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Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Global Chinwag

Over in California recently was an event called 'The Conversation' - about the future of digital entertainment. It may seem nerdy perhaps - but lots of film makers went, including my old laughing partner Rob from Zen Films. You can read about his experiences here. These 3 highlights however are from the blog of the main man Scott Kirsner.

John Gaeta, the visual effects designer who brought you 'The Matrix' and 'Speed Racer,' suggested that before very long, movies and games will deliver exactly the same level of visual fidelity. Some viewers might prefer the interactive gaming experience, and some might prefer the "sit back and watch" narrative experience. And some, Gaeta suggested, might choose to jump back and forth between the two experiences through portals and trap doors... watching the narrative for a while, then choosing to participate at some crucial juncture.
Great idea - and what a challenge for writers and film makers.

YouTube's George Strompolos proposed that characters from your movie (whether narrative or a doc) ought to be stars of videos on YouTube. Most successful YouTube series, he said, are driven by larger-than-life characters. That extra content, he said, should be part of your marketing campaign.
Does that mean we can expect Mr Vista the movie anytime soon? I'm not sure. But what it does mean is a lot more pilots and small pieces. It also could appear to indicate character over plot.

Ken Eklund, a developer of alternate reality games like "World Without Oil," said, "The culture war between movies and games is over... and movies lost." That provoked some good discussion and debate.
If true then some parts of our craft are gone (montage for example) while others will stay (character arc and dialogue) and we will have to learn new skills (writing for interactive situations). But so what? We are writers we can do anything.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New title: F*** the procrastination tag - here is some advice

I've been busy recently. So blogging has slowed. However that made me think of...

This video that I made recently. It is about how to fit as much into your time as possible.

The good news about time is that no one has an advantage over you. The Coen Brothers don't have more time than us. William Goldman doesn't. Chaplin didn't. So, as struggling writers we can at least take a quantum of solace from that.

So, how do we get the most out of our time then.

Well this video picks up an idea I got from a guy called Tony, who works at a very busy hotel. It talks about splitting your tasks in rocks, pebbles, sand and water - so you can jiggle them around in your 'jar of time'.

All good fun. But the hard part is what are your rocks? Well I always think back to the Scriptwriters Life for that kind of thing. Get rockin'

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What should you write about?

What are you writing (or creating stories in whatever way you choose) about? What are you saying? What should you write about? What should your scripts do? Why should you be a writing?

This post explores these questions that we are all asked and we all ask ourselves. And is a challenge...

Remember the Stella Artois advert above where the old man had a final wish - for a nice pint of Stella? Well do the same for yourself.

It is the end of your days. Everyone is gathered around you. And you have one thing to share, one thing to say. What is it?
Now, why the hell aren't you writing about that right now!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Super super 8

It was great to get a message from Adam Neale...

Hey Tim,

You know I was looking for advice on using Super8... well I gave it a go and it came out rather well. I used it as part of a film that I entered into a channel 4 competition and we're in the finals with it. Check it out here.

My super 8 page is short, perhaps a bit out of date, but very well visited. I'm glad it is used and is helping people make films. But that got me thinking...

How often do say thank you to the people that give us inspiration and advice - like Adam did? Not enough in my case. So thanks to you for reading this.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Small Town Folk on the goggle box

I see that local (to me) film Small Town Folk was featured on the tele today...
In which we learn that Fred Dinenage has a lifelong ambition to be a film extra

And that reminded me of the time myself and Suki went to see the guys on the day the film came out...
And we found out that Chris Musselwhite now has a showbiz signature and Chris R Wright has a gold pen!

No point to this post except to celebrate a local feature getting made and getting out there. Which is reason enough. I reckon. Check it out here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Never the music

Now I don't like music. But...

Here is an idea from the music world, one that Jont has been running. He does gigs. But he does them in people's houses. He provides the gig. They provide the location. They advertise it online. People show up. That's it.

Kind of cool in a rock n roll freewheelin way. But could you do the same thing for film. I think so. Enough people now have big enough screens to have a kind of cinema experience. A film maker turns up, dvd in hand, a pair of red curtains and a bit of showbiz pazzazz and shows some great shorts - comedy style I would suggest. Perhaps skype in some of the other directors and then have a damn good knees up afterwards.

While touring around perhaps make a road movie film too. Or a film featuring everyone at the show as an extra. Loads of ideas.

I might put this forward for funding. So what do people think of that as an alternative distribution idea. Get on the road! Kind of counter intuitive to the benefits of film - but exciting at the same time.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Storydust nonsense

There's nought as queer as folk y'know. Check it out. Enjoy it. Steal the idea for a script!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

New Mr Vista

Just a quick note to say we've enjoyed shooting a new series of Mr Vista today. There was a slight issue with one scene. Mr Vista goes on holiday doesn't go so well when it's the worst storm for ages thrashing the coast. Or does it. It just goes to show yet again that thinking on your feet is always important. The difference with Mr Vista is that the writing is done by everyone; the actor, myself, the crew, Dom carver was there as well as he'd chipped in some ideas. Is that a weakness to not have a single writer? Is it dangerous? Or do more sources of ideas make us lose focus? Do we sometimes appear to have an arrogance as writers? Is it our job to provide a fixed set of answers? Or is it our job to ask questions?

Just some thoughts at the end of the day.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Guess what film this Japanese poster was advertising? (result now in)

This was a real poster for a western film (in the 80s) - but which one???

Just goes to show how much the audience and the marketing make the film what it is - as much as the writing and directing do! The winner gets a signed photo of Mr Vista but please don't let that stop you entering.

Answer: American werewolf in London