Splinister Blogrespect the early masters of the genre (12.1.2006, 14:52 UTC)
Yesterday, much to my delight, I got delivery of The Val Lewton Horror Collection (region 1 only). For those of you unfamiliar with the man, Val Lewton was appointed head of the Horror unit in RKO in 1942. He proceeded to commission a series of films that only had to conform to three rules: 1. The budget had to be under $150,000. 2. The film could not run more than 75 minutes (each film was shown as half of a double feature). 3. The title of the film was supplied by Lewton's supervisors. Th...
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Splinister Blogread (11.1.2006, 18:54 UTC)
A few days after I listed my three one-word summaries of my goals for this year (write; hydrate; exercise.) I realised that I'd left one off the list: read. It slipped my mind because reading has always been an integral part of my life Yet, reading for pleasure has taken a lower priority as demands on my time have increased. In two hours I can watch a movie, but a book requires a greater investment. I read all the time: articles, journals, magazines, news items, blogs, etc. On top of this I'...
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Splinister Bloggood news, an opportunity, and recommended reading (10.1.2006, 17:32 UTC)
I got good news today. Cabinet des Fées has bought my short story, "In the Woods", and it will appear in the journal's next edition. So far 2006 has been positive on the writing front. I've set myself a tough series of goals and deadlines for the coming months, and thus far I'm on track. I hope I can maintain the upbeat attitude and focused work ethic. UK screenwriters might be interested in this opportunity: The London Film School is facilitating a free two day intensive workshop as...
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Splinister Blogdiversity (4.1.2006, 18:37 UTC)
There's really a great post (and comments) on screenwriting, films and race on the Artful Writer in reaction to a piece on Complications Ensue. I think it's a great debate with a lot of different viewpoints being expressed. Exactly the kind of dialogue that brings forth new perspectives. I am conscious of gender, race and sexuality in the scripts and stories I write. Tokenism usually comes across as patronising, but I try to reflect the diversity in life that I encounter. It's that simple. ...
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Splinister Blogup, down, and up (3.1.2006, 11:48 UTC)
I've made a promising start to 2006 by writing a new short story. It clocked in at 4,500 words, which isn't bad for two days work (especially since I spent so much time assembling yesterday's post). This story was written as a compulsion. Several nights ago it entered my head as I was falling asleep and began to write itself. I didn't sleep very well as a result. I suspect that sometimes the Muse demands her cut. This is not a story I planned, and I'm not even sure it's salable, but I had to...
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Splinister Bloginspiration (2.1.2006, 21:01 UTC)
There were a number of programmes on TV during the run-up to the death of 2005 that detailed lists of movies that people rated very highly. Around Halloween I assembled a list of horror films I admired. Today I'm delineating the non-genre (not sf/fantasy/horror/action/thriller) films that burn brightly in my imagination. When I mull over the choices there are many criteria I could use, such as excellent acting, innovative direction, and intelligent writing. In this case I have chosen films t...
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Splinister Bloga new year looms (31.12.2005, 17:38 UTC)
I realised today that my major goals for 2006 could be summarised into three words: Write Hydrate Exercise The first aim is subdivided into a series of obtainable goals, but I don't plan to bore the scribosphere with the details. This morning I noticed that the latest edition of Film Ireland (our nation's industry magazine) has hit the stores. It contains a book review (The Story of Irish Film, by Arthur Flynn) written by me, which is my first piece (hopefully not my last) for the publicatio...
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Splinister Blogthe routine of writing (29.12.2005, 16:41 UTC)
Paul Guyot, aka the Ink Slinger, has an excellent post on the importance of the discipline of writing. He's right, you've got to have a routine, and above all the goal is words on a page. Tom Schulman (Dead Poets' Society) said, in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters: A teacher once said to me, "You have to go to work just like a grocer. You unlock the doors at whatever hour, turn the sign over, walk in, and start working." Treat it with the professionalism and dedication of a pa...
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Splinister Blog'tis the season to watch movies, tra la la la la la la la la (17.12.2005, 20:26 UTC)
Last night a friend of mine asked me what was my favourite Christmas movie. Before I continue, however, I have to explain something about my taste preferences. I'm not a Christmas person. I know plenty of people who adore the holidays, and get a real kick out of decking their house in lights and decorations, dressing a Christmas tree, wrapping presents and writing cards. I'm not going to splutter "Bah, humbug," at that attitude, but I don't share the same level of enthusiasm. When I was a...
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Splinister Blogwrite, drink, and be merry (16.12.2005, 17:56 UTC)
The lovely Emon Hassan contacted me today to inform me that the previous entry in this blog was listed in today's Screenwriters Network bulletin, a daily email bulletin that Emon edits and distributes for the American version of the subscription-based online service, Shooting People. (Emon informs me that you can sign up just for the bulletin for free.) I'm delighted the entry was considered worthy of inclusion. On Wednesday night I wrote an entire short story. I've been so focused on screenw...
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Splinister Blogadvice, music, and getting out of your (mind) house (14.12.2005, 18:35 UTC)
In another burst of catching up with entries that have been written in my mind, but not on paper... I saw a short interview with author Charles de Lint on the Horror Channel around Halloween. There were a couple of things he said that I thought merited repeating. When asked about tips for writing, he offered two: 1) At the end of a writing session always finish in the middle of a scene, or even a sentence, in order to kick-start the flow of words the following day. 2) Create a playlist of mu...
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Splinister Blogthe Hollywood studio shuffle (12.12.2005, 12:26 UTC)
I see from Business Week Online that yesterday Parmount Pictures agreed to buy independent film studio DreamWorks SKG Inc, which was founded by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen 11 years ago. Moreover, the DreamWorks acquisition is seen as a critical gambit for Paramount, which has been under orders from parent company Viacom Inc. to improve the quality of both its movies and earnings. Paramount will pay $775 million in cash and assume $825 million in debt and other obligati...
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Splinister Blogone to keep an eye (of the devil) on (8.12.2005, 20:02 UTC)
Often, there are subjects that I want to tackle on this journal, but the press of time doesn't allow me the opportunity. Over the coming weeks I hope to tackle a few items that have been on the mental back-burner for some time. For instance, I'd want to mention a horror flick I saw at the end of October, when TV channels were dripping with slasher pics and creature features. On TCM late one night I caught the beginning of a film called Eye of the Devil (1967), and made a snap decision to watc...
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Splinister Blogwomen on top in the industry (6.12.2005, 12:18 UTC)
The Hollywood Reporter has published its annual list of the 100 most powerful Women in Entertainment. There may be a dearth of women screenwriters getting work in feature films (I'm aware there's a better balance in TV writing), but there are plenty of women in key positions in the entertainment business.
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Splinister BlogI may explode (5.12.2005, 18:14 UTC)
I found out, about an hour ago, that I have been awarded a 1st Class Honour in my MA in Screenwriting. I'm past the numbed shock and now I'm speeding into hysterical gibbering excitement. For the Americans out there, this is the highest grade you can obtain in any degree in Ireland. It is also very difficult to obtain (I'm not trying to toot my own horn here, but that's the reality of the situation for Arts degrees in Irish Universities). The degree was part academic (film theory, history, ...
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Splinister Blogand she's off... (5.12.2005, 18:14 UTC)
I'm on the first leg of my journey - from Shannon Airport in Ireland to Heathrow in London. From there I'll fly to LAX. It's going to be a long day. I'm looking forward to warmer temperatures in California. It's cold in Ireland, and November is always a wet and miserable month.
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Splinister BlogNow dig me! I've got a monkey grafted to my head! (5.12.2005, 18:14 UTC)
I noticed from the Artful Forum that a world map of the Scribosphere has been created. It is nifty. My attempt to add a link to this blog from my entry resulted in me looking like the biggest shill artist since King Kong climbed up the Empire State Building to announce his arrival to New York. The site does not like html code in the entries. I was striving to make it discrete so the word would be the link... oh well, time to break out the bananas. I do have monkeys on the brain lately... ...
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Splinister Blogit's all online baby (5.12.2005, 18:14 UTC)
The American screenwriting magazine, Creative Screenwriting, shows commendable foresight by introducing a Podcast section to their web site. At the moment you can download four podcasts, each of which contains an interview with working screenwriters about their projects. It's a great resource, especially for those living outside of Hollywood or the USA. I should mention that Gary Watson has been putting out fine screenwriting podcasts since April of this year (although he's been quiet for a c...
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Splinister Blogcoming soon: a jet-lagged monkey in L.A. (5.12.2005, 18:14 UTC)
There have been some issues with my web site over the past 24 hours due to a change-over of servers by my hosting service. Apologies for any down-time, but there's not much I can do about it. This might crop up every now and again in the coming week, but hopefully it won't be too often. My trip to L.A. is looming large on the horizon. For some reason I mentally picture it as the scene from the original Planet of the Apes where the buried torso of the Statue of Liberty towers over the leather-c...
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Splinister Blogwrite the spec and roll the dice (5.12.2005, 18:14 UTC)
The reason I haven't posted anything since my arrival in L.A. (a city Shane Black described last night as "A fairy tale read by a pervert") is twofold: For the first couple of days as I was adjusting to the massive wrench in body clock I didn't have the capacity to sit down and compose an entry for this blog. Instead I posted observational opinion on my other journal Babblogue Blog. I spend a lot of time ruminating on a subject before I post about it on this blog. Hence there are fewer entri...
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Splinister Blogstrike the battle drum of the great leap forward ever louder (5.12.2005, 18:14 UTC)
I'm back in the land of rain and fog. It's a shock after the wonderful weather I experienced in L.A., but it has its own charm... I'm trying to be there's-still-drink-left-in-that-cup because I'm finding it hard to be cheered by damp and chilly weather. So I'm going to Amsterdam in a couple of hours... which will probably be colder, and possibly wetter. However, the incomparable Amsterdam has many other delights to distract you from the climate. I don't normally travel this much. In fact,...
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Splinister Blogin her words (5.12.2005, 18:14 UTC)
The Sundance Film Festival has announced the list of films that will appear in its premiere category, so I perused the line-up. While scanning the group I noticed that of the 17 films in the premier category only two were written by women: The Secret Life of Words by Spanish writer/director Isobel Coixet, and Friends with Money, also written and directed by Nicole Holofcener. As it happens Friends with Money is the opening film of the festival. Looking through the box office league for 2005...
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Splinister Blogcomedy sells (5.12.2005, 18:14 UTC)
While perusing the USA Box Office for this weekend, at the wonderful Box Office Mojo, and noting that the boy wizard was still number one, and the science fiction flick Aeon Flux opened with $13 million, I continued down the list and realised that the summer comedy, The Wedding Crashers, is still on release (21 weeks!) and continues to pull in money. It was made for a budget of $40 million, and so far has cashed in $209,107,000 in the USA (if you include overseas markets that jumps to $282,794...
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Splinister Blogexecution is everything (5.12.2005, 18:14 UTC)
In a nice moment of synchronicity Scott Adams, over at the Dilbert Blog, has written a piece today about the humour formula. His post is in reference to cartoons, but it's worth reading in regards to writing comedy. One of his sentences leaped out at me: "Execution is everything." This is so true, and something I've noted on many occasions. It's particularly the case in comedy, but can be applied to any type of drama (on screen or on paper). The Machinist, written by Scott Kosar and direct...
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Splinister Blogcomedy sells (5.12.2005, 15:21 UTC)
While perusing the USA Box Office for this weekend, at the wonderful Box Office Mojo, and noting that the boy wizard was still number one, and the science fiction flick Aeon Flux opened with $13 million, I continued down the list and realised that the summer comedy, The Wedding Crashers, is still on release (21 weeks!) and continues to pull in money. It was made for a budget of $40 million, and so far has cashed in $209,107,000 in the USA (if you include overseas markets that jumps to $282,794...
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Splinister Blogin her words (1.12.2005, 14:26 UTC)
The Sundance Film Festival has announced the list of films that will appear in its premiere category, so I perused the line-up. While scanning the group I noticed that of the 17 films in the premier category only two were written by women: The Secret Life of Words by Spanish writer/director Isobel Coixet, and Friends with Money, also written and directed by Nicole Holofcener. As it happens Friends with Money is the opening film of the festival. Looking through the box office league for 2005...
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Splinister Blogstrike the battle drum of the great leap forward ever louder (24.11.2005, 04:34 UTC)
I'm back in the land of rain and fog. It's a shock after the wonderful weather I experienced in L.A., but it has its own charm... I'm trying to be there's-still-drink-left-in-that-cup because I'm finding it hard to be cheered by damp and chilly weather. So I'm going to Amsterdam in a couple of hours... which will probably be colder, and possibly wetter. However, the incomparable Amsterdam has many other delights to distract you from the climate. I don't normally travel this much. In fact,...
Link | Clicks: 0
Splinister Blogwrite the spec and roll the dice (18.11.2005, 02:55 UTC)
The reason I haven't posted anything since my arrival in L.A. (a city Shane Black described last night as "A fairy tale read by a pervert") is twofold: For the first couple of days as I was adjusting to the massive wrench in body clock I didn't have the capacity to sit down and compose an entry for this blog. Instead I posted observational opinion on my other journal Babblogue Blog. I spend a lot of time ruminating on a subject before I post about it on this blog. Hence there are fewer entri...
Link | Clicks: 0
Splinister Blogand she's off... (7.11.2005, 07:08 UTC)
I'm on the first leg of my journey - from Shannon Airport in Ireland to Heathrow in London. From there I'll fly to LAX. It's going to be a long day. I'm looking forward to warmer temperatures in California. It's cold in Ireland, and November is always a wet and miserable month.
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Splinister BlogNow dig me! I've got a monkey grafted to my head! (3.11.2005, 13:39 UTC)
I noticed from the Artful Forum that a world map of the Scribosphere has been created. It is nifty. My attempt to add a link to this blog from my entry resulted in me looking like the biggest shill artist since King Kong climbed up the Empire State Building to announce his arrival to New York. The site does not like html code in the entries. I was striving to make it discrete so the word would be the link... oh well, time to break out the bananas. I do have monkeys on the brain lately... ...
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