Friday, 14 March 2008

Slow progress...

The Ten Dead Men continuity script is taking up much more time than anticipated and progressing very slowly. So far I've managed to get through 5-10 minutes of the film a night and should be finished next week sometime. I got an e-mail saying the sales agent was asking about it and I had nightmares of being asked to send it the next day (to be fair I did say I'd have it done by now) and having to pull an all-nighter. But next week is fine so I'll carry on at the same pace. What's taking the time is the scenes that jump around between locations - like if one character is on the phone to another but they're in two different places. In the rush-job, substandard continuity script I did before (which wasn't a complete waste of time as I copied all the dialogue from there, although I'm still having to check it all) I didn't bother differentiating between scenes in such cases, where as now every time the film changes location I'm splitting up the script and writing more scene descriptions. This probably sounds as dull as it actually is, but at least it might give you an idea of the actual experience of writing a continuity script in case anyone ever asks you to write one! But despite scrutinising every frame of the film for the second time, I'm not yet sick of seeing it which is a good sign!

Hit the Big Time is going okay - I'm still collating ideas and tightening up the structure but I hope to be able to start on a draft next week. It's not in perfect shape yet, but I want to get on with the script so I don't have to rush it. Also, we should hear whether the funding application we submitted was a success or not next week, although to be honest I was looking at the website and it's a very long and tedious process. You can read about it here if you're really interested:

Basically it's a competition so something like 15 pitches are chosen for interview. That's then whittled down to 8 who have to go into workshops to work on their ideas, that then becomes 6 (presumably two get voted off somehow!), then you submit another pitch and the four finalists are selected - it's now October 2008 by the way! The final four then have to go on stage and pitch the idea live at some big film festival up north and then the winner, who gets the £250,000 funding, is voted for by people. Just normal people like you and me. So after all that it comes down to a ten-minute performance pitch voted for by randoms. Sounds like a waste of time to me. That's not to say I won't be extremely excited if we win and I think we could get pretty far into it if we get past the first stage, but it seems like so much hard work for something that could in the end come to nothing. I'd much rather we got funding from some other source (and I know how difficult that is but surely no more difficult than this) - that way we could be filming by October rather than still waiting to hear if we've got any money. Anyway, I don't want to jinx it so I'll shut up about it now, but I'm putting my faith in getting some interest at Cannes rather than the competition.

I'm undecided over what to do with the two short horror projects I was working on. The one I was writing has sort of fallen flat - the director hasn't replied to my last e-mail but the fact that I've rewritten the 2-minute script 4 times suggests that we're never going to agree on what works best. If he wants to use one of the drafts I've already done good luck to him, but I can't afford to spend anymore time on it.

The other one that I was going to direct I will finish, it's just a case of when. The deadline is June so I've got a while yet, it's just at the moment I can't really spend much time having meetings about that project with all this other stuff I've got to work on. I'm meeting the producer next week though as I haven't been in contact for a while so hopefully we can talk about it then.

To sum up, I'm still really busy and now I'm off to Cardiff for the weekend!

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