Another (yes, another) semi-final…

My “Victorian X-Files” script, The Weird World of M.R. James has reached the semi-final of theĀ  ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship competition.

The pessimistic side of me is not getting excited.

The optimistic side of me is looking up Los Angeles restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor.

Announcing The 2014
ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship Semifinalists

Another rejection…

So SportsDirect are obviously not big fans of poetry (on second thoughts maybe they are) because they rejected my latest attempt at leaving a critical product review for their Karrimor Hot Rocks hiking boots (see my previous post).

Little do they know I’m a writer. I’m no stranger to rejection. I picked myself up, dusted myself down, cried myself to sleep, then tried again…

So you didn’t like my poem
About my holey boots?
I’ve written you another,
Let’s see if this one suits…

SportsDirect, Why Don’t You Love Me?

I contacted Head Office,
We emailed to and fro
“Dear SportsDirect.com”, I said,
“There’s something you should know”

“These boots of yours are faulty
And I have no receipt.
The hole is getting bigger
I can almost see my feet”.

“Can I take them back to store?
It’s easier for me”.
“Send them through the post”, they said,
“We’ll refund P&P”.

“That sounds like too much effort,
I just don’t have the time.
My days are far too busy spent
Constructing silly rhyme”.

So if you’re a hiking masochist
Whose fetish is wet socks
Go to Sportsdirect and buy
Their Karrimor Hot Rocks.

SportsDirect inspire creativity

I received a pair hiking boots for my Christmas. After about 2 months of wear they split. I tried to leave the following review on the SportsDirect.com website…

“Not fit for purpose.
Received these as a Christmas present. Started wearing them mid-January for dog walking. So I reckon I’d been wearing these about 2x1hrs a day, seven days a week, along riverside paths. By mid-March they had split – and I don’t mean the stitching had come apart I mean the actual fabric had split – right in the toe crease.
OK, these aren’t the most expensive boots in the world (even if you believe the original RRP) but I’d expect them to withstand more 2 months of light wear.
On the plus side, they were really comfortable.”

Critical but polite I thought. So I was surprised when the comment was rejected by the moderator with the following comment…

“Please note that all reviews must apply to the specific product in question and any comments containing inappropriate or bad language will be removed.”

Hmmm. I didn’t think my comment breached either of those rules but undeterred I tried again, this time adopting a more sarcastic tone…

“If you want a pair of ‘walking’ boots which split after 8 weeks of light wear, these are for you!”

Again, the comment was rejected for the same reason.

Never one to run away from a fight* I tried again, this time opting for brevity…

“Pros: They are very comfortable.
Cons: They only last eight weeks.”

Again, the comment was rejected for the same reason.

OK, so they don’t like honesty, sarcasm, or brevity. I wonder if they like poetry?

Ode To Karrimor Hot Rocks Hiking Boots (Size 10)

I try to leave a review,
you reject it every time.
For fear you may not like my style
I’ll try again in rhyme.

I got these boots for christmas,
a present from my mum
(tho’ they may have been from Santa
coz I found them near the lum).

Costing under fifty pounds,
I guessed they’re not the best.
But ever Mr Glass-half-full
I put them to the test.

I popped my feet inside them
My toes all warm and snug
“Now for something tougher,
I’ll go and walk the dug”.

I wore them all through January
February came and went
Around the start of March though
My boots gave up for Lent

I wore them for light walking
They never climbed no peaks
So i’d expect your ‘hiking’ boots
To last more than 8 weeks

Your boots are fucking garbage
The worst I’ve worn by far
So now instead of walking
I’m going to take the car.

* Except physical fights. I always run away from those.

Short films are like buses…

…smelly and populated with riffra– No, hang on, I mean you wait ages for one then two come along at once.

Back in 2009 I wrote my first ever script. A short called Love Is A Four Letter Word (Worth Seven Points). I pitched it on Shooting People and was pleasantly surprised at the amount of interest it generated, with six filmmakers keen to take on the project.

Emails were exchanged, hats were thrown into rings, until I finally decided to team up with producer/director John Schwab.

After a long drawn out process of funding/development schemes being applied for (unsucessfully), named actors being cast (and falling through), and schedules never quite marrying up, finally the planets aligned and it filmed last weekend starring Gemma Chan (Fresh Meat, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) and Ed Stoppard (Upstairs Downstairs).

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AND THEN…

There was another little short I wrote back in 2011 called Fatherly Dating Tips #1. It was for entry into the London Comedy Writer’s Festival’s Laugh A MInute competition which was looking for 1 page comedy scripts.

It won.

Can’t quite remember how this award winning script got into John’s hands but he had it, liked it, and obviously thought “Well, since we’ve got all this crew and equipment together…”.

So it filmed last weekend too…

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Another BBC Writersroom, another read through…

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So, I’ve had another script make it through to the final read through stage of the BBC Writersroom (my fourth to date – I will wear them down).

Dr MacAbre’s Tales Of The Unpleasant was one of only 5% out of a total of 2900 entries to make it through. Compared with their last submissions window in which 6% of 1900 entries made it through, this means I am a little more awesome than the last time.

Ooooooh! Shiny! #2

prescott award

Back in the summer, Office Romance 2.0 won the Audience Choice Award for the Best Narrative Short at theĀ 2013 Prescott Film Festival, AZ.

That’s the end of the film’s festival journey. The final tally is as follows…

WINNER – ‘Best Short Film’
Sanfranciso United Film Festival – USA – (September 2012)
WINNER – Audience Award ‘Best Narrative Short’
Prescott Film Festival – USA – (July 2013)
Runner Up – ‘Best Comedy’
Dam Short Film Festival – USA – (February 2012)
‘Official Selection’
Short Shorts & Asia Film Festvial – USA – (June 2012)
‘Official Selection’
LA Comedy Film Festival – USA – (April 2012)
‘Official Selection’
LA United Film Festival – USA – (May 2012)
‘Official Selection’
Bootleg Film Festival – USA – (May 2012)
‘Official Selection’
New York United Film Festival – USA – (May 2012)
‘Official Selection’
Manlieu Film Festival – Spain – (May 2012)
‘Official Selection’
Pittsburgh Film Festival – USA – (June 2012)
‘Official Selection’
London United Film Festival – USA – (June 2012)
‘Official Selection’
East End Film Festival – USA – (July 2012)
‘Official Selection’
Chicago United Film Festival – USA – (September 2012)
‘Official Selection’
San Diego Film Festival – USA – (September 2012)
‘Official Selection’
Tulsa United Film Festival – USA – (October 2012)

Big thanks to director, Leon Chambers, who did such a fantastic job.