Monday, April 30, 2007
"What to do with the perfect script that can’t find a buyer. How to react effectively to rejection. How to spot bad script editing and protect yourself. Simple dos and don’ts to save your sanity."
It's only £6 (4 for students!) and is on Sunday 17th June. Could be an interesting afternoon, and they still have tickets left - you can buy online.
I've been swotting away in Edinburgh Uni library most of the day. By heck, it's massive! The very nice man on reception gave me lots of tips (flippin Napier gave me the wrong card so I can only reference and not borrow books), and while it took ages to locate the things I was after it was worth the visit. I used their "special reference" section, and got to stare longingly at books which were really old and had to be rested on a special book pillow. Nice. I'll be going back again for sure - it was horribly busy today as it's coming up for exam period, so hopefully it will cool off a bit later in the month...
I'm going to the Edinburgh Beltane festival this evening on Calton Hil. Never been before, so I hope it's interesting! I'm hoping to get a few good photos, if nothing else.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Speakers included Roger Luckhurst, Nickianne Moody and Fred Botting, who (along with PHd students) lectured on their areas of expertise and invited discussion with the audience. There weren't many of us there and I appeared to be the only non Dr or PhD student in the entire conference (where were you, Mandy?!?) so I felt like a right nonce with only my BSc and MA on the way, but it was a nice friendly atmosphere and everyone was really interested throughout.
I originally decided to attend this because the subject of the conference as well as several of the speakers research areas seemed attractive to my general interests. I wasn't sure what the event itself would be like, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed myself. Discussed were: books by Lovecraft, Wells, Shiel; films like the Matrix, Blade Runner, Dawn of the Dead; the genres (and if genre exists!!) of science fiction, Gothic-Punk, horror (zombies, primarily) and the "Post Genre Fantastic".
I talked to a few of the PhD students in attendance during the breaks (one girl was doing a PhD on Terry Pratchett!!!) and a student at Napier is very kindly going to let me read her thesis for my own research project, as she is studying literary fiction in the subject area I am researching for my own MA research module.
I actually came away with loads of research ideas for my project, as well as a few wee ideas for the film I'll be using my research to write as well. We have to do 25 annotations for the research project and currently I'm WOEFULLY behind in this area. Yesterday's conference has pushed me towards about half a dozen appropriate academic papers as well as several pieces of fiction that I want to investigate.
Hopefully I will be spending most of tomorrow in the Edinburgh University library, ploughing through academic papers and nice old books that our Uni doesn't stock. The conference has really inspired me and I hope I don't lose the impetus to research properly!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I'm not really a twit, silly. Well, maybe a bit. Anyway, my boyfriend alerted me to another great procrastiation tool, which clearly we will all be too busy to use but which I shall blog about anyway.
It's called Twitter, and basically it just lets you write down what you're doing, and see what your friends are doing. That's it. I put a link on my sidebar, so if you are feeling really bored you can see what I'm up to.
Not much, clearly!
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Alright, so clearly I'm obsessing about this at the moment, but I really want to see Highlander now.
It's fair to say that several years have passed since the last time I watched it, but I had fun seeing it back then. Not a bad film, not an amazing film, but enjoyable and anyway, I'm a sucker for a Queen soundtrack. I remember the "Scottish" scenes being fairly bad, but the eighties stuff being quite dark and good. First time I saw it was on laserdisc at a holiday place: it made no sense and when the disc was flipped half way through I had to go to bed (think I was 11).
With a Swiss-Frenchman playing a Scot and a Scot playing an Egyptian there's got to be a reason to watch!
(I had a bit of a crush on Christophe Lambert for a while, maybe I shouldn't watch this in case my youthful fancies scare me.)
If you're intrigued (as I was), then visit: bbc.co.uk/archive to complete a fairly lengthy questionnaire and register your interest (not a guarantee that you'll get chosen!). For more information visit the BBC News site.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
In fact, I had a chance to read FICTION for FUN!!! Amazing. I read Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire. I enjoyed it so much, I'm glad it was the book I took down with me. My friend bought me it for Christmas, so it's taken long enough for me to have some time to read it.
Unfortunately I'm apparently incapable of snapping out of the holiday mentality, as I've done nothing since I returned. I have had a headache today, so did no work this afternoon at all. Must stick to a schedule of some sort for the next couple of days. On Thursday I'm going to a masterclass at uni with Christian Vincent, which should be interesting. Also have signed up for a conference on gothic science fiction: if they're not already full then that could be an interesting day!
Oh, and the photo was taken by my brother in the Jorvik viking Centre in York. I tried on a saxon helmet: it was massive and heavy. I have no idea why I'm thinking about Highlander, I haven't seen it in years. I'm not immortal either, unfortunately.
Monday, April 09, 2007
When I was wee, every alternate year my family, including my Granny and Grandad, would go on a trip to Scarborough. I'm not entirely sure why we went to Scarborough, but we did and always had fun. I used to particularly love going on day trips to York when I was little, it always had a bit of magic about it for a medieval romantic like myself.
Anyway, my Dad is a teacher and takes his schoolkids to Scarborough now, so tomorrow he is going down to check out the hotel, tourist locations, eateries etc. He asked my brother if he wanted to come when I was there and a little drunk, so now I'm going too, as are my brother, Granny and Grandad! I hope it's as much fun as it was 18 years ago...
Really looking forward to York, as ever. I am doing a presentation at uni soon which I need photos for, and have managed to convince myself that York will be the perfect place to do a little uni work! How much work I'm going to do, I have no idea. Not much, I suspect...
Sunday, April 08, 2007
My boyfriend found a guy on Youtube the other day who uses clips from films to compile generally funny little promo versions.
This is the Princess Bride... in 5 Seconds. Ok, so it's not actually 5 seconds, but that's what he calls them all!
Here's a link to the videos of Guywiththeglasses . I think the Back to the Future rilogy and the Rocky films are worth a look :)
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Yesterday Mike asked me if I had read and liked "Which Lie Did I Tell" by William Goldman. The answer is: oh boy, yes.
When The Princess Bride movie came out, I was 9. Didn't see it at the cinema, wasn't particularly interested in it either as the title evoked really girly things, and I was shirking my girliness at that point, to an extent. A few years later I was round at the house of my parents friends, and all us kids lay on bunk beds and watched the film on video together. It was amazing, I can't describe how much I loved it. Alan and Laura (the other children) knew most of the dialogue by heart, they laughed uproriously at every moment, and even though Alan fell asleep on me he woke up for the ending. It was fantastic watching such a great film with people who had nothing but unadulterated love for it, and it has made it a really special film for me since then.
In the year or two after that I got hold of a really scabby copy of Adventures in the Screen Trade, specifically because it was written by Goldman. I thought it was really funny (I loved Hollywood books in my mid teens: I have a great deal of affection for David Niven's books too), and after a bit of searching I found the book of the Princess Bride. Again, I loved it, and was just amazed at Goldman's style and turn of phrase: also was really interested to read all the bits that had to be left out of the film.
When Which Lie Did I Tell came out I bought it immediately, and I can say with no small amount of uncertainty that it if there was something that inspired me to actually want to be a screenwriter, that was it. I wasn't sure if I'd be any good in such an apparently cut-throat business (still ain't!), and as I read it towards the very end of my maths degree it didn't seem like the logical career course to follow, so I tried to ignore the desire and just occasionally patted the book, like I am forced to do when I see kittens.
Anyway, fast forward a few years and I am bored, unhappy at work and desperately wanting to write. And I mean desperately. It's the only thing I can think of that will challenge me properly as well as satisfying the urge I've had since I was a kid. I see a nightclass at Edinburgh University in Screenwriting, and hop on it. It was great fun, I made friends with a lovely young man that is very talented and (importantly) a great friend, and it also made me think that i could actually do this! I could be a writer: and a screenwriter at that.
Andrew told me about the Masters, I miraculously got on it, and a year after applying I go to look at my books for Mike. I have to say that the sheer number of books I've bought on writing have actually taken me by surprise somewhat. I have about 2 dozen, and can't say that I've read them all. They are like a collection of brollies or something, I do use some of them frequently but the others are there just in case.
For the record, here are my favourites:
- Which Lie Did I Tell? by William Goldman
- Teach Yourself Screenwriting by Ray Frensham (this was recommended at the nightclass and is now recommended on the MA, its a good all rounder)
- The Art and Science of Screenwriting by Phillip Parker (also recommended for the MA, it can be quite useful for terminology etc)
I think you can only place so much stock in guide books like this, anyway. There isn't a right or wrong way to do things, there are only good or bad results, in my mind. I'm still a newbie, so perhaps I'm way off the ball here, but as good as the books are for initial inspiration, guidance and occasional reference, I think the best way to learn is just to write and get reviewed by people you trust.
Hope that's of use (?).
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
It's been a year to the day of my very first post on this blog!
I don't know if I imagined it would last this long. I know I'm not the most voracious of bloggers at times, but I feel like I've done enough to chart my own progress, interests and moans.
Strange to think that this time a year ago I'd probably only just applied for University too. It seems so long ago! I'm really happy with where I am just now, I hope there's a positive difference in my life this time next year: perhaps a book under my belt, a TV drama in production, a film getting underway (one can hope, after all).
I would like to say that the amazing cake above was made and/or bought for my blog birthday, unfortunately this wasn't the case: I am greedy, yesterday was Monday, and I had a lot of work to do for my job. Therefore cake seemed only appropriate. T'was very tasty, if you're interested: Starbucks Sicilian lemon cake.
Anyway, thank you to everyone who reads it, your comments, links, suggestion and occasionally guidance over the past year has made this blog thing worth pursuing! I thank ye all, and if I had enough money to buy you all cakes or throw some sort of elaborate blog party I would certainly do it!
Sunday, April 01, 2007
I wasn't sure what she was going to be like. I thought the actress, Freema Agyeman, was great in the "Army of Ghosts" episode, and was interested to see if she would be as good in the lead. She was! I liked the fact that they made reference to the other character she played as well, it was a nice touch.
I loved the character of Rose, and thought the dynamic between the Doctor and Rose was really well structured and played throughout the last couple of series. However, I felt that I could relate to the character of Martha more than I could Rose. I'm still like a kid when I watch a lot of TV and film, imagining what I would do in the character's situation. Feels like I'm going to be able to do that with Martha more than I could with Rose.
David Tennant was as good as ever - I really love his Doctor.
Wasn't entirely convinced by the Judoon, but I think that's just because I read the Guardian's little review of the show, which was really good but compared the Judoon to the HHG Vogons - a comparison I couldn't shift from my head.
Great start to the series, and lovely to know that there is going to be good TV in the schedules for the next 12 weeks! This first episode apparently attracted an audience share of around 8.2 million, so it's set to do as well as the previous series. I'm really looking forward to next week's episode, it looks like my cup of tea - Shakespeare and witches! Awesome.