Thursday, 9 October 2008

Writing and stuff...

I said I was going blog crazy.

Had a few late nights in a row so quite tired. Also this may seem slightly incongruous having posting my new york diary yesterday, but I actually wrote that on Monday then uploaded the photos/videos in stages cos it takes forever. Apologies to anyone who ended up with a video of me on the Wonder Wheel on their ipod - I accidentally made it a podcast. Which did make me realise that should I decide to go that way video podcasting might not be too difficult after all.

So this week I've been ignoring everything and concentrating on The Dark Room . I wrote loads Monday as I said in the last post. I didn't mention that I initiated the rather productive tactic of completely disconnecting from the internet until I was done writing.

Tuesday I went to Moviebar which was cool but there weren't many people there. We had two teams for the quiz, and at one stage one of those teams was Andrea and me on our own. Still a great night - the quiz movie was Bullitt so we watched the car chase on a big screen - very cool. Also chatted to the regulars and met a couple of new filmmakers which is always good. I think the problem is that because it's a pub anyone can walk in so you need a large amount of people in there to make Moviebar work - otherwise you just get large groups of random people talking through all the short films. Then again, I can't really complain as I haven't been to one in a couple of months. I think it hit a peak for me just after I'd finished the part-time course at the film school in Brighton as it always felt like I knew half of the people in the room and could happily chat to the other half, which I haven't really experienced since I was at university. Still, these things always move on and usually evolve into something better so I'm sure there's still hope for the event yet.

Also there's nothing wrong with a core group of people turning up to the same thing every month. When I was at university I somehow ended up taking over the Creative Writing Society which at the time was massive. I pretty much hated the job as despite my love for writing found it very difficult to organise a group and give people exercises etc. With my experience now it would be okay, but back then I had no idea what I was doing - I was only in my second year. So the usual weekly sessions would go like this - I'd turn up, see there were only one or two people there, and declare it not worth doing that week, maybe next week. Then I'd go to the pub. I did this for a year, not willing to let the whole Society disappear completely because I was rubbish but also not caring enough to put any extra effort in. Luckily I often had help in the form of my good friend Geraint who I somehow conned into becoming Treasurer or something so I'd have someone to go to the pub with after cancelling each session. Anyway, when we started the third year we got billions of new members and I decided to give it a better try, and although the numbers started to drop off after the first few weeks we ended up with a really good core group of people which made it okay again.

I have no idea what my point was.

So back to this week, there's also been exciting news that I can't really talk about, and don't want speculate as it might not be as exciting as I think it is. However, a meeting I had with a producer a few weeks ago may not have been the waste of time I thought it was, so that's good news.

Last night I did loads more writing and also watched Death Warrant, which is interesting for two reasons. Firstly, I worked on script earlier this year that was really similar and am now really glad I hadn't seen it at the time as I think it would've really skewed my take on it. The second interesting point is that it's written by David Goyer who's a writer I really admire and it's great to see that he started out in action cinema then went on to write action-horror stuff like The Crow 2 and the Blade films (and there's a strong horror element in Death Warrant). Seeing as action-horror is kind of where I'm going with The Dark Room I'm taking it as a sign that I'm on the right track. Or something.

Speaking of which, last night I got to page 60 and I'm just at the 2nd/3rd Act changeover so despite my lack of planning the structure seems to be working out okay. Except the 3rd act may well be epic - I'm having trouble imagining it being under 120 pages. I'm hoping that at a push I can finish it over the weekend. It definitely feels like a bit of an exorcism writing this script - like it's been bugging me for years and I just need to get it out of my system. In a very enjoyable way, of course - I'm not vomiting explicit scenes out or anything.

It is starting to get complicated and I had some problems last night. I'm having real trouble with action scene dialogue, which is ironic because I gave a friend some script feedback a couple of weeks ago saying they needed more dialogue in their action scenes. So all my dialogue in the action scenes is terrible and needs to go. There are also some very unoriginal Buffy/Angel/Harry Potter moments which I'm not very happy with but they're kind of acting as short-hand where I haven't quite figured out the mythology properly yet. They need to go eventually.

My biggest worry is that it's a story that relies heavily on audience curiosity at the moment. There are 60 pages of setting up questions and presumably 30 more answering them, but it really does depend on the audience actually wanting to know the answers enough to care. So that needs some work. I'm trying to second guess the inevitable criticisms. One thing I do know people will say is the two lead character names are too similar, but because they're characters from other I've written scripts I can't imagine them with different names. That will also probably have to change.

Since I've decided to talk about it here (and after working on so many things I can't talk about it's quite refreshing) I'm going to post the first 10 pages when I'm done for people to look at. I eventually want to set up a website or somewhere I can store writing samples permanently but as it will be a first draft sample I'll stick it up here temporarily. This is partly because I don't feel I can ask for feedback from a lot of people on this as my usual readers went well beyond the call of duty with my last batch of scripts. So I'll put the sample here and if anyone is interested in reading the whole thing I'll forward it on.

Okay, I'm done, having a night off tonight, then back to the script on Friday.


Anonymous said...

I didn't feel conned, if anything I felt I didn't do nearly enough. I was just glad to go to the pub with you to talk rubbish, and smoke Royals continuously.
I often miss the Lincoln Rd. bench and our Lynchday mornings.

Chris Regan said...

Ah, Royals. Were those the ones where you got like 24 in a pack? Nasty cigarettes = good times. Not as good as Concept - the cigarette DIY device that never really took off! I also miss the Lincoln Road bench but find that I still have Lynchdays - although they tend to occur mid-week these days.

Anonymous said...

Get those 10 pages done! I'm intrigued...