Table Read at the festival. Three actors, together with a director, will be performing 4 minutes of my script.

Obviously the key benefit is seeing how the lines sound when read out loud, getting a feel for the flow of dialogue and seeing what interpretation the actors and director find that I might not have noticed. But what really excites me? Hearing dialogue performed, out loud, by real actors; dialogue I wrote, squirreled away in my room, hunched over a laptop in pubs and cafés, or crushed on a train. Feeling the words, seeing the characters escape from the page.

Writing can be an isolated experience; it doesn’t matter if you like to write in public, as I sometimes do; it doesn’t matter if you have an amazing cheerleader, a copy editor, a muse. At the end of the day, the process of writing is a solitary one, a direct link from the writer’s mind to the chosen receptacle, be it laptop, back of a cigarette packet or a fine notebook.  So to have your creations escape said receptacle, emerge blinking into the world and speak with their own variation of the writer’s voice, that’s a special moment.

And finally, now revealed to all via the LSF’s results page, the working title of the feature film I’m writing: Underworld Calling.

Thanks for the taste

There’s nothing like the taste of success, no matter how small a morsel, to spur you onwards and encourage you not to give up. However, coming in the Top 25 of submissions to the London Film Festival / Script Angel mentoring competition is no small morsel. It’s no win, in fact I didn’t make the top 3, but it’s still a huge acknowledgment and a massive confidence boost. I am massively grateful.

Not only was it a successful outing for my pitch template, but it shows that while the first ten pages of my screenplay will need some polishing, the potential is there.

A huge thank you to those who have lent encouragement, ears and eyes.

Current Progress

I have a few irons in the fire right now:

  • Awaiting a response on an audio play I submitted to the Wireless Theatre Company
  • Awaiting art for a 1 page comic, a pulp pastiche, hopefully in time for Thought Bubble
  • Writing an unpublishable, ridiculous story as a present for friends
  • Writing up my experience of Bestival in a third person gonzo style, despite the inherent contradiction
  • Two short stories need editing.

Update of the Metal Prometheus

For someone who claims to be a writer, there really hasn’t been much writing happening recently. I could assemble all manner of different, almost plausible sounding excuses, but excuses they would remain. One of those excuses was spending six days, if you include travelling and recovery days, at Download festival, a celebration of metal and hard rock. While I may not have been writing throughout the event, at the very least I did write a review of Download in two parts. It wasn’t initially supposed to be for publication, filled as it was with more snark than praise and written mostly for entertainment, but it went public nonetheless. The pitchfork wielding masses have not yet found their way to my door.

The other thing I’ve been doing is I went to the cinema, to see the long-awaited, much-anticipated, heavily hyped Prometheus, Ridley Scott’s prequel to Alien. The trailers had me interested, the teasers had me on tenterhooks and the buzz had me on the edge of my seat. The finished movie though, had me suspending my suspension of disbelief pretty rapidly. It was a disaster zone of poor characterisation and bizarre plot choices, and once I’m no longer immersed in a movie, I can no longer fail to tear at it critically. I won’t detail all the issues I had with Prometheus here, but Julian Sanchez covered the flaws well from a filmic angle, while Chuck Wendig covered it well from a writing angle.

So, what’s next? Another short-lived promise to try to write every day? Maybe. I seem to go through this cycle every few months and I feel terribly guilty every time it happens. I then write a blog post, not unlike this one in fact, promise to buck up my ideas and get some writing done, eventually I even actually do some writing… until the cycle begins anew. Surely there must be a way of breaking that cycle of frenzied activity and utter lethargy, ideally without quitting work and putting my mortgage in the hands of the capricious gods. I do want to write, I enjoy it immensely, I just wish it came easier to me. But, then, I’m fairly sure there isn’t a creator out there, regardless of medium, who doesn’t feel the same way.

Building Momentum

Well, we’re starting to get somewhere. I’ve made my 50 Kisses submissions, draft three being as far as I was willing or able to iterate. If you haven’t submitted yet, but want to, the deadline is Friday the 29th of June.

I’m also working on a Chuck Wendig’s 1000 word flash fiction challenge ‘That’s My New Band Name‘, which I intend to set in the same universe as my WIP TV screenplay to hopefully resurrect that project.

On a different note, on the occasion of Sorkin’s News Room being released, Flavorwire wrote TV’s All-Time Greatest Writers, an interesting read which tells me that I’ve been missing out on some well-written shows. Sadly, since that point in time, poor reviews of The News Room have been piling one atop the other, perhaps best encapsulated by Warren Ellis.

Update

For some reason this post vanished when I upgraded WordPress. Since that point I failed to submit the flash fiction to Chuck Wendig’s blog, but I still aim to finish it. My first draft read more like a plot outline than a story, so will need a total re-write.