The Chair Leg Thesis for Success in Creative Endeavours

What do you need to find success in creative endeavours? It’s the greatest puzzle and most asked question by people trying to break in to the creative industries, or to remain working in them. Here’s what I think it takes: 1)      Talent – I do believe talent is a thing, a natural predilection towards a field or skill, whether it be a particular way with words, a specific way of looking at the world, or expressing it. You don’t have to be a genius in your field, but it helps to have an elevated ability in an area.

Phoebe Waller Bridge Fleabag

Emmy 2019 Nominated Screenplays

The last year really has been a year of outstanding writing in what we still stubbornly insist on calling “TV”. I have favourites from every category but, for a writer, all of the the below scripts are worth consideration and study. Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Show / EpisodeFleabag – S02E01 – WinnerBarry – S02E05PEN15 – S01E09 – Anna Ishi-PetersRussian Doll – S01E01 – Nothing In This World is EasyRussian Doll – S01E03 – A Warm BodyThe Good Place – S03E09 – Janet(s)Veep – S07E07 – Veep Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series Show / EpisodeSuccession – S01E10 –


The Rise of the Newsletter

They say all you need to be a writer, is to write. They say, if you write every day, you’re a writer. They say that even one sentence a day is forward movement, in whatever it is you write. But, they never caveat that do, they. Because obviously, if your dayjob isn’t in a creative field, you can’t really count anything work-related. To be honest, all communications that aren’t explicitly left-brained are probably excepted as well, so that long letter you wrote to your great aunt probably doesn’t count either. And I’m really not sure a single sentence counts. So

Indiana Jones Last Crusade

Story of A Script: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

I’ve always loved the Indiana Jones movies. Raiders was an early favourite, Temple of Doom was the first screenplay I ever read, and I’ve always been a fan of the father/son dynamic in Last Crusade. So I was thrilled to find a detailed analysis of the difference between Jeffrey Boam’s 1988 draft, and the final shooting script as polished by Tom Stoppard. For reference, here are links to Boam’s script and the final script of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. And, as a special bonus, the 1985 alternative story written by Chris Columbus.

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Case Study: The Cost of Blogging

There are a great many great reasons to have your own website/blog, and a great many providers able to offer you a simple templated solution at a reasonable cost. But how much would it be to host and maintain your own website, and what’s involved? Domain Name It’s absolutely worth having your own domain name, rather than a blogger.wix.com, writer.wordpress.com, or photographer.smugmug.com website. It’s your little piece of identity, your staked out plot of land in the internet landscape. It looks more professional, more serious, and it’s just more fun. It means you can have an associated email address as

game of thrones

Game of Thrones Screenplays

The adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy epic by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss may not be without controversy, but there’s no denying its mainstream appeal, nor it’s influence on big-budget event television. It has become a model that Amazon is hoping to ape with its Lord of the Rings show, and Disney+ will attempt with their Star Wars and Marvel shows. To that end, the below scripts are worth consideration and study. EpisodeEpisode TitleSeason 1, Episode 1Winter Is Coming (Pilot)Season 4, Episode 10The ChildrenSeason 6, Episode 9Battle Of The BastardsSeason 7, Episode 7The Dragon & The WolfSeason

marvel cinematic universe

Screenplays of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Let me up front in saying, this list is incomplete, and will likely always remain so. Marvel may not have locked down their Phase 1 scripts much, but by Phase 2, scripts were impossible to get hold of. The only reason there are more for Phase 3 is that by that point Marvel had sufficient faith in their writers to start submitting them for Academy awards. But I wanted a complete list of all the movies, so I could plug the gaps when scripts appeared in the wild. Phase 1 FilmU.S. release dateDirectorScreenwriter(s)Iron ManMay 2, 2008Jon FavreauMark Fergus & Hawk Ostby and Art Marcum


Mobile Apps for Writers 2019

These days many writers rely on their mobile devices, their phones and tablets, rather than (or in addition to) more analogue stationary. Anything to get ideas down on the move with a minimum of effort and inconvenience. So I’ve gathered a list of mobile apps that I find useful to this end. I’ll apologise for the slight iOS bias in these, it’s not that I think one platform is necessarily superior to any other, but it just happens to be the one that works for me. Some these aren’t free, and there are cheaper alternatives for most, but again they’re


The Problem With Twitter Threads

It’s about 18 months now since Twitter introduced Threads, a way of linking tweets together to form a coherent and conjoined narrative. Not so much for the purposes of conversation, but to link together a semi-coherent flow of thoughts. Now, in principle this is certainly an improvement: As the tweeter, it joins up what could otherwise be more incoherent ramblings, and as a reader it allows a stream of thoughts to be read as intended, adding often much-needed context. Furthermore it facilitates engagement, as every individual tweet can be commented on in isolation, as well as in the whole. TweetStorms

Bird Box

Story of a Script: Bird Box

Bird Box was written by Eric Heisserer, based on the book of the same title by Josh Malerman. While Eric’s previous adaptation, Arrival was a stunning science fiction release from last year, Bird Box was a somewhat different affair, eschewing a wide cinema release for Netflix. Bird Box is a post-apocalyptic survival thriller, telling the story of a woman, played by Sandra Bullock, trying to survive with her children. It is the story of a parent trying to find the a way to protect her children from a world of terrors unseeable, that may only exist in the mind. The

Go Into The Story

Screenwriting Back to Basics

Some time back, Scott Myers of Go Into The Story posted up a series of articles on the fundamentals of script writing. They were useful but I felt they didn’t get as much traction as they deserved. So, for your reading pleasure, I present to you Scott’s complete Screenwriting Back To Basics series. Screenwriting Back to Basics, Day 1: Writing Scenes Screenwriting Back to Basics, Day 2: Protagonist Metamorphosis Arc Screenwriting Back to Basics, Day 3: Plot = Structure Screenwriting Back to Basics, Day 4: Character = Function Screenwriting Back to Basics, Day 5: Reader Identification

Gonzo Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

Gonzo Blogging

There was some discussion on Twitter the other day, about how a blog differed from a journal; that many blogs were in fact mere journals, filled with personal thoughts and observations, and that there should be a different nomenclature for them. I’d say though, that the differentiation is at best paper-thin. Unless you’re writing a commercial listicle of dry facts, a blogpost is no different from a journal entry. At the end of the day, it’s gonzo self-published article, and that’s a good thing. Gonzo journalism, popularised by Hunter S. Thompson, puts paid to the fallacy that any writing can be


Dates for your diary – December 2018

Rather than re-publishing dates of contests, festivals, and opportunities every few months, I’ve instead gone for a big annual page for 2019. I’ll then use the blog posts for significant updates. The main page is still a bit empty, not everyone has announced their dates yet. However, Screencraft has a announced their 2019 dates.  S.O.U.L. has announced their February screening and networking event and the (free) tickets are available on January 25th. Here’s their blurb: Celebrate:Connect is S.O.U.L.‘s first initiative and has been created to offer Britain’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic filmmakers a public and recognisable platform to showcase their

Arrival Whiteboard Human Amy Adams

Story of a Script: Arrival

Story of Your Life is a science fiction novella by American writer Ted Chiang, first published in Starlight 2 in 1998, and in 2002 in Chiang’s collection of short stories, Stories of Your Life and Others. It took 18 years from first publication for the novella to be highly acclaimed as the Denis Villeneuve’s movie Arrival. And in between those two events? In that space we had screenwriter Eric Heisserer, writing feverishly away. I loved Arrival, from the direction, to the theme, to the acting; but especially the screenplay. And in that regard we are very lucky that we have available


Screenwriting Opportunities and Contests September 2018

Planning out the year’s submission strategy for screenplays can be tough, there are so many of them, with dates scattered throughout the year. Time it wrong, and you can end up slipping into late submission windows, often significantly more expensive than the early bird option. So, to make that all a little easier, here’s the deadlines for the rest of the year, and I’ll be posting every month with updates. I’ve probably missed a few, but I’ll keep it updated as much as I can! DateDescriptionRequirementPrice7th SeptemberChannel 4 Screenwriting Course 2019 Applications OpenC & one writing sample; must be free

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