Turning pro in less than 362 days!

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

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

New Mexican Film Claims Proof of Aliens

Gartholomites take heed -  there's a new Mexican documentary coming out soon claiming to have proof that aliens visited the ancient Mayan civilisation. Exciting!

The evidence is to be found not only in Mexico, but also in Guatemala, and possibly elsewhere in the range of the ancient head lopping motherfucker's empire. Apparently they built landing bays, the works. Here's a link to the article. http://goo.gl/5Ldjv

Could it be that this is just a cynical and cheap publicity stunt, in the manner of The 4th Kind or Blair Witch?

Of course it fucking is.

Oh right, yeah, of course, an advanced alien culture visited ancient Mexico, it's obvious. How else did they know to build the pyramids?

Hey man, how the fuck do we build something bigger than four feet? Fuck knows. Ok, let's just live in the jungle, in mud huts or something. Cool, I like being rained on anyway, it's fun. Holy shit, who are these big eyed freaks hovering this way? I dunno but I sure hope they speak Mayan.

Wow, they do, must be those weird fish in their ears.

Hey, crazy primitive, cannibalistic Earthlings, how's it going?

Not bad.

Cool, we've come from the stars.

Cool.

Yeah, would you like us to teach you stuff?

Dunno, like what?

Man, we know so much shit - we can teach you about culture, language, technology - man we could teach you how to travel through space and time if you like? It will be so cool, we could meet up on the moons of Alpha centauri! We can teach you how to be at one with the entire universe - it's very cool - but stop all that decapitation bullshit - the galactic authorities will frown upon it.

Hmm, nah, you're ok. But do you know how to build stuff higher than four foot?

Course we do - ok, let's build a thousand foot high gravity defying tower block!

Hmm, you're ok, what about something a bit more shit looking, in keeping with our current technology.

We travel all the way across the fucking universe and you're not interested in any of our cool stuff -  fuck you, you stretchy headed fuckwits, we're off.

But we'll leave you one piece of knowledge - if you get all those stone head chopping boards and arrange them in a square, then build incrementally smaller squares on top, eventually they will meet at the top and you will have invented a pyramid.

Yeah, that must be it.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Movie Review – Rise of the Planet of the Apes


Movie Review –  Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Running Time – 105 minutes

Genre: Sci-Fi Mo-Fo

You know things are fucked up when you go to see a movie called Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and you find that you’re not even rooting for your own fucking species.

Such feelings are not assuaged when you watch the late showing at the Odeon on Brighton’s nightclub hotspot, West Street, only to emerge in the early hours to find yourself surrounded by beer soaked, self administered retards seemingly incapable of uttering even the limited vocabulary of a genetically modified ape. 

As I walked up the street I half expected them to start throwing their own shit around. They probably would if they could figure out how to undo their belts. Which is also why they were all walking around the gait of a chimpanzee, trying desperately to find a taxi before the turtle fully emerged from their backsides. I want to go back inside – I want to live on that Earth!

Anyway, that’s all by the by. The main thing is the movie is a bloody masterpiece. 

It’s one of those great story plots that grows and grows, like the ripples of a pond after some little brat has thrown a stone in, trying to hit a swan, from a small, but irreparable enterprise, to something that engulfs the entire planet. The classic snowball movie.

There’s very little dialogue, most of the meaning conveyed by the astonishingly detailed CGI. It still manages to present an incredibly damning and claustrophobic take on modern humanity. In this way, and many others, it is a fitting prequel. 

Oh, I should’ve mentioned the plot briefly by now. It’s about a well meaning scientist (yeah, really) who gives something to chimps that he hopes will work on those so he can try it on humans. It all makes sense when you watch it. But that’s enough of that, if you want a proper review go to a proper website, I’ve got two points to make, then I’m fucking off to digest the shit out of it all.

Firstly, it stars Tom Felton, the pursed mouthed motherfucker that played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, as a dicksplash zoo keeper, who loves being cruel to chimps. This guy needs to have a rethink, he’s only in his early twenties and he’s already typecast. If he doesn’t watch out he’s going to grow up to have a face like the guy who plays Ian Beale in Eastenders. Somebody give him the lead in Tooth Fairy, Too! And fast.

The other thing I was thinking all the way through is, if you’re going to experiment on chimps, make it bonobos – those guys are chilled out beings, they just go round fucking each other all day. Not like your regular chimpanzee, the aggressive, floppy anussed bastards. What did you fucking think was going to happen?

Having thought about it some more though, hmm, a strain of super smart sex crazed bonobos with a libido like Michael Douglas on steroids, running amok through the streets of San Fransicso...

Doesn’t even bear thinking about.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Essential Screenwriting Tips – Part Three – What Kind of Writer Are You?


Welcome back Gartholomites!

Sorry for the harsh words in part two, I knew it could reduce my readership back to one, but it had to be done.

Right, the psychology is gone – your mind is hardened and resolved – you must be a writer, even with the accompanying consequences of a pot belly and blanched skin. Let’s get down to the practicalities.

Many people start writing something without actually questioning whether it’s what they should be writing, whether it plays to their strengths. Take my friend, for example.

He has been writing and re-writing a God-awful rom-com for over ten years now. Why? Because ten years and one day ago the woman of his dreams left him and he has been trying to rewrite history ever since.  He always gets stuck on act three. Why? Because he’s not a hopeless romantic - surely the profile of a successful rom-com writer – but a broken and bitter man with a self sabotage streak bigger than Brigitte Nielsen’s tits. He should be writing something more suited to his character profile – like low budget rip-offs,  ‘Inglorious Wankers’, or ‘Dave Must Die’, that sort of thing.

So, think about who you are, what you’re interested in, how you like to write – it may be that you should be writing novels and not screenplays.

Below I’ve written a scene – minus the ending. You have to select which of the five possible conclusions sounds most like you and post the accompanying letter, together with your  age, star sign, vital statistics and a few words about yourself, in the comments box below, and I will give you a personalised response on what kind of writing suits you. Sound good?

Ok, here we go: -

INT. KITCHEN. MORN 

Keith, a middle aged man with messy hair enters the kitchen of a comfortably sized walk through kitchen diner, clutching his temples and groaning.

He pours a glass of water and gulps it down.

He opens the cutlery draw.

It’s empty.

He looks to the washing up – there’s shitloads.

He sighs and drags a large carving knife out of its wooden block.

He cuts off a piece of bread and begins to butter it with the huge knife.

A middle aged woman enters the room –
                                  
                           WOMAN
                What the hell do you think you’re doing?
                                                      CUT TO:

Ok, what’s next?


A)
Keith carries on looking down at the bread.
                           KEITH
               Getting myself some breakfast, babe.
               This is the only clean knife.
Or

B)
Keith picks up the buttery knife and licks the mighty weapon suggestively.
                            KEITH
               What’s the matter? You got something
               better to eat?
Or

C)
Keith launches the huge knife at her, and it sticks in her mouth, killing her instantly.
                            KEITH
               Don’t speak with your mouth full, bitch!
Or

D)
It hits him like a bombshell and he looks up, confused, his mouth dropped open.
    KEITH
               I… have… no… idea.

Or

E)
Her words crash like misplaced eggs off a sideboard. His eyes flicker for a moment as the perfect reply flashes into his mind, but he allows it to pass him by. A wistful smile plays upon his lips and he looks up and into her eyes.

But her image flashes and vanishes into the memory from whence it came. His head falls, sunken by regret and gravity, releasing a single tear down onto the buttered slice.
                                                               
Of course it may be that none of those are what instantly sprang into your head, in which case feel free to add an F), G) or H) if its not taken, but be careful to justify your words.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Screenwriting Tips Part Two – Why Do We Write?


Hey, thanks for hanging in there Gartholomites!

The next tip is probably the most important of the lot.

Be honest with yourself. Why are you writing? 

Do you really have something different to say, an interesting voice and an innate sense of story, or are you just a cunt like the rest of us?

This is a very difficult thing for a lot of people to answer. The last thing anyone wants to admit is that they are clinging on to a desperate aspiration to stave off the utter terror of a vacuous and worthless existence – but that’s what a lot of us do. 

After all, it’s pretty bloody obvious now that God doesn’t exist, and that he was the creation of a primitive peoples trying to find meaning in a world they barely understood, before being formalised into religious doctrines by men with small penises on a power trip. 

It can be scary living in a godless world and a lot of us take refuge in a hope, or a dream, that replaces the crutch of religion. Writing is one of those, and it works for me. As long as there is a chance that my novel/ screenplay will get sold and transform my life in the future I can get through the rest of this crap. A cunning, but ultimately self defeating, replacement for a faith based afterlife.

Sure fire signs that you are a cunt and not a writer:

1)      You don’t write. You talk the talk, and maybe plan a lot, but your ideas aren’t self-perpetuating.

In my youth I was taught the guitar by someone I instantly recognised as a genius. I don’t wish to name drop but he has gone on to become one of the greatest living guitarists. As Arthur Conan Doyle once said “mediocrity cannot see above itself, it takes talent to recognise genius”. I recognise that I have talent but not genius, so it’s going to be a hard slog for me, and I’m going to have to get lucky. 

The aforementioned guitarist once related this fine anecdote. He used to have pupils approach him all the time asking how to write the perfect pop song. He said he couldn’t. He could teach them all the ingredients that go into a pop song, the mechanics, but he cannot teach inspiration and, ultimately, this is the source. What you can do is enrich yourself as much as possible, read and watch only the best. Imagine your mind is a hard drive- fill it with greatness and give your inspiration the best possible chance. But if you don’t have ideas that make you want to fat off over your keyboard, forcing you into a typing frenzy to expurgate your tidy mind, then maybe this isn’t for you.

At this point I would like to state that if you now realise that you’re not a writer then congratulations – you’ve just liberated yourself from a life of perpetual misery, anxiety and unfulfilment! You are now free to go and get yourself an obtainable dream – such as being a great person to others, maintaining a social life and living a full life, travelling and maybe doing a bit of fossil hunting, finding a job that has meaning to others. That sort of thing.

That should now just leave a few hardcore writers. 

For you guys and gals – rock on!!! But before you swan around getting that big head of yours stuck in doorways you’re gonna have to read part three.

Coming soon.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Essential Screenwriting Tips - Part One


Okay, I know what you’re thinking – how come you’re writing tips on screenwriting when you’re not a pro yourself? Two reasons.

1)      It doesn’t stop a lot of other cunts from doing it.
2)      Some of these cunts don’t know what they’re talking about.
3)      I would be a pro if I followed my own tips, that’s how good they are.

So, over the next couple of blogs I’m going to outline what I think every aspiring writer needs to succeed, as well as some general tips to make your writing better.

First and foremost: -

You must love writing. If you think that a writer’s life is sitting on the top deck of buses, getting sucked off by adoring fans, before alighting to do an interview with Jonathan Ross, then you’re wrong. That’s an actor’s life. If that’s what you’re in it for then get yourself to Prada, or whatever it’s called.

 If you want to be a professional wordsmith then you must love writing, not drinking coffee in Starbucks, or any of the other cunty chainstores, in your corduroy jacket, talking about your next idea, which they know as well as you that you are never going to finish. Any writer worth his salt testifies to the fact that you don’t talk about it until it’s done. And he knows better than to be ripped off in some sterilized, overpriced beanhouse, where you pay over the odds for sitting on, and looking at, pieces of wood that aren’t really wood at all, but laminated pieces of shit, the same pieces of shit that are found in every other one of their personality free kernel whorehouses, everywhere else in the country. No, the real writer goes to real cafes, independent places, wherein you are unlikely to find anyone with a normal amount of facial features. They will always be missing an eye, or have an extra forehead, placed where their chin should be, that kind of thing. In England these are called greasy spoon cafes. Oh yes, the writer will be in there, with his notepad, jotting down the utterances of these characterful inbreds, ready for inclusion in his next working class masterpiece starring Gary Oldman and the man from Eastenders.  

Oh yes, and you must love the idea, nay the practice, of sitting down at a computer, or with a pad, or typewriter, or a quill and a forehead, whatever floats your boat, and testing your imagination and powers of communication.  You must delight in taking yourself to imagined cul-de-sacs and smashing your way out of them with a cerebral dumper truck. Take this improvised scenario.

You are at the shops and you see a man passing by in full jogging regalia, followed by an overweight policeman. Do you simply exclaim ‘oh’ and walk on, or do you question your reality? Are the two things related? Had the jogger just got off with a priceless necklace? Was the jogging outfit a ruse to deflect from his history of petty crime and thievery?  On this occasion no, the jogger had simply dropped his wallet and the policeman picked it up, but these are the sorts of questions you should be asking yourself if you want to be a pro. You should be running home at this point, alive with possibilities on what the background of the mystery jogger could be. What’s his home situation like? Is he a homosexual or libertarian? What sort of cunt would go out looking like that? Create a psychological profile. Do online psychological tests as that man. And every other person in your screenplay.

 If this all sounds like too much work then perhaps you are better cut out to be a runner, or maybe an editor.
  
If, on the other hand, it sounds like what you do everyday anyway, then congratulations, you’re well on the way to having a successful screenwriting career. But don’t be so na├»ve! You’re not there yet – you still need to read part two – and part three if I can stay motivated.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Why You Should Never Pitch What You Haven't Written


Ok, it’s been a while since I last blogged. That’s because my life has been nothing but an oversized stool slowly working its way out of an anus too small for it. Whichever way I’ve pushed or turned it a) only increased the pain and b) didn’t seem to affect the outcome – my attempts at becoming a writer were going down the shitter.

A while ago I pitched an idea that I had previously tried to offload onto The Asylum – a cult straight to DVD production company – to a small time independent producer – who loved it! Only problem being I hadn’t written it, so when the request for the script came through I had to think quick – I’m on my way to a voluntary conservation stint in the middle of Ecuadorian jungle so won’t have internet access for a month – I’ll ping it when I get back. That should buy me just enough time to write a reasonable first draft. No problem he says, look forward to reading it/ have a good time - which he’d cleverly translated into Spanish – what a card!

 Cue the worst writer’s block/ savage wankathon of my life.

I swear my eyes are a full half inch further embedded into my skull than they were a month ago. I’m walking like a crab and doing all my shopping in the middle of the night, wearing steel toecapped boots and my right arm in a sling to hide the callouses and over-sized forearm,  hoping that they think I’m a construction worker who’s had an industrial accident.

Two days before I’m due to return, and he is expecting the script, and I’m producing nothing but dust and running a temperature of 105°. Worse still, I’ve written nothing. Then something really fucking weird happened. I’m not going to write about that though- it’s too freaky. Then I started to write, more than I’ve ever written before.

I’ve always thought that I could be a great writer, but it’s difficult to tell when you’ve never sat in a chair and written for more than half an hour before your hand somehow ended up in your pants, or you were half way to the shops, or to sleep. Now though, I couldn’t help it. I had literally wanked myself into a cul-de-sac of potentialities wherein the only option was to write. So I did. For nineteen solid hours.

When I woke up the day after the next day I felt amazing. My temperature had gone and I had written a feature length script in less than a day! The edge was slightly taken off by the fact I had fallen asleep on a jammy dodger biscuit – the fine details of which were etched into my forehead for the next three days, like the hand of that cunt in Raiders of the Lost Ark, who picks up the burning hot amulet. At least the night workers now had an additional clue as to the possible nature of my industrial accident.

Anyway, I give it a quick read through – it’s fucking awful, but who cares! I’m like the dad of the kid at school who looks like a sausage, with four teeth in the hole where it was pricked, none of which agree on the best direction to face and who eats like a fleshy car compactor. It doesn’t matter how ugly the thing is, it’s mine and I’m proud of it. I check it for typos and ping it off.

The producer gets back to me – it’s interesting but he has some issues to discuss. ‘Fuck off, I’m not Carl fucking Jung’ I think , but don’t write. We meet for coffee and it’s not going too badly – I manage to palm off my social insecurities and twitches as a tropical disease I picked up in Ecuador when he drops it like a bombshell.

“And how is the place?” The place? Sounds like he might be familiar with it.

“Er, you know, pretty green, lots of spiders”. 

“Ha! Yeah, I take it you went down the Napo River?”

Shit. He has been there and goes off on a mad, sparkly ramble. I haven’t and now I’m in a situation that is impossible to escape. I feel like an idiot, but how the fuck am I supposed to know that Rivadeneira, his name, is an Ecuadorian name? That he spent practically his whole life wandering around the entire fucking country? I thought his accent was fake, I thought it was just a Brighton thing, like moustaches, lumberjack shirts and soft mouths. He asks me a question, one that I am in no way qualified to answer. I do the only thing open to me.

I forcibly shat myself in Costa Coffee.

Still, they say your first meeting is always the hardest.