Finally, the snow has gone except for odd solid mounds of dirty ice at the side of the road that look like slumbering polar bears. I was slightly disappointed to not have to get out my Leatherman and head for the hills, but there’s still time.
So that was 2010. It went by in a flash, and a flurry of activity, and I seem to have been busy for most of it.
Early in 2010, a horror short that I began as an experiment on the MFA course was optioned, a fantastic young director attached. The script has now been green-lit for production hopefully in 2011. Exciting. It has a limb in it… that’s all I’m saying for now.
And that short led to me being asked to script a feature film with the same production company, set in Scotland – a black comedy with a horror heart. At a very early development stage, we decided on a whim to apply for…
The Vision Pictures pitching event at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. We rather unexpectedly won a place, which gave us a workshop day to develop and hone a professional pitch, and then test out our super-powers (I wish) in front of the general public, and invited guest panel from Scottish Screen, UK Film Council, BBC Drama and others. Terrifying, educational and I learned a lot. Best bit was that the pitch went down a storm with the public – they laughed at the right bits, and appreciated the black humour straight away – and during the rest of the fest, I even had the pleasure of a few members of the audience coming up to me to say how much they enjoyed the pitch, and wanting further info on the film. The industry panel were all very supportive and enthusiastic. We then got the chance to pitch directly to the Film Council through Birds Eye View, and gain some valuable advice – rather brilliant, and testament to where a interesting idea can get you even when it’s early in the project. It’s come on leaps and bounds since then.
Few days after the EIFF, my original graduation short film was shot on 16mm (hurrah) – due out in early 2011 – proper info to follow soon – don’t want to jinx it until the final mix is done, but I got the chance to work with (and annoy) some amazing people. It’s looking glorious and everyone did such a fantastic job – we even had a cherry-picker!
Co-curated the 2nd in a series of short film programmes at the Edinburgh Filmhouse for new scottish film-makers. It met with an encouraging response and it was great to meet so many enthusiastic film-makers – excellent learning experience and something I can heartily recommend if you ever get the chance. It’s very easy to have a either a negative or positive response to a film, but it’s much harder to work out and vocalise the reasons why – often with intriguing and unexpected results.
Got through the first cut of the London Screenwriters Festival & Wellcome Trust ‘Inspired By Science’ competition, which gave a project that I’d had lying about for a while a right good kick up the arse – reinspired and ready to be refined in 2011.
Finished a feature script connected to my graduation short – redrafting this over the next few months as I have a fiendish plan.
Finally graduated with an MFA Distinction in Advanced Film Practice (Screenwriting) – a long part-time haul for me at times, but as a more mature student, it was a pretty glorious experience in the main. Ate up a lot of time and finance but for me, absolutely worth it. And a nice surprise at the end of it, when I was awarded the Santander Film & Creative Media Prize for Excellence.
I wore a dress (I know, not a work thing… but connected in a slightly surreal way).
The end of the year brought an unexpected opportunity, which I shall blog about next time – just want to dot all my i’s and cross my t’s before I blab – but it’s meant planning out a series of episodes dealing with an unusual relationship.
My work resolutions are simple – to grasp every opportunity I can, be more organised, meet more people, plan ahead and do as much as I can to get as many projects on the go as I can, and solidify the inroads I’ve made in 2010.
I’m rather looking forward to 2011… sartorially I’m thinking perhaps a balaclava… or spats… will my bum look big in those?