Friday, 1 August 2008

Accidental week off again…

So I’m slacking again and my ambitious plans for this week are becoming more and more unlikely. I don’t know whether it’s getting used to the new surroundings or the fact that I was writing non-stop for nearly two months then went straight into moving flats, or just that I’m lazy – probably the latter. Either way, it’s not really happening this week. Which is why I’m spending precious time updating this thing rather than writing any of the many things I’m supposed to be writing.

I’m also becoming slightly obsessed with the idea of doing an audio blog, but my plans were substantially hindered by the revelation that you need proper equipment to do such things. My idea of just plugging a cheapo clip-on mic into my pc didn’t quite work out. I also bought the cheapest MP3 voice recorder I could find with the idea of being able to record my thoughts from exotic locations. The cheap MP3 voice recorder makes all locations sound like the inside of a washing machine, exotic or not. So the cheapest ‘podcast ready’ microphone is around £50, but do I really want to spend that much on something I may use only once? And should I learn from this that maybe I shouldn't keep buying the cheapest of everything? Actually, it’s not just the money that puts me off, it’s the idea of having this professional microphone set up on my desk that I never bloody use. And people saying, ‘What’s that for, then?’ and me making up some story where I found it on the street or I’m looking after it for a mate, ashamed to admit to my ill-advised pod-casting aspirations.

The whole thing reminds me a bit of the time I decided to learn to play guitar. I was much more interested in music back then and the thought of it really appealed to me. So one day I picked up my brother’s guitar, laid it out on the bed, opened his ‘how to play guitar book’ and that was it. I just sort of looked at the diagrams in the book and then stared at the guitar and then decided I should give up and stick to writing. Without meaning to sound like an idiot, I know I’m good at writing. I’m not saying my scripts are the best in the world ever, otherwise I’d have a few more credits, but I know how to do it, I know how it’s supposed to work, I know that no matter the content whatever I write will look and read like a script. Not so with this other stuff. Anyway, my other option is to buy a cheapish but better mic than the one I’ve got so I can at least do a test run that I can listen back to and actually hear. If I get that far I shall attempt to post it somewhere for feedback.

I did read a really bad script this week, which made me feel better. Before I go on, it’s a script that has nothing to do with anything I’m working on or anyone I’m working with right now so don’t worry – I’m not talking about your script. This was something I was sent a while back. It was being developed by an actual production company and came with their script reader’s coverage. Now the writer wasn’t terrible, odd moments of dialogue and character were okay and there were some funny lines. His main character was supposed to be American but was written cockney, but I’ll overlook that. The main problems were that the film started on page 50, the protagonist never really seemed interested in anything that was going on and so much was happening in the last twenty pages (of an 80 page script) that it was mainly exposition. But I’m not doing this to put down another writer – there were some great moments and the writer obviously has a lot of talent. The point of this is the coverage was good! Not glowing, not green light this now, but generally positive while still recognising the faults I raised above. The reason this made me feel better is I’ve got a fear of professional script readers. To be fair I only ever got professional ‘coverage’ on one of my scripts, but it was so soul-destroying I vowed never to go through that again if I could avoid it. I can’t avoid it, obviously, but as long as I never have to read the coverage that’s okay. But reading the coverage for this script (which is bad etiquette by the way - I think they’re supposed to be confidential unless you’re directly involved with the film) made me think maybe script readers aren’t all bad, and maybe I’ve got a chance of getting past them after all. We shall see.

Okay, writing, yes, that’s what this is about, back to it then!

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