Splinister Blogthe new world of podcasts (13.2.2006, 18:26 UTC)
You can listen to me discuss the new series of Battlestar Galactica as a segment on Richard Delevan's weekly political/arts podcast the Sunday Brunch. It was a fun exercise, but it took much longer than I expected to put it together. I now have new respect for those who do this kind of thing for a living. I learned a lot about the process, and would be able to complete a similar podcast faster the next time. For those who are interested, I recorded it on my laptop via a microphone and using t...
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Splinister Blogspoilers ahoy! (10.2.2006, 20:20 UTC)
I watch a number of TV shows. My schedule is heavily predisposed towards American programmes, but I watch a mixture of British and Irish offerings too. It's hard to view a variety of shows from both side of the Atlantic, and not become glued to the box every night. My iron-fast rule dictates: Thou shalt not watch day-time TV. This is to prevent my entire day being sucked down the plug-hole of television addiction. In fact my main time-waster is really the Internet. I'm working on it......
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Splinister Blogfor fun (9.2.2006, 15:14 UTC)
Last night I wrote and completed a script for a short animated film. It was fun to doff the jaded and cynical cap that's usually on my head, and write a piece that's intended for a universal audience, with an emphasis on children. The story was clear in my mind because I had already pitched it to a friend who is interested in animating a short film. It was a blast to write, and I'm proud of it even though it's a short piece. There is no dialogue in the script at all--it is purely visual st...
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Splinister Blogan event for the London calendar (8.2.2006, 15:58 UTC)
Londoners might be interested in a discussion and workshop with Stephen Gallagher on scriptwriting for Film and TV on Saturday 25th March from 2pm to 4pm. Novelist and screenwriter Stephen Gallagher will talk and answers questions about the nuts and bolts of writing for film and television. At the moment Stephen is writing The Eleventh Hour, a science fiction series that's appearing on Thursday nights on ITV. The event will take place in the Redbridge Museum, York Room, Central Library, Clem...
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Splinister Blogmoving on (7.2.2006, 23:01 UTC)
My screenwriting group were very forbearing about the first draft of my new script. Not only did they offer great advice, suggestions, and tips for the re-write, but they were kind and complimentary about the screenplay. It is a blessing that I can obtain good feedback and peer review of my scriptwriting. Their comments have been added to the mental stew pot, and I'll leave that to bubble on the back burner for the next couple of months. That time will give me the distance I need so I can t...
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Splinister Blogthe video word made flesh (5.2.2006, 19:46 UTC)
Among my friends in New York the term "crack" is applied to goods that we can become addicted to collecting. DVDs are my crack. I'm exceptionally lucky that I never began collecting movies before the introduction of DVDs. For instance I have friends who bought the entire series of say, Bablyon 5 on VHS (and some of them even succumbed to buying the series again on DVD). I remember my first DVD. It was The Matrix, and I got it for free at a business conference. I didn't even had a DVD pla...
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Splinister Blogthe Grizzly Man of cinema (3.2.2006, 16:04 UTC)
The documentary, Grizzly Man opens in the UK today (no sign of an Irish release, alas). The film stitches together the hundred hours of recordings Timothy Treadwell made while out in Alaska frolicking, rather carelessly, with massive grizzly bears. Unfortunately, in 2003 Treadwell and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were killed and devoured by a bear. Enter the German director, Werner Herzog, whose previous films have often focused on obsessive men. He crafted the footage into the documentary t...
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Splinister Blogperception makes beauty (2.2.2006, 19:14 UTC)
Heidi has a great post on her blog about the pressures on women to be stick insects, which she feels more strongly because she resides in L.A. I think most woman suffer from a touch of body dysmorphic disorder, due to the pressures exerted upon us on a daily basis from advertising, television and movies. I know that I felt it strongly as a teenager, but less so as I got older and more secure in my identity. That doesn't mean that I don't feel inadequate at times, but I keep it in check. I proba...
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Splinister Blogrock on (31.1.2006, 14:18 UTC)
A couple of news items caught my attention today. First from the BBC comes the announcement that the singer, writer, and artist, Marilyn Manson, is going to Berlin's European Film Market on February 9 to seek financing for a movie he's developing. Called Phantasmagoria - The Visions Of Lewis Carroll, Manson will play Lew Carroll, and the film is budgeted at $4.2m. Apparently Manson has been working on the costumes and make-up for the movie for a year, and terms the film an "arthouse horror"....
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Splinister Blogit's spooky outside (30.1.2006, 17:35 UTC)
I've completed the script. A day ahead of schedule. It's time to crack open a bottle of sparkling wine. Outside my window a freezing fog has descended. My garden is unearthly. I could imagine wolves howling in the background, or a mysterious character emerging from the still mist. It's entirely appropriate for the tone of the last scene of the script. Something completely unexpected happened in my final scene. I surprised myself. I think it's a nice touch, but since this is a first draft, ...
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Splinister Blogon the home stretch (29.1.2006, 21:03 UTC)
I've written a tremendous amount of my script in the last two days. I'm on the final furlong. It's going to clock in a bit long for my liking, but it's only the first draft. It should be tighter after I carve it up in the next draft. I can't wait to write THE END.
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Splinister Blogthose avoidance tasks (28.1.2006, 16:11 UTC)
You know you have serious writing deadlines to meet when the urge to tidy your desk becomes overpowering. At least the last clutter from Christmas has been removed, and I feel like I can take a deep breath without the risk of knocking down piles of books, papers and DVDs. No more excuses now.
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Splinister Blogmagnifique (28.1.2006, 00:47 UTC)
I finished the re-writes on the story I wrote earlier in the month and I've sent it out to a market. I have to keep rolling the dice. I watched the terrific low-budget French horror film, Maléfique (2002), today. I saw the film originally at the London horror film festival, FrightFest a number of years ago, where the director, Eric Valette, gave a Q&A afterwards. The film made a lasting impression on me, so I was delighted it got a DVD release. The lads behind FrightFest have shown...
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Splinister BlogSouth Korea opens floodgates to Hollywood (26.1.2006, 14:01 UTC)
The Guardian reports today that the South Korean government has slashed the quota of indigenous films that must be shown in their country's cinemas. The quota was introduced in 1966 as a measure to protect the native film industry against the domination of foreign films--cinemas were obliged to show native films for 146 days a year. That's been reduced to 73 days. It was mainly Hollywood that threw itself on the ground and trashed its feet and hands in a temper tantrum over this protectionis...
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Splinister Blogrecent laughs (25.1.2006, 21:11 UTC)
I'm going to lighten the tone in this post because I've a tendency to write serious blog entries. That's partly because I use this journal to tease out writing-related issues that are on my mind. Today I'll examine two comedies I saw in recent weeks that I really enjoyed. First off I'll state that I have huge respect for comedy writers because it is a difficult art. There is something miraculous about making people laugh. It's a gift. It doesn't hurt that comedy sells, as I pointed out late...
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Splinister BlogI say tomayto, you say tomahto (24.1.2006, 17:09 UTC)
Last week I received the latest copy of ScriptWriter, UK's screenwriting magazine edited by Julian Friedmann. I've been a subscriber for a year, and I need to renew my subscription now--I won't let it lapse. ScriptWriter is a magazine that focuses on intelligent, well-written, and in-depth articles on issues of substance that are relevant to screenwriters. Much as I enjoy its American counterparts (I subscribe to both Scr(i)pt and Creative Screenwriting), ScriptWriter has an uniquely British ...
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Splinister BlogI yam what I yam (23.1.2006, 17:22 UTC)
Last week Kid Sis discussed women she knows who were Geek Goddesses, and opined that this was not as rare as some (equally geeky) men seem to think. I'd like to think it is more commonplace, but evidence indicates that this is not the case - or else women are less forthright about their geekiness. My experience is that if you are involved with an interest that is notorious for the depth of its geekdom (such as film) it tends to intersect with other geeky subgroups, such as SF geeks, comics gee...
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Splinister Bloggood enough (23.1.2006, 09:32 UTC)
Author Richard Steinberg has a great post on Storytellers Unplugged about a question that dogs many writers: "Am I good enough?" In the piece he suggests that writers turn the focus away from seeking a nebulous and arbitrary standard that varies from person to person (i.e. "good"), and instead evaluates their work based on concrete issues, such as clarity, voice, efficiency, entertainment, and relevance. Doubts are ever present, but put them to good work and focus them on reviewing issues in...
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Splinister Blogmore reading (20.1.2006, 17:44 UTC)
Early this morning (don't ask) I finished Grave Peril, the third book in Jim Butcher's modern supernatural detective series, The Dresden Files. I picked up the first book in the line, Storm Front, late last year, and after devouring the novel in a short period of time I snapped up the subsequent titles as far as the sixth book, Blood Rites. The hero of Butcher's series is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, the only wizard in Chicago who advertises in the Yellow Pages. He makes his living ...
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Splinister Bloggruesome episode goes direct to DVD (19.1.2006, 16:19 UTC)
Via Bloody-Disgusting.com I found out about the New York Times article that details the dropping of one of the episodes in Showtime's Masters of Horror series. Japanese director, Takashi Miike, will be familiar to all horror fans. He is a prolific director, who has created an inconsistent but attention-grabbing body of work. He's best known outside of Japan for Audition (2000). Masters of Horror paid directors to create a one-hour episode that would be aired on US cable channel Showtime. V...
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Splinister Blogfor the love (18.1.2006, 17:46 UTC)
Since the New Year my writing has been going well. I'm almost afraid to type these words, as if it will cause the mysterious writing Genie that is my current companion and comic sidekick to disappear in a puff of multi-coloured smoke with a final sarcastic bon mot. This is ridiculous, of course, but yet I hesitate to tell people that I'm writing, meeting deadlines, ideas are flowing, and projects are being fleshed out. I should be celebrating this fact. Yet, sometimes I live in the fear that ...
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Splinister Blogpsst! want a challenge? (16.1.2006, 16:05 UTC)
One Slack Martian posts recommending the The Screenwriting Fortnight: an endeavour open to anyone who wants the challenge of attempting to write an entire screenplay in 14 days. It's based on the successful NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) model. As it happens it's landing very close to my schedule for my horror script. It would require me to finish my current one faster, and shorten the time I'd alloted for creating the outline. I'll consider it. The best way to approach that kind ...
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Splinister Bloganother piece done, more to do (15.1.2006, 18:43 UTC)
There are few words as satisfying to type as "The End". The new short story is written. It's approximately 4,100 words long. The great thing about writing short stories is that within a day or two (or longer, depending on its length) you can complete it. Unlike the first draft of a script, which can take weeks to months to deliver. For me, wrapping up a short story is a confidence boost, especially if I'm also chipping away at a bigger project. It proves that I can break through the finish l...
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Splinister Blogprogress and ideas (14.1.2006, 21:36 UTC)
Martin, per usual, came up trumps today with the nifty little progress bar code he wrote to track my projects. Thanks babe! Yesterday I paused writing my current script to begin a new short story. I was a little ahead of my schedule deadlines on the script, and I fancied a switch to prose. I wrote half of the short story last night, and hope to complete it by tomorrow. Then I'll return to the script. The short story idea is one I've had for a long time, but I became enthusiastic about writi...
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Splinister Bloginspiration (13.1.2006, 13:05 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 Blogup, down, and up (13.1.2006, 13:05 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 Blogdiversity (13.1.2006, 13:05 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 Bloggood news, an opportunity, and recommended reading (13.1.2006, 13:05 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 Blogread (13.1.2006, 13:04 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 Blogrespect the early masters of the genre (13.1.2006, 13:04 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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