Part one: Shooting the short film.
Earlier this year, I met director Shaun Hume and we got talking. As we each passionately discussed our own projects we became excited by the idea of doing a project together. I would be the writer, he would be the director, and we would both produce it.
To be a screenwriter, you need a tough skin and a tough mind.
Every time you get a ‘no’; it hurts. Even when it is given in the nicest possible way, it’s still a kick in the guts. Any little doubt you have about yourself will come to the surface of your mind and jab at you relentlessly; you’re worthless. Everything you do is a waste. You’re an idiot for ever thinking you could ‘make it’. Nothing you ever do, no matter how hard you try, will ever amount to anything, ever.
Is the world a shitty place?
Judging by Facebook, the local news, or by the conversations we hear at a cafe or on a bus, things aren’t good. Jenny feels screwed over by her phone company. That ‘other’ government is a threat to our national security. The crooked-toothed woman who smells of cat piss can’t understand why the city council hasn’t done anything about that pedestrian crossing down near the shops and if it was up to her she’d put in lights there so that the cars had to stop because it’s only a matter of time before… blah… blah… blah… Continue reading
If you don’t enjoy your writing, then don’t write.
If you’re one of those people who likes to moan about what your writing is costing you, if you count every sacrifice you make for your craft like the universe owes you for the debt, if you believe your work is not worthwhile unless it is a great burden, causing you relentless personal and spiritual pain…
If I had a chance to say one thing to this world, it would be this:
Hang on and keep hangin’ on. No matter what happens, or what is going on in your life, there is always – ALWAYS – a glimmer of hope. Continue reading
So, you’ve written something wonderful, but now you’re scared that someone else will ruin it?
We’ve all heard horror stories of projects that were destroyed by a scam, turned into a disaster by an incompetent production team, or got bogged down in pedantic red-tape until they drowned. Could that happen to you? Could your beloved, wonderful project end up being ruined, cheated, abused or squashed?
Well, yes. Yes, it could. Continue reading
Trying to juggle your writing with a job, a family, a home, all while trying to keep your health and your mind together? Well, it’s not easy. It’s not for the uncommitted. And it does take its toll.
I’m going to be brutally honest with you. Sometimes this writing life becomes too much. The demands of everything around me can swell to a point where I become physically, mentally and spiritually drained. I feel like an old sponge; strangled dry and left crinkled, shrivelled and grey amidst a pile of unwashed dishes.
If you leave a tooth under your pillow or beside your bed, the tooth fairy will leave you money. If you behave all year and resist being naughty, you will get more presents from Santa. And if you write a brilliant script, then the agents, the producers, the deal makers and the money will all come flooding to you. Right?
What’s this? Is it a career breakthrough?
One day, while working for a notable retail chain, I was offered an exciting chance to step up and manage my own store. Wow. All that hard work and dedication was about to pay off. But then the inner questions started: Did I want to stay with this company? Did I want to stay in retail? Was this a purpose I really cared for?
I realised what really gave me joy was screenwriting. Something about the creativity of storytelling mixed with the technical analysis of structure – and then add in the psychological crafting of something profound? Well, it excites me to my core.