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.

One degree

I just sent off my treatment for the Euroscript story competition. Two pages of glorious prose describing a story for which I have buckets of enthusiasm, which works, fits a proven market niche, and wouldn’t cost that much. Producers email here. I’ll hear back in June whether I’ve got anywhere with it.

In the meantime, I continue to be about one degree from people doing quite nicely thankyou.Various of the actors on the Recorded For Training Purposes day keep turning up on Stewart Lee’s comedy vehicle. That has to mean something.

Doesn’t it?

Organized chaos. Or organised chaos.

As AGMs for voluntary bodies go, it was short and sweet, with only two motions going to the vote. We became a limited company, brought in a new constitution, changed the members’ rules, and had a wide a ranging discussion on long term funding.

The motions we voted on were:

  • to change the spelling of ‘organize’ to an ‘s’ from a ‘z’. This sparked a lively debate on the US versus the UK etymology of the word.
  • to change the spelling of ‘qorum’. This was a typo, and uncontroversial.

The organisation in question is a collective of about 80 writers. It employs a co-ordinator who has to organise/organize. It’s the Nottingham Writers Studio.

Forgive me, I have no idea where the apostrophe goes so I’ve left it out.

It just goes to show you can’t be too careful

David Mitchell (the one, as per his twitter description ‘who’s in Peep Show and things, not the novelist or the former Tory MP’) saw a sketch of mine on Monday night, in a pub cellar near the BBC. It, plus about a dozen others, were the fruits of the loins of a BBC comedy workshop for people who’d got stuff on Recorded For Training Purposes on BBC Radio Four.

I felt sorry for him. Not because of my Crime Festival sketch – necessarily – but because he was sitting at the front of an audience of about 40, max, thirty of whom had written stuff he was watching. The other ten were Radio Four comedy producers. Eyes were on him. Would he laugh? Would he cry? Would he slump comatose from his stool into the lap of a Radio Four producer?

My wife had already subscribed to his Tweets. She had instructions to text me if he twittered about the brilliance of any of the sketches. He didn’t. Not even mine. Actually he mostly looked bemused, although he did laugh a couple of times. Not even at mine. Nor did he slump into a lap. Not even mine.

But then neither did he slag them off, presumably because he’s far too nice and professional. Or he couldn’t be arsed. Or he was focusing on aiming his slump at a specific comedy producer.

Most likely though, he knows you just can’t be too careful.