Thursday 31 December 2009

So, about 2009...

In the past twelve months...

I saw Paris with my wife.
I lost a friend.
My work went into the big bad world and I wasn't shooed out of the building.
I met Ray Harryhausen, one of my childhood heroes.
I broke my toe. Rage at lawnmowers does not pay.
Saw my first IMAX movie.
Saw Monty Python perform "I'm A Lumberjack" live onstage.
Made steps forward in my work.
Earned no money.
Saw Malta with my wife.
Missed my wife.
A lot.
Finally visited my sister in Cambridge.
Walked out of a film for the second time in my life.
Managed to get to one event at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
Lost any trace of respect I might have had for Michael Bay.
Saw more of my dad.
Got piddled with some of the Harry Potter Creature Shop guys.
Caught up with some old friends after too long.
Reaffirmed an old friendship after too long.
Saw Patrick Stewart corpse at McKellen in the background of Waiting for Godot.
Went to far less weddings than last year.
Realised I'll be at even more weddings next year.
Visited my old school before they knock it down and caught up with old friends from them days.
Welcomed two new additions to the extended family.
Remembered that I liked snow.
Realised how much I value friends.
Embarrassed myself in front of a friend when I saw Roger Corman walk by.
Embarrassed myself even more in front of a friend when Joe Dante walked by moments later.
Saw some amazing films.
Saw too little of some other friends who only live 40 odd miles away.
Visited Glencoe and discovered how stupid the National Trust in Scotland actually is.

There's probably more.

I don't make New Year's Resolutions. But I do intend to make next year a much better one. Plans are brewing.

Hope anyone reading this has a Happy New Year. I'm off to cuddle my wife and have a nip of whisky at the bells.

See you in 2010.

Wednesday 30 December 2009

End of the Year Stuff

I hope anyone still reading this blog has had a Happy Christmas and a pleasant few weeks, regardless of one's beliefs.

Been a while since I last posted. I spent a few days in London with my wife, so I got to see her for a whole week, which is normally unheard of due to present work circumstances. Saw Avatar, which I loved but I also seem to be very forgiving of the script, which was unoriginal and cliched, but it's a hell of a pulp sci-fi experience.

And so, to the end of the year. An awful time for a movie news junkie like myself as most of the movie world seems to be asleep right now. I actually hate the week after Christmas. I love Christmas but hate how everything seems to change after the big day. Every day between it and New Year seems to feel like a Sunday. Meh.

But Christmas was good - we actually got a proper White Christmas this year; about a foot of the stuff in places. Cue extreme madness in the dogs during their walks - they love that stuff. I've got a box set of David Lean films to work through now, all pre-Lawrence, and more Muppet Show goodness. Ahh. Shame about Doctor Who, though. I only hope part 2 makes up for it. David Tennant has been an amazingly popular Doctor and deserves to go out on a high.

It's been an interesting year with ups and downs. A very good friend (with whom I don't think I ever had a cross word throughout 14 years) died at the beginning of the year and it put a lot into focus. But, he'd kick my arse with a Yorkshire boot if I dwelt too much on it. I think my next post may be about the good things which have happened this year. It's more important to focus on the good than the bad.

The Christmas holidays have been great (and still are) but I'm now eager to get on with things again. I'm not really a big fan of New Year and I always want to just get the year started instead of pissing it away. Yes, times have changed. No more jumping about at the Tron, getting a beer shampoo for me. I have aims for the next year, including at least two spec feature scripts for the next few months and then serious attempts at getting more work and an agent. I have big plans for the coming year.

Back to it! I've a world to conquer.

Monday 7 December 2009

Progress in "Exile"

After that last sentence in my previous entry, it seems that the pub really might a tad more conducive to scribbling. Over a pleasant 3 pints, 6 pages of notes were hammered out and the emotional core of the story is being laid bare.

Not that I'll be working in the pub regularly (that necessitates money, of which I have absolutely none, and a liver to rival Keith Richards, however many he's gone through), but a little restraint and a measured pint can do wonders sometimes.

I'm now getting excited by the story and the characters. Properly excited, as in seeing this as a film now in my head as opposed to an idea. A couple of scenes took very good shape this evening. And all of this before I'm outlining. But, as with the booze, restraint with some of the ideas - this can still become a different animal.


The title's not as dramatic as it sounds, but I have imposed a kind of exile on myself, web-wise. A story I've been working on for years has recently begun to truly take shape in a more coherent fashion than before and I don't want to lose it. I say "lose it" not as in "I'll go nuts" but I've got a wee spark going on now that I don't want to slip out of my notoriously sieve-shaped mind.

So, since last Thursday, no Facebook. Shock! (Ok, I had to log in once today to send a message of apology to a school friend I'd bumped into this morning, only to mistakenly call him by his brother's name. What a knob I am). So, the Facebook addiction is getting kicked into touch, as is my presence on a message board I've been frequenting for years. But it's all just short term so I can make myself get on with writing and also prove to myself that I don't need to be logging on to the online world to feel secure. Blog notwithstanding, of course. It has been a while since I posted. But none of the usual time-wasting nonsense for the next seven days.

This is the thing about writing. It's fucking lonely. So with one click, I'm in touch with my friends. And I must stress that the vast majority of them are people I personally know, not just from online personas and daft avatars.

Speaking of which, I'm also cutting myself of from anything to do with Avatar. It's a film I'm really looking forward to and I don't know a huge amount about it. I may know more than I think if Cameron has taken the "Dances with Wolves in Space" path in terms of story, but we'll see. So, no reviews or chatter until I see the film next week. I'll be in London for most of the week so I may have to shell out a bit more for it, but I will be seeing next week, for sure. Slowly but surely, things are getting Christmassy as well. Gawd, I love this time of year. It's unfortunate it has to be followed by dark, cold and wetter January. But that's the concept of following time through a calendar for you. Some mammals have got it right by sleeping it away.

Exile. It's amazing how the web can cause over-dramatics. Nonetheless, I've stuff to do.

So, it's head in the books time. Would it be wrong to do that in the pub? Hmmm...