Monday, May 21, 2007


Bollocks to the 'Royle Family', the Green Wing final episode* was millions better. Although I didn't actually watch the 'Royle Family' final episode. And Jessica Stephenson's in it sometimes, and she's great. But bollocks to it anyway. Still, always nice to be nominated.

Patroclus was shouting out the highlights to me through the door (I was having a bath).

PATROCLUS: Oooh, I just saw Rob!

Five minutes later.

PATROCLUS: Green Wing didn't get anything again.

Ten minutes later.

PATROCLUS: Hahahahaha, Ross Kemp's won an award!

Anyway television was just a phase really, I'm a film writer now, which is much more interesting and glamourous. In my new role as an interesting and glamourous film writer, I have decided that it is my duty to explain to all the starting-out wannabe apprentice film writers the secret of my enormous glamour and interestingness.

Thusly, here are some tips:

1. Try inserting helpful drawings into your finished script: if a scene includes, say, an explosion, then a scribbly fireball with severed heads and limbs coming out of it will always grab a studio executive's attention!

2. If you have a particular actor in mind for a certain role, why not cut faces out of magazines, then put it next to each line of dialogue, so it's like he's doing speech bubbles.

3. Always end scripts with big kisses in green ink and alternative phone numbers at your place of work where messages can be left if you are doing a poo.

4. Include a list of 'Actresses I Fancy'. Don't worry about crossings-outs and underlinings, that shows you have really thought about it.

5. When you've finished your script, rearrange the pages so the scenes with the best lines are first, like in a trailer.

6. Actors who have bought you drinks recently should be mentioned by name in the script as a suggestion for a character. Actors who laugh derisively when you interrupt their half-hour flow of 'things I said in Hollywood recently' to tell them you've written a superhero movie WILL NEVER BE IN IT EVER.

7. You know who you are.

* UPDATE: Rob informs me in the comments below that it wasn't the special that was nominated, it was Series 2.


cello said...

Yeah, fuck Bafta*. Let's go and have a drink.

*I think GW fell victim to the insidious British disease of venerating actors over 80 who can still eat a boiled egg**.

**That's Alan's Bennett's line, not mine.

James Henry said...

Apparently John Simnmnnn looked really annoyed when he lost out to some other bloke. I think it's great when actors don't do the 'oh i say, well played, and we're all mates anyway' thing. I want it to look like it MATTERS, and there'll be fights in the carpark after.

Samuel L Jackson is best at this, openly and angrily shouting 'FUCK!' when he lost an Oscar to, dunno, Bea Arthur or someone.

Back to writing scripts for BBC now. (I love you really, television).

kaiki said...

inspired by this blog i just tried to draw a scribbly fireball with severed limbs and heads coming out of it and but think it needs more orange as it just looks like someone being duffed up.

James Henry said...

Ooh Textbook Error - you don't want it to look like a Bash Street Kids-style scrap. Maybe do a door flying out of it in slow-motion, like in The Matrix.

I should do some workshops on this. Maybe a series of seminars...

Joseph said...

I wouldn't worry, an awards ceremony where Life on Mars is largely ignored and it is claimed that Ricky is better than Stephen is clearly flawed.

I heard Catherine Tate's losing face was the best...

James Henry said...

S. Merchant am skill.

Tim Footman said...

I quite liked the last Royle Family.


James Henry said...


I do like the Royle Family really, honest, and I'm sure the last one is up to the high standard of all the others.

I mean, you know, 'whatever'.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify - it wasn't the Green Wing Special that was nominated, it was Series 2 (all 6 hours 40 minutes of it).

The Special was shown in 2007, and is technically eligible for next year's BAFTAs; perhaps we can go back and lose to another National Institution.

James Henry said...

Thanks Rob, that makes more sense, the judges probably only saw the first half of episode one and thought 'ooh it's gone a bit strange', not sticking around for the rest where it goes brilliant again.

The special was dead good, and next year I fully expect it to sweep the boards, probably even beating Ross Kemp's documentary on kids who say 'nang'.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding all "it's not the winning that counts, it's the taking part" Life on Mars and Green Wing (last year? 2 years ago?) both won what would seem to me to be the most meaningful awards of the night - the audience award. I think sometimes awards ceremonies shy away from recognising the popular, working on the basis that, if the great unwashed like it, it can't be "difficult" or "important" enough to win.

Shows what BAFTA knows.

James Henry said...

Yeah, I shouldn't have even mentioned them really, because I genuinely get a nice glow from shows I've worked on being nominated, and don't usually care beyond that.

The BAFTA Pioneer was a good one to have in the office though: if you held it to your ear, you could hear all the phone votes, still murmuring away...

realdoc said...

Were you not important enough to be invited to the ceremony then?

James Henry said...

I feel very fully represented by Victoria and Robert at these things, thank you, although it is always nice to be asked, which I was, I think (although I was a bit pissed at the time).

In all seriousness, with an team-written show with an ensemble cast, we can't all rock up, or we'd outweight the rest of the audience put together.

Anonymous said...

I can't belive that Mark Heap as Statham wasn't nominated for the comic actor award.

Congratulates the brand new spanking 'film writer' you will have to start drinking pimms and wearing cravats if you want to look interesting and glamorous!

patroclus said...

Hm, I wonder if you can get a Wolverine cravat.

Wolverine Cravat! Best band name ever!

Anonymous said...

Urgh, borrocks t' the lorra them.
*shakes bottle of cider threateningly*
I'll show 'em...
*staggers about a bit aimlessly and bumps into a wall*

Hamilton's Brain said...

If we're trading tips on screenwriting, here are a couple I picked up from Syd Feld.

1) Whatever you're writing about, try and get something about speedboats in.
2) Don't show, have a PA system tell.

(I realise this may only be funny to about ten people worldwide, but I can't help myself).

Anonymous said...

bloody royale family that show irritates me Green wing was so much more deserving of that award - but it was nice to see the cast and some of the writers there as they did a few clips of the GW row which made me happy - but you really should have won that :(

and BTW those tips for writing a film sound erfect I will bear those in mind when I have to create a short film for my A2 course next year