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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Some great advice on SPEECHwriting!

My good friend and speechwriting guru Brian Jenner asked me do him some viral style clips for him. So I did. They turned out well I reckon. You can a whole load on his youtube page if you are thinking of doing a speech soon. And he'll be trotting them out on his blog over time.

A few pieces of advice - upload them all, trickle them out. The reason being that if someone likes the first video they will want to see more, straight away. Makes sense. I also followed the rule of trying to make the half way point an interesting image, as that is what Youtube uses as a thumbnail. Lastly the simple black backdrop makes these small images stand out and the whole series has a standard look. Jobs a good un.

Personally I like creating material like this. It really is in the spirit of sharing and film 2.0 This is just Brian's advice to use if you wish. No pressure to buy, no big up. Just good sense.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We are everywhere

I was doing one of my corporate lecturing gigs today. It was about new ideas and how to use these new ideas in interesting ways. So pretty much what this (occasional!) blog covers. But with coffee.

What is clear is that as writers and film makers we love picking up cheeky little snippets of info, finding out more about our craft through books, going to talks and lectures and spending time on line seeking advice. AND we do all this with our own time and money.

Sometimes in larger businesses this is not always the case. One person said that at a previous company of theirs learning was seen as failure - an admission of ignorance. What dispiriting news! So they need to learn some of our love if new ideas.

But what can we learn from business? Well for me it's about tracking return. In business everyone would know the real, tangible, work benefits of (for example) attending the Screenwriters Conference. Was the £300 worth it? How could you not know that? Next year is that better invested in making a short film? They would know.

Lastly though it was good to meet Ivan, (the dude above) who was there on business but is also coincidentally a finalist in the South West Screen feature development competition. Good to see writers are everywhere these days.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bodily functions and the writer

Here is a great quote by Alec Sokolow - co-writer of Toy Story and others. This appeared in the very last issue of Scriptwriter. I believe this advice extends beyond our immediate work however.

Everybody loves the smell of their own farts. Everyone has to piss on something to make it theirs. Lose the fight before you lose the job. The camel shits and caravan moves on. Every once in a while the camel's going to take a crap and you're either going to have to walk through it or walk around it. Your job is to plough through and move on.

Wise words - possibly. Or maybe Alec has been working with kids for too long. But actually, as with so many of these things, this idea can also apply to our characters as well as to ourselves.

I know that 'everyone has to piss on something to make it theirs' can seem to apply to development execs, agents, producers, actors etc all suggesting lines. But equally it applies to any character in the plot. What are they doing to make the problems, the solutions, the issues theirs? What do they do with it that no other character would.

Or maybe we are just pissing in the wind!

Photo by eNil.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Here's an idea we did about 3 years ago but one that has been lost in the archives since. It involves shooting with 3 cameras specially angled to give a 120 degree view.

This was for a corporate gig. But maybe someone could take this idea and use it in a short film or music video. If so, help yourself.

You simply align the cameras on three close tripods and then realign the images in your favourite editing or compositing software to give a 'aircraft simulator' look. The only problem is that you have to align to specific depths. In this example the back wall is aligned. So when the girl reaches across it goes a bit crazy. But I feel that's all part of this look.