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Making Your Own ‘Luck’

August 2, 2015 Leave a comment

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The most extraordinary thing has happened.  For three long days, people I’ve never met before gave their all to make ten minutes of dialogue I wrote come to life on the big screen. I am struggling to process this happy fact.

A few years ago I approached a writer after he’d given a talk and asked him for any tips. His response was to the point. “Be lucky”, he said.  I kind of knew what he meant so went in search of this “luck” ( for “luck” read “slog”).  Though it turns out a bit of luck was involved as the piece being filmed would have been missed had I not submitted a second script with a covering note for the previous submission.

Anyway, the script made it and all eyes became focussed on the weather forecast. Whose stupid idea was it to set a story on a Suffolk beach during a British summer?  Sunday 26th of July’s forecast was ominous with lightning and hail symbols everywhere you looked.  Go to bed, it’ll be fine. It’s the driest part of the UK.

A 5 a.m. start meant driving Vera, a rather lovely, blagged-on-twitter, 1967, expensive, left-hand drive VW campervan to the set. This was by far the scariest drive I have ever undertaken in my life! We madE it through the gathering storm and arrived at the beach just as the clouds began to part.

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After several photographs and a local radio interview, we set about the task of filming ‘Back On Board’ which is the first of eight stories in the rom com feature film With Love From Suffolk. It will be released over Valentines weekend 2016 in at least ten Suffolk cinemas.

I couldn’t wait to meet my characters. Now I can’t wait for the premiere!

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Audio Sketches

February 25, 2014 Leave a comment

In case anyone is looking for some audio silliness I just uploaded a few things on audioboo.

Here is a sample of a few things you may have missed over the years.

I can never resist having a go at an accent or character. I think it stems from having parents who hammered out any trace of our Suffolk surroundings from an early age.

The thing is when I was with the siblings and our old Ma was dying in hospital, pumped up with morphine, she said , ‘Oh, it’s so lovely, I can hear all your Suffolk accents coming out.’

I know she were dying and all that, but I really coulda lumped ‘er one!

Play On

February 21, 2014 Leave a comment

After a previous post mentioning two pieces had made it to a short list (of 20) I am delighted to report that one of them made it all the way and should, I think, be produced in the spring.

If you’re on Twitter it’s these guys

It’s just a few pages of foolery, almost an afterthought submission, but that’s often how it goes. All those old school reports saying ‘must try harder’ then… time that mentality was ditched!

Surprise!

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

I surprise myself sometimes. This afternoon I plan to buy a box of chocolates and leave them where I’m bound to find them.

Carrots

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Do you mind? I mean, DO YOU MIND? I’ve been trying to give up writing for years. Well, trying to give up trying; getting back to where I started, writing solely for my own pleasure. Now this happens!

Somehow, somewhere down the line the whole ‘own pleasure’ thing got encouraged, dagnabit, by certain persons who should have acted more responsibly and not mentioned anything about ability and putting oneself forward etc. That went and led to some kind of bizarre merry-go-round of comps and opportunities, the inevitable rejections, stupidly late nights and all those excruciating writery things I promised myself a long time ago I’d have nothing to do with.

So lately, having realised I’m just a another dullard with nothing much to say, every time I promise myself I’ll get back to my former, HAPPY existence, the carrot gets dangled yet again. And today, not one, but two items have been short listed for consideration. Will you STOP doing that? My poor little ol’ heart can’t take it.

Actually though, now I think about it, the pieces that will fall at the last hurdle have been selected, are pieces with themes I chose and thus enjoyed writing.

Well now, it’s only taken what, ten years for that penny to drop? Like I said. Dullard.

PS. Did you know that the Welsh for ‘carrot’ happens to be ‘moron’?

Changing Tune

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Occasionally (today) I get a running order for a show I have submitted material to and I am happy to report my get-rich-incredibly-slowly scheme is taking effect. I really want to spend what time I can spare on shows writing topical sketches but they are always calling for songs as a matter of priority so that’s what tends to get the bulk of my effort.

The thing is, as possibly Elton John and maybe Kiki Dee once sang, ‘I got the music in me’, having spent much of childhood sitting under a small grand piano watching my Dad’s feet operating the pedals and putting the brakes on poor old Beethoven.

If I force myself to recall, the only real form of entertainment, after weak teacher baiting during some dark school years, was changing the words to the hymns at mass from things like ‘Oh God, our help in ages past’ to ‘Oh God, Oh help, don’t make this last’. The problem was always how to avoid being caught sniggering by the slightly Nazi order of brethren who ran the place, but I now consider it was a pretty good grounding in the sweet (and I would argue, God-ordained, or we may as well all give up now) art of parody.

To me it seems a perfectly natural thing anyone can do but perhaps not. Can you hear alternative lyrics to well known songs? When G W Bush was in office I heard the Beach Boys singing Barbara Ann and thought, ‘That sounds a lot like ‘bomb Iran”. A quick scribble later and the thing almost wrote itself and was sold.

I suppose it is an advantage to have visited a theatre at least once in your life to get a feel of what is and what is not possible on a stage but do give it a go if only so that I can crack on with them there sketches.

Newsrevue at the Ed Fringe

June 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Well I have to report that I’m encouraged to have had no fewer than six sketches and songs in Newsrevue recently. We went along to see it just to keep tabs on the style of performance and I wasn’t really expecting to have anything in the running order so a personal best in terms of hit-rate on the night was great.

Newsrevue, if you don’t know, is topical news items spoofed up by four actors and a pianist in the cosy little Canal Cafe Theatre in west London.  It was one of the best Newsrevue shows I’ve seen since getting involved (not because of my own stuff, honest) with energetic performances at a blistering pace from a young and talented cast.

If you like a bit of topical satire and are heading to the Edinburgh Festival fringe this year, there’s your link to go and see it.

It’s not a show for the easily-offended (and neither do I ever write to offend, but to produce laughter) nevertheless, I highly recommend it, not least because I might meet you there, dear reader.