Sunday, February 25, 2007

Obviously the train might still roll down a hill...

ME: Hello, I'd like to travel from London to Cornwall by train on a Sunday please.
TICKET GUY: Well you could...
ME: Yes?
TG: But there's engineering works, so you'd have to take two different buses (as well).
TG: But monday's fine.
TG: The first train's quite expensive.
TG: But the second one's a lot cheaper.
TG: But it does have about four stops.
ME: SHIT! I'll take the earlier one then.
TG: Wait a minute-
ME: BRILLIANT I mean 'okay'.

He calls over second ticket guy. They look at the screen, and frown. STG looks over at me, and assesses my moral worth. I discreetly cast 'Mask Moral Worth' (a level two anti-paladin spell I picked up on holiday in Helsinki). I seem to get away with it.

TG2: Were you travelling first class?
ME: I wasn't going to.
TG2: Because if you go first class on that particular train, it's actually cheaper than going standard class.
TG2: Although really you just get free tea and coffee.
TG2: Although the lemony biscuits are quite nice.
ME: They are, aren't they? I always ask for those specifically now.
TG2: Well done on the bit in Variety, by the way.
ME: Ooh thanks, although some of that money goes to my script editor, and I have to hand it all back if I actually sell the script to a studio and I haven't had any of it yet anyway.
TG2: All right, don't go on.
ME: Sorry.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ah the happy times I spent working with Tazmin on Greenway (although the staring did get a bit much).

By a bizarre coincidence, a certain multiple award-winning ex-Green Wing star is filming today outside the office where m'lovely girlfriend works. At least we think she is, because it's not easy to tell from the following email:

"Dear all,

The BBC will be filming part of their series Love Soup (staring actress Tazmin Greg from 'Greenway') outside the ********* today. They will not be entering the (office building), but will be filming in the ********* Pub and the passageway outside.

For those of you I have approached regarding assisting them, by leaving their lights on in their office when they go home tonight, much appreciated and thank you."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bloody hell, I forgot!

On monday, I wandered out of a meeting with BBC drama, and as usual, got hopelessly lost and ended up in the props warehouse. I've never really subscribed to the 'blokes shouldn't admit when they're lost' thing, because I get lost quite a lot. And once I was in the Arctic Circle, and got lost, but then I turned around and the bus was there, so that was okay.

Anyway, I saw a chap going in roughly the same direction, so I said 'Do you know the way out?' and then I said 'You know, it's funny, I always expect to see the Tardis down here, but I never-'*

And there it was, blue and lovely, and a bit battered, and right in front of me. I'm glad I didn't have a camera, I like the picture in my head. Mmm.... Tardis.

* I know it sounds cheesy, but it really did happen like that.

UPDATE: I have now joined an elite society of bloggers, for lo!

UPDATE 2: Hamilton B reminds me this is not the first time I have been geographically adrift in the presence of a classic bit of Who-ery

Monday, February 19, 2007

That's Dame Tamsin, you muthafunsta

Well not quite, but jolly well done to T. Greig, who won a Best Actress Olivier for Much Ado About Nothing. British actresses are so hot right now.

UPDATE: links to Tamsin's very funny acceptance speech in the comments section.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Nose Scar - a Tale of Destiny.

I was four years old, sat cross-legged on the living room floor and staring up at the telly on its reinforced table. This would be towards the stinky fag-end of the Seventies,when tellies were the size of two fridges welded together, encased in solid slabs of wood, and powered by crackling steampunk technology that required regular deliveries of coal, and the occasional insertion of a grimy operative who had to leave knotted ropes behind so he could find his way out of the back again.

Don't know what I was watching, although it was probably some documentary on the miners' strike (I was alone in taking the miners' side in my playground, as the talk in Norbreck Primary was mostly in favour of Thatcher smashing the unions. Gregory* Towers of 2B did once voice some disquiet about potential 'misuse of the police', but was shouted down and had his Tonka toys confiscated). Anyway, whatever was on telly, I wanted more of it, closer to me RIGHT NOW. So I grabbed the power cable (thickly-braided as a ship's cable) that stuck out to one side and heaved...

Hearing an odd noise from the other room, my mum entered the living room to find the television fully ten feet from its previous position and son 1 (me) lying flat on my back in the 'starfish' position, with a sizeable dent in my nose and a faraway look in my eyes.

For that day I had learnt an important lesson: by all means suckle the teat of the Bitch Goddess Television, but be aware that at any moment, she's quite likely to SMASH YOU IN THE FACE.

My dad has a proper broken nose, but he got that from a boxing match with the top school bully, which makes my dad ONE MILLION TIMES COOLER THAN I WILL EVER BE.**

* Or possibly it was his sister Malory.
** He didn't win, the top school bully beat the shit out of him, but never went near him again. Yay my dad.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hot Fuzz: new trailer

It's magic, it doesn't give anything away, and it's here. Via Twitch.

The Nose-Scar (a Tale of Destiny) story will be tomorrow, I was busy today.

Friday, February 09, 2007

In your FACE Stoppard!

Currently I have quite a lot on. I am supposed to be writing:

The second draft of my superhero movie.
My BBC drama thing.
The sitcom thing that had guns in it, but now hasn't.
Another children's book*.

So it decided to spend this morning trying to answer the age-old question:

'Is it possible to make up a lego racing car without taking the bits out of the plastic bag they came in?'


(scroll down)


* after writing this post, I wandered over to StatCounter and discovered someone from Bloomsbury publishing has been looking at this blog. I now can't decide whether this post was really well timed, or very badly timed indeed.

ALSO: had a bit of a panic, which detracted from the lego brilliantness rather, but I'll stick it on here, as it had an answer to a comment, and I can't be bothered to edit all the HTML again:

Did some ghastly pop-up advert just appear at the bottom of my blog? IF GOOGLEBLOGGER ARE TRYING SOMETHING FUNNY, I WARN THEM NOW, THIS SHALL NOT STAND.

It totally blimmnin' shalln't.

UPDATE: right, when I put a link to an old post in the last comments thread, it brought up a pop-up ad automatically. I'm not very happy about this at all, is there any way round it?

UPDATE 2: ah, it seemed to have some weird code added to the start, I've taken it away now - I was trying to say 'First kid's book not yet published (unless you count the bob the builder one, which I don't, as I was never paid for it) - and long-time readers will remember the henry james debacle- (ARGH BOLLOCKS IT'S ALL FECKED).
Right, I think that's sorted.

UPDATE 3: No it's not. Oh this is horrible.

UPDATE 4: Is this working? Okay, I think it's all fine now. I don't think it was anything to do with Googleblogger.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Some confusing things about scripts:

An american hour is forty two minutes.
A Channel 4 half-hour is twenty four minutes.
An american half-hour is twenty one minutes.
A BBC hour is fifty seven minutes, apart from things that are aimed at Americans, which are fifty minutes, and probably include eight minutes of jettisonable material. Or in the case of Torchwood/Robin Hood/any non-Moffat episodes of Who, forty nine minutes of jettisonable material OOH GET ME.

Bearing in mind a Green Wing hour was anywhere between fifty minutes, and one hour and ten minutes (depending on how much stuttering Mark Heap felt like doing that day), all this stuff has come as a bit of a shock.


Using standard script layout, it's supposed to work out at roughly one page = one minute.


The first draft of my hour long BBC Drama was sixty pages long. It was too short.
My script for Channel 4's comedy lab was twenty four pages long. It is also too short, although this is because I finally caved and took out the guns. I now have a separate very short but really quite exciting film about guns but nothing else left over, which is BRILLIANT frankly, I'd watch it.


There is no known way of writing down that 'ooooooooh' noise that people make, when they are mocking you and holding an imaginary handbag*. The only way to write this is to write: "Character X makes that 'ooooooooooh' noise that is impossible to write down and holds up an imaginary handbag", which doesn't look very professional.

Still, it pads out the page a bit.

* m'colleague Richard informs me in the comments below that there is, and it's written 'ooooOOOOooo'. If it were not for the blog I would never have known this. Hurrah for the blog. And for Richard, obv'sly.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

I am now a fashion writer.

Look here (I am right down the bottom, but this is good in fashion, i.e. shoes).

UPDATE: every time I look, I spot another spelling mistake DEAR GOD MY EYES.

UPDATE 2: so far I have spotted five.

Would you take fashion advice from a man with a stuffed toy on his shoulder and a shelf of roleplaying games clearly visible just behind him? Can you see the scar on my nose by the way? It's a cool scar, and one day I'll tell you all how I came by it. It is quite some tale, I can tell you, dealing as it does with both destiny and slapstick. But that's for another time....

*screen goes wibbly*

(I'll come back to this later - sorry about all the spelling mistake Maus, I have single-handedly ruined your oh-so promising fashion pdf thing)

UPDATE 3: looking at that photo again, is my left eye slightly higher up than my right eye? I think my left eye is slightly higher up than my right eye. I do tend to veer off to the right when I walk. Hmm.

UPDATE 4: spelling and 'the' all sorted now, thanks MoE.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Doing a favour for Neil Gaiman

penn jillette

Neil (I'm allowed to call him Neil, I did an event with him at Waterstone's once, Dave McKean was there, he lives nearby and I used to give him random discounts afterwards, but he always looked at me like I was mad*) asked in his blog for people to put this link in their blogs as part of a plan to freak out Penn Jillette that I didn't really understand.

* see also the me and Matt Begins-With-a-C's interesting but ultimately corrupt 'random ten percent discounts for pretty girls' experiment, which lasted until we were found out.**

** Two years later.

UPDATE: just to clarify, if anyone from Waterstone's security department is reading this, 'Matt Begins-With-a-C' isn't the one you're thinking of, he's a different one. And he's dead now, anyway. So let's all move on.

Sometimes I forget people I know still have proper jobs.

Carpark North - Human

Best video of last year (may even have been the year before) which I thought I'd lost forever after my various Mac-related mishaps. I think all the kids are classically-trained dancers who were encouraged to go a bit mental for the cameras. Anyway, it's enormously moving, particularly the flying in the air bit, and if anyone rips this off for an advert ever, I WILL SHOOT THEM WITH GUNS.