Turning pro in less than 362 days!

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

Friday, 28 October 2011

Something to Ponder When You're Eating Your Cornflakes

I don't know about you, but when I think of Doctor Kellogg I think of some doddery old fool with teeth like a chipmunk, spouting on about breakfast cereals and clean living.

But that's not the real picture, oh no. Let me just say that it wasn't his idea to put honey and nuts onto cornflakes. He never tasted a honey in his life and his nuts were as much use to him as his appendix or, if I'm being imaginative, an arsehole made out of wasps.

That's right, he was a celibate.

"What the fuck is wrong with that, you cunt?" You say.

"Nothing, you cunts", I reply. "Each to their own. It certainly worked for Nikola Tesla. I very much doubt he would've invented alternating current, which runs the modern world, if he had spent every night squirting and secreting his way through the streets of Serbia. Only some people don't want to leave it there do they? They have to take their personal truth and thrust it on to everyone else. They start knocking on people's fuckin' doors - I know the truth, do you wanna hear it? Urm excuse me? Go back and knock on your own door mister, this is my universe."

Well Kellogg set up his retreat and all and started preaching his own gospel as if it was the only way to do things. Listen Kellogg, not everyone was born with a fuckin face like a panda's scrotum - we all know your abstinance was a pre-emptive strike, but these kids are cool - they have a chance of getting laid. Don't ask them to sew up their foreskins, so that they can't really get erections without considerable personal pain, or recommend strong acids be poured onto a girl's genitals to remove the sensitivity of the clitoris. Just stay in your ivory tower and keep your thoughts to yourself.

Your cornflakes are pretty good though, where can I get some?

What have the gays ever done for us?

Now, I know it's not every man's idea of fun to feel a rock hard cock slowly enter their buttered up anus. That's fine. Of everywhere I can imagine as enjoyable places for a willy to be, my mouth isn't one of them. It's just not my thing.

But it is other people's thing, and I think that's fucking fantastic. The sight of two men, or women, cuddling and holding hands makes me want to burst open my trousers and play with myself. But not in a sexual way.

I know there are a lot of people out there that are still a bit uncomfortable with it, so I thought I would make a list of all the things humanity's legacy would be missing if all those that loved nothing more than ticking a tripod or munching a carpet never existed. It might help, somehow.

Phwoar, it's chilly out, put the heating on, would you love? Heating, what's that? Not a lot without fire, and there's plenty of evidence from homoerotic cave drawings to suggest that Cro Magnon man was also Pro Hardon man. Could it be that fire was invented by two young australopithecine males, whose vigorous frotting created so much heat and friction that their pubes caught fire? Probably not, but you never fucking know, and it would be unscientific to dismiss it out of hand. 

Now fast forward four and a half million years. With homosexualities just a flimsy fiction, the young proto human cock fighters never invented fire so you're sitting there with your family, in your cave, freezing cold, with your three jumpers on, and it's Christmas time. You want to cut out some paper snowflakes and put them up in the cave window. Forget it. Scissors were invented by Leonardo da Vinci, a famous gaysmith, and when he wasn't inventing, among other things, the helicopter and the tank, he was either painting some of the greatest masterpieces in the history of mankind, such as the Mona Lisa, or revolutionising thought on comparative anatomy, the properties of light, geology, music, cartography and mathematics. Or packing his wanger into another man's orifice.

And he wasn't the only gay artist. You can forget about ever seeing the Sistine chapel in the straightlands, too.And indeed anything by just about all the Renaissance artists.

Sure you can listen to some music if you want to, but it probably sounds fucking dull if it's sprung from a universe devoid of that of Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Schumann, Britten, Bernstein and maybe Beethoven. And you can't listen to any David Bowie, Queen, Velvet Underground, or Sammy Davis, Jr, either.

Read a book? Not if it's by Graham Greene, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust and many more you won't. Hell, them themselves probably wouldn't have written a thing either if the evidence that Shakespeare indulged in the odd bit of bear baiting is validated.

Hmm, what's it all about then? Is there any meaning to this odd new life? Suppose you want to ask these questions sometimes, at parties, and such like. Not any more you don't. Western thinking was founded by the ancient Greeks, Socrates and his pupil Plato, chief among them. But did you know their motto was 'one for the bum, no harm done, just don't tell your mum'? In Ancient Greece homosexualities were encouraged - even by the military - if you were fighting alongside your lover you would fight longer and harder. In more ways than one.

Not that Ancient Greece was an aberration. Throughout history, right up to modern times, great intellectuals have been attracted to the bodies as well as the minds of their peers. Notable modern thinkers Gore Vidal and Christopher Hitchens have both adored the embrace of a man. Without gay sexual exploration we would all be living an unquestioning existence and hitting each other in the face. Like they do in the Midwest of America.

And in case this bleak vision has made you want to top or cut yourself, just remember not to expect any sympathy in your brave new heterosexual world. You'll probably just get told to man up. Our whole system of modern nursing was inspired by the teachings and practice of Florence Nightingale, the 'lady with the lamp'. When she kissed someone on the lips it was those of the vagina.

And where are all your alpha male role models going to come from? Alexander the Great, Richard the Lionheart, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster and Joe Longthorne -all at least half gay.

Damn it, where's my thread?

I don't know, I know where the needle is, it's in my hand, but I'm sitting at the top of this mountain and there any nothin' for miles around.

But this was supposed to win me the Pulitzer Prize.

Pulitzer Prize? You'll be lucky if you get four page views, you flaky bellend.

Shit.

Monday, 24 October 2011

How to Write a Spec Script in Eight Days

Oh God.


As anyone who read my last blog knows I've got a shit hot idea for the Channel 4 drama writing competition - only problem being, the deadline is next Tuesday!

Basically, this is the writing equivalent of premature ejaculation, and I need to develop a hair trigger, and fast.

It's only eight days, but who cares - I'm going to do my best to make it, and the beauty is that my idea is topical, so I'm hoping that if it turns out a bit ropey they will think 'Philip, give this guy a break, we all know what event stimulated this guy's creativity gland, it takes big balls with a full load to try to bash anything out in that time - maybe give him a chance to elevate it out of the doggy mess state it's currently in'.

It doesn't help if, like me, you have had to compromise and demean yourself by working a god awful day job to pay your way. I finish work at six, and by the time I've constructed and then pricked the voodoo dolls of all the people that have pissed me off that day, and had some dinner, maybe a wank, we're looking at half nine. Bottom line, I have two and a half hours a night, plus the weekend. I'm going to have to plan properly.

Here's my schedule for the next eight days.

Monday

Research. By the time I go to bed tonight I will hopefully know all about my characters, and they will have some consistency and psychological profiles, grounded in reality. If it goes badly I will have a sparkling flat and a severe vitamin deficiency.

Tuesday

Story outline. By the time I go to bed on Tuesday I hope to have a beginning, middle and end, with a plot for each of the major characters, whether I choose to run with them all or not. If it goes badly I will fall asleep on a tear flavoured pot noodle.

Wednesday

Scene by scene. I'm not going to write any dialogue at this point, unless it springs out at me, I'm just going to write out a sequence of every scene, as I see it. I have an idea of where I want each character to go, so hopefully this should be OK. If it's going badly see Monday.

Thursday.

Break. I've done three nights in a row and I'm probably going to be climbing the walls. Besides, my mate Jimmy Stroker normally comes round for a night of Risk on a Thursday, so provided his facial herpes has cleared up that's back on the radar. All I'm going to do is try out some of my killer dialogue on him in random conversation, see how they sit.If it goes badly I may have to recruit someone to rewrite the dialogue.

Friday

First draft. It is at this point that I will probably think it's a good  idea to downsize it from a feature length to thirty pages, as this is the minimum amount. If it's good enough for Californication it's good enough for my idea. I know what I'm doing by this point, and I've had my night off to work any problems out in my mind. Time to write the complete article, dialogue, direction, the works.

Saturday

Second draft. For this I'm not going to look at the first draft, but rather go back to the scene by scene and write it all over again.

Sunday

Third draft. For the third draft I'm going to assimilate the first and second drafts and do a dialogue pass. By this time it should be looking pretty strong.

Monday

Script polish. Do everything I should've done in the last seven days. I know what I'm like. There's no way I'm going to stick to a schedule as professional as that. I'm only an aspiring screenwriter for a fucking good reason. I've already had a look at tonight's TV - there's University Challenge in half hour, which I normally combine with chat roulette, and a fascinating documentary on C4 called Mummifying Alan. Now, I don't know who this Alan is, but he's called Alan, so mummification is a good call as far as I'm concerned. That's pencilled in.

I better hope Jimmy's herpes doesn't clear up and I can use Thursday as a catch up.

If not I'm going to have to buy an industrial batch of proplus, book a sickie for Tuesday and hope for the best.

Friday, 21 October 2011

4Screenwriting Drama Competition

Good morning Gartholomites!

As I couldn't sleep (I keep having this recurring nightmare where I'm a worm and every time I stick my head above ground there's this bird with my mother's head that tries to peck at me - what's all that about?) I thought I would let those that don't know know about Channel 4's drama writing competition.

They are on the look out for 12 new writers to work on their excellent drama series. It's open to everyone who doesn't have a previous broadcast credit. I've never got anywhere near one, so this is definitely one for me.

To enter you need to send them a full script over 30 pages long, the easy bit, and a c.v., the tricky bit.

The deadline is next Tuesday, so hopefully you already have something suitable that you can ping off.

I don't, as drama is something I try to steer clear of in my life, and this has translated over into my writing, hence the sci-fi bias and overwhelming desire to write for Star Trek.

So I basically have a week and a half to write something, poo.

I've got an idea.

I originally posted it here, but I'm actually working on it now and as I'm a paranoid son of a banshee I'm taking it off - seeing as how many millions of you are now reading this horseshit.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Essential Screenwriting Tips - Getting The Big Idea

Thanks for hanging in there Gartholomites!

Right, so in the second to last blog we discussed what a high concept idea was, and why you need one - now we're going to try to come up with one, using the method of taking a classic tale and contemporizing it and distorting it.

We had the following suggestions:





Right, so it's probably up to me, then.

Ok, I'm going to fucking test myself here, step right out of my comfort zone.I'll start by making a list of the books I've read. Must be some inspiration there.

Don Quixote.

Hmm, not read a lot, that's the problem with starting at number one in the best ever book list, you've got nowhere to go. Has this got potential?

Guy who goes mad after reading book upon book on chivalrous tales of yore. Thinks he is a knight and tries to tackle dragons, which turn out to be windmills, and win enough honour to satisfy his beloved Dulcinea del Doboso.

We don't really have an attachment to any such moral code any more, but the name is obvious - Don K. Otey. Has an edge of Kick-Ass, maybe, only Kick-Ass was a savvy teenager.

Yeah, in Cervantes time people would've put stock in the code of chivalry, now it's all detachment and story telling through vicarious supermen.

So, if instead of going mad after reading tales of knights of lore we have a washed up 60s hippy/ geek guy who goes mad after reading too many comic books, watching the world crumble around him.

Maybe he addled his brain with acid in the 60s, and his reality is hyper-real and psychedelic, but when the bubble is burst is brown and sodden. He is incredibly verbose, but deluded and beautifully accompanied by his plump, loyal and virtually catatonic best friend.

Maybe he is obsessed with a particular comic book - maybe he is convinced he is living in Gotham City - when he is actually living in Guildford.Maybe he is trying to woo Catwoman, when in actual fact she is a catwoman, i.e. a trampess.

Maybe, maybe, but I think it potentially has something, I might work on it some more. Not bad for a five minute brain dump.


If any film-makers want to get moving on it, you know where to find me. In the meantime it would be interesting to see what you guys can come up with.

Ciao!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

When @rickygervais Forgot to be David Brent

For those of you that don't know, Ricky Gervais has outraged the twitter fraternity by repeated use of the word mong in his tweets, a word which has historically been, and actually is, an offensive word for a Down Syndrome geez/ geezette.

This is disgusting and insensitive, says everyone else. The word don't mean that no more, counters Gervais. 

Now, I don't think that a one man pre-emptive strike is going to desensitise people to a word's usage, however earnest they may be, and certainly not when that man has always historically acted like a right cunt.

However... 

Am I missing something here? This is Ricky Gervais we're talking about? Not the Pope? Actually scrap that. Not Cliff Richard? Or Joe Pacquale, or some other inoffensive twat.

Come on, the guy loves getting his metaphorical cock out and chucking his ironic man fat around. 

I remember him on the Eleven O’Clock Show, years back, when he played this bloaty little cock-sure bellend, getting in people’s faces. Presumably playing himself.

Then he has a masterstroke. What if, instead of being myself, I write about, and play, a bloaty little cock-end, and use the ironic twist to spray my jizz over everyone?

Everyone loves it. The guy's a genius.

Then earlier this year, or whenever it was, he presents some awards or other and offends everyone - what a surprise - but give him credit, at least he didn't dress up like David Brent and hide behind it.

I remember watching a reality TV show a while ago, wherein washed up and aspiring stand ups were coached by experts upwards and onwards to the big time - the winner got a Tuesday night gig at the Komedia or something. Anyway, there was this old school guy, he looked like a mouldy potato trying to eat two currents, which were his eyes. He was basically Bernard Manning lite, and his blend of misogyny and casual racism/ twattery didn't go down well with the modern audience.

I know, thought the coach, let's make you into a character - do exactly the same routine, just stagger out to the stage with a pint in an old school pint glass, they'll know it's a send up. With exactly the same jokes he tore the fucking place down.

The mistake Ricky Gervais has made is, he's forgotten his stagger and pint glass, and without that he's not a master of irony offering a piercing insight into human nature, he's a cunt.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Essential Screenwriting Tips - What's The Big Idea? (Part One)

Good evening Gartholomites!

Hope you've all had a great day -  especially you, you crazy Latvian bastard! 

We haven't had any tips for a while and I feel ashamed, though that has more to do with the fact that my trousers fell down in town today, which wouldn't have been a problem if it wasn't pant wash/ go commando day. And it was in Poundland.

Anyway, in the next couple of weeks, providing I don't get roped into paving any more fucking gardens, I'm going to furnish you with some ideas so powerful they must have originally been ejaculated by Poseidon himself.


We're going to discuss, well probably not discuss, that was just lazy writing, pure and simple - I'm going to write about structure and why subtext is the key to being both a great writer and a formidable lovemaker.

But first: -

Every aspiring screenwriter needs an idea that's so damn frisky it could lubricate even the vagina of Roseanne Barr, so compelling that any writer you mention it to will want to steal it, and every reader who reads it will want to finish it.

These are called high concept ideas, because they can be summed up in a single sentence and, from my experience, they are what you need to break through.


So that incredible drama script you've got, you know, that one on which you wrote Gary Oldman in pencil over the name of the protagonist, about the vegan who gets washed up on an island where literally nothing lives bar battery farmed chickens, put it away, you won't be needing it until people actually know who you are.

So, how do you come up with high concept ideas?

One simple way is to take a classic tale and update it, so that's what we're going to do.

I'm not talking about an adaptation, and I'm not talking about ripping anything off, I'm talking about using an idea that you know is great and splicing it with zeitgeist and the human condition, until it becomes something fresh - like an early Will Smith, you know, before he became a cunt.

If you're still unconvinced just think of Oldboy. An incredibly original and brilliant piece of Korean cinema. Nevertheless, it is basically The Count of Monte Cristo. They took the classic Dumas tale and shoved it face first through a meat grinder until it wouldn't even be recognisable to it's own mother or, in this case, pere. 

So, in part two, we are going to take a classic tale, or myth, and fuck around with it until it becomes a shit hot script idea.

Anybody care to suggest one?