Thursday, 31 December 2009
I am working on a summary of 2009 but I've been too busy to finish it off, so it will most likely be posted in the new year.
Thought I'd share one of my procrastination activities for anyone who's on Spotify:
Stuff wot I sometimes listen to...
About 50% of the playlist is stuff I've been listening to this year and then there's 50% random/classic stuff. I tried to keep it mixtape length and it's designed to be played in order. Might make a good soundtrack to my end of year post when I get round to finishing it.
I've also been punctuating writing sessions by working through the Mario Bava boxset I got for Christmas. If you haven't seen any Bava films I seriously recommend Black Sabbath. The first story is a bit daft and it has a weird comedy ending but stories two and three are ace and still quite scary. The Mask of Satan is also ace.
Anyway, having a brief break for New Year celebrations with old friends, then back to rewriting.
Here's to an exciting 2010!
Monday, 21 December 2009
- Sad to hear about Dan O'Bannon passing away - one of the few screenwriter names I knew well before I became interested in screenwriting. Alien was his most famous work after Dark Star, but looking at the various obituaries online I was surprised at how many great films he worked on including Lifeforce, Blue Thunder and the best segment of Heavy Metal. He also directed Return of the Living Dead which is perhaps the best of the zombie comedies.
- I was also shocked to hear about Brittany Murphy's death, an actor I'd been a fan of since she stole her few scenes in Drive.
- Overjoyed at the news that Rage Against the Machine made it to No. 1 in the charts. However, I'm embarrassed to confess that despite my support of the campaign I forgot to buy the single. Oops.
- Finally finished epic PS2 Yakuza 2 which I've been playing on and off all year. By the end I was kind of bored of the format, which mostly involved running between locations only to get another overlong cutscene (the script badly needed editing down) with a fight tacked on the end. But the ending of the game (SPOILER - although I doubt many people will have the patience to play that far) almost made up for it. As the hero, Kazuma Kiryu, you defeat the main villain Ryuji Goda who also happens to be the brother of your detective girlfriend Kaoru Sayama (it took a lot of plot points and hours of cut scenes to get to those revelations). Unfortunately, the time taken to defeat the Ryuji has meant that there's now no way Kazuma and Kaoru can escape before the bomb left by another bad guy (there were two twist villains - I'm not even going to get into that) explodes.
So I'm poised for a bit of running-from-burning-building gameplay when Kazuma says that actually there really is no way they can escape in time and they should just enjoy their last moments together. So Kazuma and Kauru, lovers united in their inability to fit in with the world around them, accept their fate and kiss as the counter hits zero. Roll credits. Best ending ever.
Except it's then ruined with a post-credits revelation that the bomb was a fake. Rubbish.
- Finally watched Moon which I really enjoyed and is definitely one of the best films I've seen this year. There's nothing particularly new or exciting about it, but it's a solid, well-crafted and enjoyable sci-fi film that tells a proper story in just over 90 minutes. It was about as close to being perfect as you can get.
- Brother Pete blogged about making his music video for Bitter Ruin's Soldier in depth here which is definitely worth a read and gives a good idea of how much work went into it.
That's it for now. I'll try to blog more about actual writing in the new year, just too busy doing the actual writing itself to blog about it at the moment. If I don't get chance to blog again before Friday hope you all have a good Christmas!
Monday, 7 December 2009
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Pete made the video in our flat. He came up with the concept, designed it, shot it, animated it, edited it - the whole lot. That's why it took four months. And it was four months of challenges, including his PC exploding halfway through the process which did not help. Add to that debates over whether the story needed to be explained or not (I don't think it does, but then again my favourite music video is The Act of Being Polite by The Residents) and over whether it should be in colour or black-and-white (I think it works better in black-and-white - it's referencing silent films after all). What I'm saying is it was not an easy or quick process and I'm really proud of him for sticking with it and producing something awesome as a result:
Thursday, 3 December 2009
- Another awesome bad film weekend in Bristol. Luckily Dave reviewed each of the films in detail here. Although oddly I think my favourites were The Being and Black Cobra 3.
- Son of Moviebar on Tuesday was awesome as always. I've posted one of the best films of the night below.
- Two things everyone has already told you are good so there's no point me blogging about them:
1) Paranormal Activity which I think is the film of 2009 - certainly the best thing I've seen at the cinema and a strong contender for 'The Film I Get Most Defensive About When People Start to Criticise' (replacing The Dark Knight which held onto the title for just over a year!).
2) The Fall which sat on top of my TV for a month because I was convinced I'd hate it, but I loved it.
- The Bitter Ruin music video launch night which I've just come back from and was amazing, especially as Brother Pete showed his awesome video. But the video isn't on YouTube yet so I'll post about it properly over the weekend.
- What I've learnt about writing this month but don't have time to blog about (because I need to do actual writing):
1) If you get a paid assignment that involves some payment upfront, wait until you get paid before doing the work. Which now I type it sounds obvious. I may blog about the whole epic saga depending on how it works out.
2) You can't rely on actors to 'make the lines their own'. Again, typing this it seems obvious.
3) A script I thought was adequate is just that. And that's not a good thing.
4) Never draft a blog post about how everything's finished for the year and you can take a well-deserved month off writing. I did that, and now I'm super-busy.
5) There's a reason it takes most writers longer than two weeks of evenings to write a feature script.
- For anyone who made it through my epic Karloff post I am still intending to watch and review the only non-Karloff Wong film. I'm just not sure when.
Anyway, here's a short film Simon Messingham screened at Son of Moviebar on Tuesday. You should definitely watch it - it's awesome: