Thursday 31 May 2012

Be a Part of the KITFR Screenwriting Program!

The deadline for entry is TOMORROW! This is a free opportunity to work with me to help get your short screenplay written in ONE WEEK! Apply HERE.

Care to share?

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Note to Self


Write. Or take things in.

Get inspired. Watch 'Inside the Actors Studio'. And Oscar speeches. Listen to podcasts.

Read screenplays. Watch movies. Find writers, directors and actors who resonate. Learn about their style, their journeys, their technique.

Learn more about how to write. Read writers and articles and books that challenge you. Discover new words.

Write down new ideas every day. Sometimes force ideas out, other times be content with having no ideas.

Dream. Sit in a room and do nothing. Ignore the urge to check your phone. See what the moment you're in has to offer.

Look at the sky, look at people, close your eyes.

Spend whole days writing. Spend whole days reading. Spend whole days in the cinema. Spend whole days discovering some place new.

Don't be a hack. Don't write within your comfort zone. Believe you can write whatever needs to be written. Don't be afraid that you can't be technical enough or funny enough or mainstream enough or artistic enough. You are enough. More than enough.

Have fun. Writing should be joyful, there are no rules.

Be in pain. Writing hurts because you care so much.

Write and read and discover people who are like you. Commit to doing better. To doing your best work.

Do your best work at every moment that you can.

Follow these steps, for they're what you really care about in regards to your art. The time for distraction is over.

Care to share?

Tuesday 29 May 2012

APOLLO 13 - So long, Earth. Catch you on the flip side.

Some lives are really about something. It's not just about making money, it's about something else, discovery.

Strange how something so embedded in the history of humankind is so disregarded by modern society. Tell people you're going to walk rather than take the car and they think you're insane. Stop to watch an insect on its journey and people will think you've lost the plot. Discovery and curiosity are an awkward fit in the capitalism paradigm that we've all conformed to.

It's great to know that occasionally in human history, we've been places. We dared to look to the skies and live out our dreams, despite how insane they were.

And sure, it was about the space race. About Americans beating the Russians. But if you look past that, you see an immense human achievement.

Apollo 13 always resonates more with me than the moon landing. It's great to get to places, but it's even more meaningful when there's failure, when people say, "no matter what, we're bringing you home."

There are some beautiful scenes in the movie between Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) and his wife Marilyn (Kathleen Quinlan), like when they're in the garden, staring up at the moon and Lovell has named part of the moon after her. His love for her is huge, yet still he feels he must leave her behind to visit the great unknowns of the big dark nothing of the universe.

Is there anything better than a great adventure? Than exploration?

"It's not a miracle, we just decided to go."

A decision. That's all it is. You decide you want to do a thing and then you go to the moon. And you might have roadblocks, like Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise), who was grounded because of the measles (which he never got), but then it transpired that his expertise down on the ground was far more important.

"You never know what events are to transpire to bring you home."

There's magic in the journey. In exploring some place. In reaching high up into the sky.

Is this film about a bunch of astronauts or is it about you and me and all those journeys we never took?

Care to share?

Monday 28 May 2012

Creative Disturbances: Exploring the Other Side

What disturbs you the most? What is the thing you think about when you can't sleep at night?

A good way to look at your creativity is to look at what is occupying your thoughts. Even if you can't put words to it, what is the energy behind it?

Maybe you can't write because you have a strong and powerful inner critic, or maybe it's because you're feeling vague and confused.

Rather than disown these feelings, take a closer look at them. Maybe you struggle with strong people in your life, maybe it's authority that troubles you. Maybe that's what you need to write about.

Or maybe you're vague and confused, but that troubles you because you look down on being vague and confused.

All too often we search for creativity as if it's just across the street, just out of our reach, as if it'll turn up if we keep holding on. If only we could get out of our heads.

Perhaps the ghosts of all the writers and artists who died painful drug and drink induced deaths were just trying to get to that magic place on the other side of the road. The place just outside of themselves.

Maybe we just need to look closer at ourselves. Whatever we think we're meant to be doing to be creative, so often it's the opposite.

Are you busy and productive but keep hitting a brick wall? Maybe you need to be lazy and quiet!

Keep splitting your mind between tiny projects that drive you insane? Maybe you need to focus on the delayed gratification of one larger project.

Find yourself exhausted due to your wild ambitions? Maybe you need to want for nothing and sit in a comfortable chair.

Whatever you think is right, I bet the opposite is equally valid. In fact, it may be the one ingredient you're missing.

Care to share?

Sunday 27 May 2012

The Kid In The Front Row ONE WEEK Screenwriting Program - APPLY NOW!

Just like gambling, or checking in and out of Twitter; screenwriting is a habit. It's something you either do, or don't do. The hardest part is sitting down and doing it. 

So I'm offering you a reason to do it.

This is open to amateur screenwriters, seasoned professionals, and anything in between. 

Here's the deal. 

For a one week period between
Sunday 3rd June-Sunday 10th June, I will support and mentor you in the creation of a short screenplay. 

Your task, should you choose to accept it; is to complete a screenplay in the one week period detailed above. 

The script must be no longer than 15 pages. 

I am particularly keen to help people who have been struggling to get their ideas down on to paper recently. Maybe you have been too busy, or lacking on confidence. This program is aimed at helping (hell, forcing) you to overcome these issues. 

At the end of the program, I will publish the Screenplays on Kid In The Front Row. 

You will retain sole authorship/writing credit, and you will completely own your material. I will simply support you in writing it, and will publish it here at the end (gaining you exposure).

This opportunity will
only be for SIX PEOPLE. You will have full email access to me for the week -- I will set you deadlines, and will also be on hand to help you with any creative issues/ideas you have. We will collaborate in any way you need to get the projects completed! 

To apply:

1. Please email me with your
name, location, and a little bit about who you are and why you would like this opportunity. 

2. Share with me an idea you have for a script. It may be a very strong idea, or it may be a seed of a feeling of an idea that's been floating around in your head somewhere out of reach for years. So I don't need a big treatment, I just need a paragraph or two to get a sense of it. 

I am hoping to support writers of all levels, from a variety of backgrounds.

DEADLINE for applying is FRIDAY 1st JUNE 2012. Please only apply if you are serious about writing. If you are too busy or will use your pets/children/health as an excuse for not completing your assignment, then please don't contact me. 

Care to share?