Thursday, June 30, 2005

Inappropriate.

No joy finding a transcript of the 'Fine Line' discussion, which is a shame. I've asked Izzy to put up a new topic on the forum when she gets a chance though, as it's an interesting debate. I'll let you know when it's up.


It occurred to me that Gutenberg and Lindisfarne would be a great title for a TV detective show ('Gutenberg, stop repeating yourself! And Lindisfarne, if I see you colouring in one more crime report...'

Which reminded me that GW Stuart and I were thinking about a GW spin-off detective series called 'Wanking and Crying', the characters being Inspector Roy Wanking and his faithful sidekick Constable Trevor Crying. They'd have a grumpy superintendent who kept getting confused about their names, thus:

SUPER: (to Crying) Now, you're Wanking, and he's Crying?
WANKING: No sir, I'm Wanking, he's Crying.
SUPER: Ooh, I get so confused.
CRYING: Cup of tea, sir?
SUPER: Lovely.

Teatime slot on a Thursday, marvellous.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sprinkled with Gerunds.

Back now. If you're going to meet a literary agent to talk about the book you're working on, I highly recommend having a meeting in the The British Library and then standing at an equidistant point between the Guternberg Bible and the Lindisfarne Gospels. This way you'll be able to put what you're trying to achieve into some sense of what I believe is called 'perspective'.

We discussed, I ate the stalest almond croissant I ever have ated (I believe it may yet turn out to the Guternberg Croissant, leading to me owing said library a hundred squillion pounds), and Agent Sarah has agreed to join my posse* (Agent Ginny won't do books, won't even have them in the house, it's very sad). Which means I actually need to finish the Cabinet book. When I do that, and if it's good, Agent Sarah will attempt to sell it to a good home.

I've decided to set myself the end of September as a deadline. Twelve chapters, at the rate of one a week. I've got a diagram and everything, and as all writers know, once you've done a diagram, it's really just crossing the things, and dotting the other things from there. Note so self: buy coffee.

While at BritLib (as nobody calls it) I went to the A Fine Line event, a discussion about writing for children hosted by Penelope Lively, Julia Eccleshare (Children's Book Editor of The Guardian) and Francis Spufford author of the excellent The Child that Books Built., which I heartily recommend to anyone interested in the process of reading, and of how reading the right books at the right time can utterly alter one's life. Very good discussion, the finer points of which I am still mulling over, but it did make me think about nostalgia (which I dislike, perhaps surprisingly), 'crossover' books (which some people think don't even exist) and JK Rowlling (consensus: lovely lady, but it's very worrying seeing adults reading the Harry Potter books as some form of regressive pleasure - as Francis Spufford pointed out, a child reading a child's novel is having his or her horizons expanded, whereas an adult reading the same novel is having them very slightly narrowed**: discuss).

There may be a transcript of the discussion somewhere: if so, I'll put up a link.


* Thus giving a fighting chance in the annual Green Wing Writers' 'How Many Agents Have You Got, Then?' competition. I believe I now tie with Faymond and Oriette.

** I don't entirely agree with this, but it's an interesting point. It's only the Harry Potter books I was dissing (as if that'll get me out of trouble).

Monday, June 27, 2005

Just quickly

Ok Go - In the Back Yard, Dancing


Never even heard of the the band before, but as well as a great song, this might be the best pop video ever. Via Music For Robots, who also has links to lower def versions, if you need it.

I think it's the look of utter concentration on their faces that makes it so touching. What a lovely thing to find.

This one's for my homies.

I like my financial adviser. He's well-spoken and sweary, the combination of a true English gentleman. In fact I phoned him earlier today:

ME: Sorry, I've been meaning to call you, but every time I thought of it, I looked at my watch, and it was a minute past six.
FA: Well that doesn't matter. You can call me any time.
ME: Oh, cool. Thanks.
FA: You could call me at three in the morning if you want.
ME: Okay.
FA: I'd tell you to fuck off though.
ME: Well sometimes I probably need to be told to fuck off.
FA: There you are then. Just call me at three in the morning.
ME: You really do provide all the services, don't you?
FA: Ho yuss.

Marvellous stuff. If it sounds a bit hoity having a financial adviser, it's not particularly. Being self-employed I need one of them, and an accountant an' all. It's like having a widely-dispersed posse, especially when you take Agent Ginny into consideration. And someone needs to, mmm-hah.

I've lost the thread now. Anyway, I'm going up-London tomorrow for a potentially interesting meeting, the details of which I will post later, for fear of a-jinxin'* it.

Toodle-pip





* Sorry about the strange archaic diction, I've just watched Went The Day Well and I'm feeling rather black and white today.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hot water

You know how everyone says bees sound content and sort of bumbly? The ones in my parents' garden don't. They sound frickin' furious. Less buzzing than muttering. Possibly they've just got poor notices in the Honeybee Waggle Dance Reviews.

And that was before I nearly did some damage to my parents' garden when I took the washing-up water out, all conscientious-like, prepared to sling it over the fuschia, and suddenly thought 'Hey now! C'mon! (I like to talk to myself in the style of a 1970's teen counsellor) Didn't you just read something in horticultural about, you know, maybe letting the water go cold first? Rather than it being say... practically boiling?*"

Also it turns you need to check you've completed the washing up, as later that afternoon I slung a good fivers worth of cutlery into the vegetable garden. For full comedy points there should have been a MROWWWW! noise as an unseen cat suffered a terribly tragedy, but the neighbours' cat was round the front, which was probably best. Currently said cat is providing enormous entertainment by leaping up onto the front windowsill, making immediate and shocked eye contact with me (I'm in the reclining chair about a foot from glass), and leaping off again. It does this about once an hour, and if it could say 'Ooh Christ!' each time I think it would.

Young Skeletor sketches. What I want to know is how did he get like that in the first place? I suppose it's Googleable, but even I'm wary of delving too far into this sort of thing since accidentally** running into some erotic Thundercats fanfiction. Which I'm not linking to, since running across it once counts as a mistake. If I go back, my laptop is going to start getting suspicious.



*Although my inner guidance counsellor also sounds a bit like Owen Wilson, who I was delighted to discover has been given the nickname of the Butterscotch Stallion. Apparently he was delighted as well. Actually if my inner guidance counsellor really is Owen Wilson (i.e. pretty much stoned - no offence), that would explain a lot. Like why this weeks JATBC has veered suddenly in the realm of Not Work-Safe...

** Yes really. I was actually looking for erotic Transformers fanfiction.***

***Oh Sweet Warbling Jesus, it exists.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Toy-Fu 21 - Lost Jeff

Just... talk amongst yourselves for a bit.

While I'm trying to decide whether I finally went a Post Too Far. I'm doing a quick Toy-Fu to try and undo the damage. In the meantime - look! Some pictures of deserted Icelandic farmhouses!

Late Starter

I like the Open Letter To Kansas School Board via boingboing.net. Funny.

It was both sultry and humid last night, so I had an extremely hot bath, which surprisingly didn't help. Also I'd been bitten three times by something, which was annoying, as it made it even harder to sleep. Anyway, for no particular reason, I suddenly thought of a conversation I'd once had with my Best Mate back at school, who was, through no fault of her own, female (she's still my Best Mate, which after you've read the conversation you will agree shows a certain amount of loyalty/masochism on her part. She's still female too). I was about fifteen at the time. I want to say I was much much younger, but that would be a lie.

I'm not even entirely sure why I'm putting this up, apart from A) I really did have this conversation, and B) not doing Green Wing at the mo, so converations I would normally put in the mouths of Guy or Martin are now sort of buzzing around with no outlet, other than the blog.

INT - LIBRARY - DAY

I am avoiding work and the outside by sitting in the library with BM.

ME: So it turns out vaginas are much lower down than I thought.

Quite a long silence. Finally-

BM: ?
ME: Well I thought they were higher up.
BM: Just under the chin?
ME: No, obviously, but you know... just under the belly button. Like almost immediately under.
BM: And now you know they're not.
ME: Yes.
BM: How could you not have known that?
ME: Well I've never thought about it that much.
BM: But you've seen porn?
ME: Well...
BM: If you have to think about it, you probably haven't.
ME: Can I count the Next Catalogue?
BM: No.
ME: Maybe I shouldn't have said anything.
BM: Have you not seen textbooks? In biology or something?
ME: Yes. But I never looked that closely.
BM: Oh my god.
ME: And then I saw this slightly iffy comic cover, and thought 'that's not right'. And I went and had a closer look at the textbooks, and turns out it was right, anatomically speaking.
BM: I have an art class now.
ME: Okay. What are you drawing?
BM: Well I'll be drawing bowls of fruit. But I'll be thinking about vaginas.
ME: Heh.
BM: I'm not going to be speaking to you for a while.
ME: Are you going on holiday?
BM: No.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Characters from the new Aardman Sketch Show...

sketch show

.. which I believe is coming out August-ish, First three characters are mine, being The Street Rappers*, who will hopefully cause people to look at blingy kids in hooded tops in a slightly different way. They're all attitude, but possibly not quite as intimidating as they first appear. So far I've only seen this very lovely concept art, but it's quite far advanced now, and I'm dying to see them in action.

More animation:

Excellent public service information thing disguised as a video game.

Animated office-based video for an acoustic version of Radiohead's Creep

Not animated, and taken off video, but very funny, and sort of proto GW-ish (in that I vaguely remember this from first time round, and I'm sure influenced me on some level:

Absolutely's Dancing Surgeons (about half way down).


Completely unrelated - went out for a drink last night in Media Whore uniform (trainers, jeans, t-shirt, suit jacket). Hair is now longish with a sort of goatee-beard type-thing, caught a glimpse of myself in shop window and thought 'bloody hell, I'm dressed exactly like Mike Rutherford from Genesis circa 1992.'

May have to rethink wardrobe.


*They don't actually rap. In fact they have no dialogue at all. But they do live on a street.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Make your own joke about frogs.

French animation site. 'Geraldine' (top right) is great, but the crab revolution one is also ace, and the fact that I can't speak french doesn't matter at all. Crabs scuttling round saying 'Salut' and 'Superbe' to each other is funny enough.

Clearly it's national pun day - roast chicken-related shenanigens caused a riot of fowl/poultry gag-realted email correspndence from Izzy this morning, and a JATBC regular (no names no pack drill) has clearly been hoarding frog puns for some time to use over here.

I'm just recovering from the fact that Certain People didn't see fit to tell me that a production company had left a series of increasingly worried phone messages over Weds/Thurs last week (I hadn't responded to an email it turned out they had sent to the wrong address) until Saturday morning. Hence I had the entire weekend to worry, with there being absolutely nothing I could do about it. All sorted now, but Steps may have to be Taken. There's an opening for a new version of this site, but to be fair, Certain People could justifiably start one about flatmates who fill the house with the smell of burnt bacon, like I did this morning, so it's swings and roundabouts*.



*What exactly is it that you gain on the swings but lose on the roundabouts? I've never worked it out. Velocity? Momentum? Scuffed shoes?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Moosey Trousers


moosey trousers
Originally uploaded by jamesandthebluecat.
Looking after parents' garden while they're away, and under strict instructions not to let any food go to waste. Lots of new potatoes, raspberries, and rhubarb (ooh - I could make a really weird pizza!). Also tomatoes, courgettes and squashes, but they're still green. And a catering block of chocolate hidden behind some tins of soup. And some blocks of jelly. Yum. It's like being fourteen again. Next thing I'll be... buying roleplaying games and reading comics. Shiiiiiit.

Also, my parents don't have broadband, so I can't get distracted by World of Warcraft, which has to be a good thing. Last night I drove back to my flat, just because if log off with your characters out in the wilderness you get less experience points next time you log on. So an evening was spent taking all my characters back to an inn one at a time (you can teleport, it doesn't take that long, so it's kind of practical really, if you think about it). If you type '/sleep' they have a cute animation where they actually lie down and go to sleep, but I thought that was taking it too far. No point getting silly about it. Moosey's doing very well - joined up with a bunch of trolls and beat up some raptors, which was most satisfying, as they keep ambushing me when I go too far south, so an element of personal grudge-holding may have crept in there. However Moosey has picked up some rather garish red and green leggings from somewhere, so whereas he used to look like a minotaur on a mission of revenge, he now looks like a slightly camp dance instructor. With a bull's head. Or maybe that was a dream I once had. Or a date PP once had.*

The rewriting of sample scenes for top secret project had the expected effect: i.e. they picked another writer. They did have the decency to phone and let me know, and they're very keen on Romey loves Jools, which they've passed on to development people, so fingers crossed there. I don't mind too much about not getting the 'gig' as absolutely no-one calls it - I tend to either hit the right note with these things straight away or frankly not at all. I'm considering refusing to do sample scenes altogether - if they've read my stuff and like it, that should be enough, and as Wise Stuart (GW writer) says. it's not like they give out sample money, is it? Of the conversations back at various production companies could go two ways:

CONVERSATION ONE

PRODUCER: So what's happening with this crazy-ass James Henry kid then? (producers talk like this all the time, I've heard them)
COWERING ASSISTANT: Sir, he refuses to do any sample scenes! He says if we've read his scripts, that's enough to go on, and he's damned if he's going to work for free!
PRODUCER chomps his cigar for a bit. COWERING ASSISTANT wedges self into a corner, closes eyes in terror. Finally-
PRODUCER: Goddamn it, I like his...
COWERING ASSISTANT: Spunk?
PRODUCER: Moxie.
COWERING ASSISTANT: Oh.
PRODUCER: He's hired.
COWERING ASSISTANT: Can I go back in time and say 'Pzazz?'
PRODUCER: No.

CONVERSATION TWO

PRODUCER: So what's happening with this crazy-ass James Henry kid then?
COWERING ASSISTANT: Sir, he refuses to do any sample scenes! He says if we've read his scripts, that's enough to go on, and he's damned if he's going to work for free!
PRODUCER: Fair enough. We'll get someone else.

Hmm. Might have to think about this.

The kids' telly thing (monsters/fairy tale bits/puppets) is going very well though. Script editor encouraging me to go big and there pare it back afterwards, which suits me. It did take her three goes to get to remove the sinister hand puppet called 'Mr Starey' from the storyline, but I accept that she was right now. And I can put him back in somewhere else.

Agent Ginny was about to send off my film screenplay to a second batch of companies, but we had a chat about it first as it's become apparent that although it starts well, it quickly goes a bit bonkers and gets very confusing indeed in the third act, hence the standard reaction of 'I loved your script! I had no idea what happened in it! We could never make it!'

My first plan was 'let's send it out anyway, even if it's a tad wonky' as knowing it doesn't quite work just gives me that edge. In some way that... doesn't make sense. Also, I'm lazy, and rewriting counts as work. So obviously, I had to ring Ginny back later and say 'I'm going to have to rewrite it, aren't I?' So that's the plan. Initially I was going to just simplify the ending, but last night I thought of a whole new ending altogether, which would sort of tie into what I'm ashamed to say I was holding back for the sequel. And yes, I was thinking of it being a trilogy. Look, if you're not going to think big, there's no point even trying, is there?

* Yes yes, glass houses, stones.



Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Meet the Pillage People*

Back from a brief visit to London, in which absolutely nothing funny happened. Sorry. However I have completed the treatment for the VIking Heist Movie (it's a shortish document including a brief description of theme, characters, setting and a synopsis). The important bit is the opening pitch, what am this:


VIKING HEIST MOVIE

....is an action-filled caper film with all the elements of the best heist movies such as Ocean’s Eleven, The Italian Job, Heat, and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Except that instead of the streets of Sixties Turin, Nineties LA or early twenty-first century Vegas, the action takes place in eleventh century Scandinavia, with an audacious theft from not only the Norse gods themselves, but their ancient adversaries the Frost Giants to boot. Wolfskin cloaks might replace sharp suits, axes take over from dodgy shooters, with a plan relying on a getaway longship, but all the essential ingredients of the classic heists are present and correct.

The reality-world of VIKING HEIST MOVIE (VHM) embodies the best of the Viking spirit: swaggering, restless, mischief-making, brave and possessed of a cheerful lust for life that allows no-one to stand in its way, whether it be rival Viking chiefs, trolls or the gods themselves. This is the dying days of the Vikings, mixed with a large dollop of their own mythology: the world of giants, monsters and big guys called Hrothulf might not be around for much longer, but it’s going to go out with a bang. And probably a ‘crunch’ and a ‘splat’ as well.


God I really want to see this film, it sounds brilliant.


Some interesting animation articles online, which might be worth a perusal. The Onion has an interview with with voice-over gawd Billy West (Fry/Professor in Futurama, Stimpy in Ren and Stimpy), while Wired looks at Dreamworks animation studio, and discovers that pumping out increasingly weaker versions of Shrek is pretty much their gameplan for the next few years. Article here. NB. Well, it should be there, but it seems to go to an ad half the time instead for some reason - put "Dreamworks' and 'animation' in the Wired search box thingy if you're having problems.

I'm house-sitting for my parents for the next couple of weeks, as they're off on holiday to a rather vague location ('ooh, France? Probably?'). Shortly after having had a new patio put in, which is slightly worrying**. It'll be good to have a different space to hang around in for a bit though - I need to work on a new screenplay (current working title 'The Forgotten Trees of Brin'), so a change of location will do some good.

Agent Ginny has ordered me to plan a two-week holiday later this year, during which my laptop has to be left behind in a locked safe and all my biros snapped, although I might be allowed to take a pencil. I haven't had a holiday for about three years (I'm not counting St. Ives as it's in the same county, I had to work for a lot of it and it rained). That said, my job does allow me to fall asleep in the afternoon and blame toast, so I'm not asking anyone to feel sorry for me or anything.

But yes, holidays are a weird area, as if you haven't got much work on you feel you should be out there having meetings, and things are busy you want to keep up the momentum.


*Evans came up with that. Well done her.
** I'll be inspecting it for odd lumpy bits later. Anything larger than shrew-sized will be... well, ignored frankly. None of my business.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Forum...

... seems to be playing up - however it seems to work if you avoid clicking in the box, but just tab and type instead. Still a pain though. Izzy - any ideas why it's doing this?

foxgloves for cello


foxgloves
Originally uploaded by jamesandthebluecat.
... from just other side of those mine workings. V. pretty.

So now I'm back, from outer space. Well, a day-long hangover after going to a party held by some of the Falmouth Art School's Professional Writing group, in fact, but the general sense of being adrift in a godless void with a very short life expectancy was much the same. Felt better today though.

I'll be AFK for a couple of days (Away From Keyboard, which is what you get in World of Warcraft if you mouse over a player character sitting motionless in the middle of a dungeon while a battle rages all around him or her. Somewhere in RL*, someone has had to go for a wee, which never happened in Lord of the Rings, as far as I know, although I only got as far as the Mines of Moria bit, so I don't know how closely the films follow the books).

Anyway, while I'm away, here's: The Curious Cabinet - Chapter 3 (chapters 1 and 2 are lumped in together here if anyone needs/wants to catch up - and this a pretty short bit, and doesn't look as pretty as the others- I'll stop apologizing for it now - it's there if anyone wants to read it.

Tickets** for the new Bearded Ladies shows, so you can see Fay and Ori and their colleagues in action.

A flow chart guide to James Bond plots

The Geek Hierarchy

(a few of these are from Making Light, so if you haven't been there before, pop over and have a look).

and finally:

Some amazing photos from the 100th anniversary of Jules Verne's 'Around the World in Eighty Days'.


*'Real Life'
** OK, the link's being annoying, but you can get there from the BL blog.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Dry Your Stamps, Mate*

Now I think JonnyB has done a protest song about the closure threat to his local post office in the style of The Streets. But it could all be a poppy-dust induced dream of course. Either way, it's very good, and strangely moving.

* Which doesn't quite make sense, I know, but I was hoping people would be reading it quickly and so wouldn't notice. And right there, my friends, is the Secret of Comedy.

My drugs hell.


redruth
Originally uploaded by jamesandthebluecat.
Just made myself some fajihas, as it's a lovely, Mexicanish sort of day in Falmouth. Well, it's quite hot. And while I was ladling on the creme freche (healthier than sour cream) I noticed it had a sort of very fine grey dusty coating. But, being a single bloke, I ate it anyway.

Last week out neighbours handed us a big bunch of poppies (possibly you can see where this is going), as their garden is very lovely, and the loveliness of the poppies therein has oft been commented upon by m'good self. Anyway, the poppies blossomed forth very prettily, and then all the petals fell off, and I kept meaning to take them out to the compost bin.

Only I've just realised that the grey stuff on the creme freche was in fact poppy dust.

So what I basically just had was opium fajihas.

Hmm.

It might be best if I don't make any calls today.

Yesterday however, I went for a walk around Redruth, where there are lots of old mine workings that have become pleasingly overgrown, in a John Wyndhamesque sort of way, with jackdaws nesting on ledges and foxgloves growing everywhere. And I can be fairly confident I was there, as I took some photos, unless I hallucinated them too.

Anyway, my hope is that JATBC will soon become the first port of call for people wanting to look up photos of abandoned cornish mining buildings. Although as I left, four carloads of people with large 'proper' cameras (with tripods and lightmeters and everything) got out and headed in the direction I had just left. So that probably won't happen either.

I've finally worked out which of the scripty things I'm currently doing is paying me, and which isn't, and of course the one I'm spending lots of time rewriting is the one that isn't. Dammit. They were very keen on Romey loves Jools though, so they like my stuff. Just not the stuff I'm doing for them now. It's difficult doing sample scenes for a series when all you have to go on is the scripts, as things change so much between page and screen - some actors can really bring a character to life, when there wasn't that much to them on the page. Anyway, I'm having one final shot at it, and if the poppy dust doesn't help, I don't know what will.

Of course if they like the stuff I wrote under the influence, I'm going to have to head out to Limehouse soon and find one of these oriental opium dens I keep reading about in the penny dreadfuls. I bet this is just how Sherlock Holmes* got started.


*Oops, no it wasn't - Sherlock Holmes was into cocaine, not opium. Textbook error.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

It's all 'work work sleep'

My reaction to toast is very much like the varied reactions Superman has to Red Kryptonite: sometimes I feel a bit bloaty, sometimes my mouth feels a bit metallic, sometimes I have a very small wave of euphoria and giddiness (that might be the Marmite, not sure), sometimes I fall asleep, sometimes I turn evil and raid the nearest jewellers, laughing maniacally as the hapless security guards' bullets bounce offf my chest.

So, yes, I had some toast earlier, and fell asleep, and now I have a selection of Rolex watches in the corner of my room with no idea how they got there.

I'm working on two different projects at the moment, and am at the 'waiting for people to get back to me' stage, hence my sybaritic abandonment to the world of toast-without-consequence. The first job requires me to work up some storylines for a new children's series, the second is to write some sample scenes for a not-children's series about... people doing things (I think I'm supposed to be confidential about both of them). One of them is a proper commission, and the other one is in the hopes of getting a proper commission, and I can't quite remember which is which, so I have applied myself with equal professionalism to both. Or, quite possibly, neither.

Anyway, when I woke up, surrounded by crumbs and Rolex watches and spoilt international playgirls whose last scattered pseudo-memories were of standing on a tall building in a faraway city only to have this, like, blur snatch them away to a faraway land where the pasties roam, I thought 'How would dead-ends from rejected 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books go?'

And sure enough, someone had worked it out:

Dead Ends from Rejected “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” Books

And then I thought - 'what about writing A Style Guide for Blog Parodists


But that had been done too! 'Yay'! And v/ funny both were, particularly the Hiawatha bit down the bottom of the Style Guide thing.

Back to sleep now, for I deal with the very stuff of dreams, and thus a writer's work can never really be done.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Quite a lot to do, actually.

When you've grown tired of running up to monsters in World of Warcraft, killing them and taking their treasure - you wouldn't think you could get tired of this, but sometimes you do - there are other things you can do. Like fishing. Part of this one quest was to catch 20... I don't know, 'blumper fish' or something, I dunno, it's not real, god!

So my little night elf character took her fishing rod and stood on a rock overlooking the harbour somewhere in Ashenvale and I tried to catch blumper fish, or whatever they're called. The float sort of jiggled a bit, and then you had to press 'J or something (I'm being vague today, apologies, but, you know...*) and catch the fish. Only you had to get the timing just right, or you miss the fish and have to start again. And this went on for an hour, and then suddenly I went JESUSI'MWASTINGMYLIFE and hurled my laptop against the wall and ran down to the park and learned how to electric boogaloo.

No, actually I realised I was fishing in the wrong spot, and moved down a bit and caught loads after that.

I've got a second character called Moosey (he's a Tauran, which is a kind of minotaur) who I named as a joke when I was showing Jim who plays City of Heroes which SUCKS in comparison to WOW. I was going to call the chararacter 'Moosey McMoosington' but it was too long, which was a shame. Anyway, Moosey started out as a joke, but I'm quite fond of him now, and he's nearly 14th level. He's got the skill 'Leatherworking', so quite often, when I've killed loads of monsters and skinned them (using my 'Skinning' skill), I can make sandals, and quite a nice bag.

I've got loads of work on by the way. I wouldn't want you to think I had nothing to do.


Ooh, I forgot, while I was demonstrating WOW to Paula and Jim, I showed them my other characters. 'That's Gra'nash, an orc warrior and Shard, the night elf hunter, and there's Cookie, who's a gnome rogue. And there's Lilette, who's a human thief.'

Paula stared at me, and I got a bit embarrassed. 'You think it's weird I have a couple of female characters, don't you?'
'No,' said Paula 'but I do think it's odd you named one of them after a tampon.'





*Do you see what I did there? Marvellous stuff.


Sunday, June 05, 2005

Generate your viking name

Here.

I was "Ketill the Comedy Sidekick".

Hmm.

CLASSIC HEIST MOVIE TROPES

As seen in such movies as: The Italian Job (the original), Ocean's Eleven (the remake), The Heist, The Score, Things To Do In Dever When You’re Dead.

Okay, forgetting the viking stuff for the moment, and obviously not all these happen in every heist movie (or sometimes they get shifted around, such as in Denver when the CRIPPLED MENTOR (Christopher Walken) is also the SHADOW), but I reckon this has the bases covered. If I've missed out any obvious ones, let me know. And the capitals are there to denote archetypal moments/tropes cod-Campbell/Jungian stylee rather than linking anywhere, although the temptation to do a wiki on this is almost overwhelming...

Here they are then:

HERO just out of prison, heads out, stoically cool, picks up smart clothes, is met by LOYAL LIEUTENANT.
They assemble the CREW, a collection of oddballs whose various specialities include VEHICLE, SURVEILLEANCE/TECH , MUSCLE, FAST-TALKING, MUNITIONS
WANNABE turns up, annoys the crew and begs to be let on board.
HERO tells the CREW he needs their help in order to break into an IMPREGNABLE FORTRESS – they tell him he’s crazy and refuse, but he turns them round.
HERO and LOYAL LIEUTENANT seek the advice of a CRIPPLED MENTOR, who knows the way into the IMPREGNABLE FORTRESS.
HERO tells the crew how they’re going to do this heist, with diagrams (also popular in disaster movies, like ARMAGEDDON, which has Billy-Bob Thornton with a toy space shuttle on a stick, in case the audience missed the earlier stuff, which is fair enough) .
HERO has to overcome a FEMME FATALE, with whom he has history.
CREW have a dry run of the heist, which goes facically badly (the 'you're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off' scene).
HERO reveals he has kept something from his LOYAL LIEUTENANT when he reveals that the real reason behind the heist is personal, not business, which contravenes the code they live by. they fall out, but get back together to get on with the heist.
Target of the CREW is a SHADOW of the HERO himself: they have a past history.
WANNABE causes the plan to nearly fail.
SHADOW may at some point release a TERRIFYING HITMAN to eradicate the HERO (Steve Buscemi in DENVER).
Journey to the IMPREGNABLE FORTRESS.
Initial scout around of the IMPREGNABLE FORTRESS, possibly get spotted by agents of the SHADOW.
Plan goes wrong, sensible thing would be to back out – LOYAL LIEUTENANT has bad feelings about it – but Hero wants to proceed. LOYAL LIEUTENANT confronts HERO, suggesting he is overcommitted to the heist for purely personal reasons, and that the sensible thing would be to back out now while they can escape. HERO persuades them all to continue.
WANNABE finds he has to carry out a dangerous part of the plan on his own. He succeeds.
HERO pulls a switch on his SHADOW (and possibly on his whole CREW, with the exception of LOYAL LIEUTENANT) and also the audience, who haven’t been privy to an important part of the plan. They heist succeeds, and HERO, LOYAL LIEUTENANT and CREW escape with the loot, while HERO succeeds in his personal quest to boot.

Crew gather to celebrate while Claire de Lune plays over fountains.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

TV Tropes and Idioms

I've just lost an hour on this site, which is no bad thing. Apart from anything else, there's a sort of guilty pleasure in spotting how many cliches I've fallen prey to - not that everything in there is to be avoided at all costs, just if you're using any of these because you can't think of a better option, it's probably time to go and get some fresh air, or swim with a dolphin or buy your mistress a new flat or something. Take five, basically.

Personally, I'm particularly prone to LampshadeHanging, but most script editors notice it and quietly delete them with out me noticing. I'm going to go and read up on ScriptSpeak now, so I no longer have to pretend to know what editing-type people are talking about. Actually I've found it much better to just ask if you don't know - no-one really expects writers to know anything practical, and people are usually pleased to tell you what their job entails. And quite often people slip in fake words just to see if you're talking bollocks.

Toy-Fu 20 - New Staff

Nearly Toy-Fu 20 - New Staff

Well, it was, but I was dissatisfied with it, so I've taken it down to have another go. One argument runs 'look, it's only a stupid webcomic about toys and guns, who cares' and the other says 'if you can't even get a stupid webcomic about toys and guns right....'

So I decided to have another go. In the meantime I was going to put up the treatment for the Viking Heist Movie, but you know what? I'm not quite happy about that either. Imagine what I could achieve if I became a perfectionist about things that actually, you know, mattered.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

PP emergency

PP says:

"Clutching at straws. The Guardian says blogs can solve the problems of the world so here goes: Can anybody get me a Pisastro Chromcord D string for a Double Bass for saturday morning?"

They'd have to be reasonably near Canterbury, of course. Annoyingly, I've got loads of Pisastro Chromcord D string Double Bass strings, but I won't be able to post them in time. Tch.

PP then added:

"I will be in london tomorrow and am willing to do tricks for strings."

Worth considering, I'd say. A PP in the hand is worth- (transmission ends).

UPDATE - PP says"

"I am now a proud owner of a Pisatro Flexocor D string- not a Chromcor to be
found in central london. I also bought a new case which looks like a giant sleeping bag.
Then I had a nose bleed- with blood down my shirt and with something that
looked like my bed in my arms I looked like a street person- just the right
tone to be set at work..."

Marvellous.


And here's another music video involving small woodland creatures. And Sigur Ros. Awww.

NB. I've just remembered how, when once I was round at at PP's flat with a friend who had drunk slightly too much. She suddenly murmered 'Oooh, I think I'm going to have to be sick', at which point PP got up, walked to the hallway way, turned his double bass round so that the hole bit faced the wall, then walked back to the front room and resumed the conversation. Most impressive.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

c***u***nt radiologist


c***u***nt radiologist
Originally uploaded by jamesandthebluecat.
Statham's badge, because if a swear word if funny in series 1, there's really no point changing it for series 2. That's Mark's hand, but I didn't take a photo of his actual face as A) it seemed slightly unprofessional as we were in a meeting and B) he didn't have his moustache on, so I didn't want to ruin the magic.

Continuing the childish swearing for which GW has become renowned, I am delighted to say that the GW A-Z of Filth song has made it into series 2, as conceived and polished by Ori and performed by... well, that would be saying. But it's been filmed, and is both extremely rude and fits the scene, which isn't something that always happens. So well done Ori.

That's not quite it for GW2 writing, as filming goes on for months yet, and we'll all possibly be popping back for a few days here and there. But the majority of it seems to be done, and I'm working on some new stuff now (which came as a relief, as up until two weeks ago the end of GW2 writing signified a looming great future of nothingness). So I'm writing some treatments for a kid's horror anthology series, more about which I cannot say at present*, and have done some sample scenes for a new C4 series that's like the Monkees, only with girls. Who wear a lot less. In my scenes anyway.


*Although I can say that one of the horror ideas is about puppets (huzzah!) and the finished script has a good chance of containing the direction: 'PROSCENIA SMITH looks longingly at an orrery'. After that, I probably ought to just retire, as there will be no worlds left to conquer.

UPDATE: GW RICHARD says: "Completely contrary to the generous spirit Oriane showed in crediting the team with the original version of the sweary song; I'd just like to point out that the c***u***nt badge idea was mine. MINE MINE MINE!
Richard x"