May Contain Smoking

I live in Scotland, so I’m used to rain but there’s a helluva lot falling at the moment. The River Esk looks like it’s just centimetres from spilling over and the coast road is flooded. I need an ark. Anyway whilst I prepare for a life underwater, here’s a random list of things what hav’ occurred:

Was gutted to miss a talk by James Moran couple of weeks ago, but thrilled to be seeing Mark Millar having a chat tomorrow – he of the Wanted series. If rain allows.

Went to the final part of the BBC Writer’s Lab for Radio to hear the radio play that we’d collaboratively written and then had recorded at the BBC studio in Glasgow. Written experimentally and in a short amount of time, hopes were not high, but after an edit, it was really pretty good – some sections worked well, others not so, but all in all we were all chuffed with the result. Learnt a lot on that Lab, and not just about that specific medium, but writing and story-telling in general. Am about to start writing my first proper play for radio. Have a mentor session later this month so hope to discuss ideas then.

That’s all my classes finished for the Uni course, so now it’s a case of getting all my writing-up done, have a feature and a final essay to write, but those will have to wait until early 2010 after I’ve done any tweaking to Short 2 which will be in production in January; written the aforementioned radio play, which I’m contracted to do over the next few months; complete a feature outline for a scheme with a Producer; see if I can get an animation project off the ground; hopefully get Short 3 onto the starting blocks; and make a micro-short with some friends guerilla-style… I’ve also vowed to do something with THE NOVEL (yikes). It’s tough fitting everything in though (you all know this though – whether you’re a writer or someone who collects Star Wars toys – it takes TIME) alongside making a living, having a life, tracking down a wheel cover that has disappeared (no, I haven’t a clue where or how… I worry that it’s lying somewhere injured on a the side of a road, hoping I’ll save it).

After never having any ideas for shorts for ages, I now feel like I’ve got far too many – it’s a weird (and unexpected) situation to be in, so I’m looking at different ways and techniques of making them a reality – when I’ve got time.

And finally, talking of shorts – I’ve been involved in curating a showcase of short films with a Scottish connection, CAUGHT SHORT, which will be at the Edinburgh Filmhouse on 7th December. Our guest panellist who helped shortlist, and will be present for a panel discussion on the night, is BAFTA Scotland winner writer/director Justin Molotnikov from Synchronicity Films. His debut feature, Crying with Laughter, had its world premiere at Edinburgh international Film Festival in June 2009. If you’re interested in coming along, more info here.

Psst – The Edinburgh Filmhouse is showing The Red Shoes in the lead-up to Christmas. That is my Christmas treat sorted. I adore it, and am looking forward to seeing it for the first time on the big screen. If you’ve never seen it, more here… how could you NOT wish to see a film by the glorious Powell & Pressburger which as the blurb warns “Please note: Contains mild threat, injury and smoking”!


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