Wednesday 13 May 2020

Back to the blog?

I've been thinking about resurrecting my old blog. This one, right here. I've considered it a few times over the years and usually I come to the conclusion, "No one will care! You need to make a new blog! Or use Instagram more! Set up another Squarespace website! Make more YouTube content! Is it time to try TikTok?"

This week I started reading through some old posts off the back of the Amanda Palmer/Neil Gaiman news. It shouldn't be news. Peoples' privacy should be respected. And yet it's become one of the things I check Twitter for updates on every day, then hate myself for. I remembered bringing up this issue in a blog post once, about going to see The Residents live and comparing their anonymity vs. Amanda Palmer's full disclosure approach to social media. I decided to go back and look at what I wrote and while what I found was pretty much just that, I felt conflicted about my not feeling like I should know all this private stuff vs. my interest in all the private stuff. At the same time I found a bunch of other references to Amanda Palmer gigs I'd been to, the time Neil Gaiman retweeted my friend Julia's Kickstarter, stuff I've liked of theirs over the years (I also just happen to be reading Sandman right now). It made me realise why the recent news, rightly or wrongly, has my interest. These are two artists who have had a huge influence over my life over the years and while yes, I care about them as humans and want them to be okay and yes, I admit to daydreaming that one day I'd be a famous enough writer to move in the same social circles and my wife and I would be invited over to their house for dinner, but really, underneath all of this all I really care about is the art.

I found other stuff in my blog too. I've kind of abandoned Facebook now so don't have access to those social media memories that to be honest I used to enjoy seeing, I just don't want my data to be used by supervillains anymore. The blog had more memories than I honestly remember sharing. I thought it might be nice to just carry on posting here. Things have changed. I have two children now. I think that's partly why the blogging stopped, a lack of time and also lack of interest. After my daughter was born I ended up commuting to Croydon for work because reasons and during that sleepless, exhausting period I would maximise my writing time as much as possible. I would write for an hour on the morning train and for 45 minutes on my lunchbreak and aware that it was the only time I would have I had to make it count, so something frivolous and unlikely to move my career forward like this blog became redundant. I was also working on a webseries, Paz vs. Stuff, which involved taking on an online persona who also ran a blog and Twitter account. In the early days the plan had been to outsource the blogging and tweeting to others but like most crazy, ambitious ideas I ended up taking on the bulk of the work myself. I started a video diary on YouTube instead.

That project has finished now along with most of the other projects I had ongoing over the years. When I started this blog it was at the point where my first produced feature, Ten Dead Men, was in post-production. Around the same time I started working with a production company in Brighton and signed options on a number of scripts I had written (for no money, which at the time should have been a warning sign and yet is now standard practice). The film industry was at the height of the DVD boom, micro-budget films were being released internationally and doing well. Streaming wasn't a thing. Piracy, that would eventually lead to streaming, was very much a thing. It was a different time. I was in my late-twenties and optimistic about my future as a full-time screenwriter. It seemed like such a sure thing to me at the time that I thought this blog would be interesting to wannabe screenwriters as a chronicle of how to break into the industry (I was, despite the humble tone of my prose, rather arrogant).

I'm now 12 years on since I started the blog and many things changed, mostly for the better. I write this now from my house where I live with my wife and our two aforementioned children. I've had adventures, I've had more work produced, I've produced more of my own work which is the work I'm most proud of, I've seen many more bands, watched many more films, played a sickening amount of PS4 games. I still have a day job in an industry that is not writing-related and I still struggle with that, but compared to previous jobs I've had in the past it's really not all that bad. I'm still writing all the time although I feel much more directionless than I used to.

For example, a couple of weeks ago I decided that to get myself out of a lockdown-induced depression I would write a lockdown-based web series. It was about a filmmaker who discovers he's had the same dream in lockdown as a few other people online. He sets up a video diary service for people to record their dreams and a sinister pattern begins to emerge. I wrote a treatment and I was happy with it and it cheered me up immensely. That week I made plans to contact actors to start filming, with the idea that everyone involved could film themselves and send the footage to me to edit. Then I decided that actually, the thought of doing it had been enough and I moved onto something else. I've been doing that a lot over the last year or so, ever since I finished Paz. I'll start some similarly ambitious project, will write some of it and start making steps towards making it then I'll either decide it's too much work and quietly abandon it, or something else will come up and I'll work on that instead. I feel like screenwriting may not be the best creative outlet for me anymore, but I'm struggling to find something to replace it with. I've started and abandoned so many novels at this point I've lost count. I have two abandoned plays on my hard drive. I started a podcast with my brother about a film we were developing, both of which are abandoned (mostly through my choice), I've started planning a couple of video games but producing them requires skills I am yet to learn, I've started a couple of video game streams but never really pursued them.

So I find myself back here, on the blog I started 12 years ago and I wonder if maybe just writing this blog will be enough for now. The primary, less arrogant reason I started this blog was as a writing warm-up exercise. It was something I did for myself. This may be the first of many more posts or the last for another few years. Let's see, I guess.

Thursday 5 February 2015

Evil Twin Update...

I have an evil twin. If you would like to know the history of my evil twin along with details of previous sightings you can read about it here and here.

There has been another incident. Two, in fact.

The first didn't seem all that significant at first. I was in the shop near my house, a shop I've been going to a lot over the last couple of years because it's on my way home. I was served by a woman who has been working there as long as I've been going in. I don't know this woman, but I've spent enough time in there and seen her on enough occasions to think that she might recognise me as a regular.

On this one particular evening she recognised me and said 'hello', only it wasn't me she recognised. She asked if I had been a regular customer in a similar shop in another area, because she swears she used to see me there all the time and was surprised to see me in this shop. I have never been to the shop of which she spoke, and yet she seemed certain it was me.

You see, it wasn't me she recognised at all. It was my evil twin.

Then today I went to the coffee place next to my work. I go there at least three times a week to write on my lunch break. Usually I see the same bloke in there and he recognises me, we have a brief chat and then he goes to get me a cappuccino. If he's busy and I walk in he'll tell whoever is serving to get me a cappuccino. Once we had a conversation about the building I work in because he'd seen me in there. The point of all this is, the bloke in the coffee place next to my work knows who I am.

Until today. Today when I went in he told me that someone else came in who looked so much like me he thought it was me. He went to get the imposter a cappuccino, and the man stopped him, for he did not want a cappuccino. He was not me. This shocked the bloke who works in the coffee place because he was certain it was me. Only it wasn't, it was my evil twin.

This doesn't seem to happen to anyone else on as regular a basis as it happens to me. In most cases the common factor is that the witness is someone who sees me on a regular basis. I have no doubt that my evil twin has returned and is once again living nearby.

I will report further incidents as they occur.

Tuesday 13 January 2015


The blog isn’t dead! I just abandoned it for a bit. The funny thing is, this year has been full of blog-worthy happenings, but because I’ve been really busy I’ve not really had time to blog about them. That's not all that funny really.

A couple of years ago, before my son was born, I used the blog as a kind of warm-up exercise. So I’d write on here for an hour before working on a script or whatever. These days I don’t really have the luxury of time to warm-up as most of my writing is done in half-hour bursts on the train or on my lunch break. It’s kind of better that way, I think I actually get more done, but I’m between scripts right now so I thought this would be a good opportunity to update whoever still cares on what I did in 2014, and what I would've blogged about if I had any time to do it.

To put this all into context I really need to take you back to 2013. In the summer of that year I’d just finished the third Jenny Ringo short film (it’s the really short one so you can watch it right now if you have 2 minutes spare) –

Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook from Chris Regan on Vimeo.

When that was done I started working on the first draft of Jenny Ringo and the House of Fear, a feature based on the same character I’d established in the short films. I had a vague idea I might try and film it myself one day, or that I’d send it to the few industry people I knew to try to get it developed but really I was mostly writing it for myself. It was in writing that script that I trained myself to be able to write on trains and in crowded coffee shops, and without that I’m not sure I would have had nearly as busy a year in 2014 as I did.

At the end of 2013 I did some script editing on a project for Craig Fairbrass. He’d written a gangster film and it needed some work on the structure. The details of that film are here if you’re interested.
The rewrite went quite well and I got to meet the man who tried to kick Michael Rooker off a mountain in Cliffhanger so that was cool. The producer of Craig’s film, Nick Hamson, then asked me to look at a project he was working on.

This is when my day job really started to get in the way of my writing. At the end of 2013 and going into 2014 the UK experienced some of the worst storms on record. This resulted in extensive damage and severe flooding in various parts of the country and, without going into too much detail, that’s what my day job is all about. From November 2013 to March 2014 I was probably the busiest I’ve ever been. I was working late most days and at least one day of most of the weekends. At the same time the project I was writing for Nick turned out to be a lot of work as well as he wanted a draft ready for Cannes in May. That’s where being able to write on trains etc. became really useful.

In February I took a week off work purely to write. It was amazing. I was being paid to write and I had the time to do it. I finished the draft that week.

The script was ready for Cannes and there was some filming done. Here are some people being filmed -

There were a couple of articles about it, in Screen Daily and The Telegraph. Later in the year they filmed a scene in Ditchling where the film is set. This was pretty amazing as I got to go along and took my wife and my son and it sort of felt a bit more real. Here’s a picture of Eric on his first film set -

There was also a rehearsed reading, which unfortunately I couldn’t get to but I saw the recording and that was really exciting.

Alongside that project I was also working on two scripts with my brother, Pete. One is the martial arts/fantasy film that was optioned by Focus Films a few years ago. This was re-optioned again this year and we'll be doing a bit more work on it this year. I re-read it towards the end of last year and, if I do say so myself, it’s really good. I mean, it may not be to everyone’s tastes, depends how much you like undead ninjas, but from the perspective of coming back to a script we wrote at least five years ago it holds up surprisingly well.

The second project is an action film which we’re developing with Transfilm in Canada. Can’t really talk about that one, but it has been a really interesting process and has really evolved from the project we started with. We’re working on the final draft of that one right now.

Towards the end of the year I worked on a couple of gangster films, one a kind of action re-working of The Long Good Friday, and the other a more contained thriller. I just finished the first draft of the latter over the weekend.

A short film I wrote was also produced this year and I made it to a couple of screenings. The film is called Salvation and it's a ten minute action film with a serial killer sub-plot.

 It screened at the Century Club and at MovieBar in Brighton (yes, the MovieBar I used to run - it was awesome to have a film screening there again), and at the Action on Film Festival in the States. There’s a really nice review of the film here. Here I am with director Ross Boyask and host Simon Messingham at the MovieBar Q&A -

Other stuff happened too! You remember the Jenny Ringo feature I mentioned at the start? I decided at one point I needed to finish the second draft, but with all the other projects I had on the go I was struggling to find the time. So in order to set myself a deadline I decided to enter the second draft into the Blood List contest run by Stage 32. I entered purely on that basis, to set myself a deadline, and at the final hour I almost didn’t do it. But I did, and it went on to do really well! The script made it all the way to the final thirteen. I didn’t make it into the final six, but I was really happy to have made it that far in the competition, especially as it was the first original feature script I’d written in a while.

It was also a runner up in the Ultimate Logline Contest in October last year. Here’s the logline –

When an incompetent witch discovers that her council estate is a prison for supernatural creatures she must recruit her neighbours to help her get better at magic so she can take on the evil witchfinder keeping them there.

In October I went to the London Screenwriters Festival. If you haven’t been or don’t know what it is, it’s basically three days in Regent’s University going to sessions about writing, meeting other writers and pitching to executives. I could probably write a whole separate blog about it on here, but given my track record last year that’s probably not going to happen. I’ll just say it was definitely worth the money and if you’re thinking of going you should do it. I learnt a lot and met some really amazing people. Look, here I am pitching and stuff -

The one thing I will go into detail about is the Pitch Factor. Basically it's this live event on the Saturday night where writers pay a fiver for the chance to pitch to a panel of judges. Everyone gets 60 seconds to pitch. I was in two minds over whether to do it or not. On the one hand I am a firm believer in doing things that scare you and felt that I’d regret it if I didn’t do it. On the other hand I’m not great at speaking in public and added to that the time pressure, the audience and the fact that the judges included Joel Schumacher and David Reynolds (writer of Finding Nemo) I wasn’t quite sure I was going to cope. Luckily I bumped into Simon Messingham (the magician from Jenny Ringo and the Monkey’s Paw and host of MovieBar as seen above) and we convinced each other to go for it.

Here's a picture of the judges, and there were a few hundred or so people sitting in the audience to the right of this photo -

Oh, the part I forgot is that by this time I was starting to lose confidence in my Jenny Ringo pitch. I’d done it for a few different people at the festival mixed responses and although most people loved the idea I wasn’t 100% it was the simplest story to tell in 60 seconds. Earlier that day I’d wandered off to the park for an hour to work on a pitch for another project just in case I needed a back-up. So as I'm standing in the queue it was this new project I was going to pitch. But as I got closer to the front something made me change my mind and at the last minute I decided to go back to the Jenny Ringo pitch.

But when I reached the stage the rules changed. There were too many people in the queue and the event was set to overrun, so in order to fit everyone in they cut the time limit down to 30 seconds. In a way, I think this really helped. It meant I only really had time to do the logline and couldn’t really embellish it all that much.

It went okay, Joel Schumacher said it was a clever idea, I went back to my chair thankful I hadn’t embarrassed myself. Then they announced the joint winners and I was one of them.

I completely failed to follow up on it, of course. Joel Schumacher shook my hand and congratulated me, I was mostly in shock so I took my winnings and headed straight for the bar. It was pretty insane really. I went to the festival as someone who had never really pitched and thought I’d be terrible at it, and then I won a pitching contest.

That’s it, that’s everything that happened writing-wise in 2014. I would be concerned about topping it, but due to real life, non-writing stuff 2015 is already set to be amazing. I don’t have much writing planned other than finishing off the projects I have from last year. I’m also hoping to film a short at the end of the year, something that’s not all that ambitious but that I’m still really excited about. I may post more about that when it happens, but based on last year it’s more likely you won’t hear from me again until 2016.

Oh, and Pete and I have a website!

Happy new year!

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Jenny Ringo 1, 2 and 3...

I know, it's been a while. I am still here. I have been busy writing stuff and teaching my almost-two-year-old to do a convincing zombie walk (succeeded, btw).

I have written a Jenny Ringo feature script, it's 40 pages too long, I know what I need to do to fix it but second drafts are hard! It's getting there.

Anyway, all three Jenny Ringo short films are now online so I thought this might be a good opportunity for a round-up -

Jenny Ringo and the Monkey's Paw -

Jenny Ringo and the Cabaret from Hell -

Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook -


Oh, and follow me on twitter @cg_regan

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Birdeatsbaby need your help...

In April 2009, back when I used to actually update this blog more than once every four months, Brother Pete and I went to see Birdeatsbaby at the Latest Music Bar in Brighton. I wrote about it here. It was one of the most amazing gigs I'd ever seen. There was just something incredibly refreshing about the music and the energy in the performance; it was different enough to be exciting but without alienating the audience. I wasn't really able to put it into words back then and I can't really now, but the point is they were really really good, as seen here...

They continued to be really really good. In 2011 they made this awesome video for a single on their second album, which I later screened at MovieBar...

They are still really really good. Now they sound like this...

But they need help to finish their third album. There's a Kickstarter page here. I know everyone is running Kickstarter campaigns these days and it's becoming more and more difficult to stand out, but here's why you should support this one -

- They are really, really good as mentioned above.

- You can pay the price of the album and then when they're done you actually get a copy of the album. So really you're just pre-ordering something you will probably buy one day anyway (because it's going to be awesome).

- They've been really upfront about their costs, and the fact that they are putting in half of what they need themselves shows how serious they are about this.

- They are doing really well and have passed the halfway point, so with a bit of extra help they will definitely make it!

- Did I mention that they are really really good?

So you should seriously consider heading over there and contributing to their Kickstarter, because if artists this good can't crowd-fund their work then there is seriously no hope for the rest of us.

Thursday 25 July 2013

Guest Post - Peter Regan (part two)...

Day Two- 14th April 2013

Day Two began as any normal day on a Jenny Ringo shoot begins. There were bandages, fake blood and lights in tiny cramped spaces.

We started with a scene that was eventually cut for time. Time in the film, and lack of time to create the effects needed. However all I remember was sitting on the bathroom floor, squashed up against the wall trying my hardest not to break down into laughter. I failed. How unprofessional of me.

Despite my failings, the scene was shot, and after getting the feeling back in my legs we moved on to the monsters outside ready for their close ups.

Once again the sun had got his hat on. However lighting a dark, interior corridor when you're outside is a pain in the back side unless you are the proud owner of some massive bright lights. Unfortunately I am not.

However we managed to get a happy medium and grab the shots we needed. As soon as the monsters had finished it was time to film the babies.

How does one direct babies I hear you ask? Well simply put, you don't. Instead you wave lots of things around, blow bubbles and eventually turn the TV on in a hope to distract them long enough to get the shot we need. It eventually worked and resulted in a 10 minute out-take of pure cute anarchy.

The beach was next. Originally the script called for the beach discussion to be at night. However in case this didn't work, a back-up would be required. Day time issues here. It was sunny, we got the shots, we moved on. We would be back later for the night time which came with a few surprises.

Now off to space to space for us to crank the F-stop.

Space was located in a barn. The result of a friend’s short who still had a set up for a couple of days.

Here's the original film the spaceship was constructed for...

Robot from zoneonestudios on Vimeo.

Now I'm new to filming things for myself and when told to crank the Fstop to make sure we had a smooth green screen, I couldn't help but stare blankly before nodding in agreement (something I've learnt more about with more night shoots). However we managed to get the space we needed. Everything was in focus that needed to be and we packed up and left.

And then we had to wait....

...finally it was dark.  We could now reshoot the earlier beach scene but in darkness.

"But if it's dark, how are you going to film anything?"

We had a plan. A plan involving plastic folders, LED lights and camping lanterns. A plan that gave us the desired effect or a burning magic flame. A plan that came at a deadly cost. The cost of being attacked by millions of  bugs.

Evil beach dwelling creatures that crawled up out of the pebbles to attack their prey. Had I not been tired and grumpy, some of those bugs may have survived to tell the tale of how they saw the filming of Jenny Ringo 3. However, at times I am not a patient man. It was survival of the fittest. I won.

Here's Pete not being very patient...

However had I had to face the sea fox alone, I'm sure I'd be telling a different tale. It's never a good sign, when your back is to the sea and everyone start looking over your shoulder at a "dog" coming out of the sea. Not a dog my friend, but a fox. A fox that each night rises from the briny depths to wander Worthing looking for easy prey. A Sea fox...I would guess.

Anyway, we got through the last location shoot. We each went our separate ways, back to the safety of our houses and beds, to dream of the adventures of sea foxes and beach bugs.

We still weren't finished. There was still animation that I had to complete, the construction of a monster and trying twice to get the perfect night time shot of Brighton Pier.

This is another tale for next time...


Please vote for Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook by clicking the Tweet button under this video or by tweeting '#VMShortsVote Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook'

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Jenny Ringo and the Funhouse of the Damned...

If you haven't seen Jenny Ringo and the Monkey's Paw turn away now because there will be spoilers ahead. Or you could just watch the film -

I'll let you in on a secret. I never intended for Jenny Ringo to be a series. When she ends up in Hell in the first film it was meant to be just that...the end.

Then I started making the second film. To justify it the writer Geraint D'Arcy and I decided that Jenny Ringo and the Cabaret from Hell would be a prequel. Haven't seen it yet? Here's the trailer -

You can see the whole film by going to and signing up to the mailing list!

Anyway, when we were shooting it became apparent that the relationship between Jenny and Gavin had evolved from the first film and it certainly felt like it was happening after that one. So I decided to embrace the fact that it was a sequel, which meant somehow I needed to explain how Jenny escaped from Hell.

So I contacted Paul Cousins, an amazing artist I knew from back when I was writing for Night Warrior, and suggested the idea of a 5 page comic to bridge the gap between Monkey's Paw and Cabaret from Hell. This is the result (click the pages to make them go bigly)...

If you enjoyed the comic and would like to see more Jenny Ringo adventures please vote for Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook by clicking the Tweet button under this video or by tweeting '#VMShortsVote Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook'