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SCRIPTWRITER. TV. FILM. THEATRE. RADIO, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Hi there! Welcome my Scriptwriting blog. When I'm not here I write Scripts, Sketches, Stories and Lyrics. All enquiries welcome.

Saturday, 29 March 2008


Hope you all had a great bank holiday weekend! As I said, we had freinds to stay, so the writing had to take a back burner for a few days.
Fortunately, the passion's still there, so I couldn't wait to get back to pounding the keyboard.
Unfortunately, as "real" work takes up the day (but pays the mortgage and provides the beer tokens) this meant late night coffees and screenwriting by candlelight!

So, began with a wee tad of Spec movie and Spec TV drama rewriting to get my alcohol befuddled brain back up to "show, don't tell" speed ( it was a great weekend!).

The Spec drama rewrite is helped enormously by helpful notes from Dom, who, funnily enough has a blog about rewrites here.

Then, the drama buds suitably enticed for more, I launched into the play.
Got to beat that June deadline.
And I mean really beat it, as I'm away the week before it, so mine has to be polished and in well by then.

Still, a bit pressure eh, can't kill you, can it?

Oh, apparently it can...
Well, it makes for good drama. Hopefully.

The plays shaping up well, in m.h.o. and is like nothing I've written before.
So, that means it's good! (lol)
The begining needs a tweak or two, but sets it all up nicely, and I actually like all the characters, including the weaker one (who needs working on)and I especially like the tormented baddie.
I have the middle and end plotted and on my ideas file, but, obviously being an organic entity still in it's creative flow, reserve the right to change all this in the rewrite(s).
It's on course, it's exciting to create it, I'm learning more as I write, and above all, I'm writing!
Which has to be good news!

But now, time, once again, has caught up with the page.

Yeah, yeah, I know we just had a long weekend...
But, as Mrs S said, flights are expensive on bank holidays, and cheaper the week after...so...

...we're off for a week of cheapo Sun!
I shall take my note book, of course, and will be thinking of you all.
I might even do a bit of writing if I get a bit of a lull in between all that exploring new waterholes and resturants...

Anyway, see you when we get back.
As you can see Her Majesty's packed her clothes, so I've now I've got put my shorts and 2 t-shirts in my holdhall. Good job it's only a week...

(58) Real computer image Shakey's back!

I'm back!
I was veryily lost with the pixels in cyberspace but Sir Dave of Sheddom came up with a cunning plan to enable my return.

Thanks Dave

(57) Movie poster challenge (update)

Another great entry in the Movie poster challenge explodes into cyberspace!

Some great choices, especially “Them” - the poster was definately better than the film!
And the creature f.t.b.l. …another all time classic!

See you round the scribosphere Madely!
Regards, Sheiky

Check out Madeley's choice at:-


Friday, 28 March 2008

(56) HELP!

Help! Is there anyone "E" Clever out there? (Dave?)
Stupidly fooling around with the blog in an idle 5 mins I deleted my "Salutations" image of the "computer cartoon" Shakespeare with a computer. I copied the "properties" of the pic and swapped it with the one that's there now.

Didn't like it. Went to put the original back but the bloody machine said "that file path no longer exsists" or some such bollox!

And it's gone!

I can't recall where on the www thing I found it. Nor can google!

Did anyone copy that pic?
If you did would you have the url or what not so I can copy it back?

Anyone seen it anywhere else so I can copy it again?
Anyone any techie- but easy to follow idea how to get it back?


They finally found a way to "Take his freedom!"

( for those who don't geddit, it's William Wallace (1272-1305)Scotland’s greatest patriot, or, Mel Gibson in that kilt film, if you'd prefer...)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

(54) Movie poster challenge (update)

Another great entry in the Movie poster challenge explodes onto a screen near you!

Well, ok, the flat screen in front of you now, if you go to Mr Rob Stickler's groovey E pad.


Well, pretend it is-it will be tomorrow. Have a great Easter!

Top Hollywood Star said success wouldn't change him...


(52) WRITING UPDATE...p.s.

Anyone know if any of the Spec Monkeys from the Scribosphere made it through on the Pitch in Time?


Good luck to all those from the Scribosphere who are entering a script in the BSSC, no, not the Bark Shanty Sail Club, nor the Brancaster Staithe Sailing Club or the Bluegrass State Skills Corporation, but the British Short Screenplay Competition.

I'm passing on this one, as I'm concentrating on my spec comedy film rewrite and my new venture...

Sheikspear, the playwright!
It's got a nice ring to it hasn't it?
Seems I've heard that sentance (Sheikspear, the playwright) before, can't think where...

Pardon? You what?
There's another one?
Is he any good?

Anyway, although the "serious" 20 minute play is still deafeating me, my new full length effort for the Bruntwood Playwriting Competition is cracking along, even though it's still a very serious piece.
Ok, with some humour. And songs.
Hope it's still as good in the middle ( my weak spot) and the end, not fade out this time, but curtain down. (should be a poignant ending, when I get there)

Any advice on what's the "best" length, time wise for a stage play?
90 minutes?
70 minutes?
Longer? Shorter?

I'm aiming for around the 90 minutes or just less.

The ideas monkeys
have thrown me some top bannanas for really short, "contained" play ideas which I'm also going to attempt. The idea being, I will then present them (force them on?)to a local Am Dram group at the nearby arts centres as a way in to network with some "live" writers.
Don't worry I still love you all, my "E" writer friends, but you're so far away and my car's so old and knackered .

Mind you, I met a nice, talented local lady screenwriter via the interweb, Mrs S said I could go, but we're both (as in she's) so busy the coffee has'nt been drunk yet!

Hi Carol!

So, update concluded.
I'll post the "HOORAY! IT'S FRIDAY!" later today as we've got friends down from Wales for the week end and Mrs S says I have to be socialable, so therefore am banned from the PC!

still have this though to take when we're out...

Have a great LONG weekend!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

(50) Anthony Minghella dies at only 54

Sadly, top screenwriter and Oscar-winning film director Anthony Minghella died today at the age of 54. He had suffered complications following surgery last week for cancer of the tonsils and neck, his agent said.

Best remembered for the films Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The English Patient, and Truly Madly Deeply, Anthony Minghella, CBE, started writing for theatre in 1975, then moved on to TV with Grange Hill, Boon, and Inspector Morse among his many credits.
He was born in Rdye, on the Isle of Wight, and suported the greatest football team in the world, Portsmouth FC, appearing in the Channel 4 documentary Hallowed Be Thy Game.
His home had two double bedrooms dedicated to the display of Portsmouth memorabilia dating back to the club's founding in 1898.

He will be surely missed. My sincere condolences to his family, friends and fans

Anthony Minghella 1954 - 2008

Sunday, 16 March 2008


Bollards Jim!

Didn't get in.

Did you?

Hope at least one us did!

Congratulations to the ten who did.

"Dear Pitch in Time Entrant,

On behalf of the Screenwriters Festival 2008 I would like to thank you for your contribution to the Pitch in Time competition...etc..etc... fifteen-hundred entries, from which only ten finalists could be selected..."

They go on to say they hope it won't "dampen your enthusiasm for screenwriting".


Crush your ambitions...? Make you want to give up?


Bit of a disappointment, though!

Mind you, I can concentrate on my rewriting so I can make the most of the next opportunity I find. And punt out a spec again to make my own opportunities.
The stories were great, the loglines were great; they just didn't pick 'em this time.
Maybe someone will next time. Maybe that call is coming soon.

And... We've got this to go for now!

Loadsa advice/encouragement/info and words of wisdom here
courtesy of the great Sir Robin Kelly

Keep going fellow scriptwriters!
Just gotta work on, try again!

"A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." – Richard Bach

Success is just around that corner!

Thursday, 13 March 2008


INT - Pub - Late Friday afternoon

Contractor#1: Have a beer Jim, it's been a hard week...

Contractor#2: Cheers mate!

Contractor#1: No bollards, ladders, or road signs this week

Contractor#2: Nah, no worries this week, everythings fine

Contractor#1: I dunno, Jim, I got this funny feeling...maybe the tarmac hasn't set

Contractor#2: Ok, then, let's go check, then come back for another beer...

Contractor#1: Yeah, better safe than sorry, Jim, then straight back for that next beer...

Contractor#1 and #2 (together) Bollards!


All these faces on the keyboard!
All these voices in my head!
Relax, it's ok, they're fictional characters...honestly!

Rewriting of spec script is still going well.
It's a bit bizarre, really, only the other week there was too much real life and work stuff to do, so much so, it seemed hardly a new line, let alone a whole new scene, managed to scrawl it's way across my electronic page.

Now I wonder if was really just the old bio-rhythms were down a bit. Maybe lost a bit of confidence. It happens, doesn’t it?
The work, real life and family/social commitments are still there, all battling each other for my time. Need more arms than that octopus to juggle that lot! But now the writing buzz is back at full voltage.
So, this week, the dialogue's flowing, the scenes are excitingly tight.

I.M.H.O. anyway.

Those rabid ideas Monkeys are still running rampant around my brain and as well as the usual loads of mad jottings running the range of silly-stupid-not bad-ok-good, I've come up with a cracking new TV spec to, er, crack on with as well.

I still have to work out if the protag's story 'n' the other characters have "legs" but it has also occured to me that I could merge some of it into my existing Red Planet failure TV spec to make that stronger.

Have any of you done that?

"Pasted" for want of a better word (an' me trying to be a writer!) two separate scripts/stories to make a more complete, intriguing one?

Which way to go?
Only time, the scripts and this blog will tell...

Anyway, got to go for a walk, need to get some fresh air.
Time to think some of those Spec Monkey ideas through.
Luckily though, I’ve purchased this new invention so I can still write while I walk…

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

(45) Pie in the sky...

Although the writing is going really well at the mo' (update to folow)-
pie in the sky might well be what I aiming at, you know, the professionally produced, filmed script written by me.

But here's a different kind of pie to cheer us up on a cold, wet (typically British - is it August already?) day.

No, not a hot apple or cherry pie smoothered in steaming, creamy custard (oh- er gone all a bit "this is M&S food" there) but a pie chart.

Like they had in Maths class. Or Sales conferences. (Hi Rach!)

What with all the nostalgia flying around the blogoshpere on the film posters from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to Bambi to horny secretarys and more and thought I'd ask if anyone remembers the one (or two) hit wonder Rick Astley?

You do?
You remember that song we all danced/tried to pull to?

Here then is the mathematical Rick Astley pie chart...

Sunday, 9 March 2008

(44) Elvis as James Bond in Space in 007 remake!!

Nah, not really.
Though with all the new fangled digi-tech it's possible...
Kinda double woh ho ooh seven!

Thanks to the scribobloggers who have posted there fave film posters, some with added overseas versions, some with classic lobby cards, others with multiple faves some his, some hers.

There must be more out there, don't be shy...

(43) Recognise yours?

The pitches 'n' synopsis's are all in for judging and the nice people at the SWF have composed a lovely poem for us all...

Recognise your pitch among these cryptic lines?
Good luck, Scribospherists!

'A Pitch in Time - The Rhyme'

There’s been Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires and Ghouls,
Stuff set in the past and stuff set in our schools,
Evil Kings, Innocent Queens, manipulating Politicians,
A shit load of Serial Killers with strange machinations.

Incidents, Accidents, Hints and Allegations,
Historical Events and a lorra Adaptations,
Cops, Firemen, Doctors and Nurses
Women with fury using nasty little curses.

Celebrity this and Celebrity that,
Animated animals and a talking Cat,
Apocalyptic visions and blowing up shit,
Aliens attacking, nice planet, we’ll take it.

God vs. The Devil in the ultimate fight,
Angels and Demons vying for the Light
An unsolved Murder of somebody good,
A futuristic Soldier hidden under a hood.

An Idealistic hero up against time,
A heroine in danger neck deep in slime,
Santa Claus and Elvis together at last,
A time travelling future boy stuck in the past.

Wives vs. Husbands, Girls vs. Boys,
Computer animated objects vs. Computer animated toys,
Jealousy and Revenge leads to Murder most fowl,
A quaint, simple tale of a man and his trowel.

Back from the dead and hungry for brains,
A chase on a motorway smashing up lanes,
Children lost in a faraway fantasy land,
A neighbour who felt like lending a hand.

Out of all these fab entries, ten will be picked,
A masterclass in pitching, to help get it licked,
In front of a live audience, each one a writer,
Hopefully leading to a future that’s brighter…

(42) One they should've made...

Isn't this a great Spec poster for a action movie Hammer tried to get finance for in the late 1970s when it was struggling to find a new market away from it's traditional horror fare.
Sadly the investors dosh went into airport disaster flicks and the project was shelved.

With a BIG budget, and TODAYS technology this could be a great, fun film.
Wonder if the new Hammer studios can revive it from the ghostly golden vaults in their creepy, candle lit basement?

Just to let you know, apparently in the (hardly) original script for Zep v Terry, the WW1 Germans & their Brit POWs get blown off course, etc, and join forces to fight for survival in the valley that time forgot...
Old weapons V razor teeth 'n' claws... sounds great fun!


Does'nt a mock up poster makes a great pitching tool, don't you think?

The exec can see the movie poster for the script you're waxing lyrical about (desparately trying to sell him).
Might be a idea, just thinking aloud.

Bad points: I can't draw, don't know any (cheap) artists
Good points: it's visual, it's cheaper than a vid

(Speaking (writing?) of which, have you seen Sister Elinor's post of her visual pitch?) No? Go, on, sneak a peak here

For the movie, my money's on Terry to win...

p.s. How's your movie poster challenges coming along?

Saturday, 8 March 2008

(41) Cinema Lobby cards

Remember Cinema Lobby cards...

Aren't these cool?

Shamelessly stolen from here where there are loads more!

Thursday, 6 March 2008


Ext. - Late Friday Afternoon

Contractor#1 (into phone)
How you doing Jim? No problems here, this is light work...

Contractor#2 (into phone)
Safe as houses, mate, no problems here

Have a great weekend!


As well as all the usual great stuff at Lucy’s, Danny’s, Robins, and Lianne’s,
a quick blast round the scribosphere revealed a few takers on the movie poster challenge.

Well, I found three, here, here and here.

Funnily enough three is the number of your favourite movie posters you need to come up with to join in the challenge.
It’s still on if you are…go on, give it a go…
What else you gonna do?
Write something?

Well, the dreaded Real Life has interfered heavily with writing since we last E-spoke.
I produced two sharp pitches for the channel 4 thing and whizzed them off into hyper space to them.
And then, kinda just dried up.

Never mind the work/life balance, I'm finding it difficult juggling the real life work,work,work,work,family,work/fantasy life as a screenwriter balance.

The "Muse" has decided to sulk for a while for some strange reason… (Overwork!). It somehow seems content to allow my fingers to carelessly stab at random letters on the golden keyboard which then form into artless, plot less patterns of black on an otherwise virgin white page.

Oh ****ing dear!

So, temporary gave up writing, read a lot.

Got new mouse mats that somehow encouraged me to sit at the computer…

Started rewriting.

Return of the muse!
Thought I'd lost you!

Comedy Spec movie rewrite starting well. It always read fast, but I realised some additional sub plot story lines needed:

1/ The hapless hero really didn’t really deserve the intelligent sassy gal - as in why would she go for him?
2/ A totally new minor character not only emerged but now enhances the story and delivers a classic punch line at a crucial moment
3/ The tension/comic ending needed tightening with a power ratchet spanner!

Good, problems found, solutions sought, muse cranking into creative gear.
Found some spare midnight oil for the office lamps, and,
what d’yer know, those jabbing fingers started beginning to form coherent, entertaining scenes again!

Funny how positive thinking always seems to help bring some good luck or encouraging news/event.

The Band buzzed to say a Pro Manga company were reading the script I wrote for them and considering producing it “in some form.”
The 900th e-person just looked up my profile (oh-er!).

The ideas monkeys that throw those imagination bananas at you when you try to sleep have come back

With their mates!

So the new project notebooks and the “this’ll make it better” rewrite notebooks are overflowing with fanciful scribblings which are now making it to script smart glory.

The Muse is back!
Must write now, see you soon.

You all have the ideas monkeys in your dreams don’t you?
It’s not just me is it?

Monday, 3 March 2008

(39) He's back!

Dr Jones, I presume...

He's back, a little slower, definitely no wiser, and, judging by the trailer still great fun!

Destined to be the blockbuster of the summer, Indy 4's screenplay is written by David Koepp, from a story by George Lucas and Jeff Nathanson.

Actually the film has been in development hell since the 1989 release of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, because Spielberg and Ford initially disagreed over Lucas's choice of the skulls as the plot device.

Screenwriters Jeb Stuart, Jeffrey Boam, M. Night Shyamalan, Frank Darabont and Jeff Nathanson wrote drafts, before a script by David Koepp finally satisfied George, Steven and Harrison in 2006. Shooting finally began in June 2007.

Set in 1957, this time the heroic Indiana Jones battles agents of the Soviet Union for the crystal skull. Add to the mix his former lover Marion Ravenwood, area 51, Rosswell, high octane chases/escapes and laconic throw away lines and it looks like it will be the sure fire hit all Indy's fans (including me!) are hoping for.

Here's the trailer...

Looks fantastic doesn't it?

I love the shadow image of Indy's classic outline on the army truck as he puts his hat on and the way they comically acknowledge his age; his eyesight, "not as east as it used to be” etc.

Can't wait!