Monday, October 01, 2007

All The Rage and Solo writing versus team writing

The new (and quite the best-looking so far, although maybe I'm just biased because it's got superheroes and daleks and stuff in it) All The Rage is out. I very nearly wrote a proper bit for this, it being about fantasy and adventure and stuff, but work has overwhelmed me at the moment (more below) so I kindly allowed the use of a couple of toy-fu pages for only one million pounds.

Also, Leila has a book out! (on October 7th, which is coincidentally PatrocIus' birthday) I had literally no idea, but it is a proper book, available in Waterstone's and Borders and other places and everything.

*is impressed*

And now, The Difference Between Solo-Writing and Team Writing, as Illustrated by Two Consecutive and Similarly-Themed but Very Different in Approach style Work Days.


Tuesday - Teen Drama Project, BBC

In the foyer, I realise I'm standing next to a comedy writer/performer I've seen around before, but never met. I introduce myself and we have a very sober discussion about the internal politics of one of the larger comedy-writer-representing agencies.

In the meeting room provided, glass walls decorated with quotes from classic literature, the BBC Producer, script editor, assistant producer, script editor and I discuss how downloading torrents or streaming video have changed audiences' viewing habits, and how best we can adapt to these changes to bring the proposed teen drama series to an audience once it has been made.

Halfway through an assistant brings us cups of tea. We thank him politely.

In the afternoon, we discuss character backgrounds, story arcs, what characters' emotional journeys will be over the course of the series and the storylines that will bring out these character moments to best effect.



Wednesday - Various, Team Writing, ex-Green Wing writers

In the corridor of the new Brick Lane office I realise the small green boxes placed at various points on the floor are not air fresheners, as I originally thought, but traps for rats.

This.

I sit down on a wheely office chair. Due to a slope in the floor, I slide very slowly backwards, eventually stopping with a bump against a wall decorated with pictures of characters from Prison Break torn out of Heat magazine. Apparently my new haircut reminds the other writers of a character from Prison Break called 'T-Bag'. Later research reveals 'T-Bag' to be a white supremacist muderer/rapist.

Producer asks if I'm forty yet (I'm thirty four).

Ori Fay takes out the 'Cock a Doodle' pad* (a small book with line drawings of men in Seventies style porn posings, but with the genital area left blank) and draws the genitals of all the men present as she imagines them. I am drawn with a vagina, although frankly, I'm more offended that she has chosen a bald man to represent me. I am allowed to draw some hair (on the head) before the picture is stuck up on the noticeboard under a polaroid of me looking confused.

I am told to go out and buy sweets for the group, with dark hints being made that my sweets-buying duties have been performed to a less than satisfactory standard in the past. When asked what kind of sweets I should get, the reply is 'nice ones'.

I decide to embrace the vitality and multiculturalness of the Brick Lane environs by buying some food from one of the street vendors. I eat my burger, surrounded by people who appear never to have seen Nathan Barley. That evening I have a brief and surprisingly emotional bout of food poisoning.

* I don't even want to think where these are available

36 comments:

Dave said...

The life of a superstar. It's another world to us mere mortals.

james henry said...

You don't have to make every comment slightly sarcastic/pointed, you know. Maybe think about broadening your range a bit.

Jayne said...

How can you have survived 34 years without learning that you must never buy "meat" based products from a street vendor. *shakes head*

james henry said...

I know, it's like all my Terry Pratchett-acquired street know-how just fled for that instant.

Maus said...

Excellent, thanks for the mention, and for letting me include your Toy Fu! The book is, in fact, out TODAY! supposedly. Although I have yet to see evidence of it.

Dancing like a wolf! said...

What sweets did you buy?

james henry said...

I'll have a word with the Waterstone's mob Leila, don't you worry.

I bought Skittles (a personal favourite), jelly babies, Celebrations, liquorice allsorts and wine guns. Sort of a post-war Beano-style splashout.

Bearded Lady said...

fay drew the cock a doodles not me so take that back liar

james henry said...

Really? I am genuinely quite shocked at Fay.

Jayne said...

ps I still miss Steve. And the other guy.

Lucy said...

I'm in awe! This is my first visit to your blog--but certainly, NOT my last. I have great interest in your life as a working entertainment writer.

I'm a stand-up comedienne in NYC and I'm gunning for the ranks of comedy writer/performer.

If you're not too busy, which it seems as if you are, I would love to interview you. The blog I'm developing is going to be a one-stop-shop for would be stand-up comedians/writers/etc. I'm profiling what goes on "behind-the-scenes" of a comedian's career.

And I feel your perspective on the entertainment scene (especially in the UK) would be amazing to read.

Feel free to email me at: STANDUP101 (at) GMAIL (dot) com.

Thanks so much, for everything!!

james henry said...

You see, THAT'S how to comment.

Joseph said...

I was going to comment about the nice insight, but I can't possibly follow that, can I?

james henry said...

This has been an emotional rollercoaster of a comments thread, and no mistake.

james henry said...

Wine 'gums', not 'guns', I've been playing too much Bioshock.

Argh, a Spider Splicer!!!!!

*fire machine gun randomly into the air*

Sylvia said...

Er, where can I get a cock a doodle notepad from? A gift for a friend, you understand.

Jayne said...

James, she's a comedienne. You realise she's joking right? I mean, you take this seriously?:

And I feel your perspective on the entertainment scene (especially in the UK) would be amazing to read.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

and, btw, what's going on with Marple and Green Wing? Mr Rhind-Tutt and the lovely Pippa on there last night, Steve Mangan last week. I'm expecting that mad scottish bint to turn up next Sunday...

violetforthemoment said...

I would like to wholeheartedly second your sentiments re All The Rage. It had me at the Ian Livingstone Fighting Fantasy covers. Did your sweets pass the "nice" test?? I was asked to get "something nice" for my boss when I went out to lunch today. I refused unless she could be more specific. If I am indeed alone in thinking wasabi peas are nice I would like to find out in a situation that does not involve a P45.

Your sources seem to have left out T-Bag's penchant for child molestation, btw.

Piers said...

Wasabi peas rock.

But they're not exactly sweeties, despite the small roundness of them.

Oli said...

Also pleased to see Fighting Fantasy featured in ATR... but am I the only one who was slightly disappointed that they went with the reprints rather than original edition covers...?

*crickets chirp*

*wanders off to sit with the other massive geeks in a corner*

*rolls twelve sided dice, feels better*

Bearded Lady said...

you can get the cock a docodle pad at American Retro on Old Compton Street

Sylvia said...

thanks again, BL. Wonder if they do mail order.....

what are all you writers supposed to be doing together? Please keep doing it, whatever it is - am desperate for something good to watch on TV. I will supply sweets myself if this keeps you all busy writing for my viewing pleasure!

james henry said...

We don't know what it is yet. It might be a thing later, or it might fizzle before it becomes worthy of full 'thing' status.

Still, we're all larking about in an office, and that's really what it's all about.

Imo said...

QUOTE: and, btw, what's going on with Marple and Green Wing? Mr Rhind-Tutt and the lovely Pippa on there last night, Steve Mangan last week: END QUOTE

Jayne you must realise that James doesn't actually own these actors and they have nothing else to do now GW is no more.

I like the way no-one has asked yet if you're OK after crashing into a wall on your run away chair.

Imo said...

Are you OK?

james henry said...

I did it again today. Ow.

I think it might be because Green Wing actors all have slightly 'period' faces, and can keep a straight face through rather silly dialogue, skills much in demand.

Doris said...

That was an insight into the creative process I never knew I was lacking. Along with the Cock a Doodle pad.

violetforthemoment said...

Oli, I was disappointed but too afraid to say. Nerds didn't fare well in my hometown. Even now I have to try really hard not to instinctively cower when anyone mentions Battlestar Galactica.

cello said...

Munchies and Mintolas. They're my favourites.

Maus said...

Ok ok, sorry about using the new FF covers. There was some method to my madness, though. For although the old ones are indeed more charming, the new ones have considerably higher quality jpgs online.

patroclus said...

Was the vagina correctly situated, or was it 'just under the belly button'?

james henry said...

Ooh, old skool blog ref! Ten points.

Oli said...

Thank you, Maus. I am appeased.

Anonymous said...

http://www.hawkin.com/rkMain.asp?PAGEID=20670&STK_PROD_CODE=09981&CTL_CAT_CODE=2129
is where you can get them mail order. Apparently.

Jayne said...

imo said:
"Jayne you must realise that James doesn't actually own these actors and they have nothing else to do now GW is no more."

But doesn't James keep them in his cupboard under the stairs until he wants to play with them again? Well, not all of them, that'd just be silly. I'm sure they're shared amongst all GW writers' cupboards...

circelily said...

That's my christmas pressie buying launched with a bang. Thanks all