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Friday, August 31, 2007

Sasha is dumped


Sasha Gardner (who plays Chloe in the Circumference pitch trailer) is one of the contestants in the Channel 4 show Dumped. Personally I think she'll do okay. If she can put up with us lot - she can put up with anything.



Photo from the Circumference shoot.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Scriptwriters - the hope for the Universe - episode II


Yes blog fans. More reasons why we should continue to slave away at a keyboard in a dark room on a sunny day. I know you need these reasons to keep going.

This post will prove to you that what you do is cool.

It is a simple message. Scriptwriters are needed to generate new ideas. Or else the above happens.

This video is from youtube. It is a spoof - of two kids miming - to a record that was a remix of a song several years ago. It is 4 steps back since someone actually created something out of nothing. This idea is now 4th generation. Imagine something you have photocopied 4 times.

Previously I talked about the connection to the second law of thermodynamics. This is a living example of an idea degenerating towards chaos.

So dig deep dear fellow writers - and provide the world with new ideas.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Don't forget...


If you are a writer / director then there is still time to bang in something for the Cinema Extreme scheme. But jump to it. Deadline is 7th Sept
Wasp, won the Best Live Action Short Film at the 77th Academy Awards. Wasp (pictured above) was directed by the British filmmaker Andrea Arnold and was funded by the UK Film Council and Filmfour's Cinema Extreme short film programme.
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Advice from Samantha Morton


Personally I didn't make it Edinburgh this year. But fellow writer and blogger Sal Brown did. She's written up a good account but perhaps buried a great piece of advice from actress Samantha Morton in one of her posts. Here's how Sal Brown summarised it...

She said that acting, like any form of creativity, is like a muscle and must be exercised every day, so when she wasn’t working she’d go to workshops, and keep acting even when she wasn’t getting paid. Asked what role she’d like in a classic remake, she was very anti-remakes, particularly of European non-English films remade in Hollywood, generally worse and with “the same old faces”. She was also very keen to continue working in the UK and in independent film, because that’s where she came from, and if people disappear to Hollywood then there won’t be any independent film, and then where do the next generation of actors come from? “It’s about more than ego”.

To me, what is interesting about that view is that that is what about 80% of writers would say. But probably not directors. So actors and writers perhaps share an outlook. If do - then why do we look down on actor / writers so much? And why are there so few of them?

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Photo from elsewhere - not at that particular talk.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Reason why you should think more about collaborating...


If you realise you are only a violin, you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert."
Jacques Cousteau

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Get off my patch! Part 2

Remember Bill Clinton's film? Now Bill Gates is at it - heck!

Flip - games, films, web, software - its one dang thing. To me though, be sensible for a moment, this is a measure of good writing; that someone else can pick it up and adapt it in the same style. A character that 'just' does stuff is not a character - they are a plot device.

Bill Gates Goes to College

The Microsoft bigwig teamed up with Napoleon Dynamite in this spoof video from PDC 2005. The camera's a little shaky, but you get the idea.


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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Storydust - real life


The next time someone is watching a romantic film and says "no one would ever do that" - show them this.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Scriptwriters - the hope for the Universe


Yes. It may be true. Slightly scientific this one though.

Some of you may be aware of the Second law of thermodynamics: The total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value.

In simpler words, over time everything just falls apart and changes to heat energy. Something I think we all knew - things get more chaotic, less ordered, as time goes on. Well scientists ain't dumb and they've proved it to be so.

In fact there is a theory that time flows the way it does because of this law. Because chaos increases we move forward in time. Tomorrow is tomorrow because it will be 'worse' and yesterday was, by definition, 'better'.

The pessimists in the blog readership will, by now, be on solid ground. And knowing what I do about scriptwriters I'm guessing it will the majority of you. But here is the good news...

Scriptwriters overcome chaos everyday. It is the role of the storyteller. To take the chaotic life, the random real world - and order it. We bring meaning to events. We order thoughts. We hold back the chaos in the universe for just a little bit longer.

Big congratulations to us.

Obviously an ultimately futile attempt, but worth a giggle.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Blog in third year - top ranked in google

google logo

Not many people are talking about it - but blogs are on the decline I think. Some are slowing and stopping. People are moving to Facebook etc. BUT the Projector Films blog will continue and in fact the number of readers is growing. Mainly for these 3 reasons.

One: For me - It helps me think out new ideas, crucial for my own development.
Two: For you - You guys are welcome to borrow and steal these ideas
Three: For us all - It continues to be a great way to meet fellow writers and film2.0 advocates and keep in touch - good gravity.

Of the three, the last point is the most important I believe. I met up with three people today (including someone who co-ordinates writing for computer games - very interesting). With all three we had a jump start to the conversation because of the blog, a kicking off point if you like. Whether that's the Scriptwriter's Life or structure2.0 ideas or whatever.

That's 3 meetings - in one day - all blog related. That's a very real benefit. Remember that a writer is nothing is their work isn't read. And people prefer to read the work of people they know.



Bonus news. Go to google. Type in british short film or uk short film and yes, you do feel lucky.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Blog birthday


Yes. The blog is 2 years old today.

Time for a big, big, big (other expressions that indicate a large size are available) big, summary of 2 years. What has been learnt collectively from looking at new ideas to help writers? In particularly what can we see if we look to the future of the scriptwriting, the on-line media - what I've grown to call film2.0?

Good place to start for newer readers also.

One: You can't write with a passion about things you don't care about. Explore people, know people. Doesn't matter if you are scientific in character (as humans are the most complex machines we know of) or artistic in character (as people are at the centre of all art). But collect your storydust and use it. Formats change. But people will always be interestingDiscover the word
Two: Know what you stand for, your USP and all else will flow from that. Be brave - stick to your guns if you have to. It's your reputation - perhaps that is all you really have. Delight in working in new industries and formats and challenge structure and form if your story demands it. Master the word
Three: Get out there - let people know what you are doing, create gravity for yourself. Keep in touch. Know the value of your work. Go that bit further to connect with people in the business (using business in a very loose way). Embrace new ways to connect with an audience. Spread the word.

Certain old timers amongst you will notice that these three bits of advice are like the three circles from the Scriptwriters's Life. Well, obviously! ;-)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

New script format - probably not


As you know I'm often toying around with the old script layout and challenging the preconception that it should be unchanging. I don't recommend this idea however.

It is the script to The Godfather written out by hand to form a picture of The Don.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Special Inspiration



Surely an inspiration for a script. Or at least a great character.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

New (?) scructure seeking a name

I've been working on a new script. As you blog readers will know, I am fascinated by ideas and new techniques.

For this new script I've been playing with a structure that is different for me, a structure a little bit like The Hours directed by my old mate Dalders from a script by David Hare.

My script is a 30min script and as such you can only fit in so many ideas and techniques. But I wondered if you could go further with this idea. The idea is... look at the drama from EVERY angle. Jump around in space and time wherever you need to go, characters may come and go - the only goal is to explore an issue or theme.

I don't know if this structure has a name. I have tried to illustrate it with a series of diagrams below. Starting with the old structure...



The traditional structure. This diagram shows a normal story progression.



An example of the traditional structure. This diagram shows a story being told using that normal, standard structure that we all know. Here I picked an off-the-shelf cop drama. As you can see it's told in a standard linear manner.



An example of the 'new' structure. Now the same plot, the same story told using this multi-faceted approach. We look at the same show down and all the components that led it to happen.


New? Or useless? Or interesting? An example of structure2.0?

Friday, August 03, 2007

People who love Circumference - episode 7


Check this out. Darcy so loved the pitch trailer that it inspired her to create this poster.

As a writer that really counts for something - that your work inspires others. In a way I feel that this could even be a measure of the 'world' you create. How transferable is it? How inspired is the audience?

The pay off for me is that I feel enthused and energised to continue with this project. In that way Darcy has inspired me.

You can see more of her work here.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The TV producer manifesto

Quite a few people talking about the TV producer situation. Especially a couple of challenging ones from Gia. But I like to think that this blog is a helpful blog and as such I present to the world...

The TV producer's manifesto...

One: I am part of society.
I represent the audience. But I also represent the contributors. I will not make them look stupid and twist their words just for an easy life. The public are my responsibility, not my resource.

Two: Broadcasters - you need me.
I create content and you deliver it. But my idea is my idea. If you want to do something stupid with it and try to skew it into something it isn't, then I'm off. I won't change it. Instead I'll get the money from somewhere else - maybe on-line.

Three: My contract is not with the broadcaster...
...it is with the audience. If I say that the programme will do something, it will. As soon as I lie I have lost the audience. Do not try to make me a liar.

Four: It is not 'just' television
Just because it is an entertainment format do not belittle it. You can't go on about the power of TV if you don't accept the responsibility of TV. If its 'just TV' then why do we all have to pay a license fee?

Five: Work together rather than against
I believe that the audience, the broadcaster and the producer must work together. Why are we competing against each other?



Comments on this manifesto are welcome. Its an ongoing work.

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Actors masterclass



A bit of light hearted fun. All you need to know about acting from the master Robert DeNiro.