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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.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

(189) I'm dreaming of a Write Christmas...

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful Happy New Year!

Did you know Santa's a spec screenwriter too!

Think of it...

He's surrounded by fantasy characters

He's got loads of writing time because of his brill part time job - he works only 1 day a year! ( but loads of overtime available at grotty grottoes if he needs it, of course... )

He has the peace and quiet of the North Pole so his imagination can roam free

And, most importantly, he has an army of helpful elves to bring his inspirational tea!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Monday, 30 November 2009

(187) Holi-Holi-day!

Holi-Holi-day time again!

The simply stunning Mrs S and I are off to Cancun in Sunny Mexico for a coupla weeks of fun, sun, sight seeing, good times and way too much food and booze!

Look out for us if you're down that way!

Best of luck with all your projects, see ya real soon y'hear!


Tuesday, 24 November 2009

(186) Who's Brilliant

If you're a fan of a certain Time Traveller, this is brilliant!

It's from The Tardis Timegirl who has a great youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/TardisTimegirl


Friday, 20 November 2009

(185) Oh bugger!

"Dear Gareth

Project Title - Digital Shorts 2009: Night Guard
GIFTS Reference - **********

Apologies for the delay in notifying you regarding your Digital Shorts
application - shortlisting ten projects was extremely difficult and much
deliberation went into the process.

Unfortunately your project did not make it into the final ten;
however the calibre of all the longlisted projects and filmmakers was so high that we hope you will be encouraged by the fact that from almost 200 projects you made it
into the final 25...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

(184) Screen South

Hi ya Peeps...


I am through the first round sift for full funding for my short "Night Guard" from Screen South, our wonderful regional film agency!

Still a long, long way to go yet though.
The judging panel have to knock this round down to 12 and then, eventually, after workshops and training courses, 4 to 6 movies will made!

They were going to let us know the next round survivors yesterday, but now, either to be so much more dramatic, (C'mon folks, this is Showbiz!) or, perhaps because the standard is so high, they're keeping us on those oily tenterhooks until close of play tomorrow!

Ooh, the suspense, the drama...Bit like a good script...

Fingers crossed!

Monday, 16 November 2009

(183) My second movie!

Actually it's my first one. It's just that due to some nuclear physics/time paradox techie bollocks , I couldn't get this one onto youtube until now...

As regular readers will know, I formed the team together to enter the 48hr film challenge. So, to make sure everyone cold actually perform like they said they could, and that all the techie, whizzy stuff (see, told you I'm a seasoned pro - I know all the correct film making terms, ahem!) really did work, I persuaded 'em all to do a trial run. Under Competition conditions. Report on the shoot here.

We got a total stranger to give us

Title: "Choices"

Genre: "Political Thriller"

Dialogue: "Now we can all get some sleep"

We had 48hrs. You might have guessed that bit.

And, (FX: BIG DRUM ROLL, JAZZ SAX'S and TRUMPETS) Ladies & Gentleman, boys & girls, Sheiky's Blogging Corporation presents...

Our first liddle movie...

See it on the big screen here: http://www.youtube.com/user/GarethAndsue

Monday, 9 November 2009

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

(180) Direct from youtube...

48hr film challenge, Pompey Oscars! Here's the Winner's announcement page copied below...

We had 48hrs. You might have guessed that bit.

They pulled out 3 golden envelopes...

A past Winner selected one of them...

The teams were given:-


Genre: WEIRD WEST (Wikkipedia ref here)

Line of Dialogue: "WELL, NOBODY'S PERFECT"

And, (FX: BIG DRUM ROLL, MEXICAN TRUMPETS) Ladies & Gentleman, boys & girls, Sheiky's Blogging Corporation presents...

Our liddle movie...

Monday, 2 November 2009

(179) World Wide Exclusive! Red Carpet Premier

World Wide Exclusive! Mrs S's Red Carpet Premier moment...

Sunday, 1 November 2009

(178) The weekend

48hr film challenge! Long weekend, Hard work, Huge learning curve, but good fun! Looking great - final edit...Fingers crossed!

Friday, 30 October 2009

(177) Today!

Ohmygosh! Today! The 48hr film challenge is here! Good luck everyone!

Exciting, innit! Or terrifing?

Thursday, 29 October 2009

(176) One day to go to the orf!

Ohmygosh! The 48hr film challenge is nearly here!

Are you ready? Are we ready? Am I ready?

Good luck everyone!

Exciting, innit!

Films premier Sunday 1st November New Theatre Royal, Pompey. Tickets £4 in advance, a fiver on the door. See you there for the Pompey Oscars - I'll be in me Dickie bow, Mrs S will have her brand new Red Carpet dress!*

*not actually, you know, made out of red carpets...

Saturday, 24 October 2009

(175) Wish I was going...

To all those friends, readers and bloggers who aregoing to SWF:-

Have a great, productive time guys!

Don't forget to blog about it!

P.S. If you have the time, mention your mate Sheiky & his website to the movers 'n' shakers...

Friday, 23 October 2009

(174) The shoot

Sorry a bit late blogging this, but busy been have I (and not just polishing my one Yoda stage act...)

The filming went very well!

It was a very exhilarating, though totally knackering experience!

We were blessed with great weather (no rain,and good lighting effects from God plc) for our location shots - "Handsome smart suited man running" - ohmygosh! they cast moi!

The team gelled together brilliantly, everyone worked in totally professional manner (members of the public thought we were a "real" film outfit and kept out of shot and even flagged down and turned cars round for us!)

All the equipment, you know, actually worked(!) and we discovered two fantastic new acting talents: The beautiful Mrs S and the sinister Evil Alex!
Move over all you Streep & Daniel Day Lewis wannabes...

We raced up and over a huge learning curve and got it all in the can ahead of the schedule devised by our Director Stephen and Producer Caff!

The time it took to get all the different shots surprised the less film making experienced amongst us (i.e. All except Stephen & Caff!).

You see, fellow scribes, they're right, writing it is the easy part...(although of course, selling it is a right bastard!)

You see, we could only blag the one camera, so did not have the luxury of multi camera takes & whatnots...

However, the day's rough shots looked excellent to me, beautifully framed, well acted, classically lit, etc, but now the precious images we captured are off to be be edited into something really special...when our talented young editor Adrian gets back from Poland!

He had to jet offski to see family the next day!

So we have a nail-biting week to see what all that hard work will look like with the different takes stitched up nicely together over Alex's stirring incidental music...

Really looking forward to seeing our mini-epic on the big screen (alright my big telly!)

I'm really proud of my talented team and the hard work they all put into the movie.
Instead of Goldwyn, Welles, Coppola or Spielberg sized budgets splashed over a vast studio system with huge sound sets, thousands of technicians and millions of dollars to play with, we had the seven of us multi tasking, a wheelchair (camera dolly!), a cellar and a £100!**

But we had fun.
We learnt a helluva lot.
We worked well as a team.
And we got our first film in the can!

** Yeah, I do realise this is twice the normal budget of the average British feature...

Thursday, 15 October 2009

(173) Shooting my script

Shooting my first movie tomorrow!

I've been secretly putting together a very talented team for the DV Mission 48hr film challenge.
I originally entered in the (very) Low Tech section - just me, a scriptwriter with a mobile phone camera...

I put an ad out on the site to see if anyone was interested in joining my team and it kinda snowballed from there!

I thought it would be a great idea to do a trial run, to see if we can all work together and all the techie various bits 'n' bobs can actually electronically talk to each other etc, etc.

So, now we have a real "proper" Director, a real camera complete with an enthusiastic, hot young cameraman, a Musical Director with a Tardis load of sound fx and a super bossy uber furher producer to keep us all in check!

And we shoot tomorrow. My script. Sort of. The editing axe has been swung severely for "production reasons". Oh dear. Hope I don't let them all down...

Oh yeah, one more thing...

We've haven't got any thespians.

So now my good self, my lady wife, the lovely Mrs S, and Alex, our Musical director will play the parts.


Oh dear.

Seemed like a good idea at the time...

Sunday, 11 October 2009

(172) Just a quickie, Matron

Just a quick note to say I'm back...

Hola amigos!

?Como esta?

Hope all's well with you.

Yeah, 'ad a great one, ta. Got back very late on Thursday and been recovering/catching up on real life trivia since.

Back in writing action tomorrow!

Speak soon.

Love & Kisses,

Sheiky xxx

Friday, 18 September 2009

(171) Hasta Luego Amigos

Well, as the Bunny said, that's all folks!

And as the old soldier and the good Space book said...

"Don't Panic!" for 'tis only for a short while, the lovely Mrs S and I are off on another little jaunt to the sun.

Look after yourselves, good luck with your projects, and don't break the Scribosphere as I shall need it when I get back.

See ya soon,


p.s. in the meantime, this was an excellent event last time, so, if you're nearby, make the effort to go along and join in. Tell them I sent you! I'll see you at the next one.

DV City Screenwriters: Wed 7th Oct - Writing the Short Film Workshop
The Arts Lodge, Angelsea Road, Portsmouth, October 7, 2009 from 7pm to 9pm
Full details here

Sunday, 13 September 2009

(170) Workshop Report

The workshop was very informative and great fun. We watched a few shorts, discussed them, what we thought worked best, how clever they were. Or not!

Brevity, and quick and clever visual character clues were the order of the day. Show, don't tell. Clearly, with shorts, time is off the essence. Get in late, get out early. Though, of course we should be doing this anyway with all our scripts by now. Yes?

Tina Walker, our star guest, was funny, animated and interesting. She talked us though the lengthy submitting process for regional awards for funding and commissioning of her short. She showed, not told(!)us her successful treatment document and generously circulated her short script for us to peruse.

As usual, the finished film is changed a tad due to budget restrictions, etc, what was canned on the shoot and bizarrely couple of key scenes just being dropped by the director.

Her overall take on the schemes was very positive and she encouraged us to "have a go".

We then saw another impressive short by a local film maker. His short has been around the world at various film fests and is taking him to the Venice festival too!

He ended his brief, friendly chat with an invitation for us to send him our quality, low budget short scripts...

Poor fellow was suddenly inundated with biz cards, scripts and hastily scribbled email addresses on scraps of paper!

The evening ended with a couple of beers and scribey, filmy chat at the local pub. Yeah!

How's you? Whatcha up to?

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

(168) Reminder - Tomorrow!

Reminder - Tomorrow! See you there!

From Roy's page:-

Roy Hanney - Mission Coordinator has invited you to the event 'DV City Screenwriters: Wed 9th Sept - Writing the Short Film Workshop' on DVMISSION 48-Hour Film Challenge!

DV City Screenwriters meeting this Wednesday when we will be workshoping "writing the short film" with guest Tina Walker (Doctors) who has recently completed a short film for Screen South.

DV City Screenwriters: Wed 9th Sept - Writing the Short Film Workshop Time: September 9, 2009 from 6:30pm to 9pm
Location: The Arts Lodge
Organized By: DV City Screenwriters

Event Description:
The workshop is intended to start the process of writing a short film script with the intention of submitting a first draft to the 2010 Screen South Digital Shorts programme In November this year. The workshop will include a screening and critical analysis of previous Digital Short winners from the last three years. Tina Walker (Doctors), with hands on experience of the scheme, will be in attendance to give a short talk and answer your questions. There will also be an opportunity to workshop your own “Premise Statements” as a prelude to developing your ideas further. The group will meet again to review draft scripts in October.

If you would like to attend you SHOULD FIRST join the group and then READ the guidlines: Full details here

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

(167) Advice

A kind reader forwarded one of those "buy this special offer writer software" emails to me. As well as the usual plugs and ads it had some gems of Pro advice.

This is my fave...

"Surprise Your Mind. List laughable, ridiculous, outrageous and bizarre ideas. Don't limit yourself to ideas that other people consider "sane," "reasonable" or "logical." The best and most creative ideas stem from silly ones. When you're in a creative mode, you're suspending judgment on ideas you generate. You simply list them all down and never worry whether they make sense or not. Allow yourself the freedom to think outside the box."

Yep. Already do that one all the time...

How 'bout you?

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

(166) The Films - The Report

Hi Scribey peeps!

Hope you all had a great bank holiday. Yep, cheers, I did.

Last post I told you I was going to the "Shorts::Cut '09 screening @ No.3"

It was a great night. I met loads of talented local peeps, swapped some biz cards and chatted plot points and reversals over a nice glass of wine.

And we got to watch, and then vote on, some great films. All the films were good, from talented future names.

The best were, i.m.h.o.:-

Bloody Daisies - directed by David White. (Comedy) Two men are sent to a blind date with the same woman, but there's only room for one man in her life. Who will she choose? And why does she need a spade? (4 minutes)

A fun comedy-horror full of really great SFX and trick, sharply edited camera work.

Pesticide - directed by Cameron Kerr. (Animation) Has Bob's computer been possessed by a malicious virus intent on persuading him to commit murder, or is it his own subconscious trying to tell him otherwise? - 6 minutes

A clever comedy animation that must have taken ages to film.

Mark - directed by James Harrison. (Documentary) Professional BMX rider and local resident mark Webb ignores medical advice after breaking his back, and travels to China to compete in the international X-Games 10 minutes.

A good natured doc of an amazing local guy who overcame all odds (and a broken bike as well as a broken back to win the x games in China

It's got me all fired up for the 48hr film challenge

Can't wait for the next screenings!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

(165) Shorts::Cut '09 screening @ No.3 tonight!

See you there!

From Dylan Pank @ http://www.shortscut.org.uk

Time: August 27, 2009 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Central Library
Street: Guildhall Square
City/Town: Portsmouth

Event Type: short, film, screening

Our Second screening of the summer in Portsmouth's independent Arts Cinema, No.3 in The Central Library, Guildhall Square. Showing local films from filmmakers in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and West Sussex. Some of the films shown are also eligible for The News Guide Award for best local short film.

Tickets £3 (on the door)

The Watch - directed by Guy Murray-Brown. (Drama) Reformed drug addict Joe seeks his father's acceptance, but is forced to make a hard decision when things do not turn out as he had hoped - 13 minutes.

Mark - directed by James Harrison. (Documentary) Professional BMX rider and local resident mark Webb ignores medical advice after breaking his back, and travels to China to compete in the international X-Games 10 minutes.

Swap - directed by Adam Harding. (Drama) a "Meet-Cute" by Southampton water - 7 Minutes

Donkeys leading Horses - directed by Drew Boxall. (Documentary) Nick Hall runs Sabre Sales, a treasure-trove of military history - 4 minutes

Pesticide - directed by Cameron Kerr. (Animation) Has Bob's computer been possessed by a malicious virus intent on persuading him to commit murder, or is it his own subconscious trying to tell him otherwise? - 6 minutes

Picnic - directed by John Small. (Drama) A man pulls into a deserted woodland park to eat lunch, but meets a strange jogger with some stranger ideas. (10 minutes)

Dead Air - Directed by Welsey Skelly. (Drama) The lives of a DJ and listener intermingle as things start to get creepy. A strange fate meets radio DJ George, one that may also affect his audience. - 11 Minutes

The Girl Of My Dreams - directed by Russell Oastler. (Documentary) Adam Pacitti is searching for his true love, a girl he met in a dream. (4 minutes)

Bloody Daisies - directed by David White. (Comedy) Two men are sent to a blind date with the same woman, but there's only room for one man in her life. Who will she choose? And why does she need a spade? (4 minutes)

Ballet School for Over 50s - directed by Stuart McKears. (Documentary) Open day performances and interviews with the members of the Balandis Lilley Ballet school in Bognor Regis - 4 minutes.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

(164) He's back...

He's back. Lock up your daughters!

She's back. Lock up your sons!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

(163) Short Film Workshop

Hi ya gang!

Thought this would be of great interest to any scribes local(ish) to Pompey.

And, yep, your favourite Monkey will be there...

From the DV City Screenwriters web site:

Wed 9th Sept - Writing the Short Film Workshop

* Posted by Roy Hanney - Mission Coordinator on August 14, 2009 at 10:26am in DV City Screenwriters

The workshop is intended to start the process of writing a short film script with the intention of submitting a first draft to the 2010 Screen South Digital Shorts programme In November this year. The workshop will include a screening and critical analysis of previous Digital Short winners from the last three years. An invited guest (TBC) with hands on experience of the scheme will also be in attendance to give a short talk and answer your questions. There will also be an opportunity to workshop your own “Premise Statements” as a prelude to developing your ideas further. The group will meet again to review draft scripts in October.

When: 6.30pm – 9pm Wednesday 9th September 2009

Where: The Lodge Arts Centre
The Gate Keepers Lodge
Victoria Park
Angelsea Road
Portsmouth, Hants

Cost: we share the cost of hiring the rooms usually around £2 each.

Preparation: If you would like to contribute ideas/premises to the practical ideas development workshop you must submit one or more premise statements to the DV City Screenwriters online group in advance (by Wednesday 26th August) by responding to this discussion. You can still attend the workshop presentations and participate in the practical workshops as an observer without submitting ideas.

Screen South Digital Shorts: Digital Shorts is a UK Film Council Funded scheme delivered through regional partners. News of this years scheme will be announced in the autumn. For more information go to: http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/digitalshortdigitalnation

It is quite usual for Screen South to require applicants to the scheme to have attended an Information Day in advance of the submission date. You can find out more about where and when these are happening here: http://www.screensouth.org/content.aspx?page=67

What is a short Film: this is a very broad question since there are a wide range of formats for this form of filmmaking. Generally anything under 15 minutes is usually considered as a short film. You can find out more about what Screen South think about this topic by reading the 2008/09 Digital Shorts Guidelines (attached).

What is a premise statement: a short statement of dramatic intent usually in the form of a title and a short sentence or paragraph outlining the WHO, WHAT and HOW of the story. Sometimes called a synopsis the premise statement is an opportunity to pitch your ideas and get feedback at an early stage of development. The attached document “What is a Synopsis” was produced by the Australian Film Commission and aims to try and answer this question.

Any questions please post to this discussion.

Guides/advice attachments:

* AFC whatissynopsis.pdf, 101 KB
* Digital Shorts Guidelines 2008-9.pdf, 188 KB

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

(162) Good week so far!

Due to the overwhelming "success" of my previous sketch show collaboration, ahem*, I've been invited to contribute to another new one!


The Dos Directors are still slugging it out over my short, enticing me with budgets, champagne (if it features at a festival) and even actual film (or that digital thingy me wotcha call it) in their cameras.

Double Yey!

And now the Madmen site 'puter thinks I look like a cross between 007 and Bruce Willis!

Triple yey!

(* The show's going up & down the committee escalator striving ever closer to the golden commissioning light, which is apparently green.)

Saturday, 15 August 2009

(161 )My Script on Screen?

Two Directors want to film my short "Nightguard"!


This time it might actually get made...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Friday, 7 August 2009

(159) Advice needed...

Hi ya Peeps! Thought I'd share this with you all from the Talent Circle site:-

"DV Mission 48hour Film Challenge 2009
Posted by Roy Hanney
Deadline: Nov 01 2009 | Organisation: DV Mission
Seeking: What is Dvmission? Teams are given a film title, genre and one line of script at 7:00pm Friday night. Each team then have 48 hours to get their 2 minute film back for 6:00pm Sunday night. The Premier is at 8:30pm and the winners are announced at 10:00pm.What does it cost to enter Dvmission? It is free and you get 10 tickets per team to the premier night along with the opportunity to win a coveted 'Pompey Oscar' along with other prizes!"

View full details here

I've signed up for it and collared a talented camera girl - with a working, (albeit prehistoric camera!) Our 48hr Challenge name is 2Scribes, check us, and the competition so far, out on http://dvmission.ning.com/groups/group/list

So, to the nub, my friends...

This blog has many multi talented readers, many of whom have shot, edited, lit and staged their own mini-epics...

Any advice on what to do, and perhaps more importantly, what to definitely NOT do?

Thursday, 6 August 2009

(158) Like Arnie said...

Ye-ha! I'm back!

It was the mother board, or, as Samuel L would say, the Mutha...

Thursday, 30 July 2009

(157) Normal Service...

...will be resumed as soon as possible...

****ing P.C.'s blown up!

See you when it's fixed...

Monday, 20 July 2009

(156) Radio ga-ga

Everyone's gone Radio ga-ga!

A fellow DV screenwriter , friend of this blog and talented local scribe Louise is currently writing a gripping radio drama, and, coincedently the blogosphere has exploded with radio scriptwriting info.

So, here, just for you, Louise (no peeking by anyone else!) is a collection of valuable radio links:-

BBC Commissioning briefs :- http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts/commissioning_briefs.shtml

Friend of the blog Michelle Lipton's fantastic in depth guide from idea to commission:- http://michellelipton.wordpress.com/2009/07/15/radio-4-commissioning-process/

How to do it:-

BBC writersroom tips (drama):- http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/writing/tips_radiodrama.shtml

BBC writersroom tips (comedy):- http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/writing/tips_radiocomedy.shtml

BBC worldservice tips:-

Danny Stack's tips:- http://dannystack.blogspot.com/2009/07/story-vault-radio.html

Bill Ash's tips:- http://www.irdp.co.uk/scripts.htm

Robin Kelly's tips:- http://www.robinkelly.btinternet.co.uk/radio.htm

Screenwriting internet radio:- http://www.screenwritersradio.com/Intro.php


and finally, H.M. Queen, radio ga-ga

Thursday, 9 July 2009

(155) Bin Writing?

"No matter how fast or slow you write, the only thing that matters is that you write... and finish what you write."
W.C. Martell

Yet another handy tip from the great Bill Martell

Here's another...

"If you've got a full time job and you're writing in your spare time, you want to maximize the time you spend writing." Bill says.

So he has these bins in his office on which he tapes the titles of proposed scripts.
Go on Bill, I'll let you tell 'em the rest...

"When I get an idea for a script, I start a bin. Then, whenever I have an idea for that script (dialogue, scene, character) I write it on a card and toss it in the bin. When the bin overflows it's time to write the script."

Hey that's clever, Bill, tell us more...

"Because I've thought through much of the story and have all of my notes in one place, I can usually finish a first draft in 4-6 weeks. When I worked at the warehouse I averaged about 3 scripts a year using the "bin method".
I never wrote a script that I didn't have a whole bin full of notes on."

Get the full story from Bill's Screenwriting Tips site at:-


Me, must be half way there...

My new script's rubbish...Now where's my bin?

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

(154) Brain Battles - Yin - Yang, left/right

All a bit Yin - Yang, left/right side of brain battles at the mo'.

Building & Fitting the new Kitchen requires all my manly skills of strength, precise measurements, logical thinking and using a chisel to chase out the walls instead of ruining the heads of yet more screwdrivers. And actually reading the plan/instructions, before guessing where each bit goes...

My fluffy, dreamy creative side isn't left with much time to do too much, apart from jot down yet more ideas, scenes, one liners, images, etc which flash onto its mind's eye movie screen (with full Dolby digital sound surround of course)

And yet, doesn't writing a script require the Yin Yang approach?

The strength to finish it.

Precise plotting

Logical conclusion

A plan (beat sheet/outline) to follow

A chisel

Chisel, Sheiky?

Yeah, to chip away at unnecessary scenes, description, feeder characters, etc, - writing is rewriting. Keep it lean.

And of course, you need the fluffy, dreamy creative side to conjure the magic all up in the first place...

Thursday, 2 July 2009

(153) Writers Opportunity

DV Mission 48hour Film Challenge 2009

From Talent Circle... Competition for Film (short)

Deadline: 01/11/2009 (call started 01/06/2009 )
Organisation: DV Mission
Contact person: Jinx Prowse

Web Site

So what is Dvmission?

Teams are given a film title, genre and one line of script at 7:00pm Friday night. Each team then have 48 hours to get their 2 minute film back for 6:00pm Sunday night. The Premier is at 8:30pm and the winners are announced at 10:00pm.

What does it cost to enter Dvmission?

It is free and you get 10 tickets per team to the premier night along with the opportunity to win a coveted 'Pompy Oscar' along with other prizes!

How to enter Dvmission

To enter the 2009 Challenge please follow the steps below:

1) go to www.dvmission.co.uk and read the rules
2) download an application form

If you are still up for taking the Challenge…

3) sign up to the Dvmission web site: www.dvmission.co.uk
4) start a group with the name of your team (include a description of your team and whether you are Pro-Tech or Lo-Tech)
5) send the application form to Jinx (Mission Director)
We are limited to 25 teams this year. Places will be given on a first come, first served basis. A reserve list will be held. Return the application form by the 2nd October 2009

Festival/Activity Information

Applications are now being accepted for the fourth annual DV Mission 48hr Film Challenge. This year we will be returning to the New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth for the premier night and after party. After the introduction of the Mission Briefing in 2008 we are now running a full one day of workshops prior to the event to support challenge participants absolutely free of charge. With support from this years sponsors, Film Hampshire and Screen South we have a new website and plan to make this the best 48 hour film challenge on the south coast.

See you there!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

(152) Hi Honey(s) I'm Home!

Hope you're all well, and got your CBBC scripts in on time. Sent mine in before I went off & had a great time in Espana.
Had a good trip over there in untried old banger, but hey, that's adventure for you!

Back to reality now. Fitting a new kitchen for the missus and trying to find some time to write.

Don't forget tonight's screenwriter's meet of DV city screenwriters is in the "Porters" ( a pub, Hurrah!!) Albert road, Southsea, Portsmouth.

And up for review are two shorts by the multi talented...er, gosh, it's me!

"Ambulance" &
"Night Guard" are under fire!

See y'all real soon, y'hear!

(I blame that straw cowboy hat I wore in Spain...)

Sunday, 7 June 2009

(151) Wanna be an executive producer?

I know you're all making your own films or webby things.

Or at least writing them.

I know you've become Angels for Sir Danny & Lady Lucy.

Now, here's your chance to be an executive producer on a very a beautiful short film drama – Ten Glorious Seconds - which will be distributed free of charge to help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease.

A very good friend of mine, the talented and lovely Carol Younghusband has written this film and asked me to help out any way I can.
I might get to be a runner! She is also offering you, dear readers an amazing array of perks for helping out...

Ok, over to you Carol:-

Dear friends of Gareth,

Please help us to make a beautiful short film drama – Ten Glorious Seconds - which will be distributed free of charge to help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s Disease.

We're making it for costs only and are looking for donations to bring the film to life. In return you will receive our extreme gratitude and a special VIP perk - see below for the full list of benefits.

Ten Glorious Seconds is a 'Wall of Angels' production, and everyone who donates will be added to our photo wall of funders in the film's opening credits.

Please click on the link below and you will be directed to our film’s web page. Simply go to the Fundraising section on the left of the page and click on the relevant donation button. In addition, you can read all about the film, listen to a podcast, and check out the team.

We would just like to say an extremely big thank you for your interest and would very much appreciate it if you could email this note to your friends and family.


Best wishes,

Carol Younghusband/Simon Pitts

Wall of Angels Production

VIP Perks for Funding Angels

$15 (Approx £10)Thank you. Every donation makes a real difference. Your photo will appear on our montage at the end of the film.

$38 (Approx £25) Thank you. You will receive the above perk.

PLUS you will be invited to the launch party.

$75 (Approx £50) Thank you. You will receive the above two perks.

PLUS you will receive a production still for you to frame.

$150 (Approx £100) Thank you. You will receive the above three perks.

PLUS you will receive a signed copy of Albert's jigsaw as seen in the film.

$375 (Approx £250) Thank you. You will receive the above four perks.

PLUS you will get a CD of poetry read by the cast and crew (reciting classic poems to spark memories).

$750 (Approx £500) Thank you. You will receive the above five perks

PLUS you will get an Associate Producer Credit in the opening titles.

$1500 (Approx £1000) Thank you. You will receive the above six perks including a VIP invitation to the launch party (limousine collection from home if local or nearest station and champagne).

PLUS you will get an Executive Producer Credit in the opening titles.


So, Sheiky mates, Check out Carol's web page http://www.indiegogo.com/project/view/1646?iggref=IPJF_TTAG and help out!

(150) Off to Espana!

My scripts in for the CBBC new writer request.

Hope yours is coming on fine or already in too!

Best of luck everyone!

Me? I'm off a road trip (2000 miles!) to sunny Spain.

No fighting amongst yourselves. Keep the web clean. See you when I get back!

Hasta Luego!

P.S. - Stay tuned for blog 151 - important announcement...

Thursday, 4 June 2009

(149) Great night!

Big hi to my new readers from last night!

Meet some great new peeps at the DV City Screenwriters Group meet last night.

After informal chit chatty greetings over a glass of wine in the quaint little garden bar of the Arts Centre, adjudicator Christina announced the order of play for the script feedback forum.

And the wretched, chained victims were dragged in to cower before us to be torn to shreds!

Ha! Only joking!

It was very friendly but in a totally honest-"we've been best friends for ages so if we don't tell you who will" kinda way.

Scribes were told what we thought worked about their script/treatment, which hooks grabbed us, which characters came to life etc and, of course, all the bits that were, as we say in trade, a bit "iffy".

People took their notes in the spirit they were intended; to make the script/ project the best it could be. Plot ideas were offered in open discussion and at least one scribe talked about taking their project in a new direction as a result.

Moving inside to the arty old soft leather sofas( which we strangely ignored, opting to sit round tables ) for coffees when it turned to evening chill, we discussed short films, where to pitch, peeps other projects - past and present and got know each other a tad.

A local filmmaker asked us to pitch him some ultra micro budget/no budget short scripts next time. So, watch this space on that one!!!

It was good to meet so many talented locals! (and an adopted Pompolian from NZ !- a long way to come for a meet but hey, that's dedication...)

Great peeps, good networking and I got to give away some more of my famous biz cards.

And one scribe was a fan of this blog! (So, hopefully they all will be now!)

A great, informative, fun evening and I shall definitely be going to next months one...

...have to really...

...two of my short scripts are up for scrutiny...

by real live people! In the same room as me! and my scripts!

Oh-er, Sheiky...what have you done...

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

(147) Britain's got talent...

Makes you so proud...


1. No thanks, I'm married.
2. Nope, no more booze for me!
3. Sorry, but you're not really my type.
4. Kebab? No thanks, I'm not hungry.
5. Good evening, officer. Isn't it lovely out tonight?
6. Oh, I couldn't! No one wants to hear me sing karaoke.
7. I'm not interested in fighting you.
8. Thank you, but I won't make any attempt to dance, I have no coordination. I'd hate to look like a fool!
9. I must be going home now, as I have to work in the morning.

Your ideas for number 10 in the comments section, please...

Monday, 1 June 2009

(146) I'll name that film in four...

Oh, as if we need yet another procrastination excuse!

Bit of fun though. http://moviesinframes.tumblr.com/

Saturday, 30 May 2009

(145) DV City Screenwriters Network Meeting

It's a brand new screenwriters group right here in the heart of Pompey, the Jewel of the South.


"DV City Screenwriters Group networking, meeting, and feedback night.
All screenwriters welcome!

Time: June 3, 2009 from 6:30pm to 9pm
Location: The Arts Lodge, Victoria Park, Angelsea Road, Portsmouth, Hants, PO1 3HJ

Tel: 023 9287 0880


"DV City Screenwriters will meet on the evening of Wednesday 3rd June at the Arts Lodge in Portsmouth, at 6:30pm.
The group will then meet once a month, on the first Wednesday of each month.

Please post to the discussion forum Scripts and Treatments if you have current writing you would like to submit to the group.

We really hope you will welcome this opportunity to meet other local writers, and to share your views regarding developing this community and its links to wider industry.
Look forward to seeing y'all.

DV City Screenwriters"

I'm going along to meet them all so why not come too and meet your favorite Monkey at the same time!

Friday, 29 May 2009

(144) Writers Opportunity

How do you break in as a Scriptwriter?

Go write, take the next write, write again, and keep writing!

"THEY" (cue creepy woo ha ha music and big, deep V.O.) want your horror script and only one hero can stop them...

Cheers to the great Sir Daniel for the generous heads up on the above.

And here's a coupla opps to chase via Talent Circle (free to join).



Has anyone else ever responded to anything on Talent Circle?

"Talent Circle has 46,000 members, making it the world's largest network of people working in independent film and production." apparently, so some of you must have. Let us know about it...

How did it work out? Great? Good? Bad?
Or as the actress said to the Bishop, Indifferent?

Still in contact?
Did it lead to better things?

Please let us know in the comments section, ta.
El Sheiky. xxx

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

(143) Oh Sheiky, where for art thou?

Your favorite monkey is still here. Still bashing the old qwerty, though, must admit, not very frequently on the blog.

Which can be bad for you, I know.

The Doctors reckon you should visit your blog for a concentrated sitting at least once a day.

What? Oh, sorry, that's bog.

Sorry to see so many fave bloggers signing off, but on the other hand glad they're so busy with paying projects.

Actually getting paid to write, whatever next?

A script you've written actually being filmed?

Come on...I know fantasy is our business, but really....


Still coming close but no cigar.

Have had very good feedback on a few projects.

Two of which I'm re-writing whilst respecting the notes, two just seem to be ever changing policy/economic/timing decisions and one which just seems to be love being read by everyone who hasn't actually like, you know, got a cheque book. Or a studio. Or even a camera.

One still expectantly awaiting reply...

But networking and getting there is half the fun, all the experience and worth the education.

Joined this local gaggle of talented scribes http://dvmission.ning.com/ and http://dvmission.ning.com/events/dv-city-screenwriters-network.
Please them check out and feel free to join if you're anywhere nearby. Or have a car.
Our next meet is June 3rd, love to see you there.

I've responded to their requests for shorts and posted two of mine on the site for feedback, funding(!) and a rush of applications to film them(!!!).

I was requested to feedback on a new project by a top scriptwriter you all know. Flattered that my opinion was sought, I have sent back my notes in the hope they help. He'll probably never speak to me again!

Great to see Lucy, Danny, Tim and Robin are still keeping up the high standards of info, advice and opportunities over at their gaffs and that young Jase, Michelle, Chip, & Ollie are chasing Paul, Danny and James up the slippery script writery stardom ladder to success!

Congrats and well dones to all!

See you soon,
El Sheiky. xxx

Thursday, 30 April 2009

(142) Invigoration for the soul.

Hi gang!

Hope all's as well with you as it is with me and that the right words flow from your keyboards. Just hit the buttons in the write order.

Anyhows, just stopped by to share this with you all...

It's from a wonderful series of songs for peace through music to save the world:-


Fantastic project. Inspiring, humbling, invigoration for the soul.

Playing Song Around the World "Stand By Me" - The most popular videos are here

Friday, 10 April 2009

(141) Breaking into the movie industry

I'd tell you more here about this, but I have to go get the coffee...

See http://www.backoftheclass.net for more fun.

Happy Easter!

Remember, ASST's are also Script Readers!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

(140) Cheapo B & B in Poole?

Hi ya all!

Just popped in to ask if anyone knows a cheapo place to stay near the Hamworthy Club in Poole where, apparently some famous screenwriter is having a secret birthday bash on Sat?

Quick update while I'm here:-

Busy, busy. I still whizz round your gaffs to see how you're all doing but, sorry, I'm a bit pushed for blogging time at the mo'.

Received some great feedback from the Beeb on not one, but two projects. I'll post about it later.

My comedy movie is being read by a producer as we speak. And he's going to Cannes...hope they pitch it there for finance!

Got to go as I have to finish my "Coming up" script.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

(137) Don't read this...

Read this:- http://jamesmoran.blogspot.com/2009/03/big-writing-faq.html

Another chunk of screenwritery gold brought to you as a public service by the sharing, caring Sheiky Corporation.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

(136) Writing advice

Just added two sites to my award winning "All you need to know (UK)" column.
Just down there, to the right. No, a tad further. Yep, that's it, you've found it.

Some of you clever peeps may have already discovered the good Doctor but the lovely Julie's site is brand new, so rush over now and take a peek.

Course, if you didn't know about either of these excellent sites, you're in for a double treat.


Brought to you as a public service by the sharing, caring Sheiky Corporation.

Ah, but Doctor who? An award winning scriptwriter, consultant and tutor passes on some wisdom.

Julie Stewart shares her screenwriting knowledge and six years experience of script websites and comps.

Friday, 13 March 2009

(135) Screen South Info Day: The Report

A big thank you to Screen South for facilitating a very interesting "Information Day" yesterday in Pompey at the
Arts Centre in our architecturally stunning Guildhall Square.

Firstly and most importantly they gave us a cuppa.
This was presumably to dull the blow they then delivered to a large portion of the capacity crowd when they they told us that Writers don't get any of the RIFE funding.

Hell no, they're writers, so they can write their own cheques!

However, tell 'em you are writer-producer-director and they even supplied the truck to load the dosh into!
(No, gullible of Surrey, not really, but the other reader gets my point.)

It was a nice touch when they got us to stand up and introduce ourselves and our industry related job.
This was great for targeting who to network with and/or flick biz cards at.

There were talks from the award winning documentary film maker Steve Bowles, local partners City Eye , Isle of Wight film network , Wessex media group the launch of the DV Mission website and the screening of last years winning films.

Everyone was friendly and interesting and there was some great networking at/after lunch, during which I met some cool talented people including a local lass who has written 10 episodes of Doctors.

We were invited to join a few local writers groups and a brand new screenwriters group which will hopefully meet and network once a month in Pompey.
Possibly in a pub. Doesn't get any better, does it?

The infectiously enthusiastic DV Mission guys want everyone to enter the 48 hour film challenge and sign up to their new networking site at http://dvmission.ning.com/

So go on, do it now. Both the site and the competition look great.

I had a one2one with, bizarrely, two, top local scripity filmy peeps, the aforementioned Steve Bowles and the lovely Susan Beckett from City Eye, who offered me their sagely advice but unfortunately no dosh.

Rounded it all up with a quiet beer and noisy chat about the perceived state of the film industry and the slim chances of selling a new spec script, in the pub over the road.


Wednesday, 11 March 2009

(134) Shakespeare, Hot Hunk: Bunk or Junk?

Shakespeare's Hot Glamour Shot Revealed!

"Tis just what I sought for my Facebook homepage or what I ought to have grace the drop of the back stage" the Bard said last night...er...via Thora Spectre, medium to the stars.

The portrait, unveiled yesterday at a press conference in London, shows a Hunky Shakespeare with an aquiline nose and a dark, thick head of hair.
A bit of "a pinup" as Shakespeare historian Stanley Wells told the New York Times.

Some Historians claim the rendering might be the only known portrait painted during the playwright's lifetime, and was painted only a few years before his death.

It was amongst a rich Irish family's art collection for nearly 300 years and was given to them by a literary patron of Shakespeare's. Some scholars at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which is showing the painting at an exhibit in April, claim that patron was his lover.

Their press handout gushes:-
"This Shakespeare is handsome and glamorous, so how does this change the way we think about him? And do the painting and provenance tell us more about his sexuality, and possibly about the person to whom the sonnets are addressed?"

So what sayeth you, oh sweet fair maidens of scribesville?

Real Shakey: Hunk, Bunk or Junk?

Sunday, 8 March 2009

(133) Screen South Information Day

I'm going. Are any of you?

Be nice to meet up! I'll be this one on the day as this one is my snazzy fun blog persona. The other being, of course, my assured professional writer bluff. Don't worry, you'll still recognise me as the photo at the top really is me!

They haven't revealed the venue yet, apparently you get an email the day before to keep out undesirables. Yeah, OK, if I sneaked through, so can you.

In their words:-

"Screen South Information Day


Thursday 12th March, Portsmouth

Screen South will be joined by Sue Beckett from our Network Community partners for Hampshire & Isle of Wight: City Eye.

As well as City Eye board member and award-winning documentary filmmaker Steve Bowles, other contributors to the morning sessions will include Lena Samuels from Wessex Media Group,and Bruce Webb from the Isle of WightFilm Network.

The brand new DV Mission networking website will also be launching, with a screening of the 6 winning 2 minute films!

The day will be led by Screen South Head of Production, Development
and Training Miranda Robinson.

Information Days give an insight into what Screen South do, the RIFE
Open Fund process, along with information on other schemes and funding
available. They also provide the best opportunity to have an informal
one to one session with a Screen South executive. Please remember to
book your one to one when you arrive.

We encourage people in the region who are looking to apply for funding
to attend an information day.

To register free of charge, please submit 25 words or less about your
project/ideas, along with contact details to: info@screensouth.org.


When you register, venue details and a programme will be emailed to you
a few days before the event."

Monday, 2 March 2009

(132) Rebranding

Hi Peeps!

Just a quickie to let you know that following advice from the sagely Piers and Jason I have rebranded my website from the old tongue whistling Commission-Option blah blah blah to the more user friendly moniker of http://garethturpie.synthasite.com/

A tad easier to remember don't-cha think?

It looks better on the biz cards too and helps gets the name "out there" a bit more.

Hope you're all doing well.

Keep writing!

Monday, 23 February 2009

(131) Writing day part II

Phew! Finished. Done it. Stopping now at 21.15 (quarter past nine in old money).

Stopped only for dinner (freshly butchered beef stroganoff) - with veggie rice though - and a couple of coffees during the day.

Tidy up tomorrow after day job while Mrs S is down the gym. Then orf it flies to it's lucky recipient in all it's magnificent nail biting rawness to see if it's a viable project to commission/pursue...

(130) Writing Day

Write! That's it! Email checks, blog reading, and all sorts of general procrastination completed. The giant mug of coffee is steaming away, it's aroma perking me up for the challenge ahead.
The rest of this day off will be productively used to write! I've a project I've got to finish. A deadline to meet. I'll let you know at the end of the day how it went. See ya then, then.

p.s. What do you think of the Sheiky buses?

or the funky monkey money?

Sunday, 22 February 2009

(129) Monkey Money!

I've just got to get one of these!

Gotta go write now so I can pay it's bills.
Those Monkey's don't 'arf rack 'em up.
Worse than Camels, they are...

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

(128) Ticket to Ride

You don't sees a bus for ages...

Sunday, 15 February 2009

(127) Free! Writer's...

Free! Writer's keep fit kit...

That got you all popping back over. How are you?
Your blogs say your well/great/moody/procrastinating or even, a minority, actually writing!

Been bashing the old Qwerty like mad.
The sketch show is moving on quite a tad and the feature rewrite is on a final polish and will be sent off soon to an interested Prod Co!

Could something great be about to happen to your favorite Monkey???

Anyway, as we're all beavering away at our desks, the weather too cold/snowy/crap to you know, actually go out, and we're scoffing down those comfort biccies/chocs/cakes with the drip feed coffee, I became worried about our health.

We need at least a bit of exercise.

Yeah, but Sheiky, that takes us away from our writing...

Well, not any longer...

Ladies & Gents, Guys & Gals, I give you uncle Sheiky's writer's keep fit kit!

Your screen, your imagination to think yourself along side her and this hard working little giff...

Like all good exercise should be.

Keep writing!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

(126) Writing, then going to the Sadist...

Sadist/Dentist, whatever, both the same in my dictionary...

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

(125) Ah ha! Ta Da!

Ah ha! Ta Da!

No. It's not the name of my new Rock Band...

It's merely a gasp of realisation and a verbal orchestration to announce that Techno-phobe moi has finally worked out how all you clever clogs scribes do that "latest blog roll thingy" and "followers thingy my-jig."

So now I've put them here, and added me wee post birthday self to all your "followers thingy my-jigs"...

I was wondering if you'd all be so kind as to click on the "follow this blog" highlight over there...

down a bit...

bit more...

to the right...

Yeah, that's it...

You've got it...

Lovely. Ta.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

(124) Happy Birthday to me!

Ho-ray! Ho-ray! It's my Birthday today! Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

(123) Me-me

I dunno, but this blog seems to be all about me!

And scriptwriting.
Hope yours is going well. Pray do tell in the comments section...

Anyhow, that sexy young bonkers Nun over at Lock and load has me -me'd me thus:-

'When it comes to writing, what do you know you're good at, and what aspect of writing are you worst at? (Procrastination is not permitted as either part of the answer.)'

Well, goodness, gracious, modesty forbids et al, but I actually do think I'm good at
conjuring up a story out of a few words, a scene, or a fog of an idea that barges its way into my otherwise empty brain.

I'm a bit more of a stranger to discipline than I'd like to be (ooh- er, missus,calm down at the back, the discipline of getting down to actual "proper" writing when I can, I mean). I'm not sure I'm au fait with "Lord Structure" and, oh, yeah, I also fink I'm krap at speling...

Others tell me I'm very good at dialogue, my lead characters are well drawn and my plots are exciting and engaging.

They also tell me my structuring can be too loose, my minor characters can sometimes be mere ciphers for the story, and I'm krap at speling...

So, there you go.
I need to work on structure, minor players, discipline, and spelling...

I me-me everybody and anybody who hasn't already been me-me'd. If you haven't got a blog reply in the comments bit, just add your name or pseudonym after your fine words.

Cheers, Sheiky

Thursday, 15 January 2009

(122) The Final Escape

We bid a sad farewell to two top cult fantasy character actors from the 60s and 70s.

Patrick McGoohan (1928 - 2009)

After a short illness Patrick McGoohan, the Emmy-winning actor who created and starred in the cult classic television show "The Prisoner," died on Tuesday in Los Angeles . He was 80.

He first found fame as super spy John Drake in the world wide hit TV series "Dangerman" in 1964 which ran for four seasons and countless repeats.
Growing weary of playing Drake, McGoohan pitched to producers the surreal and cerebral "The Prisoner" to give himself a challenge.

The series ran for just 17 episodes in 1967, but was so ahead of its time, its cultural impact remains, McGoohan's Number Six becoming one of the most iconic characters of all time, with his all time cult favorite catchphrase " I am not a number, I am a free man!"

Ricardo Montalban ( 1920 - 2009)

Ricardo Montalban passed away on Wednesday morning at his home, aged 88.
Montalban was already a star in Mexican movies when MGM brought him to Hollywood in 1946 to star in splashy musicals.

He was best known as the mysterious, white-suited proprietor of a certain spooky tropical island, with his cult catchphrase, "I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island."
The show, a world wide hit ran from 1978 to 1984, and is still a re-run favourite.

He is also fondly remembered as Star Treks best ever baddie, Khan Noonien Singh, who first tried to steal the Enterprise in the classic Star Trek episode "Space Seed" and then "killed" Spock in "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan."

R.I.P. guys and thanks for the memories.