SCREENWEST PASS

Damn. Screenwest have decided not to offer Cirque any monetary reward. So the question now becomes: pursue it further as a TV script, or thing about converting it to a novel? Hmmm. One field I know almost nothing about, and the other field everybody else thinks I know nothing about. Spoilt for choice, me……

END OF AHWA MENTORSHIP

Ah, well. It’s been fun. My mentorship period on behalf of the AHWA has come to and end. It’s been great to work with Ben and Jason, and hopefully they’ve picked up a tip or two along the way (Remember: you can learn something from anyone, even if it’s only what not to do…). Now it’s time for them to test their work against the refined sense of editors everywhere, and get their stories into as many hands as possible.

I think they’ll do just fine.

EVERYTHING IS MOVING INWARDS

One of the nicer things about losing weight is the feeling of accomplishment when you have to take your belt in and create a new hole to make it fit. I reached that point about a week and a half ago, and was certainly chuffed with myself.

Saturday I had to go shirt shopping because all my shirts are now too big. And that night I took a link out of my watchband so that the damn thing would stop sliding down onto my hand all the time.

Now that is a feeling of achievement.

A LITTLE FILM GETS BIGGER

The Memory of Breathing continues to gather pace on the road towards production. Producermatt has transformed into Directormatt, and production duties have now passed to Producerjenny at Azure Productions, who is off on a trans-Atlantic jaunt to Cannes, London, New York and Los Angeles with three scripts under her arm, TMoB amongst them.

If our luck holds out, and the trip is a successful one, we could find ourselves with some names and numbers attached to the project that send it into production. Wouldn’t that be fun?

MY VISUAL IS NOT YOUR VISUAL

It’s a funny kind of synchronicity, working on an adaptation of a story written by your wife. Last night, for example, I was talking about who I visualised in the main roles, in an effort to explain to Lyn some of the changes I’d made to her story. Which led to her explaining who she had visualised. Which led to a whole lot of laughter.

So for your entertainment, the different people we visualised for the writing of our different versions of The Memory of Breathing:

COMMANDER JANSSEN: The nominal ‘hero’and protagonist of the piece. Commander of the camp wherein the reanimated corpses are housed. Me: Bob Hoskins. Lyn: Jon Hamblin from Play School.

REBEKAH HOLYOAKE: The 9 year old re-animated Corpse whose peril drives the narrative. Me: Dakota Fanning. Lyn: Jenny from Hey Dad

LADY MCAULIFFE: The rich, elderly spinster who shelters Rebekah and provides a humanising mother figure. Me: Maggie Smith. Lyn: Esme from A Country Practice

(Note: In Lyn’s original story, Lady McAuliffe is named Lady McMahon. Producer Matt thinks we should change it, just to avoid a possible role-confusion with the real-life Lady Sonia McMahon. (In actuality, Lyn named the character with my mother’s maiden name) Naturally, Lyn and I are both of the opinion that Lady Sonia should be given a chance to read for the role…)

PARKER: The young, ambitious offsider to Janssen who doesn’t remember the pre-apocalypse world. Me: Matt Day. Lyn: Matt Damon.

THE PROTESTOR: A black clad religious zealot whose denunciations and proclamations of hellfire provide a counter-current to the main characters’ attempts to save Rebekah. Me: Ben Peek Lyn: Ben Peek

So there you go.

THE MEMORY OF CORPSE-RAT

Another 411 words last night. Marius is stuck in a tiny room, with only a still filled with potato liquor for company, and the fire that is consumign the building is coming towards the only door.

I’ve no idea how he gets out of this, but it’s going to be fun finding out.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
11,046 / 90,000
(11.0%)

The Memory of Breathing proceeds nicely as well. I’ve finished the per-scene edits the producer asked for, and added a bunch of pages and a couple of new scenes into the bargain. There are some general world-building questions Producer Matt wants answered, which will take up a few days, and then I’ll see where we stand time-wise. There are still 12 days before the draft is due, so I’m reasonably okay for time, but I’ll be working right up to the deadline on this one.

THE WORDS, THEY FLOW

Added another 1007 words to The Corpse-Rat King over the weekend, breaking the magical 10K barrier and the magical 10% barrier all at the same time. On the Lee Writing Scale, I’ve now reached T2, which airline nuts (there must be one or two of you out there) will know as the point along the runway after which you have no choice: you have to take off. So there’s no turning back: my hero Marius, his compatriot Gerd, the dead King of Scorby and I are together for the next 80K+ words whether we like it or not.

Work also continued apace on the secodn draft of the The Memory of Breathing script. I’ve rejigged four of the eleven scenes that need reworking, and added probably another ten minutes or so to the running time. Producer Matt (and it occurs to me that I’ve never linked to Enchanter Films, the production company that we’re working with, so here you go) has set a deadline of the 19th November to get the draft back to him, so it’s both lobes to the grindstone at the moment. once I’ve got the scenes rewritten I have a pile of character and plot notes to incorporate, so the next two weeks will be busy. Busy busy busy…..

So, words to date on the novel:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,635 / 90,000
(11.0%)

THE WORDS, THEY FLOW NOT SO EASILY

Anybody trying to get hold of me via email: please be patient. For reasons unknown to me, my Outlook and Norton programs aren’t speaking to each other and so Outlook is refusing to work at all. I can still get to new emails via the ISP website, but it’s clunky and annoying, so replies may not be as quick as usual (which is saying something, I know).

There seems to be an internal problem with Norton, but if I simply delete it and reboot from the disc I’ll lose my upgrade subscription. So it’ll be a few days while I contact Symantec and wait for them to tell me they don’t know how to fix it, and I gather up the courage to delete everythind anyway and then abuse them until they gave me my subscription back. At least, that’s today’s plan… 🙂

THE FINCHES HAVE LANDED

So, thanks to Aiden, Lyn and I became grandparents over the weekend.

Don’t panic: we’re a liberal family, but we’re not that liberal. Aiden finally organised to move his five finches from his Dad’s house, is all. So we now have an aviary and occupants on our patio, much to the fascination of Erin and Connor. Indeed, television has been abandoned in favour of the live show.

I’m not sure how much attachment to give to these little birds, given their Daddy calls them (and I quote): “Whitecap, Big One, Little One, Birdy, and the other female.”

And I thought it took us ages to come up with ‘Connor’…..

YOU ARE NOT A UNIQUE SNOWFLAKE

It’s my birthday on Saturday. I’ve treated myself to an external hard drive for the computer: when music and video files take up 70% of your memory, it’s time to think about alternative storage solutions. For $150 I picked up a tiny little box that has twice the memory of the big, state-of-the-art computer I had made from scratch three eyars ago. Heh. I am Obsolete Man!

Anyway, I’ve always been the only person I know to be born on the 11th of November. It’s just one of those days that seems to set you apart.

But would you believe it, I’ve discovered that not only am I not unique in regards to people I know, I’m not even unique in regards to Perth SF writers.

So Happy Birthday for Saturday to fellow 11/11 SF writer guy alumni: Perth-based Simon Haynes, and over-east based Chris Barnes.

I’m not my fucking khakis, either…..

Song of the Moment: Eleanor Rigby The Beatles

Reading: The Invisibles- the Invisible Kingdom Grant Morrison and friends

HOUSEKEEPING

Prompted by comments on the Message Board (See, I pay attention!), I’m undertaking a few things to try and get this blog a little more interactive and widely read. So I’ve activated comments for each post, which gives you the option of commenting upon each individual thing I say or joining the wide-ranging (and mostly bearing little resemblance to anything that’s happening on the front page: It’s alive, I tell you, alive! in my best Colin Clive voice) conversation on the board.

I’ve also posted the board on Technorati, which people tell me is about as popular a blog search engine as there is. If you go waaaaaay down to the bottom of the page you’ll find a button and link. If anybody knows anywhere else to register to get a few more warm bodies reading these humble offerings, feel free to tell me. Use the new comments function, even 🙂

What I’d like to do is to set up a tags function for each post a la LiveJournal, so that people can search the entries by subject, but so far, that’s defeating me. If anybody has any information or expertise I lack (if! HA!) feel free to let me know how I can go about it.

REVIEWS!

Many thanks to Stephanie Coxon and Martin Livings for pointing these out:

Oz Horrorscope review Ticonderoga Issue 8, commenting upon the strong heart within my story Fade.

Tangent Online also reviews the issue, according both ears and the tail to Fade for its unusual structure and calling it a “powerful reading experience”. Oh, if you insist 🙂

I’ll update the reviews page of the Batthome website when I have the chance to include them.

THE MOVIE BIZ AND MY PART IN IT

Producer Matt’s notes on the first draft of The Memory of Breathing came back yesterday, with a good guide as to how I should be able to take the 42 minute short and turn it into a feature-length script. We may have an executive producer on board soon, which will be brilliant as it’ll give us a real run at getting some money together. Of course, he’d like to see the script, so Matt’s almost apologetic “Do you think you can get it done in four weeks?” is no problem at all. Noooo problem. Nope, not a problem, uh-uh, no problem, noooo….

Four weeks, you say?

Actually, his notes are so clear and concise it’s really only a matter of putting them into action. Still, the words of doom have been uttered (Is there a chance we can work some sort of silver lining into the ending?) so that alone might take, oh I don’t know, the rest of my natural life to work out…

TOTE THAT TOTEY THING, LIFT THAT BRICK…..

It’s big gardening days at the Batthome at the moment, my friends. What with the change in weather, I was out back on the weekend, digging away like a big diggy thing. I’ve cleared an area next to the patio, formerly a brick barbecue and crazy paving abomination (what the hell were they thinking?), and dug it out to create a sun garden; Aiden’s Japanese garden by his bedroom is the proud recipient of a big hole and soakwell; and the dead area next to the letterbox that was once a garden (allegedly), and is now a broken pile of half-grown sticks sprouting leaves, was divested of its crappy brick border.

The really fun part, of course, is going to Bunnings and buying things 🙂 Like the hanging bird feeder I’ve put up outside our bedroom window, and the hatchet I’ll be using this weekend in my stump-uprooting efforts. Oh, and the piping for the soakwells; and trellis, and… well, you get the idea. At one stage last weekend, all 4 kids were with me, helping (or in the case of the littlies, “helping”. Parents will know the difference), and it was brilliant: a sunny afternoon, everyone dirty, laughing, and heading back in for dinner and baths with a real sense of satisfaction.

The boys are away this weekend, so I’m planning to have the sun garden edged and filled with soil; connect the pipes from soakwell to downpipe in Aiden’s garden and backfill the hole; start digging out the dead letterbox area in preparation for the rock garden I have planned; and I may even get around to levering the stump out of Aiden’s section so I can get his pond and fountain sorted out. The brilliant thing about Clarkson is that the whole coast is built upon a sandstone base, so large rocks can be found in the bushlands near any of the main roads, where the excavators have simply tipped them away from the road site and left them. It’s simply a matter of spotting one in the size you need, throwing (grunting with effort as you lift the bastard over the edge of the boot, letting go, and collapsing) it in the boot, and bringing it home. The rock garden is going to need a bunch of large stones for its initial layer, so this is a definite (and infintely cheaper than a garden centre) plus.

You may have noticed that with the onset of spring, I’m getting in touch with my inner gardener again… Luscious certainly has. For no reason at all she came home last night and presented me with a nice, thick, browseable book on Australian garden styles and plants. We have a Christmas family do at our place on the weekend before Brianmas this year, so I’ve set that as my deadline to have the entire front and back gardens set up as I want them. The advent of clear days is giving me the opportunity to really see the change in possibilities for the crappy, ignored-and-ugly gardens the last owner had left us when we moved in. It’ll be good to see them how they should be. I’m spending mass hours out there at the moment, and finish each weekend in a heck of a lot of pain, but the results will be worth it.

Which reminds me, I really have to ring the chiropractor today and make an appointment for next week 🙂

Song of the moment: Marseille The Angels

HOODWINKED

Is a damn good idea ruined.

Too adult for the four year old, too slow for the adults, and the animation was bad in a way I haven’t seen for years (C’mon, how could you forget to put shadows under people so they don’t look like they’re walking three inches above the ground?). The few moments of genuine humour are spaced too far apart to justify even the short 80 minute journey. It’s hard to see who this movie is aimed at. To be honest, it didn’t seem aimed at anybody, rather, it felt as if they just threw a whole bunch of ideas at a wall and kept what stuck.

In a way, it reminded me of Hudson Hawk in that there are some lovely bits (Patrickk Warburton’s Big Bad Wolf and Glenn Close’s Granny are great, as is the banjo-playing hillbilly goat) but the movie as a whole leaves you hollow and regretful.

I’m really disappointed. Presenting the Red Riding Hood story like a crime movie a la The Usual Suspects was a great idea, a chance to do something hip and self-aware and still throw enough light and movement in to keep the kiddies satisfied. But they blow it. What a pity.

YOU. WILL. BE. LIKE. USSSSUH.

I’ve been somewhat underwhelmed by the new season of Doctor Who. I thought the first 3 episodes were well on the lame side, and whilst episode 4 represented a big increase in quality, I looked forward to the 2-part Cyberman revival with some trepidation.

Heh.

I am, perhaps, in the minority in that while I’ve always liked the Daleks, I’ve always loved The Cybermen. They are my monster of choice, and as soon as the resurrection of the Doctor was announced I knew they’d be back to join him. Some things, like Daleks and the TARDIS, simply cannot be done without.

For the most part, Saturday’s opening episode was solid without being spectacular. The zeppelins were cool: I mean, hey, they’re zeppelins. The Ricky/Mickey storyline was looking interesting. But the flaws and logic holes that have plagued the first 16 episodes were there in abundance, large and obvious for all to see. And then….

You. Will. Be. Like. Usssuh.

I actually jumped in my seat for joy. They were back, just like they were meant to be. Logical, implacable, desperate, terrifying. As Luscious will testify, I was still breaking out into fan boy giggling fits three hours after the episode was finished. And then, the next morning, the A-boy reminded me of that other great Cyberman quote, and I can’t wait another 5 days to find out if the writers think it’s the perfect ending, like we do:

We. Will. Survivvvvvuh.

Pleasepleasepleaseplease…..

THE MEMORY GETS BIGGER

Luscious received a phone call from Producer Matt during the week. Seems my script for the The Memory of Breathing movie has been well received. So well, in fact, that they want me to prepare a second draft. At feature length.

It’s a long, long way from here to there, but if everything that needs to fall into place falls into place, Memory could be a feature film, written (at least the first two drafts), by me.

My guidance counsellor didn’t see that one coming…