Sunday, 17 February 2008

Shooting script and various outlines…

Apart from deciding I hate going to the cinema, I did actually do some work last week. Mostly I worked on the shooting script for Ten Dead Men, which was fun but very time-consuming. The final cut is only 85 minutes but it took three solid evenings to transcribe all the dialogue and at the end of it the shooting script was only 40 pages long. I did keep the scene descriptions to a minimum, but what took a lot of time was noting down the timecode for each scene. I’ve sent it to Phil and Ross and am waiting to find out if there’s any more work that needs doing on it or not. If it does need to be more detailed or anything like that then at least the transcription part is done. Despite watching the film in such great detail I still think it’s great. I had a Word document open the whole time to note down any feedback or criticisms I thought of while I was doing it, and by the time I was finished all I had was a couple of suggestions about moving odd bits of voiceover that didn’t fit – otherwise I’m still really happy with how it’s turned out.

The other exciting 10DM news is that Phil sent me the first finished pages of the spin-off comic that I wrote ages ago. It's essentially a 22-page prequel in comic-book form, explaining how Ryan quit the business and why he owes Axel his life. I'd forgotten all about it, but the artwork looks great so I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished issue. I'm not sure exactly what will happen with it, whether it will go into print, or be a DVD extra or just go on the website, but it's something else with my name on and as far as I remember I was pretty happy with the script.

This weekend I’ve mainly been working on Vicious Circle – the script Phil wants me to write to take to Cannes and the reason the serial killer film has been put on hold. Today was the first time I’ve really worked on it and I’ve come up with loads of ideas already. Given the time constraints though I’m considering just going straight for a draft rather than bouncing treatments backwards and forwards for months. At least that way even if the draft is still a work-in-progress by May, at least there will be a draft for people to look at.

Speaking of treatments I finally heard back from JC and Helen about the Hit the Big Time treatment. Overall the feedback is positive, but JC’s main concern is the multi-million dollar budget the current treatment would require to be shot. So the main thing I need to do is tone it down a bit. Also Helen wants it to be more of a road movie – at the moment the characters spend most of their time in or around California and the original idea was to have them going across the whole of America. I’m hoping the ideas I’ve got already can just be adapted slightly to reflect a lower budget and longer road trip as I’ve only got a few days to rewrite it.

Short horrors are going okay. The one I’m directing is progressing at a steady pace. We did a camera test last week to see how the seafront would look at night and it seems fine. This week we’re meeting our director of photography and scouting the last couple of locations and then it’s just going to be a matter of drawing up a storyboard and finding a lead. The other one (on which I'm writer only) is slowing down a bit. There are 3 drafts now but I’m still not sure the director is happy with the script. I’ve suggested a fix and am still waiting to hear back.

And finally I’ve started to work on one of my own original projects again. There are a few reasons for this, but mainly because writing for other people can be hard work and I need to work on something that’s completely mine for a change. Also there was a moment a few weeks ago when I was asked if I had any scripts to show an accomplished director who happened to be looking and I didn’t have anything that was ready. Anyway, with everything else I’ve got to do work on this new script is going to be minimal, but I have started putting together an outline at least.

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