Turning pro in less than 362 days!

Hopefully turning pro in less than six thousand three hundred and eighty nine days!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Essential Screenwriting Tips - Things You Could Be Doing Instead of Writing

According to statistics I'm just about to make up, struggling writers spend up to three hours a day, for fifteen years either writing stuff that nobody else will ever read, or procrasturbating - that is employing some delaying tactic, most usually wanking, or recovering from wanking, in order to postpone the activity of writing.

That's urm, 3 times seven times 52 times fifteen hours of your life. Or

16380 hours. Or 682 days. Or two years, roughly.

That's sixteen thousand three hundred and eighty hours spent on a futile exercise that only makes you feel as worthless as ...insert your own analogy here. In fact, let's have an analogy competition. Write how writing aspirationally makes you feel - but nothing inflammatory - creationists are people, too. As is Bono, I think.

So, I've started to think what else I could be doing with that time.

For starters, I don't want to procrasturbate any more. I don't want to feel guilty, thinking I should be doing something else. I want to bring out the scented candles, and the oils, put on the Barry White and Motorhead mix tape and treat myself to a posh wank. I want to allocate valid time for it, not pump furiously away, with my top lip hugging my nostrils, scorning myself for not developing my protagonist.

Whilst I'm at it I'm going to learn a new language. I've got two ideas for this. I don't want to learn French or Spanish. I realise that this would probably open up half the world to me, as would Chinese, but fuck that, I want to be individual. They, like my future wife, can come later. Not that she would come later when we were making love (although she probably would. In trying to ensure synchronicity I would get too excited and exclaim my liquid apology. That's what happens when I watch clips, anyway. Don't worry though, I would rub her off afterwards).

I'm going to learn either sign language or Estonian.Why Estonian? Because no-one speaks Estonian, that's why. I'm going to dedicate one year of my life to learning it, then I'm going to book a holiday in Tallinn, act like a stupid English tourist then, BAAAAM! I'm going to pull it out the bag and blow them out the water. By the time my holiday ends I will probably be working in the embassy and married to seven beautiful women. Do they have polygamy in Estonia?

Then I'm moving on to sign language. Imagine yourself in a cafe, surrounded by deaf people, wondering what they're saying. Then you realise, holy shit, I do know what they're saying! You can turn round with a funny and that's it, you're friends for life! Plus, my neighbour is deaf, and he's also a cunt, and I really want to tell him to fuck off.

I'm also going to learn a cool trick to do in the pub, like that card thing Bill Murray does in Groundhog Day. I'm going to allocate one hour every day to learning a skillful thing to do with bottles, glasses and beer mats. And I'm going to learn jazz guitar, and foraging, so that when Armageddon kicks off I can go into the woods with my Rambo knife and find sustenance for my Estonian family.

Aside from this I'm going to chill out. I'm going to relax about the fact that I'm just a random organic organism who happens to be cognizant at this moment in history. Objectively my existence has practically no value. I am not a butterfly and I have no wings to flap and cause an earthquake in Peking. But I still have relationships with people, and I'm going to treat these with the obsession that has previously been paid to trying to get out of writing. I'll almost certainly get it wrong at first and be one of those fake smiling nobheads, but with enough counselling I could be a good friend to someone.

But if you just can't shake off the writing bug then I would say stop reading tips, stop being neurotic, stop seeing it as the be all and end all, stop running from one idea to another second guessing what the industry wants, stop thinking about all the money you're going to make and how it's going to change everything and make it all OK, stop thinking about the actress you're going to marry.

Stop writing. For three months.Just write down thoughts you have about the world, about your life and the way you see it.Think about what makes you passionate.

Then write about it.

Writing is art and it's about converting how you see the world into something meaningful to others. Don't cheapen it by turning it into anything else.

Friday, 2 December 2011

High Concepts - The Curse of the Great Unknown

Oh my God, I've just woken up with an idea so fantastic both my ears are full up with love juice.

By fantastic I mean beautiful, high concept sci-fi that could be sold to someone in two sentences - and it would get sold.

So now I feel like the goose that laid the golden egg. Only I haven't laid anything, I'm vaginally constipated - not that geese have vaginas, or arseholes, they actually have cloacas, which are one hole does everything sets of genitals. Pretty sure my ex was 90% goose.

What do I do? OK, for me it's a golden ovum, eggbound up my creative cloaca, but for some other cunt, probably with industry contacts, it's already several cells big. I guarantee that if I do nothing I can look forward to seeing my idea on the screen within five years.

Do I spend six months squeezing this fanciful oospore down my denotative cervix, only to sit on it like an legless penguin, not knowing what the shit to do with it? Or do I just say fuck it, I'll leave it to the other guy and get on with something so out there no other mind could possibly have conceived it?

Because if I choose the former then I'm going to have a prolapse every time I check industry boards, every time I see the cinema listings, every time I talk to someone, waiting to see it already in print, or worse, on film.

If I had just one contact that I could pitch to, who understood that I twitch and that my arms are no longer mine when I'm nervous, then all would be well, but we live in a world of social eugenics. These foibles put people off.

I wrote an enquiry letter to a production company the other day, but got so nervous I wrote cunt instead of my name and pinged it off before I could stop myself.

Fuck it, I'm going to bash it out and put it through Terry Gilliam's letter box.