Coming soon…

12/02/2015

Coming soon… The saga of writing Zero Point (Nullpunkt) film and 6-part TV drama from August 2010 until December 2013.

The 5-day script marathon has turned out to be a 5+1-day script marathon. By the end of day 5, I had about an hour of material. It’s now Saturday and I’m on the last stretch, hoping to finish the script tonight. Read the rest of this entry »

Carrying on with the marathon to complete a first draft in 5 days.

On Friday and Monday I was working on separating the treatment into scenes (or beats) which looked like this:

screenplay outline

It feels like I’ve done one day’s work during those first two days because of the holiday season. I’ve done a marathon a couple of times before and then I did it all in one go. This time I’ve been interrupted by a weekend trip and the New Year’s Eve, and I took the New Year’s Day off. It might look like it’s good to take a day off between days of intense writing but I can now say that it’s definitely better to do the marathon straight in one go without interruptions because it’s harder to start again after a break when you need to keep a good flow and a sense of urgency.

 

What I had by Monday afternoon was a Final Draft document with scene headings and short descriptions of the scenes or beats. In other words, the outline you see on the desk was typed up to start off the screenplay itself.

Today I’ve gone through an older version of the treatment to pick out any details I want to keep, and I’ve now started adding more details into the script, starting from the the first scene. At the moment I’ve got 55 scenes, this number usually goes up as I start separating locations more precisely and add details to events. I’ve also got a piece of paper next to be with a row of numbers to keep track of progress – I tick off each one as I finish writing a scene. Now I’ve got until Friday evening to get all those scenes written (daunting!).

Happy New Year!

I’ve got several projects to work on during the first four-five months of next year and I’ve also go this spec treatment that’s been sitting and waiting for two years. If I carry on with other projects this treatment will probably have to wait another year. Maybe two, or three. Or, who knows, never get written. So, in order to get the first draft down on the page I will do a 5-day script marathon, starting today.

The other projects are a comedy, a punk-rock drama, a horror film, and research for a historical biopic. Plus script editing. Plus, I’ve been sent two novels with an adaption in mind which I need to read. The spec treatment I’ve got is for a feature animation. So I’ve got quite a range here.

Here goes day 1 of the script marathon, starting with a list of scenes.

My script editing and story consultancy services, under the name AFFEKT Script Consultancy, now have a dedicated blog and a Facebook page. On the blog you’ll find information about the services and pricing, and blog posts focus on subjects that have anything to do with storytelling, be it from a scientific, from a writer’s, director’s or actor’s point of view. There’ll be news on events, articles, competitions, funding opportunities, as well as client endorsement. On the Facebook wall you’ll see posts on events, articles, funding opportunities, courses, client endorsement, and snippets for inspiration.

Let me know if you’d like to share your link by emailing affektscripts@gmail.com

Visit blog here

Visit Facebook page here

On this blog I will keep posting on works in progress and, occasionally, more scene and script analyses.

Behind the Door

19/04/2012

A short horror film I wrote and shot in 2005. Company: Parunid & Vonid. Produced by Manfred Vainokivi. Directed by Andrus Tuisk.

In this post:

  • Launching a new series
  • Thriller – the Trojan horse
  • Adaptations (briefly)
  • a few words from Ben Stephenson on what to pitch

This is the last set of notes from BBC’s TV Drama Writers’ Festival 2011.

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LAUNCHING A NEW SERIES
Chair: Ben Stephenson (BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning)
With: Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise to Candleford), Jane Featherstone (Creative Director at Kudos; Spooks), Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars), Toby Whithouse (Being Human).

Pharoah: develop an instinct for conflict that will take years to unravel.
Gallagher: create a character you care about, want to know what happens to them, create an iconic character you love (as a writer)
Whithouse: character is fundamental. He writes pages of bios the audience never sees. You never run out of story.

Stephenson: what about premise and concept? Read the rest of this entry »

THE CURSE OF THE SCRIPTWRITING GURU
John Yorke
on the relationship between theory and practice in TV drama script development.

“First learn to be a craftsman; it won’t keep you from being a genius.” – Delacroix

Genre and following rigid screenwriting rules can make the story predictable, formulaic. A lot of people have turned against screenwriting theory. Charlie Kaufman has said that structure is useless. Guillermo del Toro gets very angry when people who throw Campbell and McKee at him.

Gurus demand blind faith to sell rigid rules. They refuse to take questions. It’s like a religious cult. They don’t want to explain anything, or ask why? (things should this or that way). It’s all demagogy.

Rules like ‘you have to have an inciting incident on page 11 and not on any other page!’ are ridiculous but there is a grain of truth in all the theories. Stories do have elements in common. We need to think why the rules are there. Read the rest of this entry »

Two sessions in this post:

  • Controversy and getting into hot water
  • Jimmy McGovern in conversation
  • related links

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CONTROVERSY AND GETTING INTO HOT WATER
Chair: Jack Thorne. With Tony Marchant, Jeff Povey, Claire Powell (Chief Advisor, BBC)

JT: what is controversial TV? Do you know when your writing is controversial? Read the rest of this entry »

In this post, there are notes from two sessions:

  • Is it the writer’s responsibility to change the world?
  • The bio-pic: the fall-back position?
  • and related links on the speakers

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IS IT THE WRITER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO CHANGE THE WORLD?
Chair: Paula Milne.
With Tony Marchant, Hugo Blick, Jack Thorne, Roy Williams, Gwyneth Hughes

(this conversation was quite fast, so here are mostly snippets of what was said)

Writers should aspire to make a difference. (Milne)

Writers without politics are like soldiers without a country – mercenaries.  (John Clarke)

Morality explored through personality. Read the rest of this entry »