Tuesday, September 30, 2008

To Infinity and Beyond?

Today I had my meeting with Sam Burton, New Talent Executive for Screen East.  We had a really good chat about Screen East's DigiBytes (a.k.a. Digital Shorts) and Digital Nation (previously Digital Shorts Plus) Schemes, had a chance to run through the application and selection process, as well as a general chat about my aims going forward - it was quite a lot to pack into a half hour meeting but well worth it.  Screen East have now uploaded all the info you require to submit your application - so if you fall under the Screen East area, go here to take a look.

However, behind the cool, creative exterior I presented today (!) lay a mere catalogue of disasters which, at one point, almost convinced me fate was steering me away from filmmaking forever - well, the meeting at Screen East anyway.

Cock-up #1: 
I decided to go to Norwich (Screen East Office location) by train - that way I could get some work done on the way.  I decided this last week and bagged myself a fantastic bargain in the form of an advance ticket. Brilliant.  The whole travel thing had been bugging me though - so I checked my itinerary/tickets on Sunday night only to discover the very helpful lady at my station had given me tickets to IPSWICH. 

Cock-Up #2:
I returned to my station on Monday morning (08:55 to be precise) and was assisted by a very helpful gentleman who informed my that although his colleague had quite possibly given me the incorrect ticket, as it was an advance ticket I was not able to change it - unless I extended it to go to Norwich for an additional charge of £10 per ticket (I had two singles). However, taking that particular train would have meant I was 1.5 hours late for my meeting - not a great start.  So, after no deliberation, I purchased ANOTHER ticket (again 2 singles which were cheaper than a return - wtf?).  When I asked what I should do with the Ipswich ticket the very helpful gentleman suggested I sell it onto someone at Liverpool Street Station.

Cock-Up #3:
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to bootleg my spare tickets this morning as my underground line virtually ground to a halt at every station between Baker Street and Liverpool Street due to bearing the brunt of the Circle line "not working effectively".  When I fought my way off the tube, towards the mainline station, cursing my choice of footwear, I had exactly 3 minutes to get up to the concourse, find the right platform and get on the train to Norwich. In my haste, I nearly broke my arm whilst tripping on the stairs and grabbing the handrail very hard. Didn't drop my iPhone though. Phew.

Cock-Up #4:
The train was late coming into Liverpool Street.  Consoled myself by rubbing my arm better like a five year old. 

Cock-Up #5:
Off we trundled towards Norwich.  Speedily we ran until Chelmsford, where we sat for 20 minutes due to "platform congestion" - don't they have industrial vats of Vicks or Olbas Oil to solve that? At least arm is feeling a bit better now.

Cock-Up #6:
ETA announced as 11:48.  Meeting starts at 12:00 in the city centre - a city I don't know. 

Cock-Up #7:
Arrived at 11:53. Nearly broke my ankle running for a taxi. Cursed my choice of footwear, once again. Rubbed my ankle whilst tearing paperwork out of my file to phone ahead, then realised I hadn't told the driver where I wanted to go. (You mean there are no psychic cabbies in Norfolk?).

Cock-Up #8:
Every single traffic light turned red. Ankle still hurts a lot.

But I did get to the meeting and everything was just fine - and other than someone sitting next to me on the tube eating an orange and spitting out all the the pips, the journey home was slightly less eventful. 

On arriving home I saw the news and a report about the poor Frank McGarahan who had been murdered in Norwich during the early hours of Sunday morning - he ending up dying where I had been dithering over whether to buy lunch from Tesco or just grab a cab from the rank, and head back to the station.

Today's cock-ups were swiftly smacked into perspective.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happiness is...

...remembering where you were in the past, when the chips are down in the present.

Today I heard I didn't get selected for this year's Think-Shoot-Distribute. Bottom burps. I knew there would be major competition and the odds were stacked with around 7 people competing for every one of the 25 places, but there was always hope and all that. Good luck to those who managed to get a place though. No - honestly. ;)

I spent the best part of the weekend and this week (so far) sorting out bits and pieces for my meeting with my screen agency next week, as well as second guessing the contents / requirements for the Digital Shorts submission this year. The submission usually includes a poster idea for your short and as graphic design was a previous incarnation of mine, I enjoyed designing the posters for the two shorts I hope to submit.  

Playing around with Photoshop got me thinking about those 'old days' - through rose tinted glasses obviously - and how easy life was as a designer.  Then I remembered the anal deadlines; working to 3am with no thanks; the office pr*cks; a company director with a stud muffin stress toy, and another with "an obvious flair for comedy" in the Board Room; the never-ending office sagas and politics; the red tape; the know-all who had studied at night school for an HNC so therefore knew how the Universe worked... 

Ah, yes. The old days. And that's where they can stay - in Ye Olde Memorie Vaulte.  If Ricky hadn't beat me to it, you can guarantee I'd be churning out the Tenacious Me version of "The Office"; all things considered, mine will have to remain covered in thick dust for a few more years yet.

On a brighter, more exciting note: there are only 92 days left until Christmas.

Ever onwards.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Back on Track

Crikey it's been a busy old week again at Tenacious Towers - and it's only Tuesday.

I finally managed to focus my brain, complete and submit my application for Think-Shoot-Distribute.  It was something I felt I really should apply for this year and although I am sure the competition is very tough, a girl's gotta try!  I have also been tweaking (and faffing) with the shorts I propose to submit to Digital Shorts '09.  

The various regional screen agencies will be gearing up very soon for the 2009 scheme to open, so if you've got some work you'd like to get out there, check out all the details with your particular screen agency. 

If you're not sure which regional agency you fall under, here's a titchy map for you to squint at - or click on the link to the full size map here.

I managed to get along to the UKFC Development Fund talk & networking event held by Euroscript last week.  It was a very good, relaxed event and I was really interested to hear the bare facts and figures from Tanya Seghatchian, Head of the Film Council's Development Fund.  The one lasting impression I came away with was: they read everything submitted.  And the magic formula for ticking their boxes?  Good, solid writing that works.  

Not rocket science by any means, but sometimes it's easy to forget the simple and obvious.

Last night I attended the Writers' Guild London & SE Branch drinks where Arnopp of Camden's absence was duly noted. I met lots of lovely writers, old and new - oh, plus fellow bloggers Perry & Beckley - and had some interesting chats laced with a teensy-weensy bit of alcohol. Ahem.  Nice bunch that Guild lot.  

My thought on the way home at midnight was, "if only the trains didn't stop so goddam early..." - my thoughts at 5am this morning when The Kid started were far less savoury.  Damn that Guild lot and their bottles of wine.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Unidentified Bug

Well it's been writing and film mad, mad, mad, here at Tenacious Towers and what with one thing and another, it's been all go. But here's a thing that stumped me today.

I am hoping someone out there may know a thing or two about bugs - that is, colourful ones and of the garden variety. You see, whilst I was taking some time out and trimming one of the colossal lavender bushes in the T. T. grounds, I came across quite an extraordinary little beetle-y thing. Kind of like a ladybird with a petroleum-inspired colour scheme - or King Bling, as we named it.

Here are a couple of pictures I took.  It was very tame and most accommodating, and it liked my purple ruler as much as I do.

Any takers?  Just don't tell me it's worth a zillion quid as I placed it back, in a most Zen manner, exactly where I found it. ;)