… and this is me

I’m a freelance copywriter, PR, producer based in the East Midlands.
Amongst my many talents, there are:
  • DVD writing and production
  • Conference and speech scripts
  • Brochures and magazines
  • Copywriting
  • Website copy and management
  • Press office and media handling
  • VIP and event handling
  • Media training
  • Crisis management
  • Press releases
Email me for more information

Jumping through hoops

I’ve just heard from a BBC producer I’ve been working with that I’ve got a radio play in the next commissioning round. In the BBC’s labyrinthine commissioning process, that means it’s got through the departmental sift. The next hurdles are to get through the precommissioning offers, and then commissioning itself.

Michelle Lipton’s got an extremely useful rundown of the radio commissioning process on her blog. I’ve had it explained to me and but it’s like when accountants explain income tax – I can just grasp it at the time, but ten minutes later, it’s Zen like mysticism again. Still, that’s what producers are for…

Three months. Not good, but kind of inevitable.

.. since my last post. But I’m back now, anyway.

I’ve put up some clips on YouTube from a indie sitcom pilot I did a long time ago in a universe far far away.

It’s an innuendo happy Jane Austen/Henry Fielding-esque romp, which my co-writer, Peter Thornhill directed, and I produced, call Sedgefield Park. We raised the money in a very complicated and clever scheme from one of EM Media’s predecessors, EMMI, and used it as a calling card. So this is the first time it’s been put before an adoring public.

The three YouTube clips are Pig Whispering, Wedding Bells, and Bush Trimming, and Tearstained Letters.

Or they’re here:

The wimpish Mr Nancy confronts his old adversary Major Boner:

Meanwhile, the Squire’s two handymen, Perkins and Grummock, show off their talent for ‘pig whispering’, encouraging Mr Nancy’s recalcitrant boar Percy to romance his own prize sow, Twinkie.

While Mr Nancy’s genteel intended, Jane assess Major Boner’s charms…

And Mr Nancy spies on their courting:


I’m brilliant, it’s official

… according to David Morrissey anyway. And, moreover, the Nottingham Evening Post.

This was the upshot of the Rocliffe Forum reading which was part of the Broadway’s Screenlit Festival in Nottingham.

I entered a ten minute extract about a homeless detective, and together with two others, it was worked up in about an hour and half into a script-in-hand rehearsed reading sort of thing by the fab Susan Jacobson, from Pistachio Productions, with the actors who were also all fantastic, particularly the two leads, Aaron Smith and Lauren Carse.

Yes, I know this is an outbreak of loveyness but it is warranted.

Then I got interviewed by David Morrissey. That David Morrissey, who said some very nice things including that my dialogue was ‘brilliant’, and did Q and A with the audience. My ego was thoroughly gorged.

Now I’ve just got to finish the bloody script. Email me if you’re a producer, commissioner or have money and you’d like to see it.

I am a lizard

I’m having fun.

The James Randi Educational Foundation movement is organising its first Amazing Meeting outside the US and I’m doing the PR (like this press release on the TAM ticket frenzy). Called TAM London, it’s got a killer line up – James Randi, Phil Plait, Jon Ronson, Ben Goldacre, Richard Wiseman, Ariane Sherine, Simon Singh, Brian Cox, Adam Savage, Tim Minchin.

If I believed in gods, these would be them.

Skepticism is really growing in the UK – there are loads of talks in pubs etc, and the conference sold out in 10 mins – 500 tickets at £175 so my main thing is to get the word out. And for once I have time before the actual event.

There’s also a couple of really cool ‘event’ type things being set up that I’m not going to detail, because I’m now one of the ruling elite, party to the secret conspiracy which keeps you, yes all of you, under the cosh.


Euroscript if you want to

I got shortlisted for the Euroscript story competition thingy. I don’t think they’ve got a proper, slick, branding type name for it. Anyhow, you put in a treatment, sample, etc. and the top few get taken under Euroscript’s wing. Which is nice.

In the meantime, I get a script report from them, which is interesting because I’ve never had a formal one before, just feedback from producers during development. It said a lot of nice things, some criticisms which are probably valid, and then hit on the basic problem with treatments: they noted the absence of detail about large chunks of the plot. Yes, that’s because it’s a two page treatment, as per the competition rules.

Anyhow, I’ll hear back from them soon.

This Girl Is Taking Pics…

Thea Gilmore at the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Thea Gilmore at the Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

More photographic glory – the wonderful Thea Gilmore, singer-songwriter is using that pic (on the left, see it?) I took of her at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms on her next album cover. Well. Not just one of mine. One of quite a lot of people’s. She put out a call on her email list, and I bunged in one I’d taken at a gig. One day I’ll actually get paid for this stuff.

Online writing. OMFG.

Online writing. Yay. It’s free, there’s no barriers to entry, there’s no barriers to readers (save the little matter of internet access, and who hasn’t got that, right?), and its edgy cutting-edgeness of edgiosity on the edgability is so, like edgy, yeah? Kewlio.

Well, no. Not if you want to get paid. You’re either writing upmarket adverts, like Kate Modern (not that adverts need compromise your drama, just in case Neil Mossey‘s reading) etc. or you’re, apparently, a grooming teenagers for Da Man:

I am paid to post comments and send emails in the characters’ voices to the personal pages of people I don’t know, a form of legitimised grooming. This is one of the big worries about social networking sites. I wonder whether I am on shaky ground and what the boundaries are because what I am doing is starting relationships and everyone knows they are two-way. So as the lead gets a love interest, I deal with many young girls demanding acronym answers to the great questions of life and love. Another part of this writing gig, it seems, is being manipulated by 11-year-olds daily.

This is from a piece posted on 12 Point, the online successor to Scriptwriter magazine (for which I’ve written and been paid by, I’ll have you know), by a 38 British woman whose job is pretending to be fictitious characters online, salaried – SALARIED – by a big American studio.

So this is how you make a living out of the brave new online world… I’ve been a reporter, a government spindoctor and now I’m a freelance PR, and even I find this a bit, well, yucky.

Or, like me, you keep doing basically old fashioned copywriting that just happens to end up on websites. You can read more about it here. That’s a call to action, btw.

NB (1) 12-Point. I’ve linked to it but it’s a pay site, so unless you’re already a member you probably won’t be able to read the full piece. However it’s a good site for UK screenwriters, and you should sign up.