Thursday, 31 January 2008
Our Saviour, Her Majesty Lucy Vee, has been at it again.
I mean of course, more great, educational posting, with a very helpful list and links to articles to save to refer to as we plough through our 2nd drafts.
Take a gander at http://www.lucyvee.blogspot.com/
(This web link should be tattooed on your arms by now!)
It’s all about the eternal screenwriting quandaries:
Should we/shouldn’t we/how do we direct from camera, scene/character description etc
Too much black on the page/not enough engaging story covering the white page.
It’s the getting it all right (write!) that’s the difference between a spec sale and the recycling bin.
But that’s the challenge we’ve all accepted.
The general golden rule is “Less is more”
Here’s my favourite opening scene I've saved to refer to when I'm trying to keep the script trim .
I think it's brilliant the way it sets up the Character in one simple paragraph.
It tells you He's lean, keen, job obsessed, hi tech & takes his girl for granted.
The spearmint description gets me every time!
LIFE ON MARS
Series 1, Episode 1
INT. SAM’S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - DAY 1/1 07:08 1
Close-up - photograph. A small boy - 4 or 5 wearing an
oversized policeman’s hat. Freckles. Toothy grin.
Reflected in the glass of the photo - a dozen separate News
24 items explode onto a plasma screen.
The widescreen TV spews up a giddy-making cocktail of current
affairs. These images usher in a fast set of very
The TV with Dolby 5.1 dominates one half of the apartment and
holds the attention of SAM TYLER. This room with its beams
and varnished wooden floor has been converted from some vast
SAM himself is smart, lithe, mid-30’s. If he were a flavour
he’d be spearmint. He is talking into his mobile and
negotiating the News 24 menu simultaneously. Girlfriend MAYA
cradles her coffee, watching him.
The biz, innit?
Then, whoosh, we're off into the story.
The full version is availiable in the script archive at http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/insight/script_archive.shtml
Quiet at the back!
Now pay attention class…
How many times have you seen a Screenwriting course or book by an “expert” who hasn’t actually sold a screenplay?
Now you mention it, hundreds of times Sheiky
How many of them are free?
None that I’ve found me old Sheik mate
By a Hollywood Scriptwriter
And UCLA Lecturer
And top selling novelist
IMDB cedits list, etc at:-
Want even more writing freebies?
Yeah course I do, Mr Sheikspear, Sir, greedy spec monkey waif that I am, sir
Then pop over to the lovely Miss Potdoll’s pink palace of a blog at :-
For free online Uni courses and a veritable gold mine of scripting information
Anyone else know of some more?
Wednesday, 30 January 2008
Alwight geezers and geezettes!
Cor blimey, eyes only gawin’ dahn that fancy Landan tan fer da weak–end ain’t I
Anyone else abaht or anything script related going on?
Mrs S & I are driving up Saturday morning, doing the touristy day out, then rockin’ with the band in Soho (and delivering their script)
See ad below…
2 Feb 2008
PLUS ONE CLUB at ST. MORITZ
02 Feb 2008, 159 Wardour St., London (Soho), W1V 3TA
Onstage with us will be the one and only Miss Kitty Bang Bang!
You’ve got to see it to believe it!
Tuesday, 29 January 2008
Pompey, Bournemouth, London, L.A., Mexico, Hollywood, Cricklewood…
Right International, me.
And now a big up to my Spanish Fans!
Hola Nick, Ricky & Dan the Man over in Sunny Espanna.
Top guys, top radio station.
I was a guest last year when they interviewed me about a story I had published out there.
Even got to spin a coupla tunes and dedications.
Fab – tastic, mate!
How’s the prose coming Dan?
And a DJ.
Check them out on Costa Blanca’s top radio station, Exite FM.
If you’re lucky enough to be there tune in on 89.2 & 93.1 FM.
If you’re cold, wet & miserable over here in the grey UK you can recall those Sunny Mediterranean blue skies on the web by listening in http://www.exitefm.com/
Fancy some smoochie soul tunes tomorrow night?
Try Spain's top DJ, Ricky “Mr Love” Devine’s Smooth Groves show (every Wednesdays 10 to Midnight.)
Ricky - can’t copy your photo or logos from the web site – email it to me and I'll post it here for your WWW fans.
See you in April gang!
Monday, 28 January 2008
Yeah, you’re right - didn’t finish spec.
But at least this week’s excuses are good ‘uns…
Started new Real Job, great, change of scene, yeah, yeah, etc, but, obviously, that took away quite a bit of writing time.
These people! What are they like?
They expect you to turn up and everything…you know, do the actual work thing…
Top Rock Band For Ramona have commissioned me to write a short script based teaser for their web site. They love the first draft and it should be on their site and/or next album soon!
C’mon record company guys – it’d make a great video…
Re-wrote two spec script outlines and sent them off to be reviewed by the great Robin Kelly.
Had to type ‘em up nice, because my idea of an outline is manic scribbles in my notebook.
Must admit, Robin’s way is better.
Spec comedy script first draft 90% finished.
I really wanted to be able to say, “Yeah, done it, now for the rewrite” but somehow it just didn’t get there. I could’ve rushed it to the climax (ooh-err!), because after all only I see the first draft, but somehow it felt false that way. The script seems to flow along quite fast and surprisingly coherently so I dunno, I carried on that way and run out of time for this update.
Sunday, 27 January 2008
I got a fan!
From my short stories.
Hi there MAZ - yep, it’s me talking to you from the wonders of hyper-space!
She’s new to blog land, so just for the lovely Maz and any other blog virgins who may have strayed from print to electronic micro thingies, here’s a quick bloggy run down…
My blogs are numbered in order so you can follow from the beginning if you so wish.
(Number 4 - “I’d like to thank” in the archive is the Logline one that you asked about).
Click on the comments link if you’d like to make a comment, say hi, etc or read other people’s comments if there are any.
Click on any of the highlighted links to whiz off to the other, highly recommended blogs/websites.
Go on, give it a try, have a browse round.
Hope you like the blog, pop in any time.
Friday, 25 January 2008
The cheerful Fun Friday pics will resume next week.
Just got time to say thanks to Sir Robin Kelly whose offer of feedback on two of my new script outlines I was gratefully accepted here at the Oasis.
His feedback was, as ever, very informative and pointed out a few “think agains” as well as the ever needed encouragement.
Thanks again, Robin. (See in my “all you need to know –UK” alongside for his top blog/web sites.)
Also a big thank you to the lovely Liz Hobbs from Movie scope Mag who’s sorted my free subscription that I won on the divine Miz Vee’s (should be) award winning blog site.
The first iss (vol 1 no6) has an interview with Sir Steven Moffat…top TV screenwriter ( the 2 best ever Dr Who’s; “Blink” , “The girl in the fireplace” etc etc).
He’s now being courted by Hollywood….a chap called Spielberg or something has signed him for the big budget new Tin Tin movie…
It’s a top mag . Try a teaser at http://www.moviescopemag.com/
Upon my return I managed to catch a certain Mr James Moran’s “Torchwood” episode…
Loved the way it related to today’s troubles.
Beware, they are amongst us. Plotting.
But hopefully their plots are not as good as James’s
Was going to pop over to his blog to congratulate him but, you know, an ironic 69 people have already said all there is to say and apparently his head is expanding.
Apparently he wrote a film too… See http://www.jamesmoran.blogspot.com/
Also caught up with this great (FREE!) offer on top blogger (new dad and all round nice bloke) and the first UK screenwriter to have his own web page, Dom Carver’s blog
He’s got 7 years experience and that fancy Uni degree so this is an offer not to miss.
Go on. Send it now! (One of mine’s hopefully in so there’s only 4 spaces left-hurry!)
I’ll post a writing update Monday including news on of a possible….
Nah, I tell you Monday!
Tuesday, 15 January 2008
My! How quick time runs out!
Was going to do an update on writing progress but too much has happened and time just gone. Will do update when I return from chasing the sun, instead of chasing the commission!
As you can see Mrs S has packed the bags, so ta ta for now, I really must fly!
Friday, 11 January 2008
Tuesday, 8 January 2008
The Writer’s strike is biting deep on both sides now.
Although the figures vary depending on the source, it seems the “Hollywood economy” has reportedly lost over $2 billion dollars already & yet the cost to agree to the totally justifiable claims for new technology & animation residuals etc is allegedly between $150 million to $250million over the next 3 years.
It’s been published that United Artists has become the first major studio to sign an independent agreement.
And now there’s Strike TV, via the internet, an innovative and paying gig, funded by adverts, and sanctioned by the unions. Strike TV wants to enable all film people to support themselves despite the strike.
Top Blogger & BBC Writersroom ace Piers has full details and links on his blog.
Including the info on how and where to send in your proposals for commissions.
Which you will own, apparently, to sell on, adapt, whatever.
Just found this opportunity from BBC Writersroom,
British Antarctic SurveyArtists and Writers Programme1 March 2008
The Artists and Writers Programme - sponsored jointly by British Antarctic Survey and Arts Council England - offers two artists and writers each year an opportunity to spend up to eight weeks in the Antarctic.
Yeah, like I'd go...
Don’t do cold, never mind freezing!
Mind you 8 weeks in Hawaii, at their expense.
So, now in the script, the reindeer escapes to Hawaii...
Anyone out there in blog land fancy it?
As remakes and adaptations are the current rage, is now the time update “Ice Station Zebra”?
Monday, 7 January 2008
Wow! Encouraging feedback from another blogging legend! (copied below from Lucy’s site).
Thanks Robin, hope you haven’t got this one already of the ever inspirational Miss Paris Hilton.
FWIW although I liked many there's four in particular that hooked me because of the clear genre, clear relatable main character and clear goal.
-------Long Journey by Annelie - I agree that this could maybe have a little something about the tree and why it's important but you have a strong central relationship which is the main thing.-------
Long Journey by Sheiky - I loved this for it's simplicity. It seems familiar but it seems fresh as well. It's solid on genre and should be easily sold.--------
Secret Christmas by Andrew - Even though Andrew's taking the piss out of people like me who would happily ban Christmas, I can see it would make a good film and I can still relate strongly to the protag. The fact that she's an accidental - and maybe reluctant? - leader is also a nice touch -------
Starlight by Sheiky - Again this is familiar and yet seems fresh. Of course this will all come down to the characters and story in the end but I can imagine the trailer and the publicity
Robin Kelly Sunday, January 06, 2008
"Starlight" will probably be my next feature project spec and I have a rough outline for the various adventures to be encountered by our hero Reindeer in "Journey."
I just hope I am up to the challenge.
Sunday, 6 January 2008
I think some evil scientist from Sci - Fi land has accelerated it.
2008 is six days old now. Six days since I started the blog!
Bet it’s been great fun, but how’s the real writing progressing Sheiky, I hear you ask?
After all, that’s why you started this blog in the first place, wasn’t it?
To chart your writing PROGRESS…
Well, what with real life, the day job, and playing on the blog, the week’s page count is not too impressive, I’m afraid. Only four pages, which will be down to three when I give ‘em another look.
Starting next week or perhaps later on today when Mrs Sheik is watching Eastenders, I shall apply myself to finishing the first draft of my Comedy Feature Spec Script...
Then obviously hack it to pieces on the rewrite to tighten up the pace.
So that’s this weeks poor excuses out the way and the stated plan for next week.
Like that shoe company bloke says: just gotta do it now.
Friday, 4 January 2008
There’s just gotta be an uplifting movie here…
Desolate Lifers regain hope and find redemption while thwarting corrupt Warden’s attempts to stop them entering an international Free Dance contest
Thursday, 3 January 2008
Well, ok, not one those, not just yet…
Some of you will already know that Lucy set a nifty little Christmas logline comp over at
Lucy's blog is a good place to e-visit because as well as all manner of Scripting info, she often has some little cyber community thing going and besides she always has something to say!
She provided the titles to help stir those creative juices into movie cocktails.
I’d like to thank the Director…
Just got to write the scripts now…
I’d like to thank the Cybersphere Academy…
Here’s mine and the learned Miss Vee’s feedback :-
I'd like to thank Lucy
A Long Journey
A shooting star on Christmas Eve inspires an orphaned reindeer to escape from a petting zoo to seek Santa at the North Pole
Our winner of course and I can see why. It's classic family fare, its goal AND character is obvious, plus it's got the "cute" factor. No mean feat Sheiky! Very nice.
A stranded, self obsessed movie actress rediscovers her lost values when she reluctantly agrees to star in small town’s Christmas pageant
A good logline. The self-obsessed movie star as protagonist is a character that again I see A LOT though I do actually like the notion that a character like this can recover "lost values". The fact that she does this within a small town environment hints that this story actually can deliver this realisation; too often I see scripts with these characters on the verge of *almost* losing everything then the writer at last minute gives them a big contract or whatever, so they're rewarded for being awful. Would be interesting to see if Sheiky can pull this off as I think it's one of the most difficult characters to "draw".
This Christmas, be careful what you pull…
Two psychopathic sisters deliberately infect HIV with Christmas party one night stands
What mean protagonists Sheiky! This is a good logline with obvious antagonists, but I was left wondering whom the protagonist was and what he (she?) might do about these psychopaths.
A child is born
A defrocked Priest regains his faith whilst trying to save the newborn daughter of God from a Devil worshipping sect
A well-written logline, this nevertheless reminds me of END OF DAYS and just about every other Devil-worshipping film involving a baby, sorry Sheiky. I felt I wanted more that differentiated it from its predecessors and since there were quite a few in the run-up to the millennium especially, you'd need to pull something out the bag really quite unusual to be able to do this. However I should mention that I could be prejudiced unfairly against this idea since I get a lot of scripts about inhuman babies and/or babies that are the son or daughter of God or The Devil, so don't just take my word for it if you wanted to pursue this idea.
Confrontations and Revelations
A young Priest descended from Christ’s bloodline confronts Satan via a coded passage in the book of Revelations
Again, we're back to the Satanic thing though there are no babies this time... Secret codes are another "thing" of mine though, sorry Sheiky!!! I better shut up. Hey this has to be proof though that entering A LOT, like Sheikspear did pays dividends...
And here's one sent, but the E-Postie failed to deliver ‘cos he’d knocked off early and went to the Pub like the rest of us…
This Christmas, be careful what you pull…
A disgruntled worker places explosives in the executive crackers sent as Christmas bonus to senior management
I.m.h.o. a Logline that did exactly what it said on the tin;-
"DICKENS ON WOMEN" by Dave Anderson.
"The story Charles Dickens never dared tell. His own. "
Wednesday, 2 January 2008
A quick guide to my links.
- Writersroom :- Auntie Beeb at her best; advice, links, scripts, opportunities, submission guides, insights, interviews, free script software, and much more.
- Danny Stack :- THE man! A friendly blog full of practical advice and insights about screenwriting from the inside. Read ALL his story vault.
- Lucy Vee :- THE woman! Top blog for updates, lists, inspiration, links and advice on how to and how not to write your script from a Pro script reader.
- Robin Kelly :- Old website is still live and full of lessons. More Info, advice, and loads of links to other top bloggers on new blog
- Wordplayer :- THE U.S. site. Hollywood screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio tell you EVERYTHING. A full course in 60 essays.
- Unknown screenwriter :- If he tells you who he is, he'll have to kill you. Fortunately for us, he tells us everything else and links to many more top sites.
- Sex In A Submarine :- Bill Martell, friendly Hollywood Pro Screenwriter shares screen secrets, scripts, links to other top sights and the reason for his blogs name.
- Angryalien :- Jennifer Shiman hilariously re-imagines two hour movies in just thirty seconds, and still retains the major plot points! Pitching masterclass for when that Exec says " You've got half of minute of my time."
- For Ramona :- Portsmouth's top Rock Band, now based in London. Info, pictures and free songs!
- Victoria Hotel, Southsea, Portsmouth :- Two 1896 Victorian houses tastefully modernised for the 21st century in 2004 by my best mate Paul.
Tuesday, 1 January 2008
2007 was great for settling the important things in life.
Got married to the girl of my dreams.
Studied, researched, read, fired a couple of wild shots.
To quote that Jazz presenter Guy, “ Grr-eat ”
2008 will be better.
It has too.
Because now, I’ll be watching.
Other people will be watching.
And I’d hate to let anybody down.
So I’m going to chart my efforts out here in the hyper space electronic interweb thingy myjig.
In full view of anyone who’d care to surf by.
My theory is it will be a sort of encouragement, a bit of an extra push to make me write more.
Maybe a place to network with other writers, the curious, the new, the established, or the ones like me, somewhere in between, with so far still to go .
It’s for me, by me, but I'd love everyone to browse, comment, cajole, criticise, suggest, help, learn, teach or say hi.
Ok, then, let’s hit enter, shoot the words into the World Wide Web and see how it goes.