CategoryNotebook

A collection of research I have done over the years that you may also find useful, along with my own notes on ideas I work through “out loud” – kind of a brain dump of “what if’s”.

Steve Martin x Goldilocks – How to Defeat Boredom and Bad Habits

Why is it that some people stick with their habits, whether practising jokes, writing their book or working out while most of us struggle to stay motivated? Scientists have been studying this question for many years. How One Man Did It In 1955, Disneyland had just opened in Anaheim, California, and a 10-year-old boy walked in and asked for a job. Employment laws were loose back then...

How to Write a Scene in 10 Steps

According to John August. In case you’re wondering – who? … John August is an American screenwriter, director, producer, and novelist. He is known for writing the films Go, Charlie’s Angels, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, the Disney live-action adaptation of Aladdin, the novels Arlo Finch in...

Content vs Art

I managed to get along to the Raindance Festival last week, though not as much as I had hoped due to other commitments. I caught a few presentations and seminars on everything from AI to making no-budget feature films. One of the interesting barometric swings is that Elliot Grove, the founder of Raindance, was using terms such as “multi-platform content creators” interchangeably with...

The Power of a Film Treatment

As some of you may know, I am more of a pantser than a plotter. However, the more I write screenplays, the more I lean towards being a plotter. Or at least a middle ground of plantser – I make an outline and then expand on it in traditional pantser style. In the film and television world, this outline is often considered to be the hallowed treatment (though an outline and a treatment can be...

Background Work in the UK (aka Being an Extra)

I hope you enjoyed last week’s list of networking, opportunity and education sites for actors and people in the film industry. You can always refer to it here. This week I want to talk about background work. Aka crowd, extras or supporting artists. As an actor, should you do it? And if you don’t have any experience in the industry, how do you get started? I live and work in the UK, so...

Acting, Writing, Crew & Education Websites for the UK

I often get asked by fellow actors where I find opportunities for roles. When I was starting out a couple of years ago I had no idea, so I thought it was about time I summarised a list of websites and companies you can look into for networking, education and opportunities. Many of these are UK-specific, though some are also global. Some you’ll probably already know, while others you might...

The Epics of Gilgamesh

Central to the origin stories was Gilgamesh, the shepherd king of Erech. He was as strong as the savage bull, the most splendid amongst heroes and the most glorious amongst men. His strength was unrivalled and he had the most extraordinary good looks ...

Gamesmanship

To define it simply, Gamesmanship is “The Art of Winning Games without actually cheating.” But shouldn’t winning naturally follow experience, practice and determination? Quite often, but the lesser player can still win if he employs a little tactical Gamesmanship throughout the match. So many books have been written on the subject of games and the tactics of play, but so few...

On Fox Spirits

Wagaya no oinari sama (Fox Spirits)

Fox spirits occupy the same mythological niche as the faerie in Western mythology. They are beautiful beyond endurance, elusive, powerful, mischievous and vindictive. In Chinese mythology, the human form is the pinnacle of creation. All animals, and sometimes plants seek to achieve human form on their way to immortality ...

the ALEPH

I arrive now at the ineffable core of my story. And here begins my despair as a writer. All language is a set of symbols whose use among its speakers assumes a shared past. How, then, can I translate into words the limitless Aleph, which my floundering mind can scarcely encompass?

The Here & Now

I’m working on developing a feature film – a supernatural thriller. You can find more about this on my production website. I am doing a script readthrough at Pinewood later in March for a TV comedy pilot. Plus the usual audition rounds of course. And my IMDb StarMeter has improved by 30,000!